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Start Small and Build Up: Australia Shares Successes in Public Sector Innovation
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Friday, July 18, 2014
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Australia
Created: Jul 22, 2014

Government should start small and then build up their innovation, so that there’s a safety net in case of failure, said Alexis Diamond, Director, Policy Capability, Strategic Capability, Department of Education, Australia.

“Do it small - it’s safe to fail. Then build it up,” she said. Diamond was speaking in an Australian Government showcase of recent innovations and the lessons learnt (see full video below) as part of the government’s ongoing Innovation Month 2014.

The Education Department is using an online policy toolkit to help its employees become more policy-capable and reduce duplication of effort, she shared. “It’s an online database of essentially tools and techniques that people can use to apply to their policy work,” shared Alexis Diamond, Director, Policy Capability, Strategic Capability. “So rather than duplicating efforts by trying to work out materials to use for your work, you can come to the policy toolkit first.”

The Department of Finance talked about the success of the National Collaboration Framework (NCF) in helping agencies across federal, state and local level to collaborate on projects. Prior to the NCF being developed, there was a “big inconsistency in terms of quality” of the agreements being used for agencies to collaborate, Helen Knight, Assistant Director, Australian Government Information Management Office said.

The NCF is “a comprehensive framework that guides people through the development and collaborative process from beginning to end”. It is currently being used as the collaboration mechanism to deliver a whole of government parliamentary workflow solution by the Departments of Finance and Education.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) created a free strategy game using 2011 census data to raise citizen awareness on the census. Although government is using census data to inform decision-making, “the general public doesn’t have a great level of awareness of what it is used for. Without full participation, we cannot get an accurate snapshot of the nation,” explained Michelle Howe, Director of ABS Communications. ‘Run That Town’ has now been downloaded by over 70,000 people, with 800 new users per month. 

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