Public sector innovation

30 November-2 December 2020 | Executive seminar

Innovation is the new buzzword in public sector reform policies across the globe. Its promise is to deliver a way out of the twin problem of increasingly wicked difficulties that public organisations have to address under ever-tighter resource constraints. One difference from earlier public sector reform approaches is the emphasis on collaboration in bringing about change in the way public organisations operate and deliver services. Digital technologies play an important role in collaboration and the ‘co-creation’ of innovations. Another proposition of the new trend of public sector innovation is to strengthen ‘experimentation’ in government and to nurture a new culture of ‘failure tolerance’ in the public sector as a precondition for the creation of innovations. The course introduces the key concepts, tools and promises of the new public sector innovation agenda and critically reviews its track record in different policy and country contexts.

Specific emphasis will be put on how to manage innovation in a political context. Participants will gain a grounded understanding of the key characteristics and tools of public sector innovation strategies, their underlying assumptions about bureaucracy, politics and organisational change and the challenges in designing, implementing and evaluating innovation.



  • Kai Wegrich , Professor of Public Administration and Public Policy