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Young East European civil servants study sustainable public management


A group of young East European civil servants are currently attending a two-week summer course in sustainable public management at Malmö University. The course is run on behalf of the Swedish Institute (SI). 

Students at SAYP 2017 Sustainable Public Management

The SI Summer Academy for Young Professionals (SAYP) in Sustainable Public Management is a course in democracy and good statesmanship for East European civil servants and those working to bring about political and social change. The course, funded by the SI, forms part of the further education of the participants, all of whom are under the age of 35.

“Sweden wants the participants to establish networks and build up relationships, not only in their own country and region but also with Sweden. In the long term, we hope that the countries will establish strong national institutions that are founded on transparency, openness and equality,” said Markus Boman of the Swedish Institute.

Initially, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldava and Belarus were included in the programme, although more countries have later been added ensuring broader representation among EU members. Today SAYP includes four EU member states and four non-EU member states. 

Young people in managerial positions 

This year, 35 people from Ukraine, Moldava, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden are attending the course. The participants all hold at least a master’s degree, and have a number of years’ professional experience. Many are in managerial positions and are advancing in their careers.                              

“The aim of the course is to promote and reinforce democracy and in doing so create a sustainable public management system. The fact that the participants come from different countries and contribute with their contrasting experience of working with democracy is very productive as we all learn from each other. Those running the course learn just as much as they do,” said Tom Nilsson, course leader and lecturer at Malmö University.

Tamar Ketiladze is one of the participants and is an adviser to the chairman of the Public Service Development Agency, which comes under the Ministry of Justice in Georgia. The agency works with citizenship and migration.

“We receive a great deal from SIDA, the Swedish International Development Agency. Not just financial support, but also their expertise. That is why I wanted to attend the programme and see the Swedish model in real life,” she said.

She added that the greatest challenge facing Georgia is establishing trust among its citizens in the political system. 

“As a post-Soviet country, we need to work on the political heritage and culture. The greatest challenge is building up confidence in the state and state employees,” she explained.

Studying public management 

The participants will study sustainable public management, the main themes being democratic control, transparency, equality, Europeanisation and ways of developing strong institutions and modern leadership.

“We provide them with an overview of current research and we use the Swedish model as a basis for discussion. In order to see how the system works in practice, we will visit a number of Swedish authorities and organisations. This year, we will be visiting the County Administrative Board, Region Skåne, the City of Malmö and the work-integrated social enterprise Yalla Trappan. 

“Even if Sweden is the obvious focal point in the programme, a great deal of time will be devoted to facilitating an exchange of experience and know-how between the participants,” said Tom Nilsson. 

Text: Charlotte Orban

Last updated by Amanda Malmquist