Logo PlanAPP
Logo PlanAPP

Of the 37,000 PhD graduates in Portugal, of whom 27,000 received public support to obtain this academic degree, only 0.25% are working at the “heart” of Public Administration. At stake is an array of 44 Public Administration (PA) bodies with highly specialised decision support functions which advise and produce the necessary knowledge for adequate and informed governance. The figure was shared on 3 March by director of PlanAPP, Paulo Areosa Feio, during a speech at the conference “25 years of FCT: Advanced Training and PhDs”, held at the University of Aveiro.

“The extraordinary investment that the country has made in training its human resources translates into what some would call a “return on investment” of 0.25%. These figures serve as the basis of my speech. We have come a long way, with many notable successes, but we still have a long way to go in this specific area. And we are actively involved in this new path”, said Paulo Areosa Feio.

Another striking figure is that only 1.2% of the people working in the 44 decision support services are PhDs.

PlanAPP’s director also took the opportunity to draw attention to how the organisation he heads clearly stands out in the context of Public Administration: “The existence of a structure such as this, a competence centre which I have great pleasure in heading, is a new model in Public Administration that must be replicated and extended to many areas of governance and administration. At PlanAPP we are giving due attention to living up to our mission statement and action plan: we want PlanAPP to have a culture of knowledge, which implies endowing it with enough people with the right qualities and qualifications to promote this activity, and we have gone above and beyond in this aspect. Although we are only four months old, 10% of our employees have PhDs and a slightly higher number are doctoral candidates,” he said.

But Paulo Areosa Feio left a warning: “This is the path we want to take, but it must not be seen only in terms of attracting the right people. We need to have the capacity to make these highly qualified personnel feel comfortable in Public Administration.”