Annex A. Terms of reference

The aim of the project was to help address the question of “How can the Public Service of Brazil strengthen its capacity to continually and consistently identify, test, apply, embed and learn from innovative approaches that meet the needs and ambitions of Brazilian citizens and the Brazilian Government?”

The study aimed to:

  • Map the current state of and relevant actors within the innovation system(s) operating in the Public Service of Brazil, and how they intersect with systems of delivery, performance management and accountability

  • Understand the characteristics, including strengths and weaknesses of the system, including identifying key enablers and barriers along the different stages of the public sector innovation life-cycle

  • Give insight into the current narrative(s) around public sector innovation from across (and beyond) the Public Service of Brazil, and how this is affecting the practice of innovation

  • Suggest a framework for understanding the different components of the innovation system(s) operating in the Public Service of Brazil, and how they relate to each other and generate a dynamic effect in the system

  • Identify areas where innovation effort has been undertaken, and point to priority areas for action that are likely to offer the best starting points for further intervention into the system.

The key research questions guiding the study were:

  1. 1. How is innovation understood within the Public Service of Brazil? Is there a common definition of innovation? How is innovation referred to and described in official statements and policies? How is innovation understood and formally articulated within and across central government functions?

  2. 2. What is the lived experience of innovation in, and by, the Public Service of Brazil? What is it actually like to participate in the innovation process in (or with) the Public Service of Brazil? What is the context of those innovating (or not innovating) and, what are some of the lessons and continuing issues, enablers and barriers, successes and failures?

  3. 3. Who are the key actors and what are their roles? Who are the major players in the innovation system, what roles do they play, how do they interact, and through what channels, mechanisms, structures and practices? How discrete are the roles and how well are the respective roles and contributions understood?

  4. 4. What are the current perceptions, hopes and concerns about innovation? How is innovation perceived by those in, and those outside of, the Public Service of Brazil, what are the beliefs and attitudes, and what might that mean for the practice of innovation? What do people believe their role is and what their contribution should be?

  5. 5. What is working, and what has been achieved? Where has the innovation process delivered value? How has this value been assessed or understood?

  6. 6. Where are the gaps and unmet need? Where is it agreed that innovation is needed but have not been occurring? Where are there consistent gaps or issues in the innovation process? Are there any unmet needs that are holding back the innovation process?

  7. 7. What might be changed to support a more effective innovation system? What might an effective innovation system for Brazil look like? Which would be the most appropriate for what Brazil wants to achieve? What are the possible actions (systemic, organisational, and individual) that could contribute to that?

  8. 8. Where are the best places to act first? Which of the many likely possible options are most appropriate for the Brazilian context and how can they be sequenced for maximum impact? What are the specific factors that might be relevant or considered in how they are implemented?

Annex A. Terms of reference