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Local government reform. The Astrakhan experience

One of the main events of the International Municipal Investment Forum Southern Dialogue in Astrakhan was the panel session "Integrated Approach To Development of Control System In The Region."

Participants of the discussion shared their experience in the field of implementing advanced methods for improving management systems at the regional and municipal levels.

Administration of the Municipality "City of Astrakhan" with the consulting support of RANEPA implemented and represented solutions in the context of the session for adopting modern management technologies in the work of local government bodies through the example of a pilot project.

Speaking about the project, RANEPA Vice-Rector, Dmitry Butashin, noted that the city has become a platform for improving specific areas of the staffing concept in the sphere of state administration that RANEPA implements on behalf of President of the Russian Federation.

"The municipality is implementing such technologies of project management and personnel policy that will be applied tomorrow throughout the country. Therefore, I would like to thank Oleg Polumordvinov, the head of administration, and his team for their initiative and implementing such a important project for the first time ever. It is important that we have an understanding on the development of cooperation, and we hope that we will take the necessary take in 2018 that help us bring the management of the region and its municipal entities to a new level," he says.

It was noted at the session that RANEPA is an initiator and operator of the changes that are required to significantly improve the quality of public administration. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to focus the work of the state power system on strategic priorities — among them ordering in the documents of strategic planning, state programs and indicators of system performance.

The Change Management Center has been created in the structure of the Presidential Academy. Its main goal is not only development of solutions, but also implementation of projects before they are completed with a guaranteed result. The decision of further extension can be taken only after approbation of technologies and obtaining real results.

Alexey Shipov, Director of the Change Management Center at the Higher School of Public Administration of RANEPA, and Partner of Alliance Consulting, highlighted that the management system is a competitive advantage for any region today.

The world is so changeable and complex that our management approaches are becoming the key to success: quick reaction, the ability to change, work in conditions of constant changes. Moreover, should enjoy these things.

I am convinced that this is true both for individual organizations and for entire territories," he points out. Ilya Sheburakov, the dean of the Department for Assessment and Development of Management Personnel at the Public Administration High School of RANEPA, spoke in detail about the work that was done by the experts of the Presidential Academy in Astrakhan.

"We have carried out a comprehensive resource analysis of the city administration team — both heads of structural units and ordinary employees were selected as candidates for participation in project teams. The main goal is to find out the potential talent pool. Research results have already been sent to the head of the municipality," he says.

According to Ilya Sheburakov, strengthening, training and team development, leadership and delegation of authority, forming a program of municipal development of managers to reduce the staff deficit were key experts’ recommendations.

Representatives of the city administration stressed that the implementation of the project on forming the management team and introducing project-oriented management had already brought first results. New tools were used for effective implementing federal programs "Urban Environment" and "Safe and High Quality Roads." Particular attention was paid to the problem of involving the population in the state administration, providing feedback for its assessment, and the matter of leadership.

In this regard, the head of administration of the Municipality "City of Astrakhan" Oleg Polumordvinov expressed the opinion that the team should not consist of one absolute leader.

"A leader should raise up leaders, distribute leadership within the team and clearly understand if his team can carry out tasks. In addition, leaders should pay great attention to effective interaction between structural divisions. I am not a supporter of any revolutions and I have nothing against the necessity to change the whole team when forming a new management system. On the contrary, I am sure that it is important to let our team change, learn, grow professionally," he adds.

The head of the municipality also noted that a large research was carried out within the administration in 2017, and the project was implemented in two federal programs "Safe & High Quality Roads" and "Housing services & Utilities and a Comfortable Urban Environment.”

“Now we are summing up the results. We are pioneers in this field, but we already can share our experience with others," Oleg Polumordvinov says.

Following the discussion, Aleksey Shipov, a moderator of the panel session, underlined that a comprehensive approach is necessary for successful developing the control system of the municipality and the region.

"At present, two pilot projects are being implemented now — project management and human resources. The presidential administration expects results from the city in order to show their experience throughout the country. This is the contribution of Astrakhan to this global project," he concluded.

The International Municipal Investment Forum Southern Dialogue will take place in Astrakhan on October 12-20 for the second time. The Forum will be organized by the Government of Astrakhan Oblast, Administration of the Municipality "City of Astrakhan," and RANEPA.

The forum was mainly dedicated to urbanism and urban space planning, as well as systematic development of municipalities and youth talent pool.