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2019 International Reform Symposium & Regional Workshop

The Symposium & Regional Workshop in 2019 on “State Capacity for Public Sector Reform and National Development in Southeast Asia and Korea” was held from 14-15/3/2019 in Bali, Indonesia.

The 2019 International Reform Symposium & Regional Workshop was joitly chaired by the Ministry of Admistration and Bureaucratic Reform, Indonesia, the Korean Research Institue of the University of New South Wales – Australia (KRI@UNSW), the Office of Public Sector Development Commission (OPDC) and Korean Foundation. Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Van – General Director of Institute for State Organizational Sciences was head of the Vietnam delegation.

Ds. Drs. H. Muhammad Jusuf Kalla, Vice President of The Republic of Indonesia took photo with International participants at the Symposium

The Symposium was organised over two days. The first day of the symposium started with the theme “Understanding Public Sector and Administration Reform for National Development”. The second day included five concurrent sessions devoted to the presentation of case studies relating to reforms in five key areas: Performance Management; Transparency & Accountability in Human Resource Management; e-Government and Service Delivery; Integrity in Public Authorities and Local Government Reform.

Vietnam Participants presented two topics: “Human Resource Development in Public Sector in Vietnam” and “Local Government Reform in Vietnam”.


In overall,  reform trends of Asian countries are very diverse with different scale of issues and depending on different stage of development. Asian goals include continued economic growth, military security, fiscal sustainability, economic sufficiency for citizens.

Korea’s  Public Administration reform started from 1980s with the main focusing on national economic development. The reform initially focused on restructuring and improving the operational efficiency of public administrative agencies and organizations. However, administrative reform has changed completely along with the development of Information and Technology (ICT) with the shift to e-Government. This change has contributed to improving the quality of life, transparency and publicity in the society; thereby enhancing trust in government (Dr. In-jae Lee, Deputy Minister, Ministry of the Interior and Safety, KOREA).


Indonesia’s presentation reported that: Indonesian civil servants play an important role in the administrative reform process. The Indonesian Government has been implementing 6 strategies to develop civil servants toward a world class administration: a) Planning, b) recruitment and selection, c) competency development, d) performance management and remuneration system, e)promotion, rotation, and career management, and f) retirement and wealth management.

Malaysia has strongly focused on public administration reform recently. Public sector reform in the New Malaysia is focusing on Performance and Productivity on the following aspects:

a)     Agile and holacracy leadership;

b)     Mobile, multi-tasking, multi-talented and creative talent;

c)     Digital and hybrid organisation;

d)     Citizen-centric, flexible, innovative and openess work culture;

e)     Integrity and professional delivery.

In sumary, Experts have drawn out some recommendations for reforms in Southeast Asian countries such as:

1.      Aligning the national outcome development programs through integrated performance management system;

2.      Strengthening Civil service through widening merit system implementation and professionalization;

3.      Restructuring government organization in responding to the global megatrends and strengthening the e-Government in all agencies both at national and sub-national levels;

4.      Bring the massive public innovation program into the next level which are replication and sustainability;

5.      Establishing and expanding cooperative relationships among ASEAN countries, Korea and Australia to support in designing, implementing and evaluating of national reform programs;

6.      Learning from other countries lesson to improve the performance of reform programs. There are no right reform model for all countries but each country can drawn out innovation ideas that are appropriate to their national characteristics through learning experiences from other countries.

Trinh Ngoc Linh