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Supporting the establishment of a Public Policy Unit

Supporting the establishment of a Public Policy Unit

The Commonwealth Secretariat is to assist the Cabinet Office, within the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to improve its public service delivery through the establishment of a Public Policy Unit.

Country: Antigua and Barbuda
Host: Cabinet Office
Start Date: 01 June 2016
End Date: 01 June 2017
Policy Area: Public Institutions
Policy Expert: Joan Nwasike
Project Manager: Pauline Campbell

Background

Antigua and Barbuda is a service based economy with tourism and government services representing the largest sources of employment and income. Tourism and tourism related activities have been the main drivers of economic growth over the past two decades contributing to over half of GDP and is also the principal earner of foreign exchange in Antigua and Barbuda. As a relatively new administration, the government requested, from the Commonwealth Secretariat, the facilitation of a working session between Ministers and Permanent Secretaries aimed at creating a common vision for national development and a harmonious working relationship between both groups. Against this background the Commonwealth Secretariat organised and facilitated a Cabinet Consultative Forum which took place in June 2015. What emerged was the priority request from the Forum for the need to establish a Policy Unit within the Cabinet Office, Office of the Prime Minister.

Goal

The purpose of the project is to provide technical support to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to enable the establishment of a Policy Unit within the Cabinet Office and, by extension, an effective organisational environment to facilitate coordinated policy formulation and implementation. The Public Policy Unit will allow the Cabinet Office to manage the entire process involving research, analysis, consultation, monitoring, producing recommendations and guiding implementation, while at the same time building organisational-wide institutional capacity to ensure sustainability of the policy development process. In essence the overall aim of the Unit will be to drive the coherence, quality and delivery of policy and operations across the public service.

Impact

Achieving the aims of the project are aligned to the priorities of the Government. Based on the Prime Minister’s last budget statement, some of the priorities for the Cabinet Office and the Office of the Prime Minister were outlined as follows:

  • Disseminating information pertaining to the operations of the Government.
  • Formalising an Advisory Committee on Corporate Governance to help improve the efficacy and efficiency of operations in the public sector.
  • Developing and implementing policies and programmes to ensure medium term fiscal and debt targets are attained.
  • Improving oversight and monitoring of all government departments and statutory corporations.

Achieving these priorities will be central to improved public service delivery which needs to be urgently addressed if the government is to achieve “putting people first; and focusing on human development, environmental sustainability, economic dynamism and prosperity for all citizens and residents”. A Policy Unit will assist with the establishment of a coordinated strategic framework for policy formulation and implementation while strengthening institutional capacity at the Centre of Government.

Outputs

The expected outputs of this project will be:

  • A functional policy formulation system within the Cabinet Office.
  • A framework for policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation.
  • A policy process manual.
  • Updated communication and protocol system for policy coordination.
  • Staff training in policy management, development and monitoring.
  • Governance framework for the Policy Unit.