Governance and implementation of innovation policies

The governance and implementation of national innovation strategies are critical to their success. The process of developing a national strategy requires early and adequate involvement of stakeholders, including business, academia, social partners and other key actors. Because many policies affect innovation, it is important that they are well aligned, not only at central-government level, but also between the centre and regional and local authorities, many of which actively support innovation. The development and implementation of innovation policies also require strong capabilities within the public sector, including in building trust in government action and ensuring the support of stakeholders for policy actions.
 
The growing importance of governance also reflects a new approach to policies for innovation in many countries, where governments increasingly act as a facilitator in the face of complexity and uncertainty, enabling closer co-ordination between individual economic agents as well as fostering greater experimentation in the economy. This includes greater emphasis on building networks, improving co-ordination and regulation, as well as promoting awareness and less reliance on government funding.
 
Establishing a national strategy for innovation is one thing; its implementation is often another matter. The framing of policies for innovation needs to recognise that they operate in a complex, dynamic and uncertain environment, where government action will not always get it right. A commitment to monitoring and evaluation of policies, and to learning from experience and adjusting policies over time, can help ensure that government action is efficient and reaches its objectives at the least possible cost.
 
Policy learning rests on a well-developed institutional framework, strong capabilities for evaluation and monitoring, applying identified good practices, and an efficient government bureaucracy. Incorporating policy monitoring and evaluation at the design stage of policy making will support evidence-based decision making and accountability and enable policy learning over time, as can experimentation with policies at a small scale. Better measurement of innovation outcomes and impacts is essential in this context.

 

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