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Bridging Distant Worlds: Innovation in the Civic Space

a digital white paper by Public Innovation

Appendix B. Framework for an Innovative Jurisdiction

The following Framework for an Innovative Jurisdiction was developed by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. We provide the framework as a reference point for policymakers and stakeholders who wish to gain a broader view from the perspective of academia. In particular, Part 3 offers a set of performance measures for evaluating civic innovation initiatives.

The Framework is as follows:

Strategy 1: Build Collective Capacity for Innovation

1.1 Improve Collaboration

Facilitate or encourage efforts to improve collaboration across agencies or sectors

1.2 Create Mechanisms to Attract New Innovators (and New Ideas)

Provide platforms that encourage new innovators and new ideas, new funding, and more volunteer service

1.3 Develop Promising Innovators (and Their Ideas)

Support the operational capacity of innovators and the development and adoption of their promising ideas

Strategy 2: Rethink Policy to Open Space for Innovation

2.1 Utilize Data

Utilize data to better understand problems, track results, and direct funds to proven policies and programs

2.2 Set Aside Risk Capital

Create new funding mechanisms to address risk, such as an innovation fund, leveraging private funding when possible

2.3 Eliminate Barriers

Level the playing field for new ideas or new providers by addressing rules and administrative hurdles in government spending

Strategy #3: Develop a Culture of Innovation

3.1 Protect Risk-Taking

Reward and protect risk taking activities, as well as recruiting risk takers or innovators

3.2 Mobilize Public Will

Mobilize community awareness and the public will for change and innovation

3.3 Empower Clients

Empower clients to participate in their own progress, including choice and active feedback on programs and services


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