Reimagining public service in the wake of COVID-19

PeopleGov Speaker Series
Online event
Open to the public
This event is free - register below to attend
December 2020

The People in Government Lab (PeopleGov) welcomes Victor Lapuente, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg, and Lea Gimenez, Chief of the Innovation in Citizen Services Division at the Inter-American Development Bank and former Minister of Finance of Paraguay, for a discussion about the role of the civil service during COVID-19 recovery. The conversation will be moderated by Calum Miller, Chief Operating Officer and Associate Dean at the Blavatnik School of Government.

The nature of public management is changing as public services around the world contend with increasingly complex problems, rapid technological advancements, and rising expectations from the public. The COVID-19 pandemic highlights an urgent need for public services to be more innovative, agile and sophisticated in the way that they operate and in their response to societal challenges. Despite its immense toll on human lives and socio-economic conditions, COVID-19 presents an opportunity to reinvent the public service to become more effective, perform better and be more connected to the population that it serves. In this conversation, together, we reimagine the role of the public service and discuss how to translate a disruption such as the COVID-19 pandemic into organisational learning.

Please note: This event will be held online via Zoom. Register below to receive an email with joining instructions closer to the event date. The event will also be live streamed on YouTube.

About the PeopleGov Speaker Series

The PeopleGov Speaker Series are conversations where academics and practitioners – from the public and private sector – discuss the most pressing topics on people and performance management. Each talk will provide actionable knowledge to address key challenges and opportunities for the public sector. Every two weeks, we will convene outstanding speakers and an audience of participants with expertise on these subjects in order to bring together a community of excellence. The PeopleGov Speakers Series is coordinated by Margarita Gómez, the Executive Director of the People in Government Lab.

Save the date for the next PeopleGov Speaker Series talk:

  • People management: building the bridge between the public and private sector (a conversation with Beto Sicupira) – 17 December, 16:00 GMT

About the speakers

Victor Lapuente

Victor Lapuente is an Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Oxford and the Juan March Institute. His research deals, in the first place, with comparative public administration, and in particular on the causes and consequences of adopting Weberian bureaucracies: why have some countries historically developed merit-based administrations while others have created more patronage-based or 'at will' administrative apparatuses? What are the consequences of these administrative choices over a certain number of socially relevant outcomes, such as corruption, quality of government or civil conflict? Secondly, Lapuente is currently studying values and attitudes of public managers from a comparative perspective. His research has been published in journals like The Journal of Politics, European Journal of Political Research, Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, Governance, Public Choice, Journal of Comparative Economics, Party Politics, Political Research Quarterly and Local Government Studies. Victor is also a columnist in Spain's newspaper El Pais.

Lea Gimenez

Lea Gimenez is chief of the Innovation in Citizen Services Division of the Institutions for Development Department at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). The thematic areas under her leadership include citizen security and justice, public sector management, data and digital government, and transparency and integrity. Before joining the IADB, she served as the Minister of Finance of Paraguay and the head of the country’s national economic team. In Paraguay, she presided over the Taxation Technical and Economic Team, the Fund for Educational Excellence, and the National Strategy Commission for Financial Inclusion. Prior to that, she was the Vice-Minister of Economy of Paraguay and an economist in global practices on poverty and macro-taxation at the World Bank, serving the countries of Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Her work has focused on development and implementation of evidence-based policies and strategies to reduce poverty and inequality, promote inclusive economic growth, and support institutional strengthening of public sector agencies. She served as an adjunct professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, where she earned a doctorate in economics.

Calum Miller

Calum Miller is Chief Operating Officer and Associate Dean at the Blavatnik School of Government. He leads the School’s administrative staff in implementing the School's strategy and in supporting its teaching, research and policy engagement activities. He is the Co-Director of Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE), a multi-country, seven-year research programme seeking to identify what works in shaping systems that can deliver high-quality education for all students. Calum teaches professional policy skills within the School, and is the convenor of a seminar series on UK public policymaking. Prior to joining the School in 2012, Calum was a senior UK civil servant. Over a 13-year career, he worked in the Treasury, the Cabinet Office, the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development. Most recently, he served successively as Principal Private Secretary to the Cabinet Secretary and head of the UK Civil Service (2009–10) and to the Deputy Prime Minister (2010–12). He holds a first class BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and an MPhil in International Relations (with Distinction) from Oxford University.