“Last year in Italy, a lot of efforts were made to face the financial crisis. Similarly to what happened in most European countries, among the measures undertaken there have also been serious budget cuts. Probably due to the time constraints, there had not been enough time for preparing a new strategic plan. This urgency in finding enough financial resources seems now to be close to an end and I believe that we can quickly return to a less austere regime. In the meantime, a programme to reduce costs in the public sector has been prepared and actions to increase efficiency are going to be undertaken soon.
In particular in the department for which I work, the situation is even more difficult. The policy of continuously changing the top management that has been adopted doesn’t facilitate either the strategic planning or the setting up of development visions. Moreover, the dispersion of the functions in multiple offices as well as a poor coordination makes it difficult to identify the competencies and consequently the responsibilities. In such a confusing and bureaucratic environment, nobody feels comfortable in taking any initiative. We all know that when a system doesn’t evolve, it doesn’t remain the same, but gets more obsolete and worse every day. If we can’t be proactive, we should at least be reactive.
The above mentioned situation is the same in the area of Human Resource Capacity Development. It can be said that in this sector it is even worse because, in my opinion, there are neither enough professional and cultural skills nor the motivation to consent to an improvement in the short and medium-term. The basis of the system of personnel training currently in place dates back to 1981. It still is a good one, but it might be necessary to continuously adapt its implementation to the evolution of contents and methods. In a globalized world, one of the main challenges is to broaden our own perspectives as much as possible. If the result is still a “provincialism” within the Public Sector, it can be deduced that something is missing in the system. It is therefore fundamental to identify this gap and – with a conspicuous dose of humbleness – to start an earnest project in order to find and implement the best solutions. To draw up such plan, the Directorate for Training and Development should receive – from the top management or from the Directorate of Human Resources – a new global vision and a comprehensive strategic plan with the indication of the objectives to be achieved in the short, medium and long-term. I think that the organisation should look at the best practices of other countries and especially at the solutions that they have found for similar issues. We could take from academia some good suggestions and even sign agreements to enhance cross-fertilization.
To conclude, I think that the basis and the starting point should be the development of a new, modern, ambitious, and holistic vision. Then a concrete and consistent strategic plan should be set up that also includes Human Resource Capacity Development.” – Giuseppe Bellisario – The Hague, Netherlands