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Four ways leaders are driving innovation in the public sector

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New technologies provide tools that enhance the ability to monitor, track and prevent global threats, but they do not replace good leadership and governance. Agile 50 honors public sector leaders who have pioneered a novel approach to governance to successfully navigate this digital transformation. We look to such leaders to ensure that these changes are codified in policy and maintained for the long term after the world returns to some normal state.

2020 forced accelerating changes in all sectors to overcome pandemic uncertainties. From autonomous delivery drones that deliver COVID-19 samples to test labs to artificial intelligence that predicts the risk of infection and assists in contact tracing, these are just two examples of this accelerated change. Undoubtedly, the public sector is the most affected. Regulatory frameworks for addressing these changes were often a priori lacking. Some programs and responses were developed and tested as soon as they landed on the ground. Many public sector leaders and their institutions have turned the crisis into an opportunity to modernize public services and adapt to changing conditions. This shows that tremendous change is possible.

Even before the turmoil of 2020, the Fourth Industrial Revolution threatened the relevance and effectiveness of existing regulations, which often slowed technological progress. New technologies provide tools that enhance the ability to monitor, track and prevent growing global threats, but they do not replace good leadership and governance. Adopting powerful technical tools is an integral part of preparing institutions and governments for times of crisis. Nevertheless, we look to public sector leadership to ensure that these changes are codified in policy and sustained over the long term after the world returns to some normal state.

Introducing Agile 50

Last year’s leaders were asked to respond to multifaceted global threats. Below are from the Agile 50 Winners of the 2020s, from famous icons that pioneered new approaches to Agile governance to unknown heroes, by the Global Future Council on Agile Governance, which honors leaders in the public sector. Here are some examples of devised awards. Navigate this conversion successfully.

Their example is a ruthless focus on the experience of the public, actively reforming to streamline public services, and using public, private, and user collaboration and experimentation as tools for continuous learning. It supports adaptation and shows what can be achieved when it produces exciting results.

1. Cultural changes and open thinking can happen overnight

Accepting flexibility and adaptation is essential, as opposed to the strict bureaucracy often associated with government. This includes using agile techniques for transformation in developing regulations and improving public sector processes. Governments must work with other stakeholders such as businesses, civil society, the third sector, and academia to do this.

Examples of leaders who are enthusiastic about the latest technology trends and are actively shaping them include Mikk Vainik, Head of Estonian Acceleration Estonia and Expert in Startup Policy of the Ministry of Economy of Estonia. .. The program aims to leap the Estonian government to find new solutions and implement regulatory changes appropriately. For example, when the Hack the Crisis initiative was launched in March 2020, within 48 hours, 30 volunteer-based teams of over 1,000 people would solve fellow fighters, public sector representatives, and private ventures. Was introduced.

Another example is Mr. Hirohiko Nakahara, Deputy Director of Economic and Social Policy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, who designed a system that enables innovation at a single point of contact among all Japanese ministries and agencies. The Cabinet Office is a cross-ministerial body that can promote business engagement with the government. His approach has always been aimed at facilitating more agile ways of policy making through experimenting with new technologies and services and reviewing regulations based on collected data.

2. A new way to involve citizens through consultation

This means designing multiple stakeholder efforts to solve global challenges and engaging citizens even when different interests are in the way. Citizens now want more than ever a system of public policy and governance that can respond to rapid change. Increasing pressure from active, informed citizens to increase stakeholder involvement and improve open and transparent policymaking is essential.

Leaders demonstrating this willingness to engage locally and nationally to find solutions for multiple stakeholders have launched and ongoing Voices of the People in three East African countries (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda). I’m Aidan Eyakuze, who oversees it. This is a major effort within the government to gather and amplify the voices of citizens, all done by mobile phones, which are prevalent in the region. Findings turn regressive tax into progressive tax, ensure secure access to free medical care for children, lactating mothers, and the elderly, and improve official communication on COVID-19 safety measures. It was useful for.

3. Digitization and lowering barriers to information and accessibility of public services

Government services need to be digitized to enable online access and lower access barriers so that citizens can streamline information. Citizens often had to call or visit several agencies to collect documents and information before they could access public services. From the perspective of the user experience rather than the agency, these public services can be made more accessible.

A poll conducted by Apolitical, a global peer-to-peer learning platform for civil servants from March to April 2020, found that members needed most during a pandemic, from the perspective of learning resources, digitizing public services. Next to resources on how support works more effectively from home.

A survey conducted by Apolitical from March to April 2020 requires civil servants to choose the learning resources that are most useful during a pandemic.

Image: Apolitic

Leaders driving the digitization of services to improve the user experience include Dan Hymowitz, who is leveraging data to clean up the city of Baltimore with the first new performance management initiative of its kind. It will be. His vision was that data could reduce unequal access to urban services. One of the initiatives he oversees, CleanStat, applies data analysis to clean up the city’s garbage and asset maintenance backlog and the city.

Next is Abdullah bin Tuk, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates. He has led the digitization of all public services. The Ministry of Economy was the first organization to move all 75 services online and close service centers in 2021 as part of a government restructuring, making digital services available to the public and businesses easily and conveniently. You have created a channel. For example, the provincial Foreign Trade Department has launched a dedicated platform to help businesses address the effects of the COVID-19 virus.

4. Adopt technology early and test policy approach

In order to modernize public services to adapt to changing situations, the ability to test and implement policies to understand how to actively regulate is essential. This means mental and computational experiments that build abilities through stress testing and, as a result, provide agile and adaptive tools for behavior in the face of uncertainty.

Leaders who leverage data and technology to monitor and fine-tune performance include Paula Ester Leito, Deputy Head of Financial Systems Regulation at the Central Bank of Brazil. This division has helped lead the regulatory sandbox of financial systems in a series of actions to modernize financial and payment systems. Proposal solicitations are used as laboratories to test ideas in highly regulated sectors to provide flexibility for monitored and valued innovations. The regulatory sandbox process began in February 2021 and its first cycle aims to intensify competition and enable new business models and products, such as open banking solutions, to be introduced into the financial system9. Prioritized two areas.

Another leader in this area is Jon Simonson, chair of the Swedish Technology Innovation and Ethics Commission (Komet). His job is to accelerate policy development to adopt new technologies. In developing governance and incentives, he points out three levels of government responsibility: 1) understanding new technologies and their implications, 2) boldly experimenting to find out what works, 3) Transformation through agility and collaboration. And he talks about the important role of courage to rebuild governance. Through such an approach, Comet is an attempt by the government to speed up the management of permits and controls needed to expand Sweden’s power grid and create better conditions to promote electrification in the transportation and industrial sectors. I’m proposing to get started.

Courage is the way forward

Examining these trends and examples of leadership reveals the following needs: Efficiency and speed without compromising safety. Ability to adapt in the face of resilience and uncertainty. Create or enhance existing social safety nets. This presents challenges, as most government agencies work with limited resources and time. And the pandemic, like any other global risk, is full of uncertainty and complexity. Technology governance enables the adaptability of the public sector, but most reports indicate that an agile approach to governance is important. These are equivalent to upgrading government operating systems based on data that improves the knowledge and behavior of authorities.

Leaders revolutionizing technology governance show that public sector innovation is possible. Government agencies are ultimately made up of people, and their ability to navigate change is reflected in these efforts. Institutional resilience requires sustainable investment to develop more agile approaches and tools within the government. There is also a need for cultural change in leadership. Under changing circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the courage to undertake a radical transformation is the only way forward.

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