Innovation is often associated with private sector organisations where the demands for return on stakeholders’ investment and consistent organisational growth are significant impetus to successfully innovate or apply new knowledge. On the contrary, innovation in the public service organisations does not in any way appear to be a critical determinant of performance or survival – mainly due to the set of pressures, interests and demands on the public sector.
However, the dilemma is that since the public sector caters for the interest of so many and entrusted with socially important tasks; the importance of public service innovation is a no-brainer. Given innovation enables new needs to be met, and old needs to be met more effectively, it can result in greater value than the gains achieved in similar improvements in private sector.
The quotes below from Governor Fashola speaks to the importance of the issue:
“The dynamics of this time dictates that public service particularly of a city like Lagos must be responsive, efficient, proactive and an instrument of development”
“Equally, the public service that a mega city requires must imbibe the culture of innovation even in seemingly routine work” – Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (3rd of July 2012).
Persistent failure to innovate in public service delivery in Nigeria has led to years of large surrender of the potential benefit of knowledge application for the country. We do business as usual yet expect changes in quality of education, security, unemployment, public health etc. Citizens, private sector and non-state actors are busy building novel solutions to keep the economy alive but the public sector to the contrary is stuck in the past.
Below is a proposition which I believe could help harness the creativity of civil servants, citizens, civil society and researchers to co-create solutions to the barriers to efficient delivery of public services in states like Lagos.
The LASG Public Sector Innovation Lab should be a model innovation centre dedicated to empowering change in the public service through support to development and testing of novel approaches to public service delivery. The state-of-the-art facility should enable collaboration amongst public servants, subject matter experts, civil society and citizens to co-create solutions to the barriers hindering efficient public service delivery in Lagos state.
- Create networks of public sector professionals that transcend traditional organisational/institutional barriers
- Support the development of a climate more supportive of innovation in civil service
- Serve as a living lab for the creation, adaptation, piloting and main-streaming of innovative solutions within the public sector
- Build a community of progressive civil servants and coordinate engagement with citizens, civil society and subject matter experts to leverage collective intelligence for economic prosperity
- Map innovative practices: collecting and analysing examples of implemented innovations in public sector
The nature of the public sector organisations demands a unique form of leadership for innovation in public services. Public service innovation is not about product but relationships and organisational design that encourage communication. It requires collaborative practice between those who adopt and adapt the original idea or practice – it is not about a one size fits all model as practices change in each new situation. The starting point is not a disconnected ‘out of the blue’ idea, but responses to specific problems.
To be successful, executive leadership will be crucial in building a culture of innovation around public service delivery even on issues less likely to receive attention. The initiative will have to be led by a leader who places emphasis on people and encourage front line staff close to service users by motivating them to engage the users and subject matter experts in their bid to make improvement.
Su Maddock; the Director of Whitehall Innovation Hub
NESTA, UK – (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts)
Here is a review of CcHUB’s new initiative aimed at driving the growth of technology innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
Author: Michelle Atagana
Original link: http://ventureburn.com/2013/03/why-build-a-tech-city-when-you-can-build-a-tech-neighborhood/
This just caught my attention and I think it is such an innovative idea. Leave it to the Nigerians to change things up. While the rest of the world is putting plans in place to build their various tech cities, Nigeria’s tech hub in Lagos, has decided not to. According to the latest project by Lagos’ innovation hub ccHub, the city is concerning itself with a tech neighbourhood (hat tip: White African) rather than a whole city.
The initiative runs under that of the i-HQ Project, an industry led initiative that aims to accelerate the growth of technology innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
A collaborative effort between ccHub, Innovate Lagos and the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology.
According to the consortium: “The project will leverage the innovation assets within the technology cluster located around Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba in building an ‘innovation city’ — a hotspot for creative ventures where all key stakeholders (academics, industry and government) find adequate infrastructure, resources and an enabling environment to thrive while collaborating.”
In essence the i-HQ project is a more focused version of Silicon Lagoon. The first phase of the initiative include: Centre of excellence, Broadband Active i-HQ, Traffic Jam Free i-HQ.
Centre of excellence
The centre will serve as collaboration and co-creation space for all players within and outside of the i-HQ neighbourhood. “Our goal is to acquire the 6 storey building located at 294, Herbert Macaulay Way Sabo, Yaba,” says the initiative.
