Towards a sustainable quality management approach - Academies for EaP countries



After the series of successful “academies” around the topic of service design and delivery in a digital age in the course of 2023, the SIGMA Programme and the GIZ Eastern Partnership Regional collaboration continues, broadens and deepens in 2024 with a new project focused on “Building a sustainable quality management approach in the Eastern Partnership Region.”





This initiative is designed to encourage significant engagement in advancing public administration reforms within the EaP countries through the strategic implementation of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF). By leveraging CAF principles, this project aims not only to enhance service delivery quality but also to serve as a catalyst for broader public administration reforms, aligning with the core principles advocated by the  Principles of Public Administration developed by SIGMA.

The CAF was developed to provide a simple, free and easy to use framework for self-assessment of public sector organisations across Europe.

The CAF serves as an effective quality management model, which can boost and facilitate the implementation of public administration reform (PAR) priorities in Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. It also a good tool to share best practices and benchmarking activities.

Using the CAF provides an organisation with a powerful framework to initiate a process of continuous improvement:

  • A set of criteria, widely accepted across the public sector in Europe, enabling evidence-based assessment.
  • Managerial tools to facilitate decision-making, improve efficiency, and achieve organisational goals while supporting the planning, organisation, and leading teams effectively.
  • Opportunities to identify progress and outstanding levels of achievement.
  • A means to create enthusiasm among employees by involving them in the improvement process.
  • The possibility to integrate various quality initiatives into normal business operations.
  • The capacity to measure progress over time through periodic self-assessment with the link between the results to be achieved and supportive practices/enablers.

In order to develop a sustainable quality management strategy for the five countries in the Eastern Partnership Region a number of activities are planned in 3 stages:

  1. Building the foundations for a sustainable quality management approach by partnering in excellence.
  2. Elevating excellence by raising awareness and first steps in CAF and its use towards sustainable success.
  3. Piloting excellence & the shaping future: Piloting CAF in EaP countries.


The major objective in this step is to build the foundations for a sustainable quality management approach in the EaP region and the respective countries, by sharing experiences and lessons learnt from countries in the Western Balkan region and EU. 

 Key areas of discussion

  • Building the foundations for a sustainable quality management approach with the CAF.
  • Learning from administrations in the Western Balkans and the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA).
  • Learning from EU practices and the European CAF Resource Centre at the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA).
  • Preparing for the next steps in piloting the implementation of the CAF.




This stage focuses on promoting EU values and priorities and deepening the knowledge on the use of the CAF. This will be made possible through in-depth training from institutions whose management is committed to the CAF project. Second objective is to determine project leaders and potential coaches who will be responsible for the self-assessment within the organisation on an operational level. The coaches/project leaders from these organisations will be trained in the CAF, the model, but also how to apply the model, design the CAF approach to the pilots. The aim is that they carry out the self-assessment in their own organisation in a moderated manner, supported by the external experts. 


The primary objective of this phase centres around the tangible implementation of the CAF and the enhancement of quality orientation within the countries. The trained CAF coaches/project leaders will receive substantial support from external CAF experts, providing guidance on programme specifics, training methodologies, approaches, objectives, and related aspects, enabling them to take the lead in the CAF implementation phase. This phase can be viewed as the inaugural 'CAF Wave No. 1,' which will be succeeded by CAF/Quality Management events organised at either a country-specific or regional level at a later stage in order to disseminate and learn.



Related Documents