By Khulangoo Purevjav, project manager for "Towards a professional and citizen-centred civil service in Mongolia" project by UNDP Mongolia

How can the civil service be improved in Mongolia? Sometimes a one-day session is enough to inspire them. On 16 March 2019, Prof.Dr. Zeger has conducted one-day session for top 50 civil servants of Mongolia organized at the National Academy of Governance of Mongolia. This Top Managers’ Specialized Training courses are tailored for higher echelons of the civil service, including Permanent Secretaries, head of agencies, heads of policy coordination and strategic management departments in ministries, agencies and Governor’s offices in aimags and the capital city.

In October 2018, a delegation representing implementing partners have visited Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and were acquainted with “21st Century Public Manager”. Upon acknowledging the relevance and practical implication of the emerging 7 skills of the Public Manager to Mongolia’s civil service. Project has reached out to Prof.Dr. Zeger with an invite to visit Mongolia and conduct one-day course to 13 State secretaries, 30 agency heads and chiefs of Cabinet Secretariat Department. Prior to his visit, the Project has acquired copyright of Prof.Zeger’s book, and attendees have been provided 5 chapters of his book as a pre-reading material.

Prof.Dr. Zeger’s engaging, interactive and thought-provoking session on Leadership in VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world and 7 skills of 21st Century Public Managers created animated discussion during the session. It inspired a rare but an impactful dialogue among top civil servants on the imminence of change and effectively navigating through such unpredictable operating environment. It helped to understand what is being a public manager in a VUCA world like, who public managers are and what they do.

The project and Prof.Dr. Zeger hope civil servant attendee would be leader of professional and citizen-centered civil service later on. Improving professional capacities for civil servants is not just about individual worker’s matter. Building relevant capacities among civil servants and government agencies leads to creating a stable, impartial, professional and citizen-centered civil service.

The project hopes to engage further with Prof.Dr. Zeger during the course of the Project in the area of Leadership skill development for core civil servants of Mongolia.

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