Statement reform through several policy-making and public sector innovation

Statement of the Problem

Indonesia has been implementing bureaucratic reform through several policy-making and public sector innovation (PSI) programs (Riyadi, 2014; World Bank, 2018). However, the country still needs to work harder to overcome challenges in cultivating an innovative culture in public sector. The percentile rank of Indonesia in the World Wide Governance Indicator indicates the low attitude of government effectiveness indicators (World Bank, 2016). Doing Business Report shows the average time and procedures of doing business in Indonesia are still longer and less effective compared to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam (World Bank, 2018). Studies suggest that innovation improves public service quality, public sector efficiency and cost savings (Salge and Vera, 2012; Hughes, et al., 2011). Since 2014, local governments were mandated to innovate in any aspect to accelerate their performance. The government of Indonesia described PSI as “a new change of public sector that contributes to benefit to society directly or indirectly,” (Ministry of Bureaucratic Reform/ MBR, 2016, p.6).

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Leading sectors of PSI in Indonesia are MBR, local governments and National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA). NIPA manages roles as the PSI policy evaluator and public sector innovation facilitator to local government (NIPA, 2013). To implement the role, NIPA has been implementing the Innovation Laboratory program. Based on preliminary interview with the facilitators, Innovation Laboratory is facilitation program to stimulate local government innovation and accelerate bureaucratic reform achievement. The participants of the facilitation program are local government officer in middle management positions and functional positions. Steps of Innovation Laboratory are 1) Problem diagnostic, 2) Designing innovation, 3) Delivering and monitoring and 5) Innovation display (Taufik, 2016). During last three years, NIPA has facilitated 35 municipalities and stimulated 3,601 public sector innovations among those municipalities (LAN, 2017). Through those five steps, each of eight NIPA facilitating center in different regions applied different guidance in different local governments. Therefore, Innovation Laboratory performed different results and successfulness in different NIPA facilitating centers in the last three years (LAN, 2017).

A textbook describes innovation facilitation involves process as follows: Initiation, adaptive planning, collaborative action and relational monitoring (Brouwer, et al, 2015). In supporting PSI process, Howard (2012) suggested that multi-stakeholder partnership as one important PSI factor. Other driving factors of public service innovation are measurable goals and regular monitoring (Borins, 1998); job satisfaction (Niu, 2014); supporting law and regulations (European Commission, 2011); organizational capacity, personnel capacity, political driving forces and citizen participation (Bloch and Bugge, 2013). Previously, empirical studies on PSI pattern process has been few. Accordingly, this research importance is to provide a strategy and guidance for better Innovation Laboratory program policy implementation.


Research Questions

1.      How do NIPA facilitators and local government innovators conceptualize Innovation Laboratory process that shapes PSI best practices?

2.      What factors that drive and inhibit public service innovation in the perception of facilitators and local government innovators?



This research will employ qualitative method and use an interview guide as the instrument. The participants of the interview are eight facilitators from different NIPA facilitating centers and eight local government innovators as Innovation Laboratory program participants. Interviewing local government innovators will help the researcher to verify the statement from the facilitators and get a broader context of understanding about PSI best practices. The researcher conducts the interview through video calls and phone interview.

Firstly, this study will categorize participant’s perception of PSI pattern. The pattern relates to how they define PSI best practices; influencing factors of public sector innovation; and process and instruments in facilitating public sector innovation. Secondly, this study will compare the findings to the previous studies. Finally, once the researcher identifies the key process and driven factors of public sector innovation facilitation, this study will outline a conceptual framework for designing PSI.