CALL FOR PAPERS
2014 WORKSHOP ON MAXIMISING THE BENEFITS OF DECENTRALISATION
GREATER CHINA AUSTRALIA DIALOGUE ON PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
The Greater China Australia Dialogue on Public Administration will be holding its fourth workshop at Zhejiang University on 20-22 October 2014. Papers are invited from scholars and practitioners in greater China (the PRC, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau) and Australia which address the workshop theme and one or more of the sub-themes set out below. Accepted papers will be considered for publication in the Australian Journal of Public Administration and/or an e-book of the Australia New Zealand School of Government.
Abstracts of proposed papers are to be submitted by 5 September 2014 for consideration, with final papers based on accepted abstracts to be submitted by 30 September 2014.
Theme: Maximising the benefits of decentralisation: identifying, building and ensuring the capabilities required at local, regional, provincial and national levels
Decentralisation of public administration, whether through a federalist approachor through tiers of administration, offers the opportunity to deliver significant benefits: not only increased responsiveness to local needs and preferences but also wider economic and social benefits if local authorities facilitate local market forces and compete with and learn from each other to maximise their efficiency and effectiveness. But local authorities are also often more prone to corruption and mismanagement than central governments, as they often lack central governments’ capacity for good management and the scrutiny central governments face from the legislature and the media.
Past Dialogue workshops have examined inter-governmental relations (2011), citizens-centred services (2012) and public sector HRM and organisational capability (2013). This year’s theme should allow participants to draw on these earlier workshops while they explore the prerequisites for effective decentralisationthat delivers quality public services.
Within this theme of decentralisation and capability, the following sub-themes have been identified:
Sub-theme 1: Matching capabilities and decentralised responsibilities at the local and/or regional level: developments in decentralised public sector management
What roles and responsibilities have been successfully devolved to local and regional authorities, and how have they developed the necessary capabilities to fulfil them? What has worked, and what has not worked?
Sub-theme 2: The role and capabilities required of national and/or provincial governments to support and monitor local and regional capabilities
What requirements are imposed by higher level authorities to promote merit and professionalism, to provide protection against corruption and mismanagement, to ensure acceptable service standards and to protect citizens rights? How do these higher level authorities help build and nurture local capability? How do they monitor outcomes and when and how do they intervene if performance is unsatisfactory?
Sub-theme 3: The role of civil society in enhancing local and regional capability
How are non-government organisations used to assist local and regional service delivery and to complement the capabilities of local and regional authorities? What capabilities are required by authorities to make best use of civil society? How capable is civil society at local levels to provide assistance to local authorities?
Sub-theme 4: ‘Political’ as distinct from ‘administrative’ capability requirements: building the capability of sub-national Peoples Congresses, State Councils and local government councils
How do local and regional authorities ensure responsiveness and accountability to local and regional populations? How are skills concerning representation, communication and engagement developed and applied?
Abstracts for proposed papers should be forwarded by email to one of the following Dialogue principals or our Zhejiang University host:
Professor Andrew Podger (email@example.com)
Professor John Wanna (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Professor Jun Ma (email@example.com)
Professor Hon Chan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Professor Tsai-tsu Su (email@example.com)
Professor Jianxing Yu (firstname.lastname@example.org).