The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is an important result of the cooperation within the EUPAN-Network. Starting as model for quality management in the public sector in the year 2000 CAF is a unique standard for excellent public governance in Europe. More than 4000 public sector organizations have used CAF in 55 countries and around 200 CAF Effective Users Labels have been assigned. The CAF 2013 version has been translated into more than 28 languages.
At the end of 2017, the CAF Correspondents decided to update the model. The aim is to present the new version in 2020. So far, several steps have been taken, starting with the working group meeting in Tallinn in September 2017, the April 2018 CAF User Event that took place in Bulgaria, the working group meeting in October 2018 in Vienna till the last working group meeting in Bucharest in May 2019. Looking ahead, the Finnish presidency is already fixing dates for a two-day meeting in Helsinki in October 2019, which will be pivotal to finalise the remaining criteria of the CAF model. During the past year and a half, the CAF Correspondents have agreed on the revision of the first five criteria of the model. These criteria were discussed for a final time in Bucharest. The next steps will also see the involvement of the Italian delegation that is planning to host a meeting for the CAF core group as well as a web meeting to continue working on the revision of the model.
The on-going interest in the CAF model was also shown by each CAF Correspondent that presented the CAF activities in their own country during the last meeting in Romania. There seems to be an overall use of the model in ministries and public administrations, in fact, each CAF correspondent presented their strategies to increase the number of users. Overall, the implementation of an online platform to attract new users, share good practices and keep citizens informed of any upcoming CAF event seems to be the best way to increase the number of participants in the network. As well as this, many member states are utilizing EU structural funds to promote projects aimed to promote the use of CAF in their ministries and public administrations. Currently, the number of registered users in the CAF Database is up to 4074 across all the Member States.
The European Institute of Public Administration, which is the home of the CAF Resource Centre, is continuously promoting the CAF Network by:
- hosting the CAF webpage and the user database;
- providing support to the CAF Correspondents;
- awarding the Effective User Label to those countries that do not have a National Centre;
- organising training activities on CAF.
The next two-day seminar on CAF will be held in Maastricht on 22–23 May.
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