Update on the APSII Project

My name is Dorothea Huber and I have been part of the Australian Public Sector Innovation Indicators (APSII) Project Team since January 2011. As it has been more than six months since our last blog post on this topic I thought it is time to update you on where the Project is at and to get you involved.

What is the APSII Project? 

The Project is an attempt to develop and implement a way of measuring and reporting on innovation capacity and performance in the Australian Public Service and wider public sector. It is being undertaken by the Innovation Analysis Branch of the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) and reports to the Secretaries Board of the Australian Public Service (APS) on its progress. The Project also falls under the APS Innovation Action Plan.

Where is the APSII Project at?

A Draft Discussion Paper (DDP) with a description of the proposed methodological framework for measuring public sector innovation was completed in March 2011. The paper draws on similar international projects and proposes an indicators-based approach and survey methodology to measure public sector innovation inAustralia.

The DDP was considered and endorsed by a Technical Reference Group (TRG), which had been established to provide guidance on technical aspects of the project. The TRG has met twice so far and is comprised of experts from DIISR, theUniversityofTasmania, the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 

The TRG also provided advice to the APSC on the innovation questions in the 2010 -11 State of the Service (SoS) Survey. The data from this survey will provide useful insight to the state of innovation in the APS.

Following the finalisation of the DDP, a Consultation Paper was also prepared for wider stakeholder consideration. This paper outlines the Project in non-technical terms and requests feedback from the project’s Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG). This Group is comprised of representatives from each of the 20 portfolio departments of the APS and chaired by DIISR.

The SRG held its inaugural meeting on 15 June 2011, where members were presented with a brief overview of the APSII Project and discussed innovation initiatives across the APS. The discussions were insightful and highlighted many of the difficulties faced by agencies in measuring and reporting on innovation.

 How can you contribute?

Stakeholder engagement is critical to the APSII Project. I am aware that several APS agencies are currently grappling with innovation - not only how to achieve it, but how to measure it and how to report against it. There are some great ideas out there which need to be harnessed. The PSI Network as an ideal forum for such dialogue. 

If you are interested in contributing to discussions you can respond to my blog or E-mail me on Dorothea.Huber [at] innovation.gov.au. Alternatively, you can reach Dr Antonio Balaguer, who has replaced Dr Yanfei Shi as Project Leader, on Antonio.Balaguer [at] innovation.gov.au.  

Copies of the above-mentioned documents and other relevant literature on public sector innovation can be obtained are provided.