Each day, throughout the world, public officials and practitioners face the daunting task of creating solutions to society's most pressing problems, as they strive to improve the lives of their citizens.
These dedicated public servants are under pressure to do more with increasingly limited resources, and to be more effective and efficient. Repeatedly, history has shown that continuing to maintain the status quo will not solve these tough challenges. Indeed, some of these challenges require innovative thinking, strong leadership, and a culture that allows for experimenting with new ideas and programs. However, creating the conditions to foster such a culture cannot be done overnight, especially within and across governments and agencies with entrenched bureaucratic systems that resist risk-taking and change, and that tend towards siloed operations.
For thirty years, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University has been researching, identifying, recognizing, and disseminating the most innovative practices in government through the Innovations in American Government Awards program, with a focus on encouraging the replication and scaling up of programs that work. The program was started through a partnership with the Ford Foundation, which then founded similar award programs that recognize innovative and effective governance in different parts of the world, and these programs now collaborate as the Global Public Innovation Network community of practice.
Research on and examples of innovative programs and practices from the Innovations in American Government Awards and its partners led to the development of the Government Innovators Network (GIN) over a decade ago. The GIN, a forum for innovation in the public sector, is a marketplace of ideas and examples of government innovation for policymakers, policy advisors, practitioners, and researchers. Through our curated content — news, articles, reports, descriptions of award-winning innovative programs, and events —we strive to stimulate new ideas and bring people and ideas together around innovations in government.
This fall, we are expanding this forum by introducing the Innovators Insights Blog. This new feature enhances our marketplace of government innovation by bringing new insights on emerging solutions in innovative government to our audience. This blog will focus on the latest innovative trends and strategies, as we believe that innovative thinking is not only a good practice but also that it is a necessity in confronting the toughest challenges public officials face today. Successful innovations will be highlighted, and policymakers and practitioners from around the world will have the chance to share their experiences with innovating, adopting innovations, and creating a culture of innovation. In addition, the blog will address many of the challenges that innovators face, and will look at current research on innovation in the public sector and the future of innovation. Bloggers will include prominent academics, innovators and innovation experts, and public policy students from across the globe.
If you are interested in public-sector innovation, we invite you to join the conversation by following and sharing our blog newsfeed, commenting on our blog posts, and suggesting ideas that we might explore.
We also encourage you to explore our resources, attend one of our free webinars, and to customize your experience by registering on our site. Registered users can comment, save favorite innovations, submit events, and view and download customized content.
The Government Innovators Network is housed at the Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The Ash Center fosters excellence in government around the world in order to generate and strengthen democracy. Through its research, publications, curriculum support, and Global Network, the Ash Center explores critical issues in democratic practice and effective governance. The Government Innovators Network is one of a number of initiatives supported by the Center in its efforts to strengthen understanding and stimulate discourse on the principles and practices of innovation and democracy.