APPAM Conference: The Participants Share Their Opinions
On June 28-29 the APPAM International Academic Conference 'Improving the Effectiveness of Public Services' took place at the HSE. Below, some participants share their impressions.
Jacob Klerman, Principle Associate, Abt Associates, Cambridge Massachusetts, USA:
— For me this APPAM Conference is an opportunity to share what we have in the US with people from other countries, especially Russia and to see how people approach similar problems. I have seen here colleagues with different solutions to the same problems we are currently facing in the United States. As far as I can see the HSE wants to cooperate with us here.
— Why Russia is interesting for you?
— Russia is very different from the US in terms of the system of government and it is very interesting to see how people from Russia and from the US are dealing with these issues. People in Russia cope with some problems very effectively. There are many things for us to learn from here as well.
— The most interesting thing for me here is to interact with my peers and my colleagues from other countries, to learn from their experience, to share my experiences with them and to improve my level of knowledge. This Conference also provides me with an opportunity to identify new and innovative approaches to social problems. My own research is connected with measurement — how to measure the government’s effectiveness in democratic states. My HSE colleagues have conducted some interesting research in this sphere
— This year the APPAM Conference is being held here, at this University. Why?
— Russia and Russian research is interesting for us. The culture of the country is so different. It is also useful to see how the current government is trying to overcome the legacies of the past and how it is dealing with different demands on services from different cultures and cultural minorities.
— What are your impressions of the HSE?
— I was very happy to see students helping here. There are many students around. They all are very helpful. I've never been in Russia before and it is a fascinating country, I can see how the people at the Conference are patriotic, how they are proud of their country. But I must admit, Moscow is a very expensive city.
— What was interesting for you about the Conference?
The morning plenary was very good. I was running my own session and I’m pleased with how it went. I am interested in being able to meet with different people and to see how they deal with the problems I face. I think I'll contribute to some publications after the Conference .
— What were the most interesting papers for you at the Conference?
— It is hard to say “this was the most interesting” because everyone has done a very good job. There were a lot of papers that were very good. Meeting people and talking with them about their research and their ideas was extremely interesting. And being in Moscow. Some of the plenary sessions were fascinating. HSE and APPAM came together and decided that it would be good to do this here. The HSE is doing a lot of great things in terms of public administration and government.
— Which Russian papers particularly interested you?
— The Russian view as a whole is interesting for all of us. You are working with a very new perspective from the US. We are culturally different, we are historically different and that is why it is hard for me to say what is the most interesting thing about the research here. Everything is new for me.
— Probably a few recommendations for our students about something interesting to read?
— I think that students should look at popular journals and research journals. Students should keep an eye on many different media, not just textbooks
— What was particularly interesting for you about this Conference?
— For me, the most interesting sessions were papers about the evaluation public administration performance. There is currently not enough methodology to carry out this assessment. So I have seen two papers about this field and I think it is a very relevant and important theme.
— What papers do you think were the most interesting?
— I would have to say Jacob Clerman's research - he presented some very interesting ideas about assessment. Steve Kelman also presented a very good paper. I think that Alexei Barabashev gave a fascinating session about the special control system in Russia and the assessment of its effectiveness. It seems Russia has some very interesting methodology in this sphere.
Ekaterina Rylko, the HSE News Service