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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The OECD has collaborated with the Government of Canada on the first ever country review of a public sector innovation system. As the review is the first of its kind, new research was required to establish an emergent model that could be applied in order to understand the nature of the innovation system of the Public Service of Canada and consider possible options for intervention. This chapter provides a high level overview of the context, the key insights from the review, and explains the methodological steps and structure of the review process and this resultant report.

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