• Uriel Marquez Carrasco, a Mexican national, currently serves as Under Secretary for the Civil Service of Mexico. He has previously undertaken functions in areas of public safety in several municipalities of Chihuahua, while at the federal level he has served as head of Control and Evaluation Audit, as well as in Support for the Good Governance of the Internal Control in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Mr. Uriel Marquez has been coordinator of the Advisors of the Secretariat of Public Administration and head of the Policy Unit for Governance Improvement of the Secretariat of Public Function.
  • Pabel Muñoz, an Ecuadorian national, currently serves as Under Secretary General of Democratization of the state in the National Secretariat for Planning and Development of the Government of Ecuador.
    Mr. Muñoz has conducted studies specializing in Regional Development through Decentralization in the Andean Region, led by the International Cooperation Agency of Japan in Tokyo; and the Evaluation of Projects and their Environmental Impact, led by the Institute of Central American Business Administration, INCAE, Costa Rica.
  • Juan Ricardo Ortega, Director of the Tax and Customs Office (DIAN) of Colombia. Previously, he has held senior positions in the public administration of Colombia as Director of Economic Studies at the National Planning Department (DNP) and Secretary of the Treasury in the Capital District. Mr. Ortega has been Senior Advisor to the President of the IDB, Luis Alberto Moreno.
  • Martin Forst, a German national, is currently the Head of the Governance and Partnerships Division of the Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Since 1992, he has held various positions within the OECD, such as Head of the Business Development Program and Good Governance for Development in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Mr. Martin Forst has developed activities related to the strategic development and management of labor issues comprising indicators of regional governance; as well as promoting the adherence of non member countries outside the OECD activities.
  • Victor Rico Frontaura, a Bolivian national, currently serves as Corporate Director of Institutional Development and Special Affairs for the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF). Mr. Victor Rico has held the position of Secretary of Political Affairs of the OAS, from the first of May 2009 through 2012.

    In 2005, he was appointed as Director of the Department of Sustainable Democracy and Special Missions. In that role he led activities in policy analysis and policy-enforcement technology initiatives created by the Secretary-General of the OAS, such as the Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP / OAS).
  • Carlos Santiso, of Franco-Spanish nationality, currently serves as Chief of the Division of Institutional Capacity of the State for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) since 2011, overseeing the Bank's support towards State Modernization, the Strengthening of Management of the Public Sector and the Promotion of Citizen Security and Justice in the Region. Previously, he was Sector Manager for the Government Division in the African Development Bank from 2007 to 2011 and as a consultant in the United Kingdom with regards to government and public finance for the Department of International Development from 2002 through 2007.

    Mr. Carlos Santiso has done work in several countries in the region, in Africa, and even in several multilateral financial institutions, and bilateral aid agencies related to government policy capabilities.
  • Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary of Political Affairs of the OAS. Previously, he held the position of Minister of National Planning and Economic Policy from 2006 to 2007 was Second Vice-President of Costa Rica.

    Also, Mr. Casas-Zamora has work as Program Officer of the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress, and General Coordinator of the National Human Development Report of Costa Rica for United Nations Program for Development (UNDP). In 2007, Dr. Casas was selected by the World Economic Forum as a member of the Young Global Leaders network.
  • Frank Brunetta, a Canadian national, is currently the Procurement Ombudsman for the Government of Canada. His responsibilities include providing independent oversight and prudence, probity and transparency of operations of the Department.

    Since becoming a civil servent in 1978, Mr. Brunetta has worked in various capacities for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada where he held the positions of Director General, Special Initiatives and Director General of the Audit and Evaluation Branche.
  • Patricia Sinclair McCalla, a Jamaican national, currently serves as Chief Executive for the Transformation Unit of the Public Sector in the Cabinet Office of the Government of Jamaica. Her responsibilities include directing the rationalization and restructuring of the public sector in Jamaica.

