Public administration is a key matter of discussion when it comes to managing the public. Here I am going to discuss the future of Public Administration.
Preparing for Future
Hamel and Prahalad emphasized the concept of preparing for the future. The function of preparing for the future is to counteract the mechanisms of budgetary and technological incrementalism.
An effective way to check budgetary and technological incrementalism is through foresight. Hamel and Prahalad state that foresight is a compelling view of tomorrow’s opportunities; it is “not to predict the future, but to imagine a future.”
Foresight is solidified as strategic intent plays a key role in the argument about how to create public value. With a focus on the long-term, which incidentally does not start at year five of the current strategic plan but right now, preparation must be undertaken today. Hence it forces the organization to ask, “What must we be doing differently today if we want to create this particular future if we want to reach this particular destination?”
Taking a long-term View
Despite the call for more-rapid results from technology, governments should examine the long-term evolution of society, the economy, and the public sector, as well as technology’s role in this evolution. Many governments have refined their e-government strategies by focusing on short- to medium-term objectives that are mostly aimed at achieving greater efficiency.
In the public sector, the call for a long-term view is imperative to exercise imagination, combine trends that can already be observed today, and plan for the unexpected. These efforts will ensure better preparation for what lies ahead.
Scenario planning is one of several tools useful for creating long-term strategies. Analyzing the implication of the possible scenarios can either challenge or support the current reactive approach and tactical planning that several government departments have undertaken. These scenarios can also be used as the basis for identifying lead indicators of impending change.
Scenario Development Process
The first step in developing a framework is to identify the focal issue or central question that the scenario-planning exercise should answer. The focal issue, such as How will the government use and be shaped by technology in 2020.
Develop a list of social, technological, economic, political, and environmental factors and forces that you may consider the most influential in answering this question. Then rank factors and forces by importance and uncertainty, adopting a clustering and voting process that will lead you to select the two forces that you deem to be both the most important for the focal issue and the most uncertain.
The first force, the degree of government intervention in the economy, captures the different attitudes that the government can take, vis-a-vis, the regulation of the economy.
For example, this force addresses how the government’s role could range from being a regulator of services to being a payer for those services to being a direct provider of services. This implies a different degree of citizen dependence on the government in accessing a variety of social services.
The Second Driving Force
The second driving force, citizen attitude to privacy and surveillance, ranges from the government with the freedom to access citizens’ personal information to situations in which laws protect citizens’ private information.
Exploring how future technologies will shape government The scenario-planning technique does not attach any probabilities to these scenarios, but each scenario enables an exploration into how future technologies will affect government and, conversely, how the likely shape of government that is relevant to each scenario will influence technology adoption and development in government and in the private sector’s dealings with government.
Most Yearned for Rains
Today Pakistan is in dire need of people-service engineers, political democratic entrepreneurs, and change agents who can dedicate their careers to the job of serving their people in solving their micro and macro-societal needs.
Pakistan needs those political leaders who can yield their personal interests to national interests and the need of maintaining public accountability; who can keep the political machinery going for the future growth of their political career which is needed by the society; and who can discern that the military is right there seeking and watching out to grab power and impose a dictatorship.
A futuristic Leader is the Sovereign Answer
A new challenge lies ahead—the challenge to enable society to operate in dynamic balance with the threatening external environment. The nation yearns for leadership capable of providing the direction and inspiration needed to survive and prosper into the 21st century. Pakistan desperately needs a leader for driving the nation toward survival and a prosperous future.
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