Innovation in public administration

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INNOVATION IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION – according to the definition proposed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), it is some kind of novelty in the operation of a given administration unit that brings effects to society. This novelty may concern the way of working, organisational structures, creation or delivery of public services/goods. A similar but broader concept is innovation in the public sector, which consists in integrating implemented novelties or new knowledge into a system dependent on public decisions, in order to improve existing or to implement new forms of activities, services and practices, which the final and most visible result will be greater efficiency of public service and a better standard of living for the population, at least in the main areas. Due to their nature, innovations (inn.) are divided into the following categories: new or improved services (e.g. home care); process inn. (change in the way the service is produced); administrative inn. (e.g. using a new policy instrument); systemic inn. (e.g. a new model of cooperation of the organisation); conceptual inn. (e.g. changes in views, approaches); radical changes in rationality (meaning mental changes of employees employed in a public organisation). Unrealized ideas or concepts do not count as inn. On the other hand, they include activities undertaken as part of pilot projects or tests, if they bring first results. Inn. is considered in relation to a specific administrative unit (relative approach). Inn. for a given unit may mean a new way of working that has already been applied in another. As for the effects of inn., they are usually considered in the following categories: 1. effectiveness (increasing the level of achieving goals); 2. efficiency (increasing effects at the same or lower level of expenditures); 3. user satisfaction (citizens or public employees); 4. supporting democratic values. Regardless of the direction of inn. (directed internally/externally to the office) its effects must directly or indirectly improve the situation of citizens. Solutions that serve to increase the innovativeness of administration are, for example, public policy laboratories, networks of professionals/ practitioners (meetings of a group of specialists in a specific field), competitions for innovative practices. (→ modernization of public administration) [Ł. Świetlikowski]

Literature: Innowacje w sektorze publicznym. Raport przedstawiający aktualny stan wiedzy [Innovations in the public sector. Report showing the current state of knowledge], Fundusz na rzecz Badań Stosowanych i Komunikacji [Fund for Applied Research and Communication], Sofia 2013 ■ OECD, The Innovation Imperative in the Public Sector. Setting the Agenda for Action, Paris 2015 ■ T. Halvorsen et. al., On the Differences Between Public and Private Sector Innovation, PUBLIn report No. D9, Nifu Step, Oslo 2015, quote after: U. Kobylińska, Innowacje w administracji publicznej w Polsce na poziomie samorządu lokalnego [Innovations in public administration in Poland at the local government level], „Prace Naukowe Uniwersytetu Ekonomicznego we Wrocławiu” [Scientific papers of the University of Economics in Wroclaw] 2015, no. 402.

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