    Mrs. Patricia Sinclair McCalla has chaired several committees related to public management and has provided service as a member of several Boards of Public Sector. Likewise, she has also held previous positions as Permanent Secretary for three (3) Prime Ministers of State and has been the Director of the National Insurance Scheme and as a member of the Board of Women's Affairs.
  • Carlos Rios Canales, a Chilean national, is currently the Coordinator of the Presidential Compliance Management Unit of the Government of Chile. His responsibilities include ensuring the fulfillment of the commitments in the Programme for Government under a management model to produce results in the short term.

    Previously, Mr. Carlos Rios has carried out activities related to finance and strategic planning in the Management of the Planning and Control of Chilectra. Between 2006 and 2007, he has carried out work in the Puente Alto Municipal Corporation responsible for the implementation of a Balanced Scorecard model applied to the management of municipal education establishments.
  • Jean Philippe Pening Gaviria, a Colombian-Belgian national, is currently the Director of Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy at the Department of National Planning of Colombia. His responsibilities include guiding, participating and promoting the development, monitoring, control and evaluation of the implementation of policies, plans, programs, studies and investment projects, together with organizations and related entities.

    Mr. Pening has held various positions in the Civil Service of Colombia, among which highlights being advisor to the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia (2009-2010), Advisor on the Modernization of the Public Financial Management (2002 -2003), and Advisor to the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP) related to the cadastral areas and evaluation of the housing policies in Colombia (2001-2002).
  • María Fernanda Trigo, Director of the Department for Effective Public Management of the Secretariat for Public Affairs (SPA) of the OAS. Previously, she served as Deputy Director of the Department of Democratic Sustainability and Special Mission.

    Mr. Trigo has been working at the OAS since 1999 as part of the initial team of the Summits of the Americas Secretariat, supporting governments in the organization, preparation and negotiation of the documents of the Summits of Quebec (2001), Monterrey (2004) and Mar del Plata (2006).

The Secretary for Political Affairs of the Organization of American States (OAS), Kevin Casas-Zamora, highlighted the importance of Effective Public Management in order to ensure democratic governance in the region.

The presentation took place at the International Seminar “Innovative Experiences in Effective Public Management and Regional Cooperation Strategies”, organized by the Department for Effective Public Management. Similarly, speakers from six (6) OAS Member States such as Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Jamaica presented their own innovative experiences in public management; along with representatives from international organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), The Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In addition, eighteen (18) OAS Member States participated through representatives of their missions.

During the Seminar, efforts of the countries in the region regarding inter-institutional coordination, fiscal reform, updates on civil registry, e-government, strategic planning and access to public information, were presented.

In this regard, the need for establishing spaces for exchanging learning experiences that strengthen government, democratic governance and democracy, was stressed.

As well, States were invited to promote and implement mechanisms for horizontal and multilateral cooperation as a peer review process to analyze and replicate under conditions of equality, mutual respect and avoiding any interference, experiences in Effective Public Management.

SeminarFinally, the Secretariat for Political Affairs through the Department for Effective Public Management (DEPM) has elaborated a document related to the International Seminar, which comprises presentations and conclusions about the importance of an Effective Public Management in the region. To access this document, please click here.

1 - Effective public management contributes to the legitimacy of democratic governance.

  • Democratic governance is strengthened if democratically elected governments have a state that can attend and respond transparently, efficiently and effectively to citizen’s demands in a sustainable manner.
  • For this reason, one of the current challenges that our countries face is finding initiatives to ensure the provision of public services – in an efficient, effective and transparent way – as well as the inclusion of all segments of society in the development of public policy. All this in the context of a broad democratic agenda supported by the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
  • It also requires the active participation of citizens in building a democratic society. That is assuming a responsibility in the exercise of citizenship that involves the recognition and exercise of rights, but also the performance of duties without which life in society could not be possible. 
  • In sum, we conclude on the importance of moving towards a full democracy of citizens. In other words, achieving effective public management that does not seek only to serve the citizens, but making public management with the citizens.

2 -  Different countries of the Americas have developed initiatives to reform their administrations, which need to be disseminated and shared.

