Foresight and innovation for #NextGenGov champions in Sri Lanka

Similar to other countries in the region, Sri Lanka has experienced rising urbanisation, technological innovation, deepening inequality, vulnerability to disasters and dramatic environmental risks. A new generation of government leaders is imperative in ensuring Sri Lanka can effectively respond to the challenges of our time.

The ‘Foresight & Innovation for #NextGenGov Champions’ program responds to this need by equipping a new generation of public sector officials with the tools necessary to implement creative solutions to complex challenges in our country. Following the success of the pilot program conducted in 2018, two capacity-building workshops for two more cohorts were launched this week with participants from over 35 public institutions in Sri Lanka along with international participants from Maldives, Bhutan, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Turkey, Gambia and Tanzania.

The program is co-developed as a joint initiative between Citra Social Innovation Lab, the Presidential Secretariat, the Ministry of Public Administration, and the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA).

Speaking on the added value of the program Minister of Public Administration and Disaster Management Ranjith Madduma Bandara stated, “A strong and efficient public service is a crucial segment of the enforcement of policies for an effective nation. The Ministry of Public Administration and Disaster Management is pleased to have worked with Citra Social Innovation Lab and the Presidential Secretariat and SLIDA to co-develop a comprehensive program on ‘Foresight and Innovation for Public Sector Excellence’, being conducted for the second time, having had a very successful pilot run. Building on the conversations around improving the efficiency of the public sector, this workshop will equip the selected officials with the tools required to approach challenges in an innovative way. We look forward to continuing our engagement with Citra to further strengthen the public sector of Sri Lanka.”

As Sri Lanka’s first social innovation lab, Citra is a proven leader in using foresight and innovation tools in prototyping and testing development solutions to ensure they are agile and holistic. As a joint initiative between the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Citra facilitates creating an environment that is conducive to looking at problems from different perspectives, building capacities, and strengthening institutions.

Speaking on the program, Minister of Science, Technology and Research Sujeewa Senasinghe stated, “Public sector officials are the backbone of any government and have a crucial role to play in ensuring countries achieve the targets they set for themselves. This year we’re happy to welcome over 55 public sector officials from Sri Lanka along with their counterparts from several other countries for the #NextGenGov program. The 2019 cohort of this workshop is a testament to the global significance of these tools for public sector excellence.”

The five-day residential workshops require participants to implement these tools in their offices and departments within a three-month mentorship period and report back on their experiences. The continued engagement of the ‘#NextGenGov Champions’ will contribute towards a sustained, long-term integration of foresight and innovation for public sector excellence in Sri Lanka.

Source: Daily FT

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IMF lauds Oman’s Tanfeedh programme

The National Programme for Enhancing Economic Development (Tanfeedh) — the Sultanate’s signature initiative for sustaining economic growth amid the ongoing global downturn — has come in for praise from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Executive Board of the specialised UN agency, which had concluded Article IV consultations with Oman last month, noted the Tanfeedh programme’s contribution to the Sultanate’s national developmental objectives.

“(The) Directors commended the ongoing implementation of the Tanfeedh Programme with a focus on economic diversification and job creation,” said the Washington DC-headquartered multilateral institution in a summary of its discussions with Oman’s authorities.

Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country’s economic developments and policies.

While lauding the Tanfeedh initiative, the Executive Board nevertheless called for “further reforms to address labour market rigidities including by better aligning public sector compensation with that of the private sector and by addressing skills mismatches through higher quality education and training”. The Board “also encouraged further SME development including through better access to finance, to raise productivity”.

Initially unveiled in 2016, the Tanfeedh programme is a government initiative that links the strategies of vital business sectors, such as Manufacturing, Tourism, Transport & Logistics, Energy, Mining, Fisheries, Financial Services, and Labour, with each other with the aim of diversifying national income resources. A series of ‘labs’ focusing on each of these sectors have generated a substantial portfolio of projects and initiatives that are currently in various stages of implementation and operation. The Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit (ISFU), set up under the auspices of the Diwan of Royal Court, is tracking the speedy delivery of these projects.

