Youth I.D.E.A.S. 33
Governance and Constitutional Development
Nurturing Talent for Governance
26 August, 2018
Good public governance relies on people with outstanding talents performing their duties and exerting leadership skills in their positions. Those in public office, through making good decisions and effectively using public resources to resolve social problems, improve people’s livelihoods, gain the public’s trust and make society better. Developing a pool of talent for governance is getting more attention, with many governments around the world building talent pools in areas including talent identification, training, practice and experiences retention. Some governments have also strengthened their talent pools through various initiatives and plans to ensure continuity of governance.
Since the handover of Hong Kong in 1997, the Central Government has implemented the principle of “one country, two systems” in the city. Talent for governance has been in high demand. Chief Executive Carrie Lam has repeatedly and publicly emphasised the importance of good governance, and her administration has made some arrangements for a new style of governance.
Given the city’s increasingly complicated social development, along with the public’s higher expectations of people in office, it is understandable that its governance is not an easy job. In 2017, Hong Kong placed 27th in the governance section of an international survey on prosperity; a notable drop from 6th in 2009. A survey by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups in 2017 noted that 34% of respondents believed that Hong Kong lacked sufficient talent to fill up the posts of Politically Appointed Officials. It is difficult to find people of talent with the passion, capability and commitment to join the field of governance. This has also brought considerable challenges to the development of the governance talent pool in Hong Kong.
This study adopts a broader scope and definition when it comes to discussing the governance situation in Hong Kong. Direct participation in governance in the Hong Kong SAR Government mainly refers to those who exert various degrees of influence on public affairs through appointment, election or promotion in the civil service.
People who are now young will be the driving force behind governance in future. This research on the one hand makes reference to overseas experiences, and on the other hand grasps the perceptions of Hong Kong youth regarding the criteria and qualities that people need in order to be talented in governing Hong Kong. This research also explores important factors affecting prospective talents’ willingness to enter the field. Along with conducting exclusive interviews with experts in the field, this research makes recommendations for nurturing talent for governing the city. It is hoped that this study might drive young people to actively participate in the community and enlighten the SAR Government of good governance.
In conducting this research, data was collected for analysis through an on-site survey of 520 young people aged 18 to 34 from June to July 2018. Five parallel discussion groups were conducted with a total of 22 young people. Interviews with five experts were also conducted during the same period of time.
 The Chief Executive’s 2017 Policy Address. Paragraph 1.
 The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups. Youth I.D.E.A.S. Report No. 19 “Young People’s Views on the Performance of Political Appointments”. February 2017.