GIS – 25 November 2015: A two-day workshop on Strategic Foresight Xchange: Towards an innovative Civil Service, organised at the initiative of the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms, kicked off this morning at Maritim Hotel, Balaclava.
The Global Centre for Public Service Excellence (GCPSE) of Singapore through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is providing support to introduce the concept of Strategic Foresight in Mauritius. The facilitators for the workshop are Messrs Arndt Husar and Mr Peter Van de Pol, Deputy Director and Advisor of GCPSE, respectively. The Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms, Mr Alain Wong, and the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr Simon Springett, were present at the opening ceremony.
In his keynote address, Minister Wong pointed out that this new concept will definitely play a key role in shaping the future work environments in both public and private sectors and provide the most promising leads for innovation in the Civil service.
This platform, according to him, certainly provides an opportunity to bring officials from across the public service, the private sector and civil society to draw from lessons of our shared experiences and identify the priorities for the next phase of reforms and innovations in the Civil service.
Mr Wong recalled that it is the stated policy of Government to transform Mauritius into a truly forward looking, environmentally sustainable, economically vibrant and innovative country with modern infrastructures, new technologies, global connectivity and a highly skilled workforce. However, a new mindset focused on national targets rather than on routine administrative jobs only is required to achieve that.
“We are at the crossroad of our development, and never before, has there been such relentless social, economic and technological change, but we cannot be a modern society, transforming from a monocrop economy to a high income country by 2030, unless we have an innovative, modern and efficient public service”, said the Minister.
For his part, Mr Springett outlined that Strategic Foresight is important for both government and private organisations as it provides means and ways to address challenges and look for opportunities lying ahead. It is a means to empower public officials to think and act differently, improve their capabilities and create new forms of collaboration and engagement.
Strategic Foresight, as a planning tool, is increasingly becoming important for governments and public administration. It is an umbrella term for innovative planning, policy formulation and solution design methods that work with alternative features. Some well-known Foresight techniques are Horizon Scanning; Scenario Planning and Simulations; Modeling or Gaming; and Future Search.