This case was submitted as part of the Call for Innovations, an annual partnership initiative between OPSI and the UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation (MBRCGI)
HubGov is an interinstitutional program of innovation in Government that has the participation of institution from the three spheres and three powers. Through a learning trail in innovation and intrapreneurship skills, each institution comes up with a complex challenge and at the end of the program presents a solution proposal to this challenge.
WeGov is a private company which spreads the culture of innovation in public institutions, through workshops, events and programs. We present ourselves as a Learning Space for the Government and our actions are driven by our three principles:
- “Empowering public employees”
- “Enlightening scalable ideas and actions in the public service”
- “Fostering interinstitutional relationship among public employees of the three spheres of government and the three branches of power”.
The HubGov program was created to bring together different kinds of public institutions and public employees of different areas and contexts. During 4-6 months, we went through a process similar to the one that ‘startup accelerator: starting with an institutional challenge and had access to mentoring, coworking space, the possibility to connect with intrapreneurs of other public institutions, trainings on innovative topics, methods and tools, and learned how to work collaboratively.
In addition to face-to-face activities, HubGov has a virtual platform that organizes the different contents covered in the program and allows interaction between Hubgovers. Everything was built in order to keep the public sector up to date with society changes. The motto of the program is: “more than innovations, we need to create innovators”.
The program was carried out with 14 public institutions and 55 public servants from Florianópolis/SC. In 2018, it launched the program in four brazilian states (Santa Catarina, Goiás, Brasília and São Paulo), counting with 26 public institutions and 120 public servants. Additionally, HubGov conducted the programme with the Federal Court of Santa Catarina, which had 55 public servants participating, and now we are currently performing the program with the Federal Court of Espirito Santo.
Since 2017, they have had 41 institutional teams, 19 public institutions (some of the institutions participated in more than one edition) integrating this network of 225 public innovators formed by the HubGov Program. The goal of the program was to provide public employees with the tools to innovate and cultivate in them the will to innovate. Yet, some of the projects developed will be implemented by their institutions and some have already been started, running or delivered.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
The interinstitutionality and intersectoriality of the is program is the innovative aspect because, when bringing public institutions from different spheres and levels of power and bringing together public servants in a horizontal structure, it allows the co-creation and collaboration between projects focused on the citizen. In this manner, public employees are empowered, we were shown ways to create a proper environment for innovation to flourish in the public sector.
What is the current status of your innovation?
By the date of this submission, the HubGov program already completed 3 editions successfully (2017, 2018 and the In Company mode with the Federal Court of Santa Catarina). Since HubGov is a program in constant transformation, they are now at several stages that combine with each other. They are identifying and discovering opportunities on where the Program could be replicated and how we could make it international; they also are implementing the program in its "In Company" mode with the Federal Court of Espirito Santo.
They are constantly diffusing lessons in a way that it's possible to turn the program more accessible to every Brazilian public institution. By developing and working in all this stages, our aim is to transform the program into a sustainable project, achieving the maximum number of public institutions participating by making it more accessible.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
Public employees showed complete satisfaction with the program, claiming that it helped them enhance their citizen-centered perspective, learn tools and methods to innovate and restore their trust in the public service. In one of the modules of the HubGov Program, we call the civil society (represented by students from Public Management) to co-create solutions with the participants. All of them agreed that this practice was positive to approximate the government with the population.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
By the end of HubGov in 2017, from the 14 public institutions participating, 2 remained as prototypes, 3 went to the creation process and 8 went to the implementation stage. From the latter, we can highlight the project developed by the Military Police of Santa Catarina: the app PMSC Cidadão. The app was developed in the HubGov with the goal to bring the citizen closer to the police's services. The project was presented to Santa Catarina's governor and recently received +2 million reais from the Public Ministry of Santa Catarina to put it on air. Also, all the participants answered that their innovation and intrapreneurship knowledge increased +2 points. For the HubGov with the Federal Court of Santa Catarina, all teams presented a prototype, and 3 were already implementing: one created an innovation lab; another one conducted an innovation week with the employees; and the last one presented a project that will help the institution save more than 2 million reais in annual cost.
Challenges and Failures
The HubGov program is designed mainly in the 3 steps of the Design Thinking (immersion, ideation and prototyping). After applying the program twice (2017 and 2018) they felt the need to add a fourth step: implementation. Some of the participants faced trouble to implement their solution proposal (although the aim of the program was to deliver only a proposal, not an implementation). Another lesson learned was through the successful case of the state of Goiás. As was stated earlier, HubGov was in four brazilian states this year: Santa Catarina, Goiás, Brasília and São Paulo. In Goiás, they tried a different business model. Instead of approaching several organizations to participate, they had a conversation with the Government of Goiás and they inserted 6 Secretaries of State to participate. Not only was the state with the bigger engagement but also had the support of the high management of the this institutions.
Conditions for Success
The support from the high management and leader of the institution was essential for an excellent outcome. They motivated their employees to participate by showing close support to drive transformations in the institution. The presence of expressive partners was important to make the program sustainable financially.
The HubGov program generates a innovation mindset that can be replicated inside every institution. More than innovations, the program forms innovators in the public sector. Every participant is formed to replicate the ideas, concepts and tools in their own sector and/or institution. As a replication of the HubGov Program itself, there are some factors that condition it:
- A government opened to invest in innovation for their employees;
- A physical space to deliver all the workshops and activities;
- A need to be more citizen-driven and to foment intrapreneurship inside the institution;
- Provincial government in Chile is in contact with us to engage the HubGov Program there.
In all the HubGov editions, the formation of teams from different institutions/sectors working together was a core factor to produce more powerful results. In Brazil and in most latin-american countries lack of communication between public institutions nor collaboration between public employees. The interinstitutional feature filled this gap and exceed our expectations by enabling disruptive outcomes. And this drove them to another important lesson that they represent in our motto: more than innovations, we want to form innovators in the public sector. We understood a cause-consequence effect that, by focusing on the public employees and their skills was it possible to generate amazing innovation proposals. The HubGov Program was designed to embrace the Core Skills for Public Sector Innovation, developed by the OECD partnered with Nesta. Through the capacities of iteration, insurgency, storytelling, curiosity, data-driven and user-centered we experienced that when we boost this skills within public employees, we enabled innovations to arise.