On February 23, 2021, at an online event organized by the Danish National Innovation Center, the Public Sector Innovation Manual was presented, which is the first attempt to publish an international guide that can be used in innovation level measurement procedures, oriented to the needs of the public sector.

The Manual is the culmination of successful collaboration, which was completed in January 2021 amid a pandemic crisis involving more than 60 representatives of national innovation administrations, with the support of innovation analysts and consultants from international organizations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as well as academics from more than 20 countries.

On behalf of Greece, in the planning process, which began in December 2019, the Ministry of Interior participated, with representatives of the Department of Innovation and Best Practices.

Familiarize with the manual

The Manual contains sections that can help a public organization, or even more broadly a public administration, to know how to conduct audits and assess the ability to innovate. In particular, the Manual helps a research team to:

⇒ Set strategic goals when conducting innovation research

⇒ Communicate the manual

⇒ Identify innovation

⇒ Find recipients

⇒ Adapt the Manual to the needs of the research

What is the Manual?

The Manual helps research teams, who want to gather data to formulate development strategies or to prepare, analyze and communicate the results of a public sector innovation research. The research team will find usage examples, practical tips, and helpful warnings that it can take into account before starting a research process. Among others, the Manual presents issues of strategic targeting, communication, search and access to recipients, guidelines for adjusting the questionnaire based on needs, and useful elements for defining public sector innovation.


Sources and data comparison

The Manual provides an opportunity to find out the ability to innovate in the public sector by accessing internationally comparable data. Using the Manual, a research team:

  • Learns practices of similar surveys conducted in various national administrations. 
  • It can adapt it to its environment by taking into account elements and experiences that best respond to the specific circumstances of the national case.

The story behind the Manual

In November 2019, at the meeting of the Innovation Observatory of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the representatives in the network agreed that we need data to plan effective actions at the national level for innovation policy.

Innovation barometers, by then, were already a widespread process for setting strategic goals in the Nordic countries. However, other countries were preparing or completing measurements, but not in a systematic way.

The meeting ended with the initiative of the National Innovation Center of Denmark, to coordinate the working groups that would participate in the design of an innovation barometer, which will incorporate multidimensional experience and knowledge from the international environment.

At the end of 2019, Innovation and Best Practices department had already completed the planning for the first innovation measurement, which was finally conducted during the pandemic crisis in the third quarter of 2020. The national initiative was completed with a large participation of 107 public organizations providing significant data.

The results of the research were used and submitted for information to the political leadership of the Ministry of Interior to support the design of a project proposal for innovation policy.

Our experience with this first research process provided feedback on the co-design process of the Copenhagen Manual and the participation in the working groups organized during 2020 by the Danish National Innovation Center was advisory rather than symbolic.

The Copenhagen Manual is now a useful national tool for future research.

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