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This website was created by the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI), part of the OECD Public Governance Directorate (GOV).

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OECD Declaration on Public Sector Innovation – Public Consultation Open through 22 February

Declare to Innovate

The OECD’s Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) is seeking comment and input on the draft text of a Declaration on Public Sector Innovation. The consultation process will be open until Friday 22 February 2019 and you can contribute on the collaborative consultation platform. Questions about the consultation may be directed to [email protected].

This draft Declaration has been prepared with the belief that governments should innovate in order to serve people, and to serve them better. It has been drafted with the knowledge that governments are already innovating, but recognising that there is further to go. It seeks to set out some shared principles that reflect what has been learnt by the OECD from country experiences.

The Declaration has been drafted in close cooperation with country representatives, through the OPSI National Contact Points, and through the OECD’s Public Governance Committee. However, innovation is about learning, and the Declaration will be made stronger if it is informed by the insights and experiences of a wider audience of public sector innovation practitioners.

The below material provides some background about the draft Declaration that may help inform contributions through the consultation portal. A PDF version of the draft Declaration is also available for reviewing purposes.

What is an OECD Declaration?

Declarations are OECD legal instruments, which are prepared within the Organisation, generally within a subsidiary body. They usually set general principles or long-term goals and have a solemn character. Unlike OECD Decision or Recommendations, Declarations are not adopted by the OECD Council but by individual governments acting together in the OECD framework. Further information about OECD Legal Instruments is available on the OECD website.

Given the ongoing learning nature of innovation, an OECD Declaration is therefore a means of setting out general principles without being prescriptive. The principles are intended to reflect some of the common foundational elements that drive innovation in the public sector while recognising that each country approach varies depending on different national goals and administrative settings.

Rationale for developing a Declaration

Overall, OPSI’s work has shown a number of reasons that bring about the need for a Declaration. The key factors are:

  1. Governments should innovate in order to serve people, and to serve them better
  2. Governments are already innovating, but there is more to be done
  3. The characteristics of innovation make it difficult to embed as a practice
  4. A more deliberate approach is required
  5. A deliberate approach should reflect the challenges confronting Government
  6. A multi-faceted approach to innovation is needed
  7. Supporting a portfolio approach involves maintaining diverse capabilities
  8. Innovation readiness, to innovate for today and tomorrow, demonstrates system maturity and resilience

We discuss each of these factors on the consultation page. In addition to the text of the draft Declaration, we also welcome your thoughts on our rationale for developing one.

Click here to review the draft Declaration and add your thoughts