MONDAY, 19 AUGUST 2013
PHILIPSBURG –The ﬁrst batch of civil servants trained as Government Innovators were presented with certiﬁcates for completing the programme last week. Participants formed part of the Innovations in Governance Programme, an inter-ministerial training initiative for both civil servants and the Council of Ministers.
The programme is part of the IVB (Institutionele Versterking Bestuurskracht) project funded by USONA and coordinated by the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers. Through an Innovation Challenge Writing Workshop led by Deloris Wilson, a Master of Public Policy/ Juris Doctor candidate at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government/Georgetown University Law Centre and an Innovation Strategy Lab led by Jorrit de Jong, Academic Director of the Innovations in Government Programme at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, the programme strives to create and foster a tone of innovation, creative thinking and effective problem solving.
By increasing government responsiveness to changing conditions and social needs, these workshops will serve as a ﬁrst step to an actual innovation lab: a space for the exchange of ideas through inter-ministerial interaction, collaboration and ingenuity for more effective policies and processes, it was stated in a press release issued by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams on Sunday. “This project is a part of the long-term vision for government, such as the Integrity Programme. In looking at the areas for development funds to be put in the case of St. Maarten, we identiﬁed several areas. One of those areas was strengthening the quality of governance. That programme included the training and the preparing of persons for their tasks with regards to country St. Maarten,” Wescot-Williams said in the release.
“One of those things we looked at was the innovations within governance. We are looking to add value in what we are doing as government and how we can improve on the services that we provide. When I listened to the people, I realised some of the things we lack regarding that service that we provide. “We are building a mindset so that the ﬁre could be lit in persons for them to get innovating, that there has to be a speciﬁc feeling for government service to the people. When we had the issue regarding long lines at the Census Ofﬁce for documents for the BTA process, for example, we implemented various measures to ensure that that discomfort was minimised.
That is in fact innovating,” she said. The Prime Minister said that government is establishing benchmarks to see how to move to a higher level in terms of the public value and the service that government provides. She said the intention is for civil servants to use all of the creativity that is available in government to get that awareness created to work together to accomplish the way forward for the country. Participants in the Innovation Challenge Writing Workshop and Innovation Strategy Lab will serve as members of this inaugural innovation team. Additionally, projects will be presented to the Ministers/ Council of Ministers for consideration.
Led by the Innovation Lab Steering Committee, the team will help facilitate the continuance of innovation upon workshop completion. The Council of Ministers themselves also attended innovation workshops. The Prime Minister congratulated the participants and encouraged them to continue innovating. “I want to thank you for realising that you can make a difference and you are indeed champions for government. Together, we will enable you to continue with the process.”
Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten