Conference theme:

Public Governance for Inclusive Growth: Accountability, Engagement, and Digital Transformation

          Across the globe, growth and productivity have fluctuated while people of both developed and emerging countries face rising levels of inequality as well as erosion of social cohesion. This has led to a global consensus on the need for a more inclusive and sustainable model of growth and development that promotes higher living standards for all. Central to the policy debate on the issue of inclusive growth is the ability of governments to put in place policies that deliver economic growth together with better sharing of the benefits among social groups. These benefits go beyond income to include inclusive outcomes across the different dimensions that matter for societal well-being, such as jobs, education, health, and other public services.

           The nature of inclusive growth itself demands strong government capacity to deal with complex problems as well as strong levels of policy coherence. Public governance, through the principles and mechanisms driving decision-making with accountability and engagement of stakeholders with the more advanced digital tools, can be a key reinforcement of sound and sustainable policy making for inclusive growth. This may require new approaches to policy making that cut across policy sectors and levels of governments with the aim of pursuing inclusive growth and development outcomes. In particular, a whole-of-government approach that aligns vision, incentives and delivery mechanisms across the policy-making cycle should be required.  

           Despite relatively brighter economic growth prospect for Asia-Pacific countries, at least in the near future, concerns over the issue of inequality and the sustainability of long-term growth that benefits all social groups remain strong and there are high demands for governments in the region to deal with this issue. The theme for 2020, therefore, focuses on the role of public governance that is central to the promotion of inclusive growth and development across the region. There are four main related issues presented in the following sub-themes.