The IMF Executive Board also noted Oman’s policy efforts since the 2014 oil price shock which, it said, have aimed at strengthening the fiscal position, enhancing private sector-led growth and employment, and encouraging diversification. “Economic activity started to recover last year, and the overall fiscal and current account deficits improved somewhat, reflecting mainly higher oil prices,” it stated.

The report noted in particular growth in real non-oil GDP in 2018 – an uptrend that reflected “higher confidence” driven by the rebound in oil prices. “Non-hydrocarbon growth is projected to increase gradually over the medium term, reaching about 4 per cent, assuming efforts to diversify the economy continue,” it said, noting that an uptick in oil and gas production had also boosted hydrocarbon GDP growth in 2018.

Oman’s overall fiscal balance had also improved last year, according to the report. “The fiscal deficit is estimated to have declined to about 9 per cent of GDP from 13.9 per cent of GDP in 2017, reflecting higher oil revenues. However, gross government debt increased by 7 per cent of GDP last year (to 53.5 per cent of GDP),” it noted however.

Also accentuating the brightening economic picture for Oman was the “substantial pickup in exports, primarily hydrocarbons”, said the IMF. This growth, combined with an estimated decline in imports, “helped reduce the current account deficit by about 10½ percentage points of GDP (to 4.7 per cent of GDP)”, the report said.

Source: Oman Observer

Read the full report from IMF here.

Malaysia, Kazakhstan to further boost constructive cooperation under Tokayev’s leadership

Dato’ Sri Idris Jala, CEO of PEMANDU Associates, extended his heartiest congratulations to Mr Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on his election as the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

“The people of Kazakhstan have entrusted Mr Tokayev with the responsibility of continuing the successful economic path and stability in Kazakhstan. I am confident that our countries will further boost constructive and mutually beneficial collaborations at the bilateral and commercial levels under his able leadership,” he said.

Dato’ Sri Idris Jala added that his country looks forward to be a part of this strengthened tie between Malaysia and Kazakhstan in the years ahead.

Source: Kazinform

Read the full article here.

Idris Jala confident ‘good things’ will come after new government’s transition phase

Malaysia’s new government is still “in the transition phase”, and it needs time to achieve the transformation it has set out to do, said Datuk Seri Idris Jala, President and Chief Executive Officer of PEMANDU Associates.

Image Source: The Edge Markets

“I think when you are a new government, especially in a country that had the one and same government for a very long period of time, there is always a process called transition.”

“You cannot have new beginnings unless you manage the endings [properly],” Idris commented when asked about the government’s transition progress here during an economics conversation organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI).

The transition has to be given time, said Idris, and he is “hopeful” that the government will deal with the process well and then be clear about its priorities, going forward.

“I am in no doubt that Malaysia is a country that is in transition, [and] only good things can come out [of] it. I am confident… but it requires [good] leadership,” Idris added.

On the trade front, Idris said the trade war between the world’s two largest economies, the US and China, will cause real pain for the world, including trading nations like Malaysia.

Already, slower growth is expected for the global economy amid China’s economic slowdown in the face of escalating trade tensions between the two countries.

“Malaysia is a trading nation. Our total trade (including export and import) is almost twice as large as our gross domestic products (GDP), therefore, we are exposed to the things happening in the global economy.

“Therefore, the one thing we can do, when we are a trading nation [is]: Competitiveness, competitiveness and competitiveness!” he stressed.

“When I say competitiveness, it means our product and services must be highly competitive. When you are not competitive, when the world’s economy contracts, countries will be selective when it comes to products and demand will be smaller,” he said.

Idris also called on the private sector to embrace the digital world to compete globally.

“You cannot just do brick and mortar. Put [your goods and services] out there at Alibaba, Amazon and ebay, then you will know [how] competitive [you are]. Every businessman must put their products and services on the digital platform, so you will know if you are competitive in price and functionality. You open the whole market — this is what people need to do,” Idris said.


Source: The Edge Markets

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Learning Academy Masterclass: Achieving Organisational Breakthroughs

Ensure continuous performance improvement by knowing the trends that impact organisations and discovering the right remedies for you.

