Themes and Issues


1. Participatory Budget and Citizen Engagement  
Participatory budgeting and citizen engagement have been advancing as important instruments of a comprehensive and accountable governance and they have been implemented in several ways in many developed and developing countries around the world. Through these initiatives, citizens have the opportunity to gain personal knowledge of government processes, as well as exercise social accountability and contribute to build bottom up policies in many different areas of government.  What are the advances and limitations of participatory budgeting and citizen engagement around the world in terms of  improving research findings, guiding policy makers and practitioners to develop such practices in the interest of democratic governance? 


2. Transparency and Open Government
The impact of transparency and openness on the performance of public servants and quality of the public sector has been widely discussed. There is empirical evidence supporting the claim that transparency enhances the government's effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. To what extent does transparency and open government increase the relationship between public administration and society? How does transparency affect the quality of governance in the public sector? Are there different experiences of citizen engagement with the government? 


3. Quality of Public Expenditure in the Federative Environment
Considering every country presents different levels of public expenditures, as well as different practices of money disbursement, participants can discuss public expenditures within their countries' contexts. What concrete socio-economic impacts have resulted from corruption, lack of efficiency, political instability and abuse of institutional power? 


4. Public Policies in the Local Context
The literature iin social science has shed light on the importance of considering the local context in assessing the effectiveness of public policies. What are the proven effective tools and techniques to improve the design and implementation of development policies? Are there best practices in public policy implementation that could be adapted to various regions of the world? 


5. Conditional Cash Transfer and Humanitarian Programs
A number of policies and programs have been implemented in order to mitigate social problems such as digital divide, social disparities, health conditions and deficiency in access to public goods and services. Is there empirical evidence supporting the effectiveness of conditional cash transfer and humanitarian programs? 


6. Public Private/nonprofit Partnerships
Could Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) provide long-term employment solutions to marginalized community members? From a corporate social responsibility perspective, what are the threats and opportunities for improving career readiness for individuals who have been socially and economically underprivileged? 


7. Academic Institutions and Social Equity
Is there evidence of moving from research to policy and best practices to improve the lives of  individuals in marginalized communities? What are some of the tested theories which practitioners could rely on while designing concrete strategies to break the cycle of poverty? Could embracing an interdisciplinary action research paradigm lead to better strategies for fostering sustainable development?


8. Public sector performance and behavior 
What are the best benchmarks for performance measurement in assessing the sustainable development goals? Are there best practices for holding public managers accountable when implementing sustainable development programs? How could  Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) be used to track public managers performance?