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  • January 9, 2019
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Apolitical announces the Public Service Team of the Year for 2018

Chile's Laboratorio de Gobierno wins the award for collaboration across government

Apolitical is delighted to present the winners of our inaugural public service team of the year award.

To get stuff done in government, you need to collaborate. While it sounds easy, it can be the hardest thing of all. Arbitrary departmental boundaries, administrative siloes and outdated ways of working can too often block the hand that seeks to reach out.

It’s why we set up this award to recognise the teams which have gone above and beyond over the course of 2018 to advance good government, deliver new and exciting services for citizens and oil the big, clunky wheels of government and help them run more smoothly.

After receiving nominations from our network of public servants from over 140 countries, a panel made up of Apolitical team members selected a shortlist of 20 teams which we thought best represent the excellent collaborative work taking place in government over the course of 2018. Apolitical’s members were then invited to vote for the team which they thought deserved the title.

The winner: Laboratorio de Gobierno Chile

Our winner was Laboratorio de Gobierno, the Chilean government’s innovation lab. For the past four years, the team has worked across the civil service to tackle big problems through promoting experimentation, iteration and human-centred design, and reaches out to citizens and the private sector to solve government’s trickiest problems.

In 2018 Laboratorio de Gobierno built a network of 5,700 innovators to tackle the biggest challenges in government.

In 2018, the team built a public innovator network of 5,700 of Chile’s top change makers (and over 900 institutions), convening 450 of them for the second annual National Meeting of Public Innovators. They also launched “Impacta Migraciones”, an ideas competition to respond to Chile’s migration challenges, which received 283 ideas, 20 of which were selected at a demo day.

The runners up: Canada’s Free Agents and Centro de Innovación Pública Digital, Colombia

Our runners up were Canada’s Free Agents and Colombia’s Centro de Innovación Pública Digital.

Canada’s Free Agents, established in 2016, is a team working to advance a reimagining of the way public servants work. Rather than work only within their specific department, the free agents — named for hockey players’ penchant for switching teams during the off season — are encouraged to find work in government that matches their unique skills, from coding to data analysis. They help ensure talent doesn’t sit dormant, and that the right person can be matched to the right problem.

Canada’s Free Agents works to add some much-needed flexibility to the often rigid structures of government

The Centro de Innovación Pública Digital works to enable ICT-based innovation in the public sector. Based at Colombia’s Ministry of Information Technology and Communications, the team helps departments across both central and local government experiment, working in new ways to solve complex problems and deliver new, innovative services.

The Colombian government’s Centro de Innovación Pública Digital work across all levels of government to promote digital innovation

Congratulations to our winner, the runners up, and everyone who took part in this year’s award. We hope 2019 brings you further success.

(Picture credit: Laboratorio de Gobierno Chile/Canada’s Free Agents/Centro de Innovación Pública Colombia)

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