The National Resilience and Recovery Plan as the driving force for managerial innovation in public institutions. Reforms and the decisive role of human resources RIPM – Vol. 4 – no.2

Special Focus 

The National Resilience and Recovery Plan (NRRP) as the driving force for managerial innovation in public institutions. Reforms and the decisive role of human resources

RIPM – Vol. 4 – no.2 | 2021

Overview of the Special Focus

The Special Focus is the traditional thematic insight section of Rivista Italiana di Public Management (RIPM). The thematic focus represents a core part of our journal, as it sets the framework for reflections and debate on a topical issue by scholars, public and private managers, and the internal and external worlds of public institutions.

The Special Focus section corroborates one of the overarching principles of our journal: opening an arena of reflection in a specific domain, selected from time to time, towards which the most innovative activities of research and paradigmatic representation can be channelled under a multidisciplinary approach. Indeed, one of the specific features of our journal is the development of a predictive view of current and paradigmatic research topics to be analysed with a pluralistic perspective, through the convergence of a broad variety of scientific research and analysis approaches, i.e. economic, legal, political, philosophical, sociological, and anthropological.


Goals of the Special Focus

The Special Focus entitled The National Resilience and Recovery Plan (NRRP) as the driving force for managerial innovation in public institutions. Reforms and the decisive role of human resources substantiates the vision of our journal and of its editorial team, i.e. being firmly committed to achieving the fundamental goal of our journal: addressing the current issues of public institutions with a critical, proactive, and multidisciplinary approach.

The thematic focus chosen for the second issue of our journal in 2021 is unquestionably topical, considering the measures included in the NRRP, the implementation of which will require the commitment of the entire network of public institutions, i.e. of all levels of government. The Covid-19 emergency confirmed the centrality of public actions to protect quality of life, i.e. people’s well-being as a driver of change. Our government identified the reform of Public Administration – a wide spectrum of horizontal reforms enabling and supporting the plan and well responding to the intent of the European Union (EU) for the design of the plan – as a “cross-cutting” or “context” reform, i.e. a reform encompassing all the missions of the NRRP. Its key pillars, just as for any reform and any public investment covered by the NRRP, are social cohesion and good employment practices. The implementation of these pillars will depend, among other things, on the active participation of all people working within Public Administration bodies, including through the system of labour relations, as set forth in the pact for innovation of the civil service and social cohesion.

The goal of the Special Focus of this issue of our journal is to analyse the strengthening of organisational-managerial and reforming capabilities at peripheral, local, and central level from various viewpoints, highlighting theoretical as well as technical-operational approaches. The analysis will be centred on the four areas into which the programme of reforms and investments of the NRRP was divided: i) access, to streamline and make selection procedures more effective and more targeted, and to facilitate generational turnover; ii) good governance, to simplify rules and procedures; iii) skills, to align organisational knowledge and skills with the new requirements of the labour world and of modern governance; and iv) digitalisation, as a multifunctional tool to better implement these reforms. Hence, attention will be focused on these four areas of investigation and thinking, the central themes of which are those tools that are dedicated to the implementation, organisation, and management of the reforms and, in particular, to personnel policies. The pathways selected to enhance human capital will become a strategic lever for change to be managed from now on. They will certainly be central to the country’s processes of digital transformation and ecological transition that the NRRP will support, with a view to promoting a sustainable and long-lasting growth.

Which are the areas in which Public Administration can be enriched with new skills? Which are the skills that public institutions should have? Is it possible to adopt common rules and standards to identify and plan personnel requirements within Public Administration bodies? Are gender equality and equal opportunity amongst the objectives of Public Administration bodies, even for senior positions, as envisaged in the NRPP? Can communication be a tool to increase the power of attraction of Public Administration? How can the mechanisms of recruitment and selection be redesigned? What kind of support can be planned to enable Public Administration to accommodate new profiles? How can Public Administration redefine its tools to manage human resources? Which new roles and responsibilities should public managers take on in order to manage their human resources? Is it possible to rethink the structure of careers and remuneration? What is the combination of skills needed to strengthen mission units, task forces, and project activities? How can we facilitate mobility across the different Public Administration bodies and how can we develop mobility between the public and private sectors? Which performance monitoring and assessment tools should be adopted to improve results-based work? Which good practices can we identify to enhance the efficiency of Public Administration and its capability to make decisions and implement innovative projects? Given the experience acquired during the Covid-19 pandemic, how can we develop personnel policies that promote commitment by the personnel involved and, above all, take into account their exposure to overstress? How can we improve the system of managerial monitoring and control of work during the use of the NRRP? Which governance models are the most linear, considering the boundaries defined by the EU? Can public institutions capitalise on the experience that they acquired during the pandemic, for instance in terms of smart working? How can we establish a one-to-one relationship between managing spending and optimising the use of the NRRP resources with appropriate management tools? Which management styles are the most robust at a time of strong increase in the use of the economic and instrumental resources deriving from the NRRP?

These are some of the questions with which we wish to solicit contributions to our Special Focus. Our purpose is to prompt scholars, managers, and technical experts to explore an area that can generate a multiplicity of innovative viewpoints in terms of development of theories, analysis of phenomena, and reflection on the actions covered by the NRRP and on the related implementing legislative or regulatory measures.

We invite authors wishing to submit papers to identify an innovative research and study area in which a plurality of opinions can be expressed, i.e. by experimenting with contributions from multiple authors belonging to different scientific disciplines, when their overall contribution can reflect an effective synergy in proposing ideas, models, and interpretations of the topics covered.


How to submit a paper

Authors wishing to respond to the Call for papers – Special Focus – should submit their papers, mentioning the code (RIPM – Vol.4 – N.1 | Special Focus) in accordance with our editorial guidelines, to

The deadline for submitting papers is 20 Dec 2021.

The length of the paper should be 10,000 words, including tables and figures and excluding references; for the paper, use should be made of the attached template.

For our editorial guidelines, the template, and FAQs, click on the following section of our website:

Editorial guidelines – Rivista Italiana di Public Management