Harvard professor to start government innovations training

POSTED: 02/15/13 1:34 PM

St. Maarten –Innovations in Governance, Creating Change Agents From Within, is the theme of a public service training program that the government plans to embark on. The initiative comes at a time when St. Maarten is seeking to build up all of its institutions and ensure that civil servants are well trained for their roles. This particular program is aimed at increasing “responsiveness in changing conditions by our organizations,” Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said while giving an introduction to the program on Wednesday.

The government has secured the services of Harvard University: Kennedy School of Government Professor Dr. Jorrit de Jong to execute the training program. Dr. de Jong arrives on the island on Monday for a 5 day visit to familiarize himself with the St. Maarten government machinery and speak with various stakeholders.

His visit will also pave the way for a strategy workshop to be created for St. Maarten. The prime minister said that the government is very excited to have the public service involved in the program.

Dr. Jorrit de Jong currently functions as academic director of the Innovations in Government Program at Harvard University: Kennedy School of Government, where he teaches strategic management and innovation in the public sector. He is a Senior Fellow and Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy with the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation as well. Dr. de Jong is co-founder of the Kafka Brigade; an action research organization specialized in public problem solving, based in the UK and the Netherlands. He is also co-founder of Global Faculty, a non-profit network connecting leading academics with ambitious practitioners in developing countries through Leadership Labs.

Dr. de Jong holds Master degrees in Public Administration and Philosophy and a PhD in Public Policy and Management. As a researcher, consultant and trainer to public and non-profit organizations in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa, he developed innovative methods to facilitate citizen centered governance and organizational learning. His publications include: The State of Access: Success and Failure of Democracies to Create Equal Opportunities (Brookings Institution Press, 2008, with G. Rizvi), Becoming an Agent of Change: Strategies and Tactics of Social Innovation (Brookings Institution Press, 2012, with S. Cels and F. Nauta), and Dealing with Dysfunction: Innovative Problem Solving in the Public Sector (Brookings Institution Press, forthcoming).



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