Public administration, both as an academic discipline and a significant field of professional practice, is exposed to critical challenges on the social, political, and economic fronts, resulting from globalization, which is unfairly skewed towards the rich nations and individuals, and the unprecedented revolutions in information communications technology (ICT). Alongside the already existent challenges, the sustainable development goals (SDGs) have warranted a more prominent role from the public administration academics and practitioners to trigger new strategies and approaches to realize the SDGs. However, the situation abruptly has changed, becoming highly volatile with the occurrence of the Covid-19 at the beginning of 2020. It has trembled all countries, advanced and developing alike, exposing more significant cracks in governance, social norms, and state capacities. Economic vulnerabilities, inefficiencies, and disarray conditions of the health care systems have been a severe issue of concern for all countries. The lethal virus has hugely affected the economy, social progress, human psychology, behavioral pattern, and business processes globally. Lock-down and social distancing have appeared as new terms and norms in our attempts to stay safe in these critical times, which is often called new normal.
State capacity and collaborative approach to governance to put people at the center of development have already received high traction with the rise of globalization and MDGs’ adoption, later followed by SDGs. The spread of the coronavirus and the resultant loss of human lives and severe contractions in economic activities have further pointed out the importance of an effective public administration system that emphasizes pro-people development, partnership and collaboration, more assertive policy, and delivery capacities, and abilities to anticipate. It is hard to conclude which model of state was more effective in containing the virus’s surge. Nevertheless, it can be said effective leadership played an instrumental role for some countries in keeping people a bit confident and less panicked in the wake of the pandemic.
After the pandemic outbreak, the experiences have brought back the discussion regarding the immense value of trust in the governance and public management system. In a pandemic situation, trust can give us the immediate heal and confidence to face the onslaughts. Covid-19 experiences have created an urgency to revisit public administration’s scope and find new pathways to support countries in their attempts to build back better and be better prepared to deal with any emergency with a more robust, effective, and trustworthy system.
Within this backdrop, the 8th International Conference on Public Administration and Development (ICPAD) aims to organize its discussions evolving around the following key theme: public administration in a turbulent time: the need to revisit and rethink.
The 8th ICPAD will be held at BPATC Campus, Savar, Dhaka, on 20-22 May 2021.
Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre (BPATC)- the premier training institute for the country’s civil servants, tries to bring academics and practitioners together to contribute to different aspects surrounding the key theme.
Sub-themes of the conference
The 8th ICPAD entails six sub-themes, which are:
(1) policy capacity and anticipatory governance; (2) leadership in public sector; (3) ICT and service delivery; (4) trust and accountability in governance and service delivery; (5) building back better; and (6) partnership and collaborative governance.
Discussions under the sub-themes should complement the key theme of the conference.