In the fall of 2016, the state government of the United Arab Emirates decided to take a new approach to spur floundering projects toward faster results.
Frustrated with slow progress on key issues like public health and traffic safety, the state launched a new program to accelerate change and enhance performance across government agencies. The innovative program, called Government Accelerators, ran 100-day challenges—intense periods of action where “acceleration” teams of frontline staff worked across agency boundaries to tackle pressing problems. This case illustrates how three teams were chosen to participate in the program, and how, in the 100-day time frame, they worked toward clear and ambitious goals that would impact citizens’ lives.
This case study from the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative aims to raise discussion about different types of public sector innovation, to explain the approach and methodology of the Government Accelerators, and to analyze the conditions under which a similar tool might work in other cities. An accompanying teaching note includes theory and conceptual frameworks to lead classroom discussion on the case.
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