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Lessons from Mexico: What Works in Public Sector Innovative and Civic Technology by Kerry Brennan (Reboot)

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Kerry presented this session at The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference (TICTeC 2015) on 25 March 2015 in London.

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Lessons from Mexico: What Works in Public Sector Innovative and Civic Technology by Kerry Brennan (Reboot)

  1. 1. LESSONS FROM MEXICO: What Works in Public Sector 
 Innovation & Civic Technology March 25. 2015 Kerry Brennan
  2. 2. PROJECT CONTEXT
  3. 3. MEXICO’S OPEN 
 GOVERNMENT PROGRAM - Mexico is the current Chair of Open Government Partnership (OGP) - Office responsible for ensuring implementation of National Digital Strategy - Portfolio of implementation projects INTRODUCTION & PROJECT CONTEXT
  4. 4. AGENTES DE INNOVACIÓN - Social entrepreneurs (external innovators) + government staff (internal innovators) - Five teams across priority ministries: - Ministry of Education - Mexican Social Security Institute (healthcare) - Ministry of the Interior - Ministry of Finance - National Institute for Entrepreneurship 
 (within Ministry of Economy) INTRODUCTION & PROJECT CONTEXT
  5. 5. THEORY OF CHANGE
  6. 6. AGENTES THEORY OF CHANGE OBJECTIVE -Agents of Innovation aims to introduce a more effective program design and decision-making model into the Mexican government, facilitating co-creation between government and citizens by implementing human-centered design methodologies.
  7. 7. AGENTES THEORY OF CHANGE OBJECTIVE -Agents of Innovation aims to introduce a more effective program design and decision-making model into the Mexican government, facilitating co-creation between government and citizens by implementing human centered design methodologies. Program that a particular government new, innovative citizen participation change
  8. 8. The citizen is not at the center of policymakers’ ideas. New ideas need a space to be born, nurtured, 
 and developed. Government requires support for internal innovators, and infusions of new talent & expertise. Project development 
 lacks feedback loop. NEEDS OR PROBLEMS 
 TO BE ADDRESSED Project development is bureaucratic.
  9. 9. INPUTS Political capital Strategic advice, follow-up, mentoring, and public exposure for teams he citizen is not at the center of policymakers’ ideas. New ideas need a space to be born, nurtured, 
 and developed. Government requires support for internal innovators, and infusions of new talent & expertise. Project development 
 lacks feedback loop. Project development is bureaucratic. Human-centered design (HCD) 
 methodology and mentoring Specialized skillsets
  10. 10. OUTPUTS ‣Five creative tech-based solutions to long-standing problems. ‣A “bubble” for the incubation of new ideas within government. ‣A process of knowledge, problem-solving skills, and expertise transfer ‣Target users widely adopt the tech-based solutions developed by Agentes teams. ‣Communications raise interest and supports replication
  11. 11. OUTCOME The Mexican government becomes a platform for innovation.
  12. 12. REBOOT 
 BACKGROUND & ROLE
  13. 13. BACKGROUND & ROLE ABOUT REBOOT Reboot is a social impact firm dedicated to inclusive development and accountable governance. We help governments, foundations, and international organizations achieve their missions.
  14. 14. BACKGROUND & ROLE IN PRACTICE - Research, design, implement, evaluate - Empathy-based - Deep, embedded research - Draws on applied ethnography and user- centered design approaches - Nuanced portraits of complex environments
  15. 15. We work to improve the relationships between governing institutions and 
 the communities they serve.
  16. 16. Committing to increasing transparency, accountability, and participation is one thing, but the challenges of actually doing so are often quite another.
  17. 17. PROGRAM DESIGN PRODUCTS
  18. 18. PROGRAM DESIGN PRODUCTSIMPLEMENTATION
  19. 19. What contributes to success (or failure) 
 of open government & civic innovation programs?
  20. 20. METHODOLOGY
  21. 21. METHODOLOGY PROCESS-FOCUSED 
 DEVELOPMENTAL EVALUATION - Closely track the entire program implementation - Focus on the experience of implementers 
 & participants - Build trust through presence, frequent interviews - Observe meetings and milestones - Complementary user research & testing
  22. 22. METHODOLOGY ADVISORY - Sharing findings from user research to highlight application (or not) of methodology, potential gaps and barriers to product success - Highlighting risks to & opportunities for achieving program goals, guided by our rules of engagement - Support in design considerations for a second year of the program
  23. 23. WHAT WE’RE LEARNING
  24. 24. INPUT POLITICAL CAPITAL - In order to be the most effective “outsider”, it is still necessary to understand “insider” ways of working
  25. 25. INPUT POLITICAL CAPITAL - Political relationships and influence are an important lever, but project teams are not always in a position to identify where support would be useful in the moment. Nor are they in a position to apply it.
  26. 26. OUTPUT TECH-BASED SOLUTIONS - Assuming a tech-based solution can be a major hindrance … or not.
  27. 27. OUTPUT A “BUBBLE” FOR INNOVATION - Programs that create open spaces for innovation still require significant structure — there can be too much room for innovation. - Ensure application of the innovation methodology. - Ensure teams continue to make progress and maintain engagement.
  28. 28. OUTPUT A “BUBBLE” FOR INNOVATION - There is a “sweet spot” of institutional buy-in.
  29. 29. OUTPUT EXPERIENCE - Ultimately these types of programs are judged externally by the products they produce, but the experience of participation in the program is critical indicator of its potential for longevity and future iterations. - Acknowledging & mitigating risks taken by internal innovators in particular
  30. 30. OUTPUT COMMUNICATIONS THAT RAISE INTEREST & SUPPORT REPLICATION - Ultimately these types of programs are judged externally by the products they produce, but the experience of participation is critical.
  31. 31. OUTCOME MEXICAN GOVERNMENT BECOMES A PLATFORM FOR INNOVATION - Proximity alone does not multiply innovative processes.
  32. 32. QUESTIONS & DISCUSSION
  33. 33. THANK YOU! Further questions? kerry@reboot.org www.reboot.org @theReboot

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