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Boosting public sector innovation through Innovation training

Shaping the future heavily relies on innovation, еspecially taking into consideration the fundamental outcomes of innovation such as economic growth, increased well-being, reduced sickness, poverty and hunger, educational accessibility and environmental sustainability. That’s why innovation is critical across all sectors, both private and public. As an organization that is passionate about innovation, in this article, we would like to put the focus on public sector innovation and share our experience on how our training helped boost the innovation capacities of public servants in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

So what is public sector innovation you may ask?

We approach public sector innovation as a process of generating new ideas and implementing them to create value for society, either through new or improved processes or services. Innovation in the public sector mainly focuses on processes, products, organization and communication. Citizens and businesses alike benefit from improved and proactive public administration in terms of better governance, faster service delivery, and participatory creation of policies.

In order to generate new ideas, institutions in this sector need the proper techniques, tools, and frameworks.  Innovation training provides exactly that, a tailored guide that includes all necessary mechanisms that help participants to identify problems as well as potential areas of improvement that lead towards more efficient work and better user experience. With this being said:

What is innovation training?

Innovation training represents a program or course that equips learners to understand and leverage innovation theories, frameworks, and techniques. The scope and content of innovation training can vary depending on the institution. These trainings are designed to build a more innovative and collaborative culture within an organization, develop capacities for innovation, and through the process help participants to initiate new ideas, and strategies to pursue in the future. 

So how did SmartUp help boost public sector innovation in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

In the second half of March 2022, SmartUp conducted a ‘Public Sector Innovation’ training programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina in partnership with Dark Matter Laboratories (UK) and Korimako (Slovenia). Organized by UNDP (BiH) and financed by the British Embassy Sarajevo and UK Aid, the training programme aimed to build the innovation capacities of senior public sector leaders in BiH. Having in mind that the public training system in BiH does not offer any training to strengthen innovation thinking and skills, and none of the globally-deployed public sector innovation tools have been tested in the country, we were bringing the first training programme of this kind to them.

The program was designed in a way to enable more hands-on learning where participants would not only get familiarized with the principles for developing innovation but will also get to try and test them through the different stages of the innovation process. Therefore, the program was a combination of a three-day training – an introduction to innovation, a two-day policy lab, and a two-day Train of Trainers (ToT) training.

So here are some of the outcomes that we achieved only by implementing one innovation training with the public sector government leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina:

  • Identified areas where changes are needed and drafted a road map of where interventions should be made in the future to explore innovation possibilities.
  • Strengthened the capacities of around 70 people for innovation.
  • Defined 7 concept ideas that can be further developed as small pilots within public sector institutions.

If you are interested in reading more about this training you can take a look at our latest article on this project: Introducing innovation to public sector government leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina and check out some of the materials and resources available as an outcome of this training.

Ready to boost innovation in your organization?

We offer both in-person workshops and online programs. Our digital training program is built on the activities, tools and techniques employed by innovative organizations to identify challenges, generate ideas and facilitate communication to successfully launch new innovations. Contact our team at  [email protected] and schedule your first session with our innovation experts Sofija Bogeva and Milosh Sokolikj

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