This one-day programme, a collaboration between PEMANDU Associates Learning Academy and &samhoud, will allow you to explore techniques to attain quick and effective organisational success (painkillers) and embed a culture that sustains success (vitamins).

We welcome key players who champion organisational change and transformation to join this programme to refine business strategies and achieve breakthroughs.

Date: Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Time: 9.30 am – 4.00 pm

Location: &samhoud Rooftop, The Icon Tower, Jalan Tun Razak

Fee: RM1200 per person (HRDF claimable)

This programme will cover:

  • Trends impacting organisations in Malaysia
  • Breakout sessions for the following topics: 

– Re-invent yourself (Game of the impossible)
– Finance and decision making
– KPIs, monitoring and problem solving

– Building a culture of trust
– Understanding the millennial heartset
– Living your organisational values

Seats are limited. Register here by Tuesday, 11 December 2018 to secure your seat!

Click to download the Masterclass Programme Overview.

For further enquiries, kindly email [email protected] 

“We will deliver to the People of Saint Lucia!”

Saint Lucia Prime Minister Honourable Allen M. Chastanet gave an extensive and passionate presentation to the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce on Thursday November 15th 2018 as he addressed a packed room of members of the local business sector. The broad discussion touched on a variety of areas including infrastructure, health care, education and economic development.

The Prime Minister began by updating the Chamber on current and proposed development projects for Saint Lucia, starting from the north to the south of the island. Among the projects: the planned expansion of major hotels in the Rodney Bay and Gros Islet area, new tourism projects for the Choc area, the expansion of Saint Lucia Distillers, the construction of the Fairmont Hotel in Choiseul and the DSH Pearl of the Caribbean Project. The Prime Minister also spoke to critical public sector projects such as the redevelopment of Hewanorra International Airport, the redevelopment of Castries, rehabilitation of road infrastructure, social programmes and efforts to address the nation’s security.

Photo credit: Saint Lucia Times

“We have come to an agreement with the Taiwanese Government who have agreed to lend us 100 million US dollars to be able to do that project,” explained the Prime Minister, while also adding that the loan is being supported by the airport development charge. An additional $50 Million will be borrowed from Taiwan for major upgrades of existing roads island-wide. The Prime Minister noted that the road rehabilitation charge on gasoline will also be used to service the loan.

When it came to health care, the Prime Minister updated the business community on plans for National Health Insurance, the strengthening of the nation’s primary health care facilities and the phased opening of the OK-EU hospital. With regard to the construction of the St. Jude Hospital the Prime Minister said the designs and the engineering drawings have been completed and funding has been secured for the proposed new wing.

“We are moving as fast as we possible can to rectify that situation,” PM Chastanet said following a recap of the immense missteps which had led the nation to this point. “We know the challenges that exist at the stadium and we are working with the staff as best as we possibly can to make them as comfortable as possible, but we recognize and understand the frustration by both the people who are working there, as well as the citizens who have to depend on it. The fact is we have to do things the right way and I can assure all Saint Lucians that you will be very proud of the development. I am comfortable that once you have all the financing, you have the design completed and you have a great company doing the implementation that you should not see a repeat of what happened the last five years.

The Prime Minister also said that the Government tackling issues concerning the pace of the implementation of programmes and projects and has engaged the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU), which was set up by Malaysia, to assist Saint Lucia in that regard. PEMANDU will be focused on six key areas of Agriculture, Tourism, Infrastructure, Health, Education and Social Development.

Key indicators in the economy have been encouraging, said the Prime Minister, noting that tourism continues to show signs of growth and consumption and economic activity is on the rise.

“We have already seen that with the reduction of the Value Added Tax rate of 12.5 percent we are currently collecting slightly more money than we were collecting when we were at 15 percent,” said PM Chastanet. “So mathematically that tells you that the turnover in the economy is absolutely there.”

