Although sustainable development challenges have significantly changed over the past decades and are becoming increasingly interdependent, government in- stitutions and their functions are still largely shaped by early 20th century models of public administration in which ministries and their leaders work in “silos” and is- sues are tackled through a sectoral rather than a collaborative perspective. At the same time, citizens and businesses are demanding more open, transparent, ac- countable and effective governance, while new technologies, especially ICT, are enabling effective knowledge management, sharing and collaboration between all sectors and at all levels of government whether cross-border, national or local.
The 2014 Survey focuses even more than in previous years on whole of govern- ment and collaborative public governance issues at the national level as the key to addressing these complex and wide scope challenges which require integrated responses. In this context, a number of enabling factors are needed to advance whole of government. First, there is a critical need for new forms of collaborative leadership and shared organizational culture, including re-shaping values, mind- sets, attitudes and behaviours in the public sector through visible guiding prin- ciples and leadership. Second, new forms of institutional frameworks for effec- tive coordination, cooperation and accountability need to be put in place across government, between governments and with relevant non-public actors which can contribute to creating public value. Third, innovative coordination processes and mechanisms for service delivery, and citizen engagement and empowerment are essential, as is making such services inclusive and accessible by all groups in society, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. Fourth, and linked to this, collaborative mechanisms are required to engage citizens in service delivery and decision-making processes which are citizen- and user-centric and, where relevant, user-driven via co-creation and crowdsourcing through decentralized governance systems.
Finally, and often underpinning the other enabling factors, it is essential to harness the power of new technology through appropriate ICT management strategies for enhanced collaboration. The global spread of the Internet and the application of ICT in government, as well as greater investments in telecommunication infrastructure coupled with capacity-building in human capital, can provide opportunities to transform public administration into an instrument of collaborative governance which directly supports sustainable development outcomes.