The activities of ReSPA
are funded by the EU

Training highlights


Workshop on Developing HR Strategies in Public Administration Institutions-pravi


Danilovgrad, Montenegro

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The thematic areas of all ReSPA mainstream activities will be formulated around six pillars, reflecting ReSPA objectives 2013-2015 and acting as an umbrella. Those thematic areas are:
1. Policy coordination;
2. EU integration/EU affairs;
4. eGovernment,
5. Ethics and Integrity;
6. Public Procurement.
ReSPA intends that its mainstream activities will be based on an assessment of the needs of stakeholders and will be designed to ensure that there is interconnectedness across the six pillars mentioned above. All of ReSPA’s mainstream activities will aim to achieve specified outputs, outcomes and impact, both within and across the thematic areas to ensure relevance to the system as a whole.
The particular topics and/or thematic areas that will be addressed within the HRM/HRD mainstream activities will be focused on:
• HR Strategies and developing HR Policies with focus on Recruitment and Retention, Managing Capacity building aspect in Public Administration
• Development of Learning and Development (L&D) strategies, including Personal Development plans (PDP).
• Leading and supporting change in organisations in order to improve the co-ordination mechanism for HRM/HRD at the level of the entire administration
It is recognised as important that all HRM/HRD processes and initiatives are developed as part of an overall people strategy which is aligned with, and designed to assist in the achievement of, the organisational strategy and goals.
The objective of the proposed HRM/HRD workshops, research projects and other initiatives is to improve the system of human resources management in the public administration of the Western Balkan Countries, through strengthening the capacities of the Community of Practitioners (CoP) in the HRM/HRD field, in order to ensure the continuity of the reform process. The workshops will also contribute to the overall aim of strengthening regional co-operation and exchange of good practices among beneficiary countries in the field of Human Resources Management and Development.
Outcome indicators for the workshops will include:
• Good practices exchanged at network events;
• Contribution to improved legislative framework documents (policies and procedures implemented in the beneficiaries);
• Number of prepared guidelines / Recruitment and retention policies developed / professional development plans developed;
• Strengthened regional cooperation.
In addition, ReSPA will provide various types of assistance and activities to the CoP in HRM/HRD members (Conferences, Regional Meetings, Workshops, Brainstorming Sessions, Publications, etc).
Background to the Workshop on Developing HR Strategies in May 2014 and the Option to Engage Action Research Projects and a Follow-up
Workshop in October 2014
Planning and the development of a HR strategy is a critical part of the HR process.
A HR Strategy is a co-ordinated set of actions aimed at integrating the organisations culture, organisation, people and systems in order to achieve organisational goals. HR strategy should be concerned both with the delivery of effective people management services and developing new people management policies and practices to ensure organisational effectiveness. It is therefore also about making decisions about what needs to change in relation to people management policies and practices and managing those changes.
The Workshop on “Developing HR Strategies in Public Administration Institutions -Recruitment and Retention Strategies and Workforce Plans” in May 2014 will provide a practical introduction to the process of HR Strategy development with a particular focus on the development of Recruitment and Retention Strategies and Policies and Workforce Plans for PA Institutions. Strategic human resources development is essential to the governance and management systems of all organizations of public administration. Human resource capacity building and development is critically needed both horizontally and vertically. The first focuses on domestic capacity building strategies, while the latter stresses capacity development in international relations, in particular, in effective functioning in the EU integration process.
The target audiences of the CoP on the HRM issues will be heads of Human Resource departments and respective officers/associates, experts and policy developers on HR issues.
Participants will gain the skills, theory and specialist knowledge needed to implement effective HR Strategies and develop Recruitment and Retention Strategies and Policies and Workforce Plans for their organisations.
On completion of the 3 day workshop participants will be provided with an opportunity to engage in action research projects and share their conclusions with participants at a future workshop to be held in ReSPA in October 2014.
 The programme will utilise experience and good practices with regard to already applied mechanisms and tools will be considered a valuable asset.
 ReSPA will make use and reflect on EU Country progress reports and Sigma assessment reports and priorities, in order to ensure the requirements are addressed.
 The activities will reflect national needs (identified in the strategies), but also, will encourage regional initiatives that will respond to national needs in domain of HRM. Consequently the programme will build on the priorities emerging from the participant group as they work together on common issues and challenges in the action research element of the programme.