The building currently houses ccHub and will accommodate other key players in Lagos’ growing tech scene. The project hopes the innovators in the building will “collectively provide leadership, best practices, research, training to accelerate the economic contribution and global positioning of the Nigerian technology ecosystem”.
Broadband Active i-HQ
A true tech neighbourhood needs proper broadband connectivity. Through collaboration with the Lagos State Innovation Advisory Council and MainOne Cable Company, the partnership hopes to install fibre optic cables through the hood. “This move will enhance the connectivity of the cluster members and open up i-HQ for other technology businesses,” according to the project.
“A Coop Style ISP will also be established to serve businesses and residential properties in i-HQ. This will be driven through a Wi-Fi model available to all registered users within the area.”
Traffic Jam Free i-HQ
To sort out the traffic situation in the area the group is hoping to come up with a scientific solution through research and more partnership.
“Data will be gathered through cameras installed at different intervals on the entire Herbert Macaulay Way to document causes of traffic on the road for one full month (day and night).”
Pretty cool. Get one neighbourhood set up and running as a certified tech hub, if it’s successful take the same model and transplant it somewhere else. The guys at ccHub and their partners may not be looking to build a whole tech city but if the same model can be used in different neighbourhoods around the city, a tech city they will have without even thinking about it. It will be very cool to see how the next stage rolls out and what it entails.
On Friday January 18, 2013, Co-Creation Hub, Nigeria’s foremost social innovation centre in Nigeria, launched the EFIKO Mobile Application. The launch took place at the Co-Creation Hub in Yaba, Lagos and included an award ceremony for students who excelled using the platform during its pilot test in Lagos. With sponsorship support from Samsung Electronics West Africa, each winner from the pilot test received a Samsung Chief Hero E1500 mobile phone which they can use to download the EFIKO Mobile Application.
EFIKO is a mobile social quiz platform designed to enhance learning through self-assessment with topical quizzes tied to the National School Curriculum. EFIKO is available on multiple platforms such as Android, Nokia S40 and mobile web for other mobile devices (www.efiko.com.ng) and for download from the Samsung Apps and Google Play stores.
EFIKO was conceptualized and developed at Tech-In-Education (www.tech-in.org), a 48-hour gathering of ideas, people and digital tools aimed at creating novel web & mobile solutions to improve learning at primary and secondary school levels in Nigeria run by the Co-Creation Hub (www.cchubnigeria.com) in February 2012. The Team behind EFIKO came first at the end of the competition and since then has been working towards releasing the product to the market.
‘Bosun Tijani, C.E.O. of Co-creation Hub said ‘Following a successful and highly insightful pilot of EFIKO in eight (8) secondary schools across Lagos State, we are further convinced that EFIKO will enhance learning amongst Secondary school students by helping them take responsibility for their own performances in a fun mobile environment with minimal supervision.
According to Mr. Oyekanmi Bolade who is in charge of Digital, Mobile Content and Services, Samsung Electronics West Africa, “We will always support creativity and innovation this is why we have partnered with the Co-Creation Hub, to support the Efiko project. We believe that the wealth of this nation is not only its natural resources but majorly in its human capital potential. We will always be willing to support the realisation of this potential.”
Some of the key features of EFIKO include:
● Topical based learning: Students learn as they are taught according to the National Curriculum
● Standardized content: This is especially important for Students in Schools with a shortage of Teachers for certain subjects
● Instant scoring with a leader board: Students are challenged to do better when they see their current scores and ranks as well as that of their peers
● Social based learning: Peer-to-peer engagement makes learning fun for students. Students can challenge each other on social media to become top student for different subjects
● Recognition: In form of incentivising high performing students and their schools on the platform
● Geographical mapping: Tied to the leader board, students can see where top students go to school
● Covers Senior Secondary Classes i.e. SS1, SS2, SS3
● Service is free for students to download and use
EFIKO Secondary School Challenge
EFIKO was formally launched with a National Secondary school challenge competition. For the next six (6) months, the top student on the EFIKO leader board in five (5) subjects will win a mobile phone i.e. fifteen (15) students every month for six (6) months totalling ninety (90) students.
To participate in the challenge, SS1, SS2 and SS3 students are to:
- Go to EFIKO Platform (www.efiko.com.ng)
- Download the application
- Register (include a valid phone number)
- Take a test
- Submit your score
Winners will be determined as follows:
- Highest score in least amount of time in each subject (via the leaderboard) at the end of each month
- Verification of student identity through their schools
About Co-creation Hub
CcHUB is a social innovation centre dedicated to accelerating the application of social capital and technology for economic prosperity. Our technology hub which is the first in Nigeria serves as an Open Living Lab in which user-driven innovation is fully integrated in the co-creative process of new services, products and societal infrastructures.
