The two EU-funded projects supporting public administration reform in Serbia, the EU4PAR and the PAR Visibility & Communication Project, which started in 2018, have been extended for another 36 and 24 months respectively.
The extension of the projects gives opportunity to further support activities contributing to the main goal of the projects – namely, the implementation and further elaboration of the new strategic framework for Public Administration Reform (PAR), and providing a comprehensive assistance to the Serbian Government in pursuing visibility and communication related to PAR and Public Finance Management.
EU4PAR and PAR Visibility & Communication are among the biggest PAR support projects funded by the European Union in the Western Balkans.
The EU4PAR project has started in March 2018 with an original time frame of 30 months, which was further extended from September 2020 to January 2021 before its cost extension. The original budget was EUR 2,884,750. With the extension, the total budget has been increased to EUR 6,484,750.
Within the framework of the project extension until the end of 2023, focus will be given to:
• continued support to the implementation of the Law on the Planning System of Serbia with user-friendly tools, manual and templates, including also in online form
• further supporting the rollout of institutional medium-term planning
• capacity building of civil servants on public policy management and evidence-based policy making, as well as on change management in public administration
• awareness-raising and rollout of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) in selected public institutions as a tool for change management and quality public services
• further support to the reporting and evaluation of various public policy documents under the PAR strategic framework
• analytical and piloting support to enhanced managerial accountability in the public administration, including the embedding of performance management culture
• further support to the management and coordination of PAR, including the support to the elaboration of a new potential EU sectoral support modality for PAR and donor-coordination on the area of PAR.
During the first phase of the project, before the extension, the following has been accomplished with support of the project:
1) the implementation of the Law on the Planning System has been greatly extended through the development of manuals and guidelines on impact assessment, consultation, policy costing and medium-term planning.
2) the rollout of medium-term planning to the first seven institutions has started
3) the development and start of capacity building to civil servants in a comprehensive manner has commenced with interactive and interconnected training materials on public policy management and change management
4) the new e-Government Programme has been developed
5) the first external evaluation of a comprehensive PAR strategy has been implemented and the development of the new PAR Strategy has been done
6) the management of the PAR Sector Reform Contract has been supported through assistance to annual progress reporting and management capacity building
7) the online monitoring tool for PAR has been launched, providing real-time, visually attractive information about the implementation of the PAR Action Plan
8) the introduction of CAF as a change management and quality service provision tool has been piloted with the MPALSG.
The PAR Visibility & Communication Project started in August 2018 with an original time frame of 30 months. The project has been extended until February 2023 with the aim to continue to contribute to improving communication and visibility of PAR goals, processes and results achieved.
The main focus of the project is going to be on:
• supporting the public administration institutions in the implementation of the Communication Plan of the new PAR Strategy for 2021-2030
• further supporting the coordination of planning, implementation and monitoring of PAR communication
• assisting in the production and distribution of communication and media products
• further supporting the monitoring of trends in public awareness regarding the public administration reforms
• contributing to identification and dissemination of examples of good practice cases in public administration reform
• contributing to enhancing communication capacity of the relevant staff of public administration institutions
• awareness-raising of EU support to the public administration reform within the overall EU integration process.
The original budget was EUR 2,189,710. The budget for the extension phase is EUR 1.6 million.
In the original time frame of the project, before the extension, the following has been accomplished with support of the project:
1) A comprehensive PAR communication and awareness raising framework for 2019-2020 was developed and implemented to ensure that PAR results and benefits are effectively communicated to the citizens of Serbia.
2) A significant number of briefing workshops have been organised to ensure that media representatives have a comprehensive understanding of what PAR is and to acquaint them with the best and reliable information sources for dissemination of information on PAR to public.
3) A special section of the MPALSG website completely dedicated to the PAR reform (PAR Info Page) has been created which serves as a hub and resource centre concerning information and knowledge on PAR topics.
4) A significant number of communication and media products (TVC, articles, videos and other communication materials) has been produced and published/broadcasted in order to inform citizens on the PAR results and their benefits for the citizens.
5) Understanding, visibility and awareness of EU support to the public administration reform has been increased within the context of the overall EU integration process.
6) The communication capacities of 400 employees responsible for internal and external communication in the public administration institutions and LSGUs have been enhanced to improve the communication with the public regarding the changes in the public administration.