With trust in government at an all-time low, it is imperative to demonstrate alternative strategies for how to govern in ways that are more inclusive and participatory. To that end, public institutions are turning to open innovation--also known as crowdsourcing--to open up the process of identifying both good ideas and the evidence to support their implementation to citizens, civil servants, and organizations.
The specific people-led innovation method employed in the San Pedro Garza García pilot project enabled the municipality to solve problems and to obtain evidence that demonstrated if, when, and how decentralized, collaborative, and open practices of solving public problems resulted in new creative, data-driven, cost-effective and citizen-centric policies and services.
The goal of the project was to pilot and evaluate a replicable process for Latin American cities to tap into the skills, talents and abilities of diverse citizens to solve social problems more quickly and effectively. By creating the “conversational infrastructure” -- method and tools -- to source and implement novel approaches from civil servants and the public, the hope is to spark a potential shift from the traditional top-down, closed governing approaches to more decentralized, collaborative, and open practices of solving public problems using the intelligence of the public seriously and encouraging active forms of citizenship. Rather than relying on a single approach, such as prize-backed challenges, the design of the project utilizes open innovation to source a wide array of ideas and combines it with ICT-enabled training to shape those ideas into implementable new policies and services.
Over the course of 2016, the GovLab, in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of the Municipality of San Pedro Garza García (SPGG) in Mexico, undertook to:
As a result of the pilot project, we were also able to develop a plan for this crowdsourcing method, which leverages expertise from the public and civil servants to effectively transform ideas into implementable proposals, to be replicated in other Latin American cities. This includes the following five key lessons to take into account when designing a problem solving method:
While it is too early to determine the impact of projects that were developed through the pilot, we have published several reports highlighting our results and launched a project website, all of which can be found in the “More About” section.