An ICT research collaboration between the Centre for Flexible Learning (CFL) and the Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration (PICPA) that was formally signed on 23rd of March 2016 culminated in a report and presentation of key findings and recommendations at the annual Public Service Commissioners’ Conference (PPSCC) in Palau recently. The 13th such conference was held in Koror from 2nd – 4th August 2016. The event was organised by PICPA in close collaboration with the Chairpersons of the previous and current years’ Conference. The PPSCC is a cross jurisdictional forum for Public Service Commissioners from the PICs to come together to discuss public service issues, share experiences and ideas and identify initiatives, strategies and actions to improve public administration amongst the member countries as well as the Region. In addition to the 14 PICs, Australia and New Zealand attend the conference as full members, also providing technical and financial support for organising the event. Timor Leste also attends the conference as Observers. Prior to the conference, Mr. Parmesh Chand, Director of PICPA said that this years’ conference was particularly important as the participants will inter alia get to discuss and map out a way forward on the future focus and direction of the conference. This was based on a review of the conference, following a resolution as such emanating at last year’s Conference in Niue.
From CFL’s perspective, the research opportunity was particularly enriching as a professional development tool for its staff members in the area of research methodology and inquiry. The experience was also beneficial for CFL in terms of engagement beyond USP that showcased its research, project management and collaborative capabilities. The research team comprised two lead researchers, four associate researchers and one logistics team member. Acting Director CFL Dhiraj Bhartu presented the research findings and recommendations at the conference. The report was entitled, ICT Use for Service Delivery in the Public Sector: a study of Palau, Samoa, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands. CFL would like to thank the Government of Australia and PICPA for the opportunity.