Partnership for Change



Policy areas

Organisation name Ministry of Public Administration

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Contact person: Urška Starc

The project ‘Partnership for Change’ represents an innovative practice where a strong partnership between the business sphere and public administration is built. The objective is to overcome the gap between business and public spheres, address long-lasting stereotypes about civil servants, enhance understanding about different goals and views, establish knowledge transfer between organisations and to build a strong partnership for addressing common challenges.

The project was first launched as a pilot in 2015 including five ministries and 30 national and international business companies. The project consists of a short-term exchange of employees from both sectors, and the creation of mixed teams to address preselected challenges and workshops for new competencies. It is coordinated by the American Chamber of Commerce in Slovenia and the Ministry of Public Administration.

The project uses an agile approach and continuously learns from different responses (companies, ministries, employees, observers, media) and puts a focus on communication, soft skills, emotional intelligence and not on the rules, procedures and contracts. Thus, by exchanging the employees from one sphere to another, the project improved motivation and engagement of employees, improved competencies and strengthened the partnership.

In general, the project targeted the areas with the biggest potential to improve: lack of creativity, openness and trust, slow implementation of modern approaches and no fun in the process. Therefore, the project launched an initiative and piloted a project to exchange employees for a week in 2015. From 2016, it upgraded the concept with workshops for specific competencies and mixed teams to create solutions for preselected challenges.

The project upgrades the partnerships for change every year. In addition to employee exchanges in cooperation with various stakeholders, the project solves challenges for a better business and living environment in Slovenia. As a result, the project increases motivation and engagement of employees on both sides and raised significant interest from the top-level managers and leaders (government, business).

In seven years, 280 employees in public administration and companies have already been exchanged, with the participation of 39 companies – almost all ministries. Last year, the project expanded the cooperation to the local level. Since its implementation, the project has significantly increased understanding and mutual trust, built strong partnerships and set a model for cooperation (to be used in drafting legislation, development activities, creation of new concepts, solving specific problems or challenges on the system level).

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