UN Public Service Awards 2013 – celebrated WINNERS



United Nations Public Service Awards 2013 


The United Nations Public Service Awards  is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service. It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide. Through an annual competition, the UN Public Service Awards promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service. The UN has been giving public service awards since year 2003.

June 23 is celebrated as Public Service Day. The award usually goes to a model department or an exemplary service rolled out by a country falling under any of five specially notified regions across the world. The award is announced after a three-tire exercise involving strict scrutiny and detailed examination of entries. A seven-member expert sub-committee of the UN Committee of Experts in Public Administration examines the short list. Winner is chosen after a laborious process starting every month of January and going until May.


The UN Public Service Awards are given in five categories — Preventing and Combating Corruption in the Public Service; Improving the Delivery of Public Services; Fostering participation in public policy decision making through innovative mechanisms; Promoting Whole-of-Government Approaches in the Information Age; and Promoting Gender-Responsive Delivery of Public Services.The award is usually given to institutions or countries for the services they render in various categories.

This year’s awards ceremony was held in Bahrain during the United Nations Public Service Forum meeting June 24-27.

This year’s  theme is “Transformative e-Government and Innovation: Creating a Better Future for All” and  is organized by DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) and the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain, in partnership with UN-WOMEN and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA).

2013 UNPS Award Winners


CATEGORY 1 – Preventing and Combating Corruption in the Public Service
Region Rank Country Institution Initiative
Africa 1 Morocco Régime collectif d’allocation de retraite (Groupe Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion) Integrity Reinforcement
Asia and the Pacific 1 India Chief Minister’s Office – Kerala State Mass Contact Programme (MCP)
2 Republic of Korea Seoul Metropolitan Infrastructure Headquarters Anti-Corruption Clean Construction System
Europe and North America 1 Italy National Institute of Social Security, Apulia, Bari INPS: Our fight and synergy against corruption
2 Slovenia Commission for the Prevention of Corruption Supervizor
Western Asia 1 Oman State Audit Institution Complaints Window
2 Georgia Civil Service Bureau Online Asset Declaration System (OADS)



CATEGORY 2 – Improving the Delivery of Public Services
Region Rank Country Institution Initiative
Africa 1 South Africa E’Thekwini Metropolitan Municipality Water and Sanitation Services Communal Ablution Blocks for Informal Settlements
2 Nigeria Federal Capital Territory Administration, Abuja, Nigeria Federal Capital Territory Administration Mobile Integrated Primary Health Care Service Delivery “MAILAFIYA”
Asia and the Pacific 1 Thailand Rajanagarindra Institute of Child Development – Ministry of Public Health Child First – Work Together (CF-WT)
2 India District Administration, Dhanbad SWAVALAMBAN
Europe and North America 1 Spain AENA (Aena Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea) Servicio de atención a Personas con Movilidad Reducida – PMR- en los aeropuertos de la red
2 Spain Fundación BiscayTIK Modernización de la administración local a través del uso de las Nuevas Tecnologías
2 United States of America Philadelphia Department of Human Services Improving Outcomes for Children
Latin America and the Caribbean 1 Peru Registro Nacional de Identificación y Estado Civil (RENIEC) Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI) De Menores Y Su impacto En El Ejercicio De Los Derechos Humanos
2 Brazil Government of the State of Pernambuco Pacto Pela Vida-PPV
2 Mexico Procuraduría Agraria Fomento a la Inversión en la Propiedad Rural / FIPP
Western Asia 1 Oman Ministry of Regional Municipality and Water Resources INJAZ Hall
2 United Arab Emirates Dubai Police General Headquarters Customer Service Management


CATEGORY 3 – Fostering participation in public policy decision making through innovative mechanisms
Region Rank Country Institution Initiative
Asia and the Pacific 1 Republic of Korea Seoul Metropolitan Government The Universal Welfare Standards enabled by and for the Citizens of Seoul(Seoul Welfare Standards)
2 Republic of Korea Seoul Metropolitan Government Eco-mileage, a program to engage citizens in GHG reduction
Europe and North America 1 Moldova State Chancellery of the Republic of Moldova Increased transparency in the decision-making process
Latin America and the Caribbean 1 Brazil Governo do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul Sistema Estadual de Participação Popular e Cidadã / SISPARCI
Western Asia 1 Egypt Information Center Egypt’s ICT Indicators Portal


