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What is public sector innovation

Public sector innovation is a strategy to do more for less through innovation (Innovation Policy Platform). It is not only about technology but goes beyond that to include a behavioral change to better cater to the needs of the public. In the end, digital innovation combines with technology, creativity and empathy to form public sector innovation.

How important is public sector innovation?

Public sector innovation cuts costs, improve service delivery and improve a country’s economy in the long run.

It improves the quality of service delivery at the lowest costs possible

Innovation, especially in the modern world, is a basic driver for economic progress and improve the competitiveness of an economy.

The public sector innovation involves collaboration between the public and private sectors which transfers skill sets to the public sector and ensure that a more responsive work culture is adopted.

What are the policy challenges facing public policy innovation?

Public policy innovation requires the absolute goodwill of government officials, and when this is not available, public policy innovation becomes a challenge.

The implementation of innovation in the public sector requires financing to purchase infrastructure and support the building of skill sets. With governments struggling with economic crises and inadequate finances, additional costs are quite a challenge. Governments incur the cost at the beginning with the aim of generating benefit worth the expenses.

Inadequate skills to manage the implementation of the public innovation policy is a common challenge because governments have not had the culture of investing in their employees and raising their capacity. When the infrastructure is being installed and requires management, skills become inadequate and posing an additional challenge.

What are the three problems that countries face in developing public sector innovation systems?

Finding the right innovation system suitable for a specific government is a huge problem. The operation in itself is complicated and is expected to be the right choice as various activities that are cost incurring are involved. Government agencies need to develop new strategies, find alternative approaches to service delivery and making proper use of collaboration with the private and not-for-profit organizations.

The cost is obviously a challenge beginning with capacity building, infrastructure to facilitate the new systems and increased operational cost.

Lack of commitment from stakeholders within the governments is also a big challenge.

Briefly discuss the principles for a better public sector outlined by Diana Farrell in the article in the link above

According to Farrell, governments face various challenges in performing their duty as entities for delivering services to the people, especially economically (Farrell & Goodman). Farrell believes that governments are required to transform their countries with very little resources. She, however, continues to state that governments today have been presented with ways to deliver services as expected of them by their citizens despite these hurdles. The proposed solutions, according to McKinsey research, are believed to boost productivity and reduce costs bringing the total performance improvement to about $1 trillion. Using the so-called government by design, officials can make actual progress other than engaging in partisan debates and unfruitful politicking.

Using collected information to make decisions is becoming more common in governments that measure their success on results. Every government should measure its results on the basis of data collected over the period of implementing a project. Evidence-based decision making in governments is made up of three forms; one is collecting data where the government defines what to measure and the method with the overall goal as the benchmark. Another form of evidence-based decision making is benchmarking other governments. Governments deal with similar issues, and not one government has been able to proudly come out and say that it has excelled in every area. For this reason, it is possible to find solutions and problems, both of which provide important learning opportunities. The third form of evidence-based decision making is using data to inform the design of interventions.

The other principle is engaging the public and increasing empowerment. Governments are making it possible for citizens to not only access services better but give them the opportunity to offer input into the design and the delivery of services. This move allows the government to improve productivity and increase choice for better satisfaction among its citizens. This also involves soliciting the input of citizens to improve government services. Technology has allowed governments to bring services closer to the citizens. The public sector’s movement towards technology-based service delivery has put pressure on the government to create a service delivery system that is close to the citizens in this manner. Governments are creating systems that allow citizens to pay their taxes online, apply for various services, vote and register organizations. Farrell also mentions the initiative by the Australian government that has taken service delivery up a notch by having mobile governments moving to remote areas to ensure equitable service delivery (Farrell & Goodman).

A growing economy depends on a skilled workforce; that is why it is very essential for governments to invest in skill-building and expertise. A workforce that has a mission is very important for the public sector. The problem is that governments neglect training and other exercises that improve the skills of their employees, and when they do, they invest in the wrong kind of training. Smart governments are those that know exactly where to invest in terms of building the capacity of their employees.

The final principle is having an effective collaboration with the private and social sectors. Governments engage with businesses and social organizations by buying products, offering public services, acting as a regulatory body or an economic stakeholder. Governments should, however, check their activities, especially paying above-market prices for items when the goals should be to reduce costs. The other step is accelerating governments’ service delivery to ensure that businesses have a good environment to operate in. The other thing is refining the role of the government as an economic shaper and integrator, which means defining issues are at the highest level and figuring out how stakeholders should co-exist.

In various ways and with distinct effect, these four principles represented in each paragraph are creating a difference for both local and national governments. The implementation of government by design principles is, however, not easy. For the said reason, officials should be willing to do what it takes to reform their own governments by first giving up the ineffective ways. The end, an effective, affordable government that can be able to handle its mandate properly will be worth every effort.

Works Cited

Farrell, D., and A. Goodman. “Government by Design: Four Principles for a Better Public Sector.” McKinsey & Company,

Innovation Policy Platform. “Public Sector innovation.” Innovation Policy Platform, Accessed 24 Jan. 2020.