By Nitin Dahad
The focus of many western governments is very single-minded: to reduce public expenditure in order to reduce financial deficits, resulting in sever cuts in public services. They should therefore take note of the latest ‘Bright Ideas’ from Harvard University, which actually shows how governments can deliver more from less.
“Government innovation does not require endless resources and generous budgets,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. “As exemplified by this year’s Bright Ideas, some of our country’s smartest innovations can in fact reduce government’s size while serving our citizens more efficiently and effectively.”
This is a far cry from the ability to spend by the governments of the emerging economies and BRIC countries, where they appear to be spending more to kick-start their innovation ecosystems. This is definitely the case in India for example, where Sam Pitroda recently opened a two-day national innovation conference. Speaking at the conference, he also spoke of the telecoms infrastructure investments to boost innovation in the country. “No government across the world has such a huge fund dedicated to facilitate public infrastructure,” Pitroda said. The Indian government is said to have earmarked around US$ 3.5 billion to the national optic fiber network (NOFN) project which envisages connecting 250,000 villages (more information at this link).
And in Brazil, the government recently announced a US$250 million program to boost its software and information technology sectors, plus tax incentives to enhance technology innovation.
Bright Ideas – 111 innovative government initiatives in the USA