CATEGORY 4 – Promoting Whole-of-Government Approaches in the Information Age
Region Rank Country Institution Initiative
Africa 1 Nigeria Galaxy Backbone 1-GOV.net
2 Botswana Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Food Coupon System
Asia and the Pacific 1 Republic of Korea Ministry of Strategy and Finance DBAS: Korea’s Integrated Financial Management Information System
2 Republic of Korea Ministry of Security and Public Administration Government Wide Enterprise Architecture in Korea (GEA)
2 Singapore National Environment Agency Co-creation of creative solutions through eGov initiatives
Europe and North America 1 Slovenia Ministry of the Interior and Public Administration Reusable IT building blocks for electronic data exchange – implementation for e-Social Security
2 Spain Instituto Geográfico Nacional Plan Nacional de Obsevación del Territorio/PNOT
Latin America and the Caribbean 1 Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment TTBIZLink
Western Asia 1 United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Centre Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre
2 Bahrain eGovernment Authority Integrated Service Delivery Platform (ISDP)
2 United Arab Emirates Dubai eGovernment Dubai eGovernment Electronic Shared Services (ESS)


CATEGORY 5 – Promoting Gender-Responsive Delivery of Public Services
Region Rank Country Institution Initiative
Africa 1 Morocco La DFCAT du Ministère de l’Intérieur L’Intégration de l’Approche Genre dans le Plan Stratégique de Formation, de Renforcement des Capacités, de Développement des Compétences et de Mise en Réseau au profit des Collectivités Territoriales du Maroc
2 Ethiopia Ethiopian Civil Service University Creating Access to Education for Disadvantaged Female Civil Servants (AEDFCS, ASSNFS, and IPFA)
2 Kenya Nikumbuke-Health by Motorbike Gender and Health
Asia and the Pacific 1 Pakistan Gender Unit Department of Labour Punjab GRLI
2 India Deptt. of Cottage and Rural Industries GRAAMIN HAAT
2 Republic of Korea Seoul Metropolitan Government Initiative for Women of Single-Person Household
Europe and North America 1 Germany Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend Aktionsprogramm Perspektive Wiedereinstieg (PWE)
2 Italy Ministry of Economics and Finance Mini*Midi*Mef (MMM)
Latin America and the Caribbean 1 Ecuador Ministerio de Finanzas Ecuador Catalogo Orientador de Gastos Politicas de Equidad de Genero
Western Asia 1 Egypt Ministry of Health Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Clinic – Women Health Outreach Program
2 Jordan

مركز الخدمات المتكاملة لمناهضة العنف الاسري

مركز الخدمات المتكاملة لمناهضة العنف الاسري /دار الوفاق الاسري

UN public service winners



Ensuring women’s rights through better public services 

As part of its efforts to promote better services for women and girls who often face greater difficulties in accessing them, UN Women has been supporting a special category of the UN Public Service Awards called “Promoting Gender-Responsive Delivery of Public Services.” With innovative services that respond to the needs of women and girls, the 2013 top winners of this category are from Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Morocco, India and Pakistan.

The top winners in the Gender category:

Morocco has been prized for implementing a successful reform to address the weak representation of women in decision-making at local levels. The Moroccan Ministry of the Interior developed a plan to support local authorities and increase women’s participation. More than 100 activities were undertaken, including trainings for women, visits from gender equality experts to guide local groups, and activities to strengthen women’s civil society groups – reaching more than 8,000 Moroccan and African women in the process. The project resulted in the creation of several networks to advance women’s political participation and leadership, including of locally elected women from the Maghreb region, Mauritania and Morocco.

“This international recognition means that we are on the right track with a concrete and active commitment in favour of the empowerment of women at the local level,” says Najat Zarrouk, Governor, Director of Training for Morocco’s Ministry of the Interior.

Egypt was awarded for a programme that brings critical services to women, many of whom used to be unable to access services for the early detection of breast cancer. The “Women’s Health Outreach Programme”is the first Government-funded Egyptian National Breast Cancer Screening programme.

“The multidisciplinary breast cancer clinic is a one-stop clinic where women with suspicious mammographic findings in the Egyptian Breast Screening programme receive diagnostic and therapeutic services free-of-charge, thus shortening the period between diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer,” explains Dr. Rasha M. Kamal, of the Women’s Health Outreach Programme. Through this women’s health project, 106,000 women were screened for breast cancer in Egypt since the programme began in 2007. Their clinic has provided further diagnostic investigations to more than 2,000 women over 200 women have completed their surgical interventions and post-operative care at the premises.

Germany is another top winner in this category. Unlike their male counterparts, many German women interrupt their own careers in order to raise a family or care for relatives. In response, the Government developed the Aktions programm Perspektive Wiedereinstieg initiative, meaning “Prospects for re-entering the workforce.” It has provided some 17,300 women with information and resources, nearly 5,000 of whom have taken part in intensive coaching programmes, while others have been coached on how to re-enter the workforce.

“The programme is the first initiative of the Federal Government that supports both women and men who took a family-related career break of several years, providing them with favourable prospects for reintegrating into the career world,” says Sabine Christen, Senior Expert at Germany’s Federal Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. “The systemic approach of the programme is the key factor to success: women are supported throughout the whole process of re-entry by intensive coaching on one hand, and tailored continuing vocational training,” she adds.