Also encouraging, said the Prime Minister, was growth in the Information Technology sector which has seen the creation of 2000 new jobs. He singled out the expansion of KM2 and OJO Labs. The Prime Minister also spoke about the National Apprenticeship Programme and the partnership with Monroe College which will see hundreds of Saint Lucian young people receive hands on hospitality training.

“We continue on course and I am very encouraged,” said the Prime Minister about overall development. “The amount of money that is about to start flowing into this economy and the investment that we are going to be making into the infrastructure of this country . . . there is a lot of work taking place on the ground and we are moving. What we are focused on is developing this country, improving the physical capacity, improving the human capacity and improving the bureaucratic capacity of this country.

“We have been able to attract a record amount of new investment to come into this country. We have taken our time to be responsible and ensure the EIAs are done and we follow the law and to make sure it is going to benefit every Saint Lucian,” noted PM Chastanet, who also highlighted support to local entrepreneurs through the St Lucia Development Bank, training opportunities for young people, development and reenergizing of youth programmes. “We are calm, cool, collected and focused and we will deliver to the people of Saint Lucia.”

As he closed his presentation, which included questions from the attendees, PM Chastanet explained that the plan of Building a New Saint Lucia where all can benefit is the priority.


Source: Saint Lucia Times

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Industry 4.0 Blueprint on readiness assessment finalised, says Miti

The Industry 4.0 Blueprint or Industry4WRD assessment guidelines to assess manufacturing companies’ readiness for Industry 4.0 has been finalised. It shall be implemented in the screening of 500 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) early next year.

(From left) PEMANDU Associates Executive Vice President Yong Yoon Kit, MITI investment policy and trade facilitation senior director Faizal Mohd Yusof, HLIB head of dealing, SVP & institutional business Datuk Zunaidah Idris, Hong Leong Stock Broking chief operating officer Kwek Kon Chow, and Malaysia Automotive Institute chairman Datuk Phang Ah Tong at the BURSA – HLIB Stratum focus series VII: Industry 4.0.
(Photo credit: The Star Online)

International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) investment policy and trade facilitation senior director Faizal Mohd Yusof said the Industry 4.0 readiness assessment shall provide a better understanding of the current state of SMEs, in terms of technology adoption.

“It is good to gauge the level of industrial revolution of manufacturing companies in Malaysia. The government will then be able to decide on the direction of facilitating Industry 4.0 adoption for SMEs, and see where it can intervene by allocating funding or incentives,” he said.

He was speaking at the Bursa Malaysia-Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Stratum Focus Seminar series VII themed “Industry 4.0: Humanising Machines, Disrupting Economies”.


The readiness assessment, which will be conducted by Malaysian Productivity Corp, is part of the Budget 2019 measures to accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0.

A sum of RM210mil has been allocated from 2019 to 2021 to support this programme.

The guidelines of the assessment were established based on a pilot study of 22 companies.

Meanwhile, the readiness assessment guidelines for the manufacturing-related services sector is being prepared and targeted for implementation in the second quarter of 2019.

According to PEMANDU Associates Executive Vice President Yong Yoon Kit, Malaysian manufacturing companies that have adopted Industry 4.0 practices were found to perform 26% better than their peers that did not have a digital strategy.

“However, Malaysia’s manufacturing sector is still averaging at Industry 2.5, which lies between the utilisation of electricity and automation in mass production,” said Yong.

Industry 4.0 entails the convergence of physical systems and IT, assisted with dynamic data processing.

Under Budget 2019, the government has allocated some RM5bil to help businesses adopt Industry 4.0 practices.

This entails an allocation of RM2bil under the Business Loan Guarantee Scheme (SJPP) as well as a RM3bil Industry Digitalisation Transformation Fund.

The government provides guarantees of up to 70% under the SJPP to incentivise SMEs to invest in automation and modernisation.

As for the Industry Digitalisation Transformation Fund, there is a subsidised interest rate of 2% under Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd to accelerate the adoption of smart technology such as automation, robotics and artificial intelligence.


