Debating the Partner State (2): The New Synthesis Framework for Public Policy Formation

The New Synthesis Framework … is framed around four vectors. The two vertical vectors help readers clarify the desired public results at the highest level by exploring the interrelationship between public policy results and civic results. These vectors help explore how government, people and communities can work together and share responsibility for producing public results of higher value at a lower overall cost to society. The two horizontal vectors focus on the use of government authority and the reliance on the collective power of society. They explore the means by which public results may be achieved.”

An explanation of The New Synthesis Project:

The New Synthesis Project is working to expand the circle of people committed to modernizing the role of government in a post-industrial era. While partners hail from different countries, different political systems and different historical, economic and cultural contexts, all share the view that public administration as a practice and discipline is not yet aligned with the challenges of serving in the 21st century.

In 2009, Madame Bourgon invites six countries to join the New Synthesis Network (NS6), composed of officials, scholars and experts from Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands, Singapore and the United Kingdom. Committed to supporting practitioners whose work is becoming increasingly difficult, this network has engaged close to 200 people from more than 24 organizations. Their efforts have resulted in five international roundtables, five post-roundtable reports, and 17 case studies. Collectively, this work has generated significant insights into preparing governments to serve in the 21st century.

The Network’s findings have been captured in the publication of a new book entitled A New Synthesis of Public Administration: Serving in the 21st Century, and is available in print and electronic formats from McGill-Queen?s University Press. Its signature contribution is the presentation of an enabling governance framework that brings together the role of government, society and people to address some of the most complex and intractable problems of our time.

“So where to from here? Reconfiguring and building the capacities of government for the future cannot be accomplished through the publication of a single book. It is a continuous journey which requires the ongoing sharing and synthesis of ideas, as well as the feedback, learning and course adjustments that can only be derived by testing ideas in action.

And so the journey continues and the conversation expands. Our goal is to build upon the rich partnership of the original six participating countries by opening up this exchange with others—wherever they may be located. We seek to create an international community that connects all leaders—from government, the private sector and civil society—committed to helping prepare governments for the challenges ahead.

Next stages of this work will include virtual exchanges supported by web 2.0 technologies, as well as possible thematic and regionally-based networks and events. But no matter the vehicles, success can only be achieved through the active participation and collaboration of those passionate about making a difference.”

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