Embracing Innovation in Government: Global Trends 2018 – Observatory of Public Sector Innovation Observatory of Public Sector Innovation

We are happy to announce that OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría launched OPSI’s report “Embracing Innovation in Government: Global Trends 2018” today at the World Government Summit! The event in Dubai is the largest annual gathering in the world focused on shaping the future of governments through innovation. The report is the result of a global […]

World Government Summit and OECD

Embracing Innovation in Government Global Trends 2018

Governments are using innovation to lead a paradigm shift in the way they provide services. The most innovative approaches refrain from layering one reform on top of another, instead repacking them in ways that allow them to get to the real purpose of the underlying change.

Systems approaches step back and view the entire operation of government as an interconnected system rather than
disparate pieces. They transform and re-align the underlying processes and methods to change the way government works in a cross-cutting way, while involving all of the affected actors both inside and outside government. In so doing, they leverage a number of tools and enabling conditions to succeed.

Innovators are embracing systems approaches to tackle complex problems, while also transcending administrative boundaries.
Countries are getting better at problem diagnostics to
initiate systems change.
Systems approaches involve trade-offs which must be evaluated.
Systems innovators are looking for scale: From incremental to radical.
Innovators use systems approaches to transform the public sector itself.

1. Focus on a problem, not a method.
2. Apply new problem diagnostic tools.
3. Analyse the potential systemic effects and value trade-offs of innovations.
4. Stay open to emergent, bottom-up change.
5. Experiment with transformative change inside

Systems approaches and enablers

CASE STUDY: APEX – Singapore
APEX is a whole-of-government platform which
establishes common application programming interfaces
(APIs) that allow public agencies to share data with other
agencies and private entities. APEX enables different
government data programmes to talk to each other,
providing uniform governance, consistency and reliable
performance. It enables innovation through a central
catalogue and self-service portal where innovators can
easily leverage common APIs as building blocks to create
new services and experiences for citizens. One of the
initial pilots is MyInfo, a service that removes the need for
citizens to repeatedly provide their personal information
to government services. APEX addresses a major systemic
challenge: systems interoperability.
CASE STUDY: Predictiv – United Kingdom
Predictiv is an online platform for running behavioural
experiments. It enables governments to run randomised
controlled trials (RCTs) with an online population of
participants, and to test whether new policies and
interventions work before they are deployed in the real
world. Predictiv has the potential to profoundly change
governments’ working methods by drastically reducing
the time needed to test new interventions. In addition,
while time constraints and political realities sometimes
make it hard to run “field trials” on live policy, Predictiv
makes experimental methods more accessible.
CASE STUDY: Free Agents and GC Talent Cloud
– Canada
Canada has been testing several models for recruiting and
mobilising talent within the public service in the digital
age. The most ambitious of its projects is the Talent Cloud,
which aims to become a validated, searchable repository
of cross-sector talent. It envisions a digital marketplace
where workers have access to rights, benefits and union
representation, while retaining the flexibility to choose
work inside and outside government, as offered. It
represents a departure from the permanent hiring model
in the public service, instead organising talent and skills
for project-based work. While still at the visionary stage,
Talent Cloud has produced several spin-off projects, such
as Free Agents, that are innovative and successful in their
own right.


Trend 2: Systems approaches 45
Case Study: APEX – Singapore 62
Case Study: Predictiv – United Kingdom 67
Case Study: Free Agents and GC Talent Cloud
– Canada 71

Source: Embracing Innovation in Government: Global Trends 2018 – Observatory of Public Sector Innovation Observatory of Public Sector Innovation