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The Innovation Imperative in the Public Sector

Setting an Agenda for Action

image of The Innovation Imperative in the Public Sector

The public sector has to become more innovative if it is to tackle today’s complex challenges and meet society’s changing expectations. But becoming truly innovative requires deep and broad changes to organisational culture and operations. Drawing on evidence emerging from the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation’s collection of innovative practices from around the world, this report looks at how to create a government where innovation is encouraged and nurtured.

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Generating and sharing innovative ideas in the public sector

Innovation does not just mean doing new things, but new things which are appropriate for the organisation in question and the community that it serves. To achieve this, organisations need access to accurate, good quality, usable information about their operations, their performance, their past experiences, their partners and the users that they serve. The availability and exploitation of such information and knowledge can support organisations to become “learning organisations” which grow, mature and develop, by drawing on information and learning from their experiences and those of others. However, being able to tap into such knowledge poses challenges for public sector organisations. They need appropriate information systems in place to generate and manage data and information internally. Sharing and interoperability with other organisations across the public sector can support the exchange of appropriate information, while openness across society can facilitate the creation of public sector value and innovation across the economy.

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