Ukrainian Public Servants Intern at Harvard
Kyiv, October 13, 2011. This fall the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University hosted 32 Ukrainian delegates, who participated in the newly developed one-week program “Management and Leadership”. The objective of this specifically tailored program was to enable the participants study public administration and improve their skills in implementing economic reforms.
The program delegates were selected among the experts who currently advise on economic reforms. The selection was based on professional achievements, experience in public service and fluency in English. The group included the representatives of various government departments and ministries, as well as from professionals with experience in the corporate environment.
During one week of intensive study with leading professors at Kennedy School the Ukrainian delegates were introduced to several key courses: Politics Innovation, Reform Implementation, Economic Growth and Country Development, Leadership Skills in The Complicated Political Environment and so forth.
“The majority of the interns in the Harvard program have been already working in the public sector focusing on priority projects. The selection board also chose professionals with experience in the corporate environment for participation in the program. They will be involved in implementing the reforms,” stated Iryna Akimova, the Deputy Head of the Administration of the President of Ukraine, during the post training press conference.
Iryna Akimova also noted that business and public service differ significantly. “We hope that business approaches and good management practices will be brought [to the government public service]. This is the mainstream that definitely has to be a part of the Ukrainian governance,” she concluded.
According to the delegates, the program, despite its short duration, was efficient and provided a lot of practical knowledge. “The professors at Harvard are incredibly interesting and very professional. They work with developing countries, and their experience and energy have been useful to us,” said Kirill Bondar, the program participant and a business representative.
Another delegate Oksana Movchan described her internship as an exceptional experience and inspiration. “Studying at Harvard it’s an amazing experience. Emotionally, it’s like being on the red carpet and see all those celebrities,” said Oksana.
The Ukrainian delegation demonstrated very progressive approach to the program combining public servants with business representatives and left behind only positive impression, claimed Harvard School scholars. “It was a very energetic group a very young group. The group spoke very good English. They were very frank and open and not only learning about other countries experience but trying to understand their own,” said Elain Kamarck, Lecture in Public Policy.
This pilot program was funded by the Ukraine Economic Reform Fund. The head of the fund Lyubov Rudyuk explained such contribution as an investment into the future reform implementation in Ukraine. “Providing the opportunity for the Ukrainian public servants to obtain vital knowledge from world-class professionals at one of the best Universities in the world is a confident step toward transparency and efficiency in Ukrainian governance,” she said.