Brazilian Challenges Platform (PLataforma Desafios) is an initiative of the Government Innovation Division, GNova, of the National School of Public Administration (Enap), which offers help to public managers to innovate together with society, taking advantage of collective intelligence to reduce the insecurities of the innovation process and increase the chances of success. The Challenges Platform recognises, rewards and disseminates innovative solutions, through a process similar to crowdsourcing. The platform invites society to participate in building solutions to public problems and is an opportunity to build a cross sector collaboration to design better solutions and deliver public value.
The speed of changes is not slowing down, on the contrary, it keeps increasing. At the same time, traditional public procurement does not offer easy and fast means for incorporation of solutions built by startups or other technological businesses and institutes. It will only get more difficult for governments to keep up if we don't build arenas in which we can overcome, or bypass, the barriers posed by bureaucracy.
Creating environments that make possible cross-sector collaboration, with the aim of increasing the permeability of governments to the knowledge and technologies produced by society - whether by the market, academia or independent inventors. This is the reason why we created gov.br/desafios.
Desafios is an initiative of the Government Innovation Division - GNova, of the National School of Public Administration (Enap), which offers help to public managers to innovate together with society, taking advantage of collective intelligence to reduce the insecurities of the innovation process and increase the chances of success.
The Challenges Platform was launched in November 2019 and during the year 2020 it has recognized, rewarded and disseminated innovative solutions, through a process similar to crowdsourcing, in, among others, the following themes:
- How to make the administrative transport of civil servants more economical and effective?;
- Selection by competence for public positions;
- Data processing and artificial intelligence in judiciary decisions
- Detection of risks to mental health of public servants at work
- Monitoring and management of coping strategies during the COVID-19;
- Efficiency of the health system to face the pandemic;
- Mitigation of the socio-economic consequences of Covid-19;
Our first step for open innovation was to identify initial problems. Then, we started the process of understanding and reframing the problem in three steps: understanding the problem, going to the field and redefining the challenge. With the problem reframed, we identified the target audience of the challenge and designed the competition defining, among other things, what we hope to receive from the participants. We then launched the challenge.
We mobilize the innovation ecosystems that we identified when defining the target audience and await the receipt of proposals from participants. From there, proposals are evaluated, the winners are chosen and prizes are awarded.
In the current phase of the platform, Enap's vision for this project is to create an environment in which government agencies themselves engage in the open innovation agenda and promote their own challenges independently. Our goal is to promote an environment that stimulates cross sector innovation.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
For Enap, the launch of the Platform represented an advancement on a new frontier in the innovation agenda. This frontier brought us closer to users, the private sector and academia, promoted the breaking of information asymmetry and fostered the exchange of ideas and technology between sectors to seek the best solutions to public problems.
The platform supports government agencies that want to innovate in 3 dimensions:
- Understanding and reframing the problem
- In the construction of a public solver's journey and in the legal modeling of the competition
- In the communication and activation of proponent communities.
What is the current status of your innovation?
After just over a year of the project we managed to generate an impact and put Enap as a promoter of open innovation challenges. Despite this, in the current phase of the platform, the quest is to gain scale on the platform itself by building more standardized journeys, and by making content available that allows autonomy to those that wish to hold their competitions autonomously or with minimal participation from Enap.
The vision is for Enap to focus on articulating and promoting the competencies necessary to generate an environment favorable to open innovation.
Collaborations & Partnerships
Collaborations, partners, and beneficiaries are intertwined in this project that seeks to articulate the interests of society, companies and governments at different federal levels to generate public value. It all starts with a government demand, which can be a big problem that involves the whole country, or a local problem. The market for startups and govtechs is particularly encouraged to participate in the process that can be a showcase and a business opportunity.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
Open innovation in the public sector therefore allows for the creation of collaborative networks with other public and private organizations and to strengthen this innovation ecosystem. It diversifies ideas and generates knowledge, brings public administration closer to citizens and users in order to co-create solutions to problems that involve the community, builds technological capabilities and promotes new business.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
From its launch until the end of 2020 there were more than 2 thousand participants all over the country, who sent 704 proposals, of which 31 initiatives were awarded. 2.4 million reais were mobilized in prizes. Companies, startups, individuals and groups participated in the process.
The platform recognizes in the community the best proposals for solutions to a problem. But, the main impact generated by the platform was the desire for a change in the environment and the culture of innovation and public procurement in Brazil.
Challenges and Failures
For the good development of initiatives aimed at innovation with the participation of society, it is necessary that the Public Administration establishes strategies to stimulate the actors and markets that involve activities and services participating in the ecosystem that is to be reached. Always in accordance with the demands of society. However, there is no single and exclusive way to foster innovation and for the public sector to incorporate it into its activities. On the contrary, there are numerous viable alternatives in view of the different innovation systems and the existing legal-institutional framework.
In view of this scenario, one of the main challenges is the legal design of the innovation process, which allows innovation, while considering uncertainties and brings confidence to the process, both from the governmental bodies that deem the competition, as well as those who will submit proposals.
Conditions for Success
As the Platform is a crowdsourcing of solutions to public problems, the necessary condition for the success of the initiative is network management. Without being able to move the networks with the actors, startups, govtechs and other stakeholders, it will be difficult for good proposals to be presented and the expected impact will not be achieved.
For an interaction to occur in these networks, it is important that the actors are mapped and that the demanding public agency's leadership is engaged in the process. This is because in general the requesting public body is the one with the authority and credibility to launch the challenge to society.
It is an initiative that can be replicated by different institutions freely, including with other approaches and methodologies. Although, in the current phase of the platform, Enap's vision for this project is to create an environment in which government agencies themselves engage in the open innovation agenda and promote their own challenges independently.
The platform recognizes in the community the best proposals for solutions to a problem, but to get there, we need to overcome some problems, such as the legal uncertainty of the public agent in making decisions regarding the use of crowdsourcing as an innovation tool.
Other problems that need to be taken into account and overcome are with regard to intellectual property, reframing the problems that will be launched and the engagement of networks.
- Generating Ideas or Designing Solutions - finding and filtering ideas to respond to the problem or opportunity
21 July 2023