The Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) provide a tailor-made online training course entitled “Public affairs management in the digital and data era” for South African civil servants, from 1st to 12 February.
This training was co-organised with the National School of Government (NSG) and coordinated by Mr. Jean-Guillaume Messmer, senior consultant at Capgemni Invent. 35 South African auditors from various ministries, local authorities and public entities (Agriculture, Tourism, Brand South Africa, NSG, SALGA, etc.) benefit from these tailor-made training, focusing primarily on knowledge sharing and practical case studies.
Digital technologies (web 2.0, data, algorithms, artificial intelligence) and new digital working methods (agility, mobility…) have produced important socio-technical evolutions in our societies and have given rise to new business models and economic stakeholders. In this context, public administrations are facing many specific challenges. Digital technology should strengthen their ability to innovate, in order to meet the new expectations of citizens in terms of transparency and democratic participation, and of public agents, in terms of working conditions, management practices and autonomy. This approach aims to infuse a culture of innovation throughout public action with a view to constantly improving the quality of public services and increasing the administration efficiency.
In France, as in other countries, many initiatives aimed at reducing the gap between public administration and the world of new technologies have been undertaken or supported by the State, local authorities and public bodies, at both national and local level. These new technologies offer new opportunities that also call for vigilance; it has become essential to accompany the changes brought about by the digital transformation, whether in terms of methods, tools, uses or cultures.
This training course therefore proposes to South African public servants to study the challenges of digital transformation for public action and the role of digital technologies in public policies, to analyse the impacts of digital transformation on work practices in public administration and to become familiar with new methods of design / management of digital projects.
Bongani Mayimele, Director of International Relations and Partnerships of the NSG, recalled at the opening of this training course how important exchanges with international partners are for the training of South African civil servants. As part of the institution’s partnership strategy, ENA and NSG signed a memorandum of understanding in September 2016 for 5 years. To date, this cooperation supported by the French embassy has taken the form of institutional meetings, study visits and trainings. More and more South African civil servants are participating in ENA’s international cycles and tailor-made training courses are organized according to the needs expressed by the NSG. As underlined by Jérôme Guyon, deputy director of International projects and partnerships of the ENA, the two institutions intend to continue to develop their partnership, drawing on their respective experiences and expertise.
This training on public affairs management in the digital era was followed by a second online training course for South African public servants on leadership in times of crisis, from 15 to 26 February 2021.