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Of people transforming the world: New publication on transformative literacy in public administration

News from Apr 26, 2021

The societal transformation towards sustainability confronts policy and administration with demands which can only hardly be coped with within the present efficiency-oriented problem-solving structures and working division of public administration. Sustainability - though being an originally environmental issue - cannot be tackled exclusively within environmental policy's responsibilities. The environmental administration and its officers thus need to adopt new working competencies. In their publication "Change from Within: Exploring Transformative Literacy in Public Administrations to Foster Sustainability Transitions", the authors develop a concept of transformative literacy. This concept gained from an comprehensive literature review was examined through the conduction of 17 interviews with officers from the Ministry for the Environment and from the Environmental Protection Agency in Germany. The interviews reveal that there are 4 competency types differing in terms of their distinctive perspectives regarding their own role and theories of societal and political change. The autors conclude that a collaborative mode among these types of actors to address the challenges of shaping transformations to sustainability can mobilize additional capacities by making use of their complementary skills and resources. The article suggests that this should be reflected in organizational reforms and in training programs for political administration.

You can access the publication here.

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