CcHUB’s methodology is hinged on engaging a community of progressive stakeholders (end-users, subject matter experts, government agencies, businesses, academics, civil societies etc.) who bring their creativity and knowledge to play in co-creating solutions to social challenges faced by the average Nigerian through our open living labs. The resulting innovations are then supported to become sustainable market solutions by providing proactive business support, advice, mentorship and funding through our pre-incubation & research unit. For more information, visit www.cchubnigeria.com
Meet the latest civic start-up from Co-creation Hub Nigeria; akiliPoll.
akiliPoll is a social platform focused on enlightening a new crop of Civic Actors to drive Africa’s Growth Through Fact-Based Conversations. The start-up will deploy far-reaching tools in collating & presenting facts and engaging the average citizens on socio-economic and political issues through the:
- Design, development and administration of socio-economic and political polls aimed at gathering insights and intelligence on citizens perception and understanding of key governance issues
- Analysis, presentation and dissemination of insights gathered to broaden citizens perspectives on governance and social accountability in their society
- Engagement of citizens through conversations structured around the presented facts to elicit deeper interest in governance thus converting passive citizens to active citizens and ultimately spurring citizens to take informed actions
- Building partnerships with civil society organizations and other non-state actors to build on knowledge garnered through the platforms in accelerating transparency and accountability across Africa.
With an ambitious goal of running 2 polls/quarter, akiliPoll’s first poll is already generating interest in diverse quarters. “My Welfare – Nigerian” aims to assess the gap between national prosperity and individual welfare in Nigeria.
Check out their platform: http://akilipoll.com/ and help spark the conversation by taking the poll (5 multiple choice questions).
You can also show your support by liking their Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Akilipoll and follow them on twitter: @akiliPoll.
Let’s pull together to “Make All Voices Count” for a better and inclusive Africa.
‘Bosun Tijani (CEO and Co-founder, Co-creation Hub Nigeria)
Transparency and accountability in government is receiving renewed support driven in part by our common desire for a better world where government fulfills its role most effectively when its activities are open and transparent to the citizens. Perennial failure of leadership and corruption amongst other things has however nurtured wide spread apathy amongst citizens in most African countries. The strong sense of powerlessness meant that the concept of downward accountability and constructive engagement with civil society and citizens are still relatively uncharted.
With the above context, a key priority to balance as we drive for more open government is the need to make all voices count by supporting novel approaches that enhances citizens’ engagement in development and governance processes. Identifying and supporting these untested novel ideas from unlikely sources is what the Global Integrity Testing 123 Innovation Fund aims to accelerate.
The fund which is one of its kind aims to enable innovation in government transparency and accountability by investing in up to 10 brand new ideas that create new information or illuminate existing information with the goal of holding those responsible to account.
At an Open Information Session organized at the Co-creation Hub Nigeria on the 15th of October 2012; over 20 social entrepreneurs, open government champions, geeks and concerned citizens gathered to learn more about the fund through a Q&A session with Nicole Anand (via Skype). A panel discussion involving the founders of BudgITng, iWatchLive and The Constitution for All Projects was also held at the session to highlight works being done in bridging the gap between government and the average Nigerian.
While the Q&A provided insights that I hope will help the local community in Nigeria benefit from the fund, the key learning experience from the session for me came out of the panel discussion. The opportunity to experiment & test assumptions was clearly the single most important success factor according to the panelists. They highlighted how their seemingly innovative ideas were based on little or no empirical intelligence but a strong theory of change informed by personal experience. Given the chance to experiment, they have gone ahead to create popular platforms that are playing a key role in the emerging knowledge revolution in Nigeria.
The experience of these 3 social change agents highlights the strength of Testing 123 Innovation Fund in building bottom-up community driven initiatives aimed at driving government transparency in countries such as Nigeria. While the need to guarantee result will often scare investors away from untested ideas and organizations, the likely gains available for the development of nations at a time like this are bound to be missed while sticking to the traditional ways of doing things – tested ideas and organizations (which are yet to lift us out of our undesired state).
By ‘Bosun Tijani (Connector – Testing 123 Innovation Fund, CEO/Cofounder, Co-creation Hub Nigeria)