Third international prize for Informal Pro-Active Approach Model

The Informal Pro-Active Approach Model for government services, introduced by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, has received another international prize, its third in a matter of months.

The project was commended by the EU and the UN as one of the best innovations in delivery of public services and recently the International Association for Conflict Management (IACM) conferred the title of Outstanding Application Paper on the submission by project leader Lynn van der Velden. The IACM invited Ms Van der Velden to present the project to a diverse international group of scholars and government representatives at its conference in Istanbul in early July. The international jury comprised professors of social psychology and conflict management.

In the Informal Pro-Active Approach Model, representatives of government organisations get in touch with members of the public, often by telephone, when they intend to take a negative decision or receive a complaint, objection or appeal. Civil servants maintain an open and interested attitude while discussing questions or problems and the best way to handle them with members of the public. Over 200 pilot projects are currently running at government organisations in the Netherlands.

As a result of this international attention for the model, the Danish Minister of Finance, with the assistance of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations decided to launch a number of pilot projects in Denmark aimed at increasing the amount of work that can be done by fewer civil servants. Since then, Norway and Sweden have shown interest in starting projects. During the conference this week, the US State Department and the Ombudsman of the United Nations indicated their interest in the project as well.