In Ecuador, to ensure that budget allocation is inclusive and meets the needs of women and men, the Ministry of State Budgets created a Gender Unit to promote awareness and capacity-building among staff in the Ministry of Finance and other public institutions. The public service initiative which began in 2005 has made a significant contribution towards ensuring that national planning and budgeting processes incorporate a gender perspective and has been recognized as a good practice that should be emulated in other countries in Latin America.

In Pakistan, hundreds of thousands of women work in small-scale industries making bags, clothes, scarves, and toys for export. Many of these industries, such as textile, leather, metal and pharmaceutical factories, have been operating in Pakistan without any legal obligation for workers’ occupational health, safety and social protection. Pakistan’s award-winning initiative supports women workers’ rights and safety. Women now have the right to form unions through which they can take on leadership roles.

“The Gender-Responsive Labour inspection toolkit is a path for women to join the formal track to the world of work. [It] provides a 360-degree capacity-building and assessment tool for the employee, employer, labour inspectors and policymakers,” said Mr. Tahir Manzoor, Deputy Director of the Gender Unit, Department of Labour, Punjab.

As a whole, these initiatives are increasing access to services and promoting greater gender equality.

“Equitable public service provision to women and men continues to be a great challenge around the world,” says Begoña Lasagabaster, UN Women Chief of the Leadership and Governance Section, reminding that “efforts to promote gender-responsive service-delivery and accountability for gender equality commitments in general must be strengthened, in a context where austerity measures, conflict and challenges of various types threaten to stall or reverse progress on gender equality.”

India Promoting Gender-Responsive Delivery of Public Services

The Madhya Pradesh Government’s Cottage and Village Industry Department has bagged United Nations Public Service Award for year 2013. The United Nations Public Service Award is being given to state’s Cottage and Village Industry Department for novel initiative of rural haats. Graamin Haat has helped in women’s empowerment.

Although women comprise almost 50 per cent of the population of Madhya Pradesh, their participation in the decision-making process at all levels is very limited. Women also have no control over resources and their contribution to the family and society remained largely unrecognised.

The Haat Development Committee that operates weekly markets (haats) decided to create Women Self Help Groups (WSHGs) that would operate its own haats. The first such initiative took place in Digwar village 10 years ago. It was the first time that a haat was managed by rural women who were illiterate and inexperienced in managing such enterprise. Women now not only had an important place in the haat and thus in society but also control over resources.

The initiative has now expanded to 1,775 shops in 36 haats benefiting almost 1,800 sellers and 4,15,000 villagers from 217 villages. The initiative provided women an opportunity to acquire management skills, operate a business on their own and improve overall living conditions in their communities. This in turn created a new sense of self-confidence and earned them respect in the family and society.

It also allowed women to gradually become part of the governance of their community.

Some highlights of the initiatives of the Indian government that received awards are as follows:

Preventing and Combating Corruption in the Public Service

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’scm faces ‘shootout’ from kidsKerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s mass contact programme has been widely lauded as a unique democratic experiment in which the CM of an Indian state met thousands of people directly without any intermediaries. He received upto 5.5 lakh petitions, of which around 3 lakh were resolved, and distributed financial assistance of Rs 22.68 crore as part of the programme.

The Kerala government’s Mass Contact Programme, initiated by the Chief Minister’s Office, was launched in 2011, with the main aim of combating red tape and bureaucracy in administration. It enables interaction between the people and the government by encouraging them to approach the government directly to get their concerns addressed without delay or corrupt practices.

Under the programme, the Chief Minister visits each town and organises massive events where people can address their queries personally. By going directly to the people and ensuring direct access to decision makers, the programme has improved accountability in the State. The initiative has reduced the time usually taken to respond to complaints and actions and has fast tracked problem solving.

Before the Mass Contact Programme was started, there was a low follow-up rate on complaints received from citizens. Characterised by high bureaucracy, the State faced efficiency challenges and a very low responsive rate, which led to a large volume of complaints. Complaints about government officers were not entertained properly by the senior officials and people had limited options for solutions to their problems with public services. This led to piling up of files in departments and government Secretariat, with 1,32,000 files pending in Secretariat by mid-2011.

List of mass contact programmes are as follows:

Improving the Delivery of Public Services

mp_completedThe Swavalamban initiative of Dhanbad administration has improved disbursement of pensions in the district. Before the implementation of the initiative, the largely manual process of disbursement in the payment of pensions, particularly registration of new pensioners, was very cumbersome, tedious, involved lot of paper work, inefficient, non-transparent, and provided unreliable information. A pensioner had to wait days, weeks or months and sometimes had to pay bribes to get entitlements.

The initiative has cut down the time from three months to a maximum of three days, by automating payment and creation of direct cash transfers into pensioners’ bank accounts. Payment through Business Correspondent in remote rural areas has dramatically improved the delivery of services. In addition, the database of all pensioners was digitised with the help of a new software. Monitoring at district and government level has been simplified making it only a mouse click away.

Access to more information on this programme here and here.

Thanks to Meetika Srivastava, Lucknow Office


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