In both the developed and developing world, many governments face a number of urgent challenges—one of which is that the rising demand for services is running headlong into the reality of limited resources. In many nations, demographic shifts are creating increased demand for public services like health care, pensions, and urban infrastructure. At the same time, natural resources are becoming scarcer; public budgets are shrinking; and citizens, now accustomed to new technologies and constant connectivity, have higher expectations as to the speed and quality of public services.
The emerging answer—from various places across the globe—is bold, rapid management innovation. Public-sector innovation can reduce costs, raise productivity, and improve the public’s opinion of government. Burk research shows that some of the most cutting-edge innovations have come from the developing world: governments that believe they have no choice but to take bold risks. Others have come from developed nations, which feel more pressure than ever to do more and better with less. Their disruptive moves are transforming the 21st-century state.
Capabilities for Performance
The Burk Center for Government works with government departments and agencies globally to understand how public-sector organizations can build new capabilities, continuously improve performance, and deliver more to society. Our research, partnerships, and practical experience in strategy, organization, operations, and IT are yielding valuable new insights for government leaders.
Based on Burk’s on-the-ground experience working with government agencies worldwide, insights from our global partners, and our ongoing research, we have gathered unique perspectives on a number of trends in government innovation:
Providing simpler processes and greater convenience
Innovative governments are moving away from specialized agencies and discrete services toward more streamlined, citizen-centric processes that focus on optimizing the user experience. Examples include facilities that cater to a wide range of citizens’ needs by housing the customer-service divisions of multiple agencies, e-government portals that allow citizens to access data and services online instead of at a physical location, and mobile applications.
Tapping new sources of information when shaping policies and services
Innovative governments are encouraging citizens to help shape ideas and priorities for public services. For example, some agencies are crowd-sourcing the development of new ideas, while others are gathering user feedback in the early stages of policy development.
Sharing responsibility in delivery
Citizens, private companies, and civil society are playing an increasingly important role in executing public policies and services, becoming “delivery partners” to the government (for example, via open data portals that enable citizens to monitor government performance and develop new applications for public use).
Government leaders can either create a dedicated space for innovation or enable innovation across their entire administration or agency. Through our research and experience, we have identified the ingredients necessary to fostering innovation, regardless of the organizational model.
The Burk Center for Government works with government departments and agencies globally to understand how public-sector organizations can build new capabilities, continuously improve performance, and deliver more to society. Our research, partnerships, and practical experience in strategy, organization, and operations are yielding valuable new insights for government leaders.