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Created by the Public Governance Directorate

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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After Government After Shock we invited event hosts to share with us recordings of their events, any write-ups of their event or some after-the-event reflections on their event and what they learnt. This blog post provides an easy reference point to help interested people navigate between these. You can also find these materials on the relevant event listing on the Government After Shock site. Event recordings We have created a YouTube playlist where you can find a...
The tale of the ‘erasable pen’ Say you have a doctor, an engineer, and a lawyer all sitting in a room. These three professionals work for the same firm and head office told them that company may now only operate with either pens or pencils. They have to make the decision. Their conversation goes like this: Engineer: I vote for more pencils because with pencils I can erase my mistakes if I make an error...
We suspect that the world does not need another toolkit. There, I said it. This hunch is reinforced when I am met with wincing but affirming smiles each time the topic emerges in conversation with public sector innovators. We want to move beyond the innovation toolkit Hi, my name is Angela Hanson, I am a design lead at the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI). My work involves innovation methods and tools, a topic...
The case for public sector innovation has been steadily growing for years. Citizens’ expectations continue to grow and evolve, and governments need to rethink and re-imagine how they deliver value to citizens. These were some of the strongest underlying themes that arose in the discussions at OPSI’s 2017 Innovation Conference. To make this a reality, governments cannot afford for innovation capabilities to be exclusively in the hands of hired private sector consultants or a select...
What roles can a politician play if they want to help promote, push or steer public sector innovation? Our focus here at the Observatory on Public Sector Innovation tends to concentrate on the public service side of things: what government organisations can do to develop and implement more sophisticated approaches to innovation. That involves looking at institutions (what are the frameworks and settings that allow/inhibit innovation), at organisations (how can different administrative practices…
This blog was authored by former OPSI Policy Analyst, Matt Kerlogue In my previous blog post, I set out the OPSI’s beta model of skills for public sector innovation, structured around six skill areas: iteration, data literacy, user centricity, curiosity, storytelling and insurgency. But providing an outline and description of these six areas is hardly sufficient to enable the uptake of these skills. Our work to develop the skills model, alongside the Observatory’s wider work...
GPS system came out of the US Defence Department. Same as ARPANET, the basis of the modern Internet. NASA scientists put the man on the moon. Point here? Public sector innovation does not happen by itself but grows out of people and organisations (and their rules) which made inventions possible. This is the point of departure of a recent report Fostering innovation in the public sector we have produced which explores the role that central government functions...
The case for innovation in the public sector is well known, but despite being on the agenda of governments for much of the past decade it often remains limited to small teams, scattered activities and/or high profile projects. Often these teams and projects involve external innovators and specialists being brought in to government to work on key projects. While governments will still need the expertise of external specialists – to ensure they maintain access to...
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