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The Spider: Bogota’s Public Innovation Strategy


Public innovation Labs have been at the forefront of the transformation of public innovation ecosystems in different countries and cities. However, they are knowingly sensitive to changes in public administrations and to political decisions. Our Spider strategy (Araña) seeks to strengthen and give sustainability over time to public innovation based on the creation of networks and ecosystems and the non-exclusive dependence on innovation units or Labs, thus diminishing the related aforesaid risks.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

La araña is a strategy aimed to create a public sector innovation network ecosystem that is sustainable over time and that is independent from innovation laboratories as the only means for the generation of innovation in government. Each of the parts of the "Spider" has a fundamental sense of purpose:

-The Spider's first leg as a fundamental base: The first leg represents the "institutional framework" that sustains innovation in Bogota, this framework is represented by the District Development Plan represented by specific actions and goals for public innovation; 15-year public policies related to technology, innovation and human talent; and Bogota's public innovation index that will be measured for the next 15 years.

- The second leg is represented by the "Public Innovation Governance Model". It is a non-hierarchical, decentralized and territorial model made up of 10 public entities that develop actions related to public innovation. The members of the "Governance Model" meet three times a year, and in these meetings they socialize the activities developed, articulate joint actions and manage knowledge. Periodically, progress reports are generated on the status of each entity's actions.

-The third leg is the "innovation services" that this model provides to public entities and citizens. In this sense, each of the 10 entities that are part of the governance model develop actions aimed at providing the following services: 1. Enabling public innovation through the development of lectures, talks, and innovation enablement in their entities; 2. Public procurement for innovation; 4.Co-creation and prototyping services and sectorial experimentation; 5.Behavioral science experiments; 6.Open innovation hub with startups of public interest; 7.Development of digital transformation projects; 8.Civic innovation, open government and local innovation. These services allow categorizing the offer of the entities according to their institutional lines and goals.

-The fourth leg is related to activities on Knowledge Management and Generation of Indicators. The activities related to this leg allow the systematization and socialization of lessons learned and good practices of the entities, as well as the generation of fundamental indicators.


The body of the spider is formed by our methodology based on the double diamond (based on systemic thinking, behavioral sciences) that permeates the entire Spider, seeking that all actions developed by the members of the ecosystem never lack user-centeredness, collaboration and experimentation. Furthermore, the eyes of the Spider are the representation of the work done by the Public Innovation Laboratory of Bogota (IBO), as an articulating entity, which seeks to support the activities of other entities. However, it is worth noting that this model seeks that all entities have the same weight and participation.


The purpose of the network is that the entities can interrelate and generate joint actions, but it also has the purpose of "capturing" them so that it is very difficult for them to leave the network. On the other hand, an analogy is also made with the eyes of the Spider, to the extent that there is not just one eye but several, seeking that any entity in the future can take the position that iBO occupies as an articulator of the ecosystem.

Innovation Description

What Makes Your Project Innovative?

The project is innovative because it addressed the issue of sustainability of innovation over time, while leaving aside traditional hierarchies within public entities; in that sense, it distributes services and actions by entities; it is responsible to the extent that it raises actions for knowledge management and evaluation. It is also innovative because it shows public innovation in a more comprehensive and broader way, than if it were only led by an innovation laboratory.

Innovation Development

Collaborations & Partnerships

The Mayor of Bogota, Claudia Lopez, ICT High Councilor, Felipe Guzman, as well as public servants from different entities that make up the ecosystem. This model has been supported by entities such as CAF and Bloomberg Philanthropies in the framework of iTeams.

Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

-Citizens: They are the ones for whom the innovative services developed by the ecosystem are designed.

-Companies and enterprises that are invited to participate in innovation exercises, as well as in Public Procurement for Innovation processes.

-Public servants as people who lead and promote public innovation in cities.

Innovation Reflections

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

Some figures on Bogota's public innovation ecosystem:

+50 public servants participate in the governance model.
+40 innovation goals to be met by 2022
+50 activities to be developed to meet goals in 2022
+17 "flagship" projects to be carried out in 2022
50% fulfillment of goals by July 2022

Bogota's public innovation index increased from 36.7 to 41.28.

Challenges and Failures

One of the great challenges has been the generation of indicators to measure the progress of the ecosystem, as well as the design of a tool that allows the active participation of all for the monitoring of these indicators. An additional layer of complexity was added when requesting information from the different public entities in addition to the requests for information by iBO.  On the other hand, another fundamental issue has been the standardization of tools for an adequate knowledge management of the entities, since each entity manages its own processes and activities.

Conditions for Success

-The generation of tools for following-up, monitoring and evaluating of the ecosystem's actions, taking into account the need to generate confidence across decision-makers and citizens.

-The strengthening of meeting spaces and knowledge management of the ecosystem actors, seeking to share lessons learned, good practices, among others.

-One of the success factors for the future is to be able to hold meetings of the ecosystem from a managerial level, with the Mayor of Bogota as the leader of the meeting. One meeting per year with the heads of the 10 entities.


The Spider strategy is replicable to any local and national government, which wants to seek its sustainability over time to the extent that it is specially designed to be applied in the public sector. Currently it has not been replicated by anyone else.

Lessons Learned

Although each entity that is part of the ecosystem has its own institutional goals, joint goals should be sought to directly target actions to be developed as an ecosystem. For example, the development of joint innovation actions to solve problems related to the Sustainable Development Goals, the increase of local and national public innovation indicators.

Year: 2022


Level of Government: Local government


  • Developing Proposals - turning ideas into business cases that can be assessed and acted on
  • Implementation - making the innovation happen

Innovation provided by:


Date Published:

21 November 2022

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