By Toh Kar Inn
Source: The Star Online

Read the original article here

Government of Saint Lucia calls for projects under the key result areas of tourism and agriculture

Honourable Guy Joseph, Minister for Economic Development, Housing, Urban Renewal, Transport and Civil Aviation launched Saint Lucia’s Social and Economic Labs.

The lab methodology is a new approach which the government is undertaking to develop and deliver on the Medium Term Development Strategy (MTDS) for 2019-2022, with the aim to achieve an inclusive and sustainable Saint Lucia by 2022. This project is supported by the Caribbean Development Bank through a Technical Assistance Loan to the Government of Saint Lucia.

The process began in April 2018, when Saint Lucia’s Cabinet and senior officials from the public service, together with representatives from the private sector, prioritised six (6) Key Results Areas (KRAs) to focus on. The six KRAs comprise three (3) Economic KRAs, which are Tourism, Agriculture and Infrastructure, and three (3) Social KRAs, which are Healthcare, Education and Crime. Collectively, these sectors represent some of the most important areas that impact the lives of every Saint Lucian.

The Department of Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation is the lead sponsor for the labs, and the Government of Saint Lucia is fully committed to the labs.

Phase 1 of this process is the lab phase, which will take place from 19 November to 14 December. During this phase, the labs will identify issues and opportunities, prioritise solutions and develop detailed implementation plans for execution over the next four years. The labs will involve participation of all key stakeholders from the public and private sectors, and the output of the labs will be detailed implementation programmes as well as budget requirements to run the projects and initiatives identified, in order to achieve the aims of the Medium Term Development Strategy (MTDS) 2019-2022.

After the completion of Phase 1, i.e. the lab phase, Phase 2 will commence in January 2019 and will involve the establishment of a Delivery Unit within the Government of Saint Lucia. This unit’s role will be to oversee, coordinate and drive implementation of the plans developed within the labs leading delivery of the prioritized goals across all six KRAs. Ultimately, the Delivery Unit’s mandate will be to manage performance and drive accountability as well as to support implementing ministries and agencies in delivering concrete results that improve the lives of our citizens.

To assist in successful delivery of this new methodology, the Government will be working closely with two leading international consultancies, which are Delivery Associates and PEMANDU Associates. These two firms have worked with Governments around the world to improve their effectiveness at delivering real, measurable outcomes for their citizens. The Government of Saint Lucia is excited to partner with them over the next 15 months.

As part of the labs, the Government of Saint Lucia is putting out a call for projects under the Economic Key Results Areas of Tourism and Agriculture.

The project areas under the Tourism KRA are international hotel brands interested in investing in Saint Lucia, cruise operators looking to make Saint Lucia a home port, Health and Wellness Tourism, Village Tourism and Eco Tourism.

The project areas under the Agriculture KRA are production of foods as a means of import substitution, food processing projects, production of high value, high yield crops that encourage crop diversification and production of staple crops.


By Government Information Service
Source: Saint Lucia News Online


Read the original article here

Learning Academy Masterclass – Beyond Grit: Achieving High Performance

How do you develop persistence and resilience to improve your organisational performance? How can you use grit to enhance your leadership skills? What does grit even mean?

Seize the opportunity to elevate your success in the workplace and achieve inspiring leadership with PEMANDU Associates’ Learning Academy Masterclass, Beyond Grit: Achieving High Performance. This one-day programme welcomes individuals wanting to achieve quantum improvement in their performance as well as heads of departments and managers in charge of affecting change and transformation (Programme Management Office, Transformation Management Office and Strategy Office).

Date: Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Time: 9.00 am – 5.30 pm

Location: Meet on 35 @ Sunway Putra Hotel

Fee: RM990 per person (HRDF claimable)

This workshop will cover:

Module 1: Connecting to Your Passion and Empowering Them

Module 2: Cultivating Grit

Module 3: Developing a Growth Mindset to Achieve Success

Module 4: The Different Success Factors Associated with Effective Performance

Module 5: Building a Circle of Success

Seats are limited. Register by Friday, 9 November 2018 to secure your seat!

Click to download the Masterclass Programme Overview.

For further enquiries, kindly email: [email protected] or contact us at +6 019 283 7953.