May 2014 Workshop Content and Proposed Action Research Projects
The content proposed by this training is organised around the following core themes:
 A Framework for Reviewing Current HR Strategy, Recruitment and Retention Strategies and Workforce Plans
 Designing and Developing a HR Strategy, Recruitment and Retention Strategies and Workforce Plans
 Action Research Projects to be undertaken by participants in the period June to October 2014
Firstly, the programme will provide participants with a framework for reviewing current practice in the areas of HR Strategy, Recruitment and Retention Strategies and Workforce Planning
Secondly, the programme will explore in depth some of the key components of effective HR Strategies, Recruitment and Retention Strategies and Workforce Plans, with focus on:
 selection processes in particular assessment methods and interviewing techniques;
 supervision and monitoring of recruitment and selection processes by central management institutions;
 contribution of civil service competency frameworks to recruitment and selection processes.
Thirdly, the programme will enable participants to share insights and perspectives on current practice in PA Institutions in the Western Balkans.
Fourthly, an optional part of the design of this programme is that participants will be provided with the option to engage in action research projects at the conclusion of the 3 day Workshop in May 2014 and will ideally present their findings at a further Workshop to be held in ReSPA in October 2014. We define action research as a process whereby a group works collaboratively on a real-life issue in their workplace, to facilitate change and contribute to organizational learning. 1 Development of Guideline for Interviewing Techniques would be one of the key actions within the framework of the home-based assignment. Furthermore, the participants will be provided with a choice to propose and select other action project initiative that should be a result of the workshop discussion, and will be identified by the participants as a real challenge.
Within the group of 21 participants, a number of learning sets will be established. The sets will provide a powerful vehicle for participant centred and directed learning based on the principles of action learning and action research. The challenge is for the learning to be captured through listening and speaking to others and brought back to organisational life through project work. This will require considerable inter-workshop activity by participants. The methodology and process for successful sets will be demonstrated during the May Workshop in ReSPA and there will be on-going facilitator support for sets from the IPA Facilitators and the Regional Expert.


By the end of the Programme it is envisaged that participants will:

-Have an appreciation of best practice in relation to Developing HR Strategies, Recruitment and Retention Strategies and Workforce Plans and for Public Administration Instructions
-Have a framework for reviewing existing approaches and developing HR Strategies, Recruitment and Retention Strategies and Workforce Plans
-Have agreed the terms of reference and objectives for an action research project to be pursued and reported on at a subsequent ReSPA workshop in October 2014.
Specific Objectives in relation to HR Strategy Development will include:
-Identifying the key characteristics of an effective HR strategy;
-Clarifying the issues that need to be addressed in developing an effective HR strategy;
-Establishing a clear process for integrating people management with business / organisation strategy;
-Reviewing existing practice and ensure future practice helps to sustain current and future organisational performance;
-Questions to consider when diagnosing priorities for an HR strategy;
-A checklist for implementing strategy;
-Building an HR strategy that engages the organisation in delivering that strategy;
-Identifying a set of metrics or key performance indicators appropriate to measuring the success of HR strategy
-Developing strategies for personal effectiveness to ensure successful implementation of HR strategy.
Specific Objectives in relation to Recruitment and Retention Strategies will include:
-Identifying barriers to finding and keeping staff;
-Determining solutions to overcome the barriers;
-Explore examples of good practice to show how changes can be made to current recruitment and retention policies and practices;
-Selection processes in particular assessment methods and interviewing techniques:
-The contribution of civil service competency frameworks to recruitment and selection processes.

Specific Objectives in relation to Workforce Planning will include:

-Making the link between organisational strategy and performance, and workforce planning;
-Identifying key service demands and priorities (including improvements to services and processes);
-Analysing workforce supply issues, including workforce profile, location, competencies etc.;
-Examining ways to ensure best fit between organisational demands and workforce supply in the short and medium-term;
-Developing Competency Frameworks as a tool for workforce planning.

Specific Objectives in relation to Option of Action Research Projects
Following the 3 day workshop in May 2014 participants will be engaged in action research projects. These projects would aim to focus on:
-A critical review of current policy and practice in relation to HR or Recruitment and Retention Strategies or Workforce Planning in their Public Administration Institutions utilising the skills, theory, knowledge and the models explored in the course of the May workshop;
-The development of a HR Strategy and /or Recruitment and Retention Strategy and/or Workforce Plans in selected PA institutions;
-The development of a Framework for Recruitment and Retention including Guidelines for Selection / Interviewing Techniques
-A set of recommendations and a blueprint for action appropriate to Public Administration Institutions in the Western Balkans.
Participants will be provided with extensive handout material, tools and frameworks which they will be able to use in reviewing and developing their HR and Recruitment and Retention Strategies and Workforce Plans.
It is expected that ideally participants will be in a position to share their results at a subsequent workshop to be held in ReSPA in October 2014.

Target group

This three-day workshop on Developing HR Strategies in Public Administration Institutions will be of interest to HR Practitioners and Senior Officials engaged in HR strategy and policy development in Public Administration Institutions in the Western Balkan Region.
Participants will be required to engage in group discussion and information sharing exercises during this workshop and be open to analysis and feedback, both from the facilitators and their co-participants.

