For the Latin American Group for Public Administration (LAGPA), a regional entity of IIAS, these last two years have been extraordinary, due to the changes in the ways of seeing and facing a life that the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed. Although the circumstances have been completely different from previous years, our activities have not been less intense. Indeed, due to the confinement, social distancing, and uncertainty inherent in facing several waves of COVID-19, we have had to be more resilient and seek other ways to stay in contact with our entire network, through events and the exchange of experiences in our diverse countries. This is how regular weekly academic meetings arose at the end of 2020, which become monthly events this year. There was a total of 23 of these meetings, whose themes always had the COVID-19 pandemic as a cross-cutting theme.

LAGPA is a network of academics, practitioners, and students, fully aware of the need for a regional platform where we can exchange perspectives, experiences, and practices, whether successful or not, and for an academic forum where specific topics can be expressed.

Other outreach and growth activities, carried out during this period of mandatory lock-down included webinars as part of the launching of the PhD in Public Policy of the Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia), as well as the presentation of intellectual publications by members of the network.

Within the academic activities of LAGPA, it should be noted the Journal of Public Administration RAP-GLAP is already preparing its ninth edition, to be published in December 2021; the editorial board is working on its indexing.

Regarding our conferences, it is important to highlight that our group annually gathers its members around a table of experts to discuss topics of interest to the region, which distinguishes it from other IIAS entities.

For example, the LAGPA 2020 Conference, sponsored by the Escuela Superior de Administración Pública (ESAP) and Universidad del Valle, which had been scheduled to take place in Bogota, was held, in virtual mode, from October 19-22, 2020. Participants discussed topics such as Pandemic COVID-19 - Public policy responses and risk management; Transformations in public administration: Governance and technologies; and Deconstructing inequalities:

  • The role of public policies and social movements in building inclusive societies in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Latin American Group for Public Administration (LAGPA) was established to promote the capacity of governments committed to the democratic rule of law, which permanently seeks the welfare of societies in the countries of the region and promotes the administrative culture in government institutions and public servants in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to their individual features and educational and technological possibilities.

I invite you to move forward to become a key promoter of administrative culture at the regional level and contribute to the furtherance of the values and activities of IIAS.

Ruben Dario Echeverri Romero
LAGPA President