SIGMA 25 years


Creating Change Together - In my Lifetime

Celebrating 25 years


2017 sees the 25th anniversary of SIGMA, the result of a successful long-term partnership between the OECD and the European Union (EU). In that period, SIGMA has developed into a recognised centre of excellence of public administration reform (PAR) and has worked with more than 30 partner countries to help them to establish professional public administrations, effective financial management and economic development.

SIGMA assists countries in planning and delivering their priority reforms through bi-lateral technical assistance projects, regional events and horizontal initiatives to support the European Commission (EC) in further developing its focus on PAR, including public financial management. Drawing on all of its experience and with senior advisors who have all worked in their own national public administration, SIGMA worked closely with the EC in 2014 to develop the Principles of Public Administration, to provide countries with a tangible framework for what a good public administration should look like and what they should strive for, to better serve their citizens and businesses.

Throughout SIGMA’s 25th year we will be showcasing the Principles and how they impact on people’s lives. The characters above represent people at different stages of their lives and they each will explain the relevance of a good public administration for them.

Public service and human resource management/yellow character 

Public service and human ressource management


Public servants are the people who deliver the government’s priorities and public services to the citizens and businesses in their country. To provide good and continuous services, the main objective of every public servant should be professionalism.

In order to have professional public servants, and high standards of human resource management to support them, several measures need to be taken to ensure their independence. Merit-based recruitment, equal treatment of civil servants, and fair and transparent remuneration are equally important. Professional development and training should be arranged to ensure a high level of competency of public servants and to support their ongoing skills development. Every public servant also needs to be held accountable for what they are responsible, with clearly defined rights and obligations.

The public service shapes the face of government as citizens have direct and frequent contact with them. As a significant employer, a government has both the obligation and the opportunity to lead by example, setting high standards for society as a whole. Building a truly professional and efficient public service is the best way for a government to demonstrate respect for its citizens and businesses. 




For more characters, please click here.

 What is policy development and co-ordination?


Credit to the TEN network and WeBER project

Wall of quotes

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