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According to the UN Refugee Agency, conflict and wars in the past few decades have forced 65.6 million people from their homes, especially the Syrian conflict in recent years. However, most Syrian refugees are not in camps but... Read More

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The Connecticut Green Bank is the winner of the 2017 Innovations in American Government Award from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. In 2011, Governor Dannel Malloy and Connecticut’s General Assembly established the country’s first state green bank. Their aim was to spend wisely, create jobs,... Read More

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission is the winner of the 2017 Roy and Lila Ash Innovation Award for Public Engagement in Government from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. Like most states, the once-a-decade process of drawing new legislative boundaries in California was hardly an... Read More

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In 2011, the Louisville Metro Government launched its Open Data Portal. There were two main reasons for the launch. One was the election of Mayor Greg Fischer, who was determined to better use data to drive performance improvement and transparency in government. The second was pressure from the local civic tech community, which had lobbied the... Read More

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Blockchain is the new policymaking frontier — we said that in the fall. Today, it seems truer than ever. China may soon have the first government-backed digital money. Dubai is building a “city on a blockchain.” The Republic of Georgia is now securing land titles on blockchain. Malta is on top of it too — the island country is exploring a... Read More

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If you were a small country with a population of 1.26 million, a former republic of the Soviet Union, how would you drive your country’s future? That was the question Estonia faced in 1991. The answer it chose was technological revolution. When Estonia became independent after the fall of the Soviet Union, less than half the country had a... Read More

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The Chilean government’s innovation lab — Laboratorio de Gobierno, or “LabGob” for short — was formally established in 2015. Since then, it has worked with thousands of civil servants and citizens in Chile, using an iterative, human-centered design approach to tackle problems in health care, energy, and more. Emily Middleton spoke to its... Read More

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In working towards the Sustainable Development Goals, the Bangladesh government has embraced the idea of “govprenuership” — entrepreneurship by the government — which allowed for collaboration with organizations and parties that were working on some of the same issues with which the government was actively engaged. One result of this... Read More

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In this interview with Robert Kirkpatrick, director of UN Global Pulse, he discusses the role of big data in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and outlines three areas of impact. Global Pulse is an initiative of the United Nations that works to harness data science for sustainable development and humanitarian action.

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Governments are calling for innovation and data-driven development policy at diplomatic tables. In September 2015, 193 UN member governments adopted the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, in which are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will guide the global development pathway for the next 15 years. High representatives from... Read More

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I fail much faster than I succeed. And by most people’s measures, I fail. A lot. But I succeed even more. As a serial civic innovator, I have learned from my own experiences and my peers that the key ingredients of being a great innovator are the willingness to fail, to fail smart, to fail often, to fail fast, and to fail forward. Learning how... Read More

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The benefits of technology and innovation in financial services are well known. One of the most obvious is easier, cheaper access to financial services in both emerging and mature economies. For example, mobile payments services are flourishing. They are especially popular in China (paywall), and M-PESA boasts more than 25 million users in sub-... Read More

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