Submission guidance

Highlighting examples of public sector innovation

Do you have an example of an innovation in the public sector in Australia that you would like to share?  As part of our commitment to sharing innovation journeys and stories we’re seeking case studies that show a degree of novelty being introduced to the public sector, viz:

  • Does it represent a significant change in how you worked, thought about a problem, or how your organisation approached a policy design or service delivery issue?
  • Does it show a significant improvement to what was done previously?
  • Does it involve the introduction of substantially new technology, concepts, or business/operating models?

Case studies can be from all tiers of Australian Government (i.e. Federal, State and Territory, and Local government bodies) and include how leaders are encourages to adopt innovative practices in their work.

The innovation might be something done purely within the public service, or something undertaken with partner organisations and networks - and should come from the perspective of a public sector organisation).

What sort of information should the case studies include?

We want to know about:

  • What sort of innovation is it? Was it about a new service or a new way of delivering a service? Was it an administrative innovation that changed how things were done? Was it a new policy initiative or a new way of thinking about a problem?
  • What inspired it? What was the problem or issue that needed an innovative response? What was the opportunity that gave rise to it? Where did the idea come from?
  • What other options were considered? Was there just one idea about how to improve things or were there others that were considered and eliminated? How was this idea chosen above all others?
  • How has it worked? What has been the result of its introduction? What has it meant for how you have worked? How has it been measured?
  • Who was involved? Innovation is a social process – who else was involved and what role did they play?
  • How were any difficulties managed? Innovation rarely goes smoothly – how were any ‘bumps in the road’ managed or handled? Were there any unanticipated issues or risks that revealed themselves during implementation?
  • What was learnt from the innovation? Introducing anything truly novel means that you are experimenting and that the outcome is uncertain. What was learnt from the process? About the problem that required an innovative response or about the innovation itself?
  • How has the innovation been integrated with other existing practices? A key part of the innovation process is getting it to ‘stick’, to connect it and link it with other existing practices. How is this being managed?
  • Has the innovation been applied more widely? Has there been any wider adoption of the innovation?
  • Any additional information such as when it started (and ended?), any context that might be relevant, and any insights or additional information that might help others who could be interested in applying the innovation elsewhere.

What format should the case studies be in?

We accept case studies in a range of formats. Some possible formats might be:

  • A blog post in a personal narrative about the innovation and its introduction
  • A formal detailed case study drawing on information already published about the innovation
  • An interview with the lead person about the innovation
  • A video about the example.

If you have other ideas about how the case study might look, please feel free to propose it.

What’s the process for submitting a case study to the Showcase?

We want to make the process as easy as we can for submitters, but there are a few things we’ll need to do:

  1. psi [at] (subject: Government%20Innovation%20Showcase%20) (Check with us) about whether the example is suitable for the Showcase
  2. Prepare the submission according to your preferred format option
  3. Send it to us for an initial check and to see whether there might be any areas that could be elaborated on or things that might need clarifying
  4. Finalise the material, including any graphics or attachments that you want included
  5. Get internal clearance for the publication to be shared (please note that by default submissions will be covered by a Creative Commons 3.0 By Attribution licence). Within the Australian Public Service, this will generally require SES level clearance
  6. Send the final material along with evidence of the clearance to us
  7. We will then have it cleared here for publication
  8. Your example will be published and promoted through the Public Sector Innovation Network

We may contact you if there are any questions or if people want to get in contact to discuss the innovation further with you.