The Latvian government has made significant strides to ensure its public sector works in more innovative ways to improve outcomes for citizens. Despite this, only 35% of those surveyed in this project confidently agreed that innovation is normal and expected in their organisations; demonstrating that the journey to developing a more innovative public sector is not over (OECD OPSI, 2023[1]). This is a process of constant improvement, including quick wins, bold transformations and decisive action. This report provides an assessment and stocktake of the innovative capacity of the Latvian public sector. It offers guidance on using innovation to improve both public sector performance and the relationship between citizens and government.

The 2021 OECD Trust in Government indicator results showed that only 29.5% of Latvians trust the government (OECD, 2023[2]). Research on trust in public institutions has shown that the responsiveness of government agencies in adopting innovative ideas has a strong statistical correlation with trust. At the local level, satisfaction with administrative services, perception of government preparedness for future crises, and the responsiveness of public agencies to adopt innovative ideas are the variables which have the strongest statistical relationships with levels of trust in the local government (OECD, 2022[3]). Low levels of trust in government in Latvia indicate a need work in more innovative ways to address citizen expectations and provide effective public services. Indeed, 78% of survey respondents from this project noted that the desire to improve trust was a main driver of innovation (OECD OPSI, 2023[1]).

This report was funded by the European Union via the Technical Support Instrument, and implemented by the OECD, in co-operation with the Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support of the European Commission. It provides a rigorous empirical basis for understanding where action is most urgently needed to improve the outcomes of the Latvian public sector and strengthen capacity for innovation through a systemic approach. The strengths and opportunities identified in this report provide a foundation for an action plan, strategy, and capacity-building initiatives to support public sector innovation in Latvia.

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