Temasek Foundation, Civil Service College launch capacity-building effort in Middle East

Two Singapore organisations are working with the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and a Jordanian government ministry in a programme to raise capabilities in good governance and public administration.

The “Public Service Excellence”┬áprogramme involves Temasek Foundation International and the Civil Service College Singapore (CSC), with Jordan’s Ministry of Public Sector Development and PNA’s General Personnel Council and Public National School of Administration, a joint statement by the Singapore groups said.

The programme is supported by a S$921,700 grant by Temasek Foundation International in its first such foray in the Middle East.

The programme was launched on Thursday (March 22) in Ramallah, Palestine, and witnessed by Singapore’s Representative to the PNA, Mr Hawazi Daipi, Temasek Foundation International Board chair Goh Geok Khim and CSC International Director Rina Ng, as well as PNA General Personnel Council Minister Mousa Abu Zaid.

A second launch event will be held in Amman, Jordan’s capital on Sunday.

The training programme “is part of Singapore’s broader technical cooperation to support capacity-building of the public service of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Palestinian National Authority”, the statement said.

“This marks the first programme that Temasek Foundation International is supporting in the Middle East,” it added.

The move to exchange ideas on governance and public administration followed an official visit in 2016 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Territories, the Singapore organisations said.

A series of workshops will be held over the training period of 18 months in both Ramallah and Amman.

“The 125 participants will have the opportunity to learn more about Singapore’s developmental journey and adapt relevant ideas in their public sector reforms,” the statement said. “In between workshops, participants will connect with their Singapore facilitators through an e-learning platform.”

Selected Jordanian and Palestinian participants will take part in a week-long study trip to Singapore, where they will visit Singapore public agencies and interact with local public officers. The participants are also expected to conduct peer-sharing workshops with another 250 officials.

Mr Hawazi also met PNA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah for the first time on Wednesday, and he reiterated Singapore’s support for a negotiated two-state solution. He also briefed Dr Hamdallah on Singapore’s technical cooperation with the PNA.

In a Facebook post, Mr Hawazi said he also visited a vocational training school in Beit ‘Ur Al Tahta village in Ramallah, which offers courses in fields such as fashion design, welding, masonry, electrical work and personal grooming.

He added: “Singapore stands ready to continue sharing our developmental experience with our Palestinian friends where relevant and within our capacity.”

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