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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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Embracing Innovation in Government: Global trends 2019


Global trends show that governments are undertaking different kinds of innovation.

OPSI evaluated 542 cases of government innovations and identified three key trends in public sector innovation. Because innovation is often multi-faceted, innovations within these trends fall in various places across the Innovation Facets Model.

Three key trends have been uncovered:

  • Trend 1: Invisible to visible. Governments in recent years have made transparency and openness a focus, but the insights, perspectives and opinions of citizens and residents remain largely invisible. Governments may also struggle to see the different paths they can take to design successful policies and services. Governments are taking innovative steps to make these invisible factors visible.
  • Trend 2: Opening doors. The complexity of government has traditionally limited participation and minimised public value for underserved populations. But new technologies, open data, and the emergence of new business models have created space for governments to explore new opportunities that open doors to the public value of government.
  • Trend 3: Machine-readable world. Our world is being translated into bits and bytes that can be read by machines and fed into algorithms. Governments are innovating to reconceive the way policy and legislation is created by making them machine-readable. They have also begun to digitise human characteristics, senses, and surroundings to deliver innovative services and interventions.

Explore the digital story

OPSI has developed a digital story about this publication, which you can access here. It walks readers through the report’s key themes, findings, and recommendations. 

Embracing Innovation in Government: Global Trends 2019

Published on 11 February 2019.