New capabilities for emerging challenges: How to build a responsive State


Thursday, September 24, 2020, 9:00am to 10:30am

To view the recording, click here

Speakers: María Margarita Zuleta, Dean at the School of Government, Universidad de los Andes; Matthew Andrews, Edward S. Mason Senior Lecturer in International Development, Harvard Kennedy School
Moderated by: Helena García Romero, President MIT Harvard Club Colombia and Vicepresident of the Colombian Private Council on Competitiveness

Colombia faces unprecedented challenges. In addition to existing needs and gaps in social and economic indicators within different regions, the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to control it have had a drastic impact on unemployment and poverty levels, as well as future negative impacts on education outcomes and gender parity. In order to face these challenges and have a sustainable recovery that positions Colombia on a higher development path, the State has to improve its capacity to provide services and to solve complex problems. This event brings together Professor Matt Andrews, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, and Maria Margarita (Paca) Zuleta, Dean at the School of Government at Universidad de los Andes, in a conversation on how to develop better capabilities in the public sector in Colombia.

María Margarita (Paca) Zuleta is a Colombian lawyer with 27 years of experience in projects development, 19 years in the private sector and 8 years in the Colombian government. She was part of a law firm in Colombia as associate and partner, a foreign associate in a NY law firm, and worked as inhouse counsel of private companies. In public sector she acted as Deputy Minister of Justice (2002-2003), Director of the Modernization and Transparency program of the Presidency of the Republic (2003-2004) and Director of the Public Procurement Agency of Colombia (2012-2017). Currently Paca is the dean of the School of Government of Universidad de los Andes (Escuela de Gobierno Alberto Lleras Camargo) where does research and consultancy work.

Matt Andrews is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy. His research focuses on public sector reform, particularly budgeting and financial management reform, and participatory governance in developing and transitional governments. Recent articles focus on forging a theoretical understanding of the nontechnical factors influencing success in reform processes. Specific emphasis lies on the informal institutional context of reform, as well as leadership structures within government-wide networks. This research developed out of his work in the provincial government of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa and more recently from his tenure as a Public Sector Specialist working in the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank. He brings this experience to courses on public management and development. He holds a BCom (Hons) degree from the University of Natal, Durban (South Africa), an MSc from the University of London, and a PhD in Public Administration from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

Helena García Romero is a Mexican economist and political scientist from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School. She is currently the Vicepresident of the Colombian Private Council on Competitiveness, a leading think tank on policy issues, where she specializes on productivity, green growth, innovation, and financing for firms. She has ample experience in public policy design and analysis. In the past she has worked as a researcher in Fedesarrollo and in the Mexican public sector.

Presented in collaboration with Harvard Kennedy School, Escuela de Gobierno de Los Andes, and MIT Harvard Club Colombia