Final Evaluation: Public Sector Innovation Lab

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2022, Bahrain
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
Completion Date:
Management Response:
Evaluation Budget(US $):


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Title Final Evaluation: Public Sector Innovation Lab
Atlas Project Number: 00113912
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2022, Bahrain
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 05/2022
Planned End Date: 05/2022
Management Response: No
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.1 Capacities developed across the whole of government to integrate the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other international agreements in development plans and budgets, and to analyse progress towards the SDGs, using innovative and data-driven solutions
SDG Goal
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
SDG Target
  • 17.14 Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development
Evaluation Budget(US $): 15,000
Source of Funding: Project
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 8,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Elinor Bajraktari Evaluator
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Bahrain Institute of Public Administration
Countries: BAHRAIN

Lesson 1: Innovation as a Broader Societal Feature

The purpose of public sector innovations is to provide better services for citizens and to improve living standards. The experience of the PAIL project has shown that co-creation and collaboration enhance the design and the positive impact of innovations. Innovation is not a narrow feature associated with a particular institution such as the Innovation Lab or BIPA, but a much broader societal feature that can be a key component of the society’s success in terms of productivity and efficiency. Because of the positive features of broad-based and collaborative innovation, the Government’s and BIPA’s efforts at innovation need to reach out to broader sections of the society and engage different stakeholders from different sectors: academia, civil society, private sector, media, etc. The form of collaboration can vary from raising awareness to co-design of policies, but collectivity will enhance the impact of the innovation approach.

Lesson 2: Raising Awareness and Communicating about Innovation Activities

Effective communication is essential for increasing the understanding and awareness of innovation practices within the Government, civil society, private sector and the broader society. It is also crucial for mobilizing wider political and societal support for innovation activities by demonstrating in practical terms the value of innovations. There are different ways and channels through which lessons and insights from innovation activities can be shared with stakeholders. Formats such as webinars, newsletters, social network stories, blog series could be utilized. Channels already used by stakeholders and government officials need to be identified and leveraged for an effective reach. The five case studies generated through the Innovation Advocates programme provide a good basis and example for sharing innovation stories and information. The Innovation Lab could play a crucial role by packaging the documentation related to these experiments in an engaging and accessible format and sharing them through appropriate channels with a wider audience. This information could also be targeted to specific sections of the Government and society by ensuring that the information is tailored in an appropriate way.

Lesson 3: Fostering Long-term Organizational Change

Another crucial lesson drawn from the experience of the PAIL project is that innovation is a political process in the sense that it has supporters and opponents. The changes introduced by innovations have the potential to change the balance of power in an organization or other setting and as such they have the potential to generate resistance. The challenges that innovators face across the public sector may relate to important organizational practices, structures and processes which hold back innovation. Therefore, it will be crucial for supporters or promoters of innovations to identify and address resistance to innovations as a crucial aspect of the long-term sustainability of innovation activities. In this context, future support for innovations could broaden the scope of work to include activities that analyze and identify bottlenecks and challenges innovators face during their journey. There should also be support in convening stakeholders in order to tackle and overcome the bottlenecks identified. It will also be important to encourage innovation activities through incentives and awards for promoters, which would signal to organizations that innovation is indeed a priority.

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