Innovations in Government: Research, Recognition, and Replication

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Sandford F. Borins
Brookings Institution Press, Dec 1, 2009 - Political Science - 231 pages
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A Brookings Institution Press and Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation publication

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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Contents

Introduction
1
Twenty Years of Highlighting Excellence in Government
13
The Kennedy School School of Research on Innovation in Government
28
Citizen Participation in Government Innovations
52
Brazil
71
The Unaccustomed Inventiveness of the Labor Department
93
A Conceptual Exploration
113
The Challenge of Learning to Adapt Tacit Knowledge
138
Does Innovation Lead to Improvement in Public Services? Lessons from the Beacon Scheme in the United Kingdom
159
Serving Citizens and Strengthening Democracy
188
What Next?
199
References
207
Contributors
221
Index
223
Back Cover
232
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

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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