Report on Innovation and Digital Government for Public Service Delivery

Resource Date:
Content Type: Publication
Region: Global
Thematic Area: Innovation and Service Delivery
Contributor: UN DESA/DPIDG
Resource Language: English

This report summarizes presentations and outcomes of a facilitated online training workshop on Innovation, Digital Government and Public Service Delivery for Sustainable Development, which was jointly organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, through the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (UN DESA/DPIDG) and the SIDS Unit of the Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG), in collaboration with the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and with the participation of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC), among others.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Webinar Series was conducted online. It was an adaptation of the “Toolkit on Innovation and Digital Government for Public Service Delivery”, which is part of the Curriculum on Governance for the SDGs, developed by UN DESA’s Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG). The toolkit aims at complementing and supporting the UN Secretary-General’s initiatives in response to COVID-19, to equip public servants with the know-how to promote innovation and digital government for effective public service delivery.

The report also covered the following:

Insights from the workshop

Participants specifically mentioned as key learnings: the features of successful Digital Transformation; the potential value of the Digital Government Transformation Capability Assessment; Design Thinking; Innovation Labs; the need for Leadership to take risks; and that Digital Government is not a remote goal but that it can happen. Further learning came from the need to align national strategies with SDGs and ensure stakeholder engagement, with the support of politicians and the constructive role of monitoring and evaluation.

Takeaways for participants’ organizations
A number of participants committed to taking their learning from the workshop to their own organizations, share information and incorporate their learning in initiatives that are currently running in their organizations. Applying the DGCAand embedding digitalisation as a tool were also mentioned. At a personal level, some pledged more introspection and more use of storytelling in their communication.

Possible follow-up actions
Many participants joined in supporting the idea of (a) Regional Innovation Lab(s) and a specific such Lab dedicated to agriculture. At a regional level, proposals were made to establish a Network of Digital Transformation Agents and a Forum for proactively sharing transformation initiatives including a central repository of cases and data on innovation. Regional data-sharing and a collaborative approach to funding for innovation were also proposed.

Participant evaluation
Participants evaluated each session briefly, noting what they liked or what they liked less in each session and what suggestions for doing things differently in the following sessions. Overall, the positives were significant, and the negatives were often linked to time constraints and occasional technology challenges on their side (please see Annex 1 which contains the Evaluation Survey by participants). The Report concludes with a quotation of the Prime Minister of Barbados on the immense potential of transformational change. (taken from the Inter-American Development Bank that produced the video).

File added date: August 2021


Download the report: English