Belgrade, 6 October 20201 - The two-day regional conference, which will enable civil servants in Serbia to improve their communication and digital skills and knowledge, thanks to the experiences of regional and international experts, has been officially opened in the premises of the National Academy for Public Administration in Belgrade. 

Under the slogan "Connect Regionally - Improve Individually", the conference is organized by the National Academy for Public Administration (NAPA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Serbia, in order to contribute to better services provision to the citizens through further development of public servants.

Dejan Matić, Acting Director of the NAPA has opened the Conference:

“Modernisation of public administration is an extremely important topic in the modern, IT ages where the society of knowledge is being formed in one quite special way. The key driving engine of development, first of all, is precisely the availability of information and their sharing. This conference was organized with the aim of problematizing and shedding light on two equally extensive and important topics. The regional dimension of the conference is also very important, thanks to which we can exchange certain experiences with eminent experts from the region and abroad, and strengthen our ties even in these challenging times we are currently in.“

Karin McDonald, Head of Development Cooperation in Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), has pointed out that Sweden has been providing support to Serbia on its path to the European Union.

"On this path, Sweden provides support for both economic and institutional development, and the public administration is precisely the key part to the institutional development. The National Academy for Public Administration plays a key role, because it is the one that transfers the knowledge and skills that civil servants should have.”

Francine Pickup, Resident Representative of the UNDP, has pointed out at the opening of the conference:

“The age of accelerated digitalization and complex social problems, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, calls for all civil servants to continuously work on their skills, especially when it comes to using new technologies. With the Swedish government assistance, UNDP developed four innovative online training courses, which would enable all civil servants to improve their knowledge and skills, and thereby provide better and quality services to both citizens and the economy.  In that way, we help the work of the National Academy for Public Administration and contribute to the modernization of public administration in Serbia.”

Marija Obradović, Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government in the Government of the Republic of Serbia, has also spoken at the opening of the conference.

"The Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government has been working hard for years focusing on modernization and reform of public administration, but the most important thing is to bring everything we have achieved closer to the citizens and the economy. The success of reforms also depends on the way we communicate with them. Digitalization is the most visible change in public administration. Today, there is almost no man or women in Serbia who has not heard of some words starting with E, eBaby, eRegistration in kindergarten, ePortal, eCitizen. The state has managed to make its beneficiaries interested in this type of communication, and we have created e-Training for the needs of professional training of civil servants themselves, which is the reason our National Academy for Public Administration was established.“

During these two days of the conference, five panels and six workshops will be held. More than 20 high representatives of the governments of Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as experts from the European Union and the United Kingdom, will share their experiences on challenges, but also examples of good practice in communication and provision of digital services in those panels. 

Panels and workshops will be held online during both days of the conference. All those interested can follow them, after registering via the link: https://bit.ly/PrijaveZaKonferenciju.

The conference is held within the project "Civil Service Training for the 21st Century in the Republic of Serbia", implemented by the UNDP, in partnership with the National Academy for Public Administration, with the support of the SIDA. The goal of this initiative is to create an efficient and professional public administration through strengthening the skills and knowledge of management and civil servants in public institutions at both national and local level.

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