The GOV.UK Innovation System at a Glance

A short case study on how GDS' support structures for their digital transformation works

This is a short (and in parts extremely simplified) remote presentation, Jan gave for a BioTech, GovTech, Normenkontrollrat Session of researchers and public servants, which was hosted by the HPDTRP Neuro Science Group organized by Julia von Thienen. If you don’t know UK’s Governmental Digital Service (GDS) yet: it’s one of the world’s most successful government digital transformation initiatives. Many of the measures they implemented years ago haven’t even started yet here in Germany, sometimes not even on an awareness level. It, therefore, is valuable to learn how they created organizational structures and platform technologies to support the creation of citizen-centric (digital) services that are sustainable and not just federal digitization flashes in the pan (e.g. transferring paper forms with bad usability, no citizen co-creation or regulation changes to digital; all with the typical proliferation of IT infrastructures, design systems, and (non-open access) APIs as we see now see it happen everywhere to get the OZG done quickly).

We at co:dify are very skeptical if the current practice of the German government to create hundreds of little “labs”, which in their logic stands for time-limited digit(al)ization projects, is the right way to transform public services. So we hope they learn as much as possible from GDS before they sink taxpayers billions again.

If you want more and first-hand information on how GDS’ org design and innovation process is set up in detail, we recommend this longer video with Martin Jordan, GDS’ Head of Service Design.

A reflection on the work of GOV.UK / GDS by some of its initiators with good lessons for other governments (and also big organizations in the private sector)

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