That is the spirit of the seminar, and in that sense, I would like to highlight:

  • The Project Management Model for Innovation in the Public Service of Mexico, which is based on the evaluation of government performance through projects and taking into account citizen participation.
  • Similarly, it was very interesting to hear about the process for Transformation of the State in Ecuador (2007 – 2012) and how, parting from the definition of the National Vision of Good Living, a series of reforms directed to developing innovative initiatives such as the Ministries Coordinators, have been undertaken.
  • Mr. Ortega, exposed significant progress in the tax collection processes in Colombia. He emphasized on the need for reforms in order to help fiscally sustain governments so that they can contribute to reducing inequality. 
  • Mr. Brunetta exposition showed us the work of a very particular institution which is the Ombudsman of acquisitions in Canada, in charge of ensuring transparency in public procurement. Certainly a very interesting topic that invites further discussion including its conditions of applicability.
  • It was also very interesting to know about the important efforts being made in Jamaica to reform its administration, including the development of a strategy aimed at restructuring the public sector. In this regard, we took note on suggestions for establishing a community or group of experts in order to share innovative ideas and allow for assistance in problem solving.
  • Furthermore, it was interesting to hear about the Chilean’s government experience in the creation of a “Delivery Unit” as one specialized in management techniques with the finality of ensuring that the proposed objectives of the governments program are achieved. 
  • Finally, I would also like to collect the contributions of Mr. Pennings exposition from the National Planning Department of Colombia in relation to the Plan Vive Digital and the Colombian Online Strategy, which has allowed for the development of various e-government initiatives as a tool for transparency and participation of the Colombian nation.

Throughout these participations, one can highlight the efforts being made to involve citizen participation, either in the evaluation of government performance or in the elaboration of development plans as well as public policies.

3 - Spaces to improve multilateral cooperation between organizations in effective public management exist.  

    • Considering the expositions of the distinguished representatives of the IDB, OECD and CAF, it is clear that there are opportunities and space for dialogue and joint efforts between the different institutions for multilateral cooperation.
    • It was very gratifying to see initiatives like peer review processes applied to public management currently being developed by the OECD, and also to see that this experience is being replicated elsewhere as in the case of member countries of the MENA.
    • Equally interesting was the presentation on the promotion of activities for innovation in public management that are developed by the Inter-American Development Bank, in particular, its progress in building diagnostics and analytical frameworks for various governance issues.
    • In the same sense, we welcome the initiative and the agenda that CAF begins to work on dealing with institutional development. We agree that there is much coordination work needed as well as complementarity.
    • Also, the Secretariat of Political Affairs of the OAS has emphasized on the importance of public management together with the progress and development of democracy. Our Department has some tools in order to help strengthen effective public management, which include: Guides on Strategies and Mechanisms for Effective Public Management, Transparency and Access to Public Information Guides, 21 courses on Public Management in the OAS Virtual Campus portfolio, government procurement bulletins, and works regarding modernizations and strengthening of civil registry authorities.
    • In this regard, we believe that it is possible to raise joint working schemes that allow combining the comparative advantages of each and every one of our institutions. In other words, political dialogue and the promotion of democratic cooperation in the OAS, together with technical and financing cooperation that can be offered by other cooperating organizations, as well as cooperating institutions of donor countries.

4 - Opportunities for the creation of dialogue spaces that strengthen horizontal as well as multilateral cooperation between the countries of the Americas exist.  

    • According to the experiences of the countries and international organizations discussed in this seminar, we consider that there is a possibility of moving into new channels of cooperation.
    • Mainly with greater momentum and facilitation of horizontal cooperation among its members through forums for dialogue and mutual learning, institutionalized and active mechanics or strategies, in which analytical frameworks on topics of public management can be taken into consideration.
    • To date, such a mechanism does not exist in our region, and without a doubt, the OAS would take an important step if, by taking advantage of its convening possibilities and its status as the main forum for political dialogue in the hemisphere, could hold a space for dialogue and analysis under which the conditions of equality and mutual respect, countries could voluntarily share and analyze public management initiatives, thus creating mutual learning opportunities for the benefit of all countries of the Americas.
    • Hoping to continue with the dialogue that we have initiated today on these issues, I thank you for your presence and participation in this seminar.

Maria Fernanda Trigo
Department for Effective Public Management
Secretariat for Political Affairs
Organization of American States