Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication

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The Innovations in American Government Awards Program began in 1985 with a grant from the Ford Foundation to the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard to conduct a program of awards for innovations in state and local government. The foundation's objective was ambitious and, in an era of "government is the problem" rhetoric, determinedly proactive. It sought to counter declining public confidence in government by highlighting innovative and effective programs. Over twenty years later, research, recognition, and replication are the source of the program's continuing influence and its vitality.

What is the future of government innovation? How can innovation enhance the quality of life for citizens and strengthen democratic governance? Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication answers these questions by presenting a comprehensive approach to advancing the practice and study of innovation in government. The authors discuss new research on innovation, explore the impact of several programs that recognize innovation, and consider challenges to the replication of innovations.

Contributors include Eugene Bardach (University of California— Berkeley), Robert Behn (Harvard University), John D. Donahue (Harvard University), Marta Ferreira Santos Farah (Center for Public Administration and Government, Fundação Getulio Vargas), Archon Fung (Harvard University), Jean Hartley (University of Warwick), Steven Kelman (Harvard University), Gowher Rizvi (Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard University), Peter Spink (Center for Public Administration and Government, Fundação Getulio Vargas), and Jonathan Walters (Governing).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"If our public institutions are to meet the extraordinary challenges of the 21st century, they must innovate as a way of life. This collection of essays offers a useful look at a variety of aspects of that challenge. Academic readers will find much to intrigue them within these pages." —David Osborne, coauthor of REINVENTING GOVERNMENT, senior partner of the Public Strategies Group

"This is an essential reference for all those who believe in the importance of well-performing and innovative public sector organizations for a well-performing economy and society." —The Honourable Jocelyne Bourgon, former Secretary to Cabinet and head of the public service, Government of Canada

"Borins has assembled genuine experts' insights about innovation at all levels of government, and in many different nations. For the thinkers, there are analyses of conceptual and research issues. For the doers, there are stimulating examples and ideas about the great good that government innovators can do, and how they get it done." —Hal G. Rainey, School of Public and International Affairs, University of Georgia

"Not only does this book capture the remarkable story of the Kennedy School's Innovations Program, one of the most ambitious efforts ever to search for new ideas for making government work better, but it's also an invaluable analysis of what it takes to make these new ideas stick and spread." —Donald F. Kettl, University of Pennsylvania

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815713777
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press and Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Series: Innovative Governance of the 21st Century Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 231
  • Sales rank: 1,420,059
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandford Borins is a professor of public management at the University of Toronto, where he studies the management of information technology and narrative in management. His previous books include Innovating with Integrity: How Local Heroes are Transforming American Government (Georgetown, 1998) and Digital State at the Leading Edge (University of Toronto, 2007).

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Table of Contents

Foreword     vii
Introduction   Sandford Borins     1
Twenty Years of Highlighting Excellence in Government   Jonathan Walters     13
The "Kennedy School School" of Research on Innovation in Government   Steven Kelman     28
Citizen Participation in Government Innovations   Archon Fung     52
Subnational Government Innovation in a Comparative Perspective: Brazil   Marta Ferreira Santos Farah   Peter Spink     71
The Unaccustomed Inventiveness of the Labor Department   John D. Donahue     93
Developmental Processes: A Conceptual Exploration   Eugene Bardach     113
The Adoption of Innovation: The Challenge of Learning to Adapt Tacit Knowledge   Robert D. Behn     138
Does Innovation Lead to Improvement in Public Services? Lessons from the Beacon Scheme in the United Kingdom   Jean Hartley     159
Innovations in Government: Serving Citizens and Strenthening Democracy   Gowher Rizvi     188
Research on Innovations in Government: What Next?   Sandford Borins     199
References     207
Contributors     221
Index     223

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