Ideally participants will have at least 5 years experience of working in the area of HR strategy and policy development. Equally, it would be our hope that participants would be in a position to apply the knowledge and skills developed during the workshop on their return to their work organisations and would ideally be prepared to engage in action research with colleagues in an action learning set over the months June to October 2014.
Participants from the following institutions are encouraged to apply: Ministry for Public Administration, Ministry for EU integration, State HRM institution, etc.  

Workshop trainers

The 3 day programme will be directed and presented by two international experts from IPA Ireland and one regional expert. Both of the IPA facilitators have a Human Resource Management background and will draw on their own experiences in the management and conduct of effective implementation of HR policies, conflict resolution and change management from both a theoretical and practical perspective in Ireland and abroad.
Edwin Maguire, Senior Human Resource Specialist and Director of the IPA / Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Programmes, Institute of Public Administration, Dublin
Edwin is currently responsible for leading a team of HR Specialists in the IPA who are engaged in the design and delivery of a range of HR training and consultancy projects.
Edwin has lead the development of HR Strategy in a number of Government Departments and Agencies and as a consultant been engaged in the review of HR policy and Practice in a number of Public Administration institutions in Ireland and Internationally.
Edwin is also the Director of the IPA/CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development) accredited Certificate and Diploma training courses in Human Resource and Learning and Development Practice. Among the programmes which Edwin has designed and delivered are: Recruitment and Selection Interviewing, Performance Management/Appraisal, Grievance and Discipline Management, Absenteeism / Attendance Management, Health and Safety Management, Job Analysis and Grading and Negotiating Skills.
He worked previously as a lead negotiator for a management / employer body and also for a public sector Trade Union representing nursing personnel. Edwin has a particular interest and expertise in change management and employee engagement.
Edwin is a Chartered Member of the CIPD.
Marie Brady, Senior Leadership and Management Specialist, Institute of Public Administration, Dublin
Marie Brady has a civil service background, where she worked as an Economic Analyst, and has been with the IPA for over 20 years. She has designed and delivered a broad range of leadership and management development programmes across the public sector, and has been an early advocate of action learning. Marie often works in culturally diverse setting, e.g. the European Parliament and Commission, the Middle East and Africa. She works regularly in collaboration with consultants from other organisations when the assignment requires it.
Marie currently directs workforce planning programmes for the public sector, where practitioners acquire tools and techniques, and are then given on-the-ground support to draw up feasible workplace plans for their organisations. In addition, she has directly facilitated workforce planning processes in several public sector organisations.
Marie is qualified in advanced organizational consultancy and often works with Chief Executives and senior groups to develop policy and strategy. She also delivers team development initiatives.
Marie has a particular interest in programme evaluation. She has lectured at postgraduate level and acted as a university external examiner for several years.
Marie’s educational and professional qualifications include B. Sc., University Colleage Dublin; M. Sc. (Public Policy Analysis), Trinity Colleage, Dublin; MBA (Health and Social Services), Nuffield Institute, Leeds; Advanced Organisation Consulting, Tavistok Institute, London; and Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Workforce Planning, University of West London. Marie is a qualified practitioner in Myers Briggs, Belbin Team Roles and Emotional Intelligence Instrument.
Margarita Ivanova, Regional Expert / Trainer
Margarita has over 15 years of training experience, and more than 12 years of project management experience. She has worked on different international projects and she has clear understanding of the working methods and responsibilities of the various organizations and institutions – Government, NGO Sector, and Public Administration.
Margarita is CIPD qualified and experienced in HR consultancy, especially on introduction of Performance Management, Recruitment, Training and Job Description. Specific skills in this area, especially in training, include development and delivery of training on soft skills, motivation, leadership, staff management. She has 10 years of professional experience in training and staff development projects, mainly in civil service and public employee training, career development and succession planning.
Margarita worked previously on many projects in various positions, being a HR Local Consultant in DFID PAR Project, Deputy Team Leader on Technical Assistance EU funded project, OSCE contracted trainer, etc. Currently she is involved in designing and delivering training on implementation of the Methodology for Assessment of the Quality of Institutions including the process of presenting an award of excellence in Macedonian administration.


The workshop will be delivered through a combination of short lecture style inputs; PowerPoint presentations; video input; participant-centred classroom discussion and a range of practical exercises including one-to-one role plays of appraisal interviews. Participants will be provided with supporting handout material and details of further reading and references. The facilitators will, in particular, draw on their experiences of the successes and failures of various systems of performance management in Ireland and elsewhere. It is also envisaged that the Regional Expert will be able to provide insights into the HR policies and practices of effective people management, workplace negotiation and conflict resolution and change management in the Western Balkans and comment on the relevance of the proposed approaches and techniques for local public sector organisations.

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