Dec 05, Colombo: The NextGenGov Fellowship Program held an awards ceremony and panel discussion to recognize and inspire the 2019 cohorts that successfully completed the program. The Fellowship Program aims to integrate the use of foresight and innovation for public sector excellence.
Earlier this year, the Fellowship Program introduced 60 selected public sector officials in Sri Lanka, along with international participants from 7 countries, to practical applications of foresight and innovation tools. The program is co-developed as a joint initiative between Citra Social Innovation Lab, the Ministry of Provincial Councils, Local Government, and Public Administration, and the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA).
Following the initial workshops, an in-depth mentorship program supported these champions of innovation as they used foresight and innovation tools to tackle ongoing issues within their ministries and departments. The culmination of the program also featured a 2-day recap session for the participants to report back on their experiences and learn from each other.
Elaborating on the need for such a program Secretary to the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government, and Public Administration, Siripala Hettiarachchi stated "There is a strong need to facilitate innovation within the public sector that gives officials the space to develop creative and efficient processes. We need to work together through programs such as this to empower skilled officials so they can carry out their vital role towards the sustainable growth of Sri Lanka."
Speaking on the program, UNDP Resident Representative, Robert Juhkam stated "The wide range of projects that strengthen institutions, build capacity and re-engineer processes that have been implemented as a result of this program is a testament to the impact of empowering the right officials with the tools they need to create positive change."
A panel discussion on 'Gearing the Public Sector to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals' was also held at the event with Susil Premajayantha, State Minister of Foreign Relations, Siripala Hettiarachchi, Secretary, Ministry of Local Government, Provincial Councils, and Public Administration, Wasantha Deshapriya, Former Secretary, Ministry of Digital Infrastructure and Ms. Damayanthi Wijesinghe, Director of Human Resources at the Sri Lanka Administrative Service as panelists moderated by Ms. Deshani Senanayake, Gender and Experimentation Lead Citra Lab as moderator.
The panelists explored the importance of recognizing the current gaps within the public sector, the role of innovation in addressing gaps and building a conducive environment to achieve the 2030 agenda.
Together with its partners Citra Social Innovation Lab will continue to work closely with this growing network of innovation champions to ensure a sustained, long term integration of foresight and innovation for public sector excellence in Sri Lanka.