The OECD’s Innovation Platform and Innovation Challenge

[Originally published on the Australian Government Public Sector Innovation Network under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY AU licence]

How can governments around the world better collaborate and share information and experiences about shared problems?

Part of being an effective public servant is knowing what other governments are doing/have done about different policy and service delivery issues – and indeed there are many existing channels for helping us do so. Countries share information through various networks, conferences, country visits, studies and reports, and informal and formal relationships. Social media has also helped give public servants a much greater ability to find out what’s happening in other countries.

But wouldn’t it be good if we could do even more to foster such information sharing and learning from the experiences of other governments?

That’s one of the aims of the OECD with the creation of the Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) platform and the issuing of country challenges.

The OPSI Platform

The OPSI platform is a collaboration platform for public servants to share information, questions, issues and challenges relating to innovation.

The platform allows members to:

  • Start a discussion or ask a question
  • Comment and reply to others
  • Share resources
  • Connect with other public servants.

OPSI is not quite the social network for public servants, but it is a really good platform for sharing and connecting. We have started making use of it and will be encouraging others too as well.

For those of you who are public servants within Australia, and would like to join up to the Australian Public Sector Innovation Network Group, we have provided some guidance to the sign-up process here (PDF 1 MBdocx 20KB). We already have a few discussions going.

The platform also includes a blog and a number of innovations from OECD member countries, which will be added to over time (and, as always, if you have a case study that you would like to share about public sector innovation within Australia, please get in contact).

Country Challenges

Another collaboration exercise the OECD is exploring through OPSI is having countries identify specific innovation challenges related to government priorities, and asking other countries to share any innovative responses they might have undertaken.

The first challenge has been issued by Mexico and you can see Alejandra Lagunes, Coordinator of the National Digital Strategy, Office of the Presidency, talk about it here.

“Mexico’s Public Sector Innovation Challenge is about implementing innovative solutions that increase transparency in the energy sector…. Many countries are facing similar challenges to open up their energy sectors to more transparency and scrutiny:

  • How to increase access to a knowledge base on natural resources?
  • How to make resource management more transparent and efficient?
  • How can citizen be involved in themes regarding energy sufficiency?”

If you have any thoughts or comments about the challenge, you can add them to the OPSI platform here.

Congratulations to the OECD for leading this work and helping public servants from different countries to collaborate with, and learn from, each other.