Public sector innovation

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Presentation of a study by Technopolis Group on public sector innovation to a seminar in Tallinn, Estonia in March 2013

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Public sector innovation

  1. 1. Trends and Challenges inPublic Sector Innovation in EuropeAlasdair Reid, Director of Technopolis Group Belgium and Estonia26 March 2013
  2. 2. Context: survey on public sector innovation - INNO PolicyTrendChart•  A pan-EU survey was carried out in autumn 2012, which gatheredthe perceptions of 105 public officials and national experts alike asregards the development of public sector innovation across the EU.•  The study was carried out in the framework of INNO PolicyTrendChart, which is a European initiative to provide independentanalyses of major innovation policy trends at national and regionallevels across the EU-27 and other countries in the Mediterraneanregion, North America and Asia.2
  3. 3. How is public sector innovation perceived in the EU?There is a consensus across countries about public sectorinnovation that is seen:•  as a means to address growing budgetary pressures, throughmore efficient administration or service delivery, and newsocietal demands, through different and more effective servicedesign;•  it applies across all areas of the public sector and it coversservices and processes and is motivated by the need to do newthings or existing things better, quicker, and cheaper;•  blurring between politically determined governmental reforms(e.g. deregulation, ‘agencification’) and public sector innovationmore narrowly understood (e.g. quality certifications for theprovision of social services, e-prescriptions).3
  4. 4. Examples of perceptions•  Denmark: “The public sector is seen as a platform to solveproblems in the Danish society. It is not just about reducing costs,but also involving the users, working with them and acrossdepartments, in order to develop joint solutions. “•  Netherlands: “Stimulating knowledge and innovation in realisingsocietal objectives and solving societal challenges, of whichinnovative service provision is one aspect.”•  UK: “The view of PSI has shifted away from the notion of systemsinnovation, processes and technology, towards a focus oncapabilities and leadership; the key to their effectiveness issuccessful implementation.”4
  5. 5. Understanding of public sector innovation in the EU5Type of PSI Perceived definition CountryRenewed processesand servicesProcess innovation/improvement BG, EE, DE, GR, LT, MT, NL, SI, FI, SE, SKService delivery IE, DK, FIPublic procurement IE, FI, NL, SENew forms oforganisationOrganisational design DE, LT, SI, SKPublic private partnerships DE, FINew managementandimplementationtoolsICTs/ Digitisation of services/ E-GovernmentBE, DK, DE, EE, GR, IT, LT, MT, NL, PL,PT, ROHuman resources management AT, DE, ES, UKMonitoring and evaluation ESSource: TrendChart survey
  6. 6. Effects of the crisis on public sector innovation•  Public sector innovation has become more likely to be accepted asan imperative for governments in order to find radical solutions toprotect services while cutting costs dramatically.•  The crisis has put research and development budgets underpressure that are needed to design and pilot these radicalundertakings.•  In this context, the two most important roles that public sectorinnovations are expected to play relate to the improvement ofthe quality of service delivery and cost reductions.6
  7. 7. Key drivers of public sector innovation1.  Political ambitions;2.  Public demand; including business and third sector;3.  Tightening resources.Other influencing factors:•  Leadership, culture and institutional capacities (including skills);•  Rewards in the form of ‘recognition’ given to the innovators.•  Less evidence of positive financial incentives being an importantdriver of innovation, in the way that the profit-motive works in theprivate sector.7
  8. 8. Drivers and barriers of public sector innovation in the EU8Driver/Barrier CountriesHuman resources-related factorsEducation and training of publicservantsBE, BG, ES, FR, IT, NL, RO, SKAvailability of incentive schemes formotivating public servantsLV, MT, ES. LV, NL, RO, SI, UKLeadership and good management CZ, DK, EE, IT, LTOther* LT, DKBureaucracy andorganisationalstructures and designInternal organisational processes ES, IE, RO, SI, SKPerformance management, includingmonitoring and evaluation practicesBG, IE, ES, IT, GRInternal innovation culture DK, FR, LV, LT, RO, BGSource: TrendChart survey
  9. 9. Country patterns: sharp divide between EU MS•  Small number of innovation leaders in the EU are moreconcerned about finding radical new approaches to define anddeliver public services (eg. DK, FI, SE, UK).•  Innovation followers are still concerned with fundamentalreforms of public institutions.9•  Mega projects, to transform the cost-performance of whole systems; •  Inter-agency initiatives, to streamlineindividual agencies processes or to addnew value / functionality; •  Increased bottom-up input; ‘trendy’ useof social media and crowd-sourcingtechniques. •  Focus on digitisingaspects of publicadministration
  10. 10. Services, organisational, communication or processinnovations in the public administration10Source: Innobarometer 2010
  11. 11. Some successful examples•  Portugal’s SIMPLEX Programme for administrativesimplification and eGovernment is estimated to have generatedsavings of €51.6m for citizens and businesses.•  The UK’s Red Tape Challenge has delivered many economiesincluding a package of employment tribunal reforms that isestimated to deliver over €45m a year in cost savings to employers.•  E-procurement initiatives in Lithuania, following reformsin 2008, have resulted in costs savings of at least €176 million inthe 2-year period since 2010, following the introduction of a newfull service system.•  The National Revenue Agency of Bulgaria has estimated thatcitizens are expected to save approximately €2m per year from theuse of a new twelve-digit Personal Identification Number(PIN).11
  12. 12. Lessons learnt from successful and less successful PSIs•  Strong leadership from high-levels of hierarchy, and directinvolvement in promoting the initiatives•  Training civil servants and providing incentives to foster theircommitment for simplification measures•  Continuous communication between all public agents involved,notably through internal communication actions•  Engagement of users and producers in the planning and designphases of PSI projects•  Need to account for the technical divide in order not todiscriminate towards people that is not computer illiterate or doesnot have access to technology•  Innovations might require further needs to re-adapt legalframeworks12
  13. 13. Conclusions for Estonia•  Estonia has a tradition and expertise in e-services developments.Opportunity to take the leadership an area/ theme such ase-health, new education methods or e-government to become world-class.•  Need for cooperation among public sector authorities if to developground-breaking new solutions.•  Importance of leadership!•  Combine instruments strategically such as smart regulation,procurement, innovation funding in order to give a higher value topublic sector innovation initiatives.13
  14. 14. 14Thank youAlasdair Reid – alasdair.reid@technopolis-group.comtechnopolis |group| has offices in Amsterdam, Ankara, Brighton,Brussels, Frankfurt/Main, Paris, Stockholm, Tallinn and Vienna

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