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The Innovation System of the Public Service of Canada

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Governments today are confronted with a complex array of interconnected problems, increased citizen expectations, and fiscal constraints. Furthermore, they must operate in a context of fast-paced technological, geopolitical, economic, social, and environmental change. Existing policies and programmes may not be suitable for tackling the challenges of today, let alone those of tomorrow. Governments therefore require a systemic approach to public sector innovation to develop and deliver novel solutions that meet the existing and emergent needs of citizens. This report looks at the experience and context of the Public Service of Canada, where significant emphasis has been placed on innovation, and proposes a new public sector innovation system model to assist Canada and other countries.

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Executive Summary

Governments today are confronted with a complex array of interconnected problems, increased citizen expectations, and fiscal constraints. Technological, geopolitical, economic, social, and environmental changes mean that the operating context for the public sector is one of increasing flux rather than stability. Governments cannot assume that existing policies and programmes remain the most suitable options for today, let alone that they will suffice for tomorrow. Governments therefore require a systemic approach to public sector innovation to develop and deliver novel solutions that meet the existing and emergent needs of citizens.

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