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Thinking about GovTech

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Thinking about GovTech: A brief guide for policymakers

By Dr. Tanya Filer, Bennett Institute for Public Policy

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Governments around the world recognise an urgent need to move away from expensive, bloated IT contracts, and to serve citizens with greater efficiency and accountability. 

If developed with care, the emergent GovTech ecosystem, in which start-ups and innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs) provide innovative technology products and services to public sector clients, could contribute to achieving these objectives. Thinking about GovTech introduces the concept of GovTech and identifies eight activities that policymakers can undertake to foster national GovTech innovation ecosystems and help to steer them towards positive outcomes for citizens and public administrators. It suggests that policymakers:

1. Build the social and technical foundations for GovTech
2. Embed expectations of accountability at an ecosystem-wide level
3. Address GovTech procurement barriers
4. Ensure the provision of appropriate, and often patient, capital
5. Engage academia at each stage of the GovTech innovation lifecycle
6. Develop pipelines of technological talent, emphasising public sector problems and
opportunities
7. Build translator capacity within the public sector
8. Develop and utilise regional and international networks

Thinking about GovTech is the first GovTech guide written for a fully international audience of policymakers. It offers examples of emerging international policy and programme design and urges policymakers to think carefully about local context and capacity for implementation.

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  • About the author

    Dr Tanya Filer, Policy & Research Leader: Digital State

    Digital State Year in Review 2018-19   Learn more

    Tanya Filer