• November 21, 2018
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Weekly briefing: Five ways collaboration drives innovation; digital government reading list

Our roundup of what's working in global policy

Top Stories

The results are in: the Apolitical Young Thought Leaders competition. Read the prize-winning pieces by the next generation of government here, with topics ranging from how to redesign job centres with users in mind to the role of public space in combating loneliness.

The digital government reading list: nine blogs you should know about. Over the last decade, lessons have been learned, best practices honed and mistakes made. Here are the key lessons of how to update government for the internet era.

Collaboration drives public sector innovation — here are five reasons why. Innovation is linked to technological discoveries, but more often, it’s bringing people from different backgrounds, sectors and disciplines together that drives creativity and invention.
(Thea Snow, Program Manager, Nesta)

This is what a big tech executive learned transforming Italy’s government. Diego Piacentini left Amazon to help his home country overhaul its messy digital platforms. His biggest contribution wasn’t introducing new tech, but instituting basic, scalable management processes.

Here’s how Trump should handle the migrant caravans. Troops at the border won’t solve the issue. To ensure asylum cases are processed quickly, the US needs to implement emergency measures and system changes, and collaborate with other countries in the region — particularly Mexico.


Do you have a question about how to prevent violence against children? Apolitical and the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children are offering free access to a roster of experts who can help you find answers.
Join in

Energy, Environment and Economic Opportunity

Finland has one of the world’s most successful wildfire prevention strategies. TIt splits forests up into compartments, demarcated by wide paths or different types of trees, which — alongside its dense road network and abundance of lakes and rivers — prevent blazes from spreading.
(The Washington Post)

Spain will run on 100% renewable energy by 2050. New licences for fossil fuel drills and fracking will be banned, and a fifth of the state budget will go to measures dedicated to fighting climate change. The policy is expected to slash greenhouse gases by 90% from 1990 levels.
(The Guardian)

Governance and Citizen Engagement

Civil servants saw the biggest rise in trust of any profession in Britain over the last 35 years. 62% of respondents said they trusted public servants, up from 56% in 2016. Just 22% said they trust government ministers and only 19% said they trusted “politicians generally”.
(Civil Service World)

Technology Frontiers

French government agencies are ditching Google. The National Assembly and Army Ministry said they will no longer use it as their default search engine, citing concerns over privacy, security and digital sovereignty. Instead, they’ll use Qwant, which does not track user data.


“New technologies themselves do not drive innovation. Innovation happens when people choose to use these technologies to develop, test and implement new ideas that work” —Thea Snow, Nesta

Evolving Cities

Columbus, Ohio reveals how it became a smart transit leader in a new guide. The online playbook gives a transparent look into how the city reduced emissions by adopting electric and autonomous transportation. It will be updated weekly with new case studies, research and tips.
(Smart Columbus)

Gender Equality

A $50-a-year nutrition program slashed domestic violence in Bangladesh. Home visits, food or cash transfers and training sessions focused on feeding young children led to a 26% reduction in physical abuse among participants.

And finally

Japan’s new cybersecurity minister has never used a computer. Yoshitaka Sakurada, who is in charge of cyber-defence in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, made the admission during a hearing. “I give instructions to employees and secretaries — I never touch my computer myself,” he said.
(Kyodo News)


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