From 17-21 February, senior members of Vanuatu’s Office of the Public Service Commission (OPSC) through its Institute of Public Administration and Management (VIPAM) took part in an ambitious training project to improve the quality of the islands nations’ public service sector.
The training, which was done in partnership with the Pacific Community (SPC), the Singapore Cooperation Programme and the Singapore Civil Service College, brought together 21 Human Resource Officers from across government ministries, including managers from the OPSC.
Training sessions were conducted at the Curriculum Development Unit office with support from 4 SPC trainers from FAME (Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems), EQAP (Education Quality and Assessment Programme) and the Regional Office for Melanesia.
The training focused on key skill sets that can make a measurable impact on the effectiveness of public service work including, self-management, leadership and the identification of high performance practices.
Dr. Gregoire Nimbtik, Director-General to the Office of the Prime Minister, highlighted the value of this investment in public service staff saying, “This is a very important time for Vanuatu, reaching our 40th year of Independence and graduating from Lesser Developed Country (LDC) status. I and the Prime Minister (Caretaker) are fully behind supporting a programme to reform and improve the Public Service, and we feel that the initiative of VIPAM and SPC is the way to achieve an ethical, efficient and effective public service,”
In 2019 the government of Vanuatu, recognizing that effective service delivery by public servants in all line ministries requires well-trained employees, requested the assistance of the SPC Regional Office of Melanesia to assist in identifying capacity building opportunities. In response to this request, the SPC Regional Office conducted staff training on the adapted Singapore Civil Service College Management and Human Resources course in December 2019.
James Melteres, Manager VIPAM saw the opportunity of the training instantly, “As soon as my staff and I had completed the course, I immediately knew that this learning needed to be offered to the entire Public Service.”
This week’s training represents the second phase of support for Vanuatu’s public service ambitions, and is part of the ongoing work of the Pacific Community to support the scientific and technical needs of Vanuatu as a member state.
SPC’s Melanesian Regional Office Director, Mia Rimon, conducted the first round of training in December and has helped to organize the current sessions and obtain support from the Singapore Government. “This is a concrete example of how SPC is dedicated to serving its members in achieving their development targets. The skills gained will have an immediate impact for the people of Vanuatu, and this experience of work improvement across line ministries can be shared with other members of SPC who may be considering similar training.”
Under the Singapore Cooperation Programme, training services have been offered to both SPC and to the Government of Vanuatu to help regional and national public servants build their capacity and better serve the people of the Pacific.
The Chairman of the Office of the Public Service Commission, Martin Mahe, expressed his pride in the progress he witnessed through this new programme. “Today marks a new beginning for the public service, and we will serve the people of Vanuatu better, thanks to our partnership with SPC and the Singapore Government.”
Vanuatu’s Public Service Commission and Institute of Public Administration and Management will provide similar training to human resource offices from all Vanuatu government ministries in support of the National Human Resource Development Plan (NHRDP).
The Pacific Community has been supporting sustainable development in the Pacific, through science, knowledge and innovation since 1947. It is the principal intergovernmental organization in the region, owned and governed by its 26 member countries and territories.