DSTI in collaboration with MIT Gov Lab – Governance Innovation Bootcamp

OPEN CALL TO GOVERNANCE INNOVATORS IN SIERRA LEONE
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The Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation and the MIT GOV/Lab have collaborated to design a two-week course for government officials who want to create effective and innovative governance solutions.

The global pandemic has underscored the importance of citizen trust and government accountability in service delivery, particularly on issues centered around health care, social welfare, and education. Even with well-intentioned policies and creative tech solutions, low trust levels in service providers can undermine the best scientific efforts and impede the success of effective policy mechanisms. How then might we improve accountability and enhance service delivery outcomes?

In a bid to advance the frontiers of creative problem-solving strategies, the Directorate of Science Technology and Innovation (DSTI) in collaboration with MIT Governance Lab (MIT GOV/LAB) has designed a Governance Innovation Bootcamp for government officials who want to apply an innovation methodology to their work and spark a culture of governance innovation within their teams.

About the MIT GOV/LAB Methodology  + Bootcamp Structure

Format and Structure 
Time Commitment 
The bootcamp is a two-week intensive course (10 working days) with 7 hours of instruction per day (70 hours total).

Instruction
The Bootcamp will be facilitated by accredited experts and qualified  practitioners from MIT and Sierra Leone. Participants will have access to individualized support from  Innovation Mentors who will be available for consultation throughout the bootcamp . 

Format
This is a great opportunity for SL government officials to not only learn new tools and concepts, but also apply these to a governance project of their choice. Participants will be working on teams, attending lectures and completing assignments, project deliverables and other assessments to track progress.

Outputs 

    • Certificate of completion: All participants will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the Bootcamp (participants need to attend all sessions and complete all assignments in order to receive a certificate).
    • Project Proposal: By the end of the Bootcamp, all teams will have a Governance Innovation Project Proposal. The Governance Innovation Bootcamp culminates in a pitch event where all teams will present their proposals to departmental leadership for an opportunity to receive institutional support for project implementation. 
    • Prizes: On pitch night, selected proposals will be considered for monetary and/or technical support for implementation. Funding will be awarded to teams on a competitive basis. Technical support will be provided by DSTI from July – December 2021.
KEY DATES

April 19nd | Applications Open
May 3rd | Application Deadline
May 24th| Participants are notified of their acceptance
June 1st – June 14th | Bootcamp

Nomination 
Division or department heads  must complete and submit  this nomination form no later than midnight of May 3rd, 2021 (Monday). 

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

We are looking for partners who are determined to shift the status quo toward more collaborative models of governance.

Send an email to dsti_govbootcamp@dsti.gov.sl with your expressions of interest so we can keep you in the loop.

Bootcamp Learning Goals

Participants will learn the MIT Gov/Lab Methodology and will be guided through four phases of innovation: identifying a problem, generating validated user-centered insights, designing and refining new concepts and, finally, turning these concepts into implementable solutions. 

MIT GOV/LAB’s Innovation Methodology is an iterative process that weaves together practices from human-centered design, systems thinking and the social sciences.

  • Grounded in human-centered design, with an emphasis on understanding people’s motivations and integrating citizens into the process of co-creating new governance solutions;
  • Augmented by systems thinking, fostering an understanding of citizens and civil servants as constituents of a community and active participants in governance systems; and
  • Social sciences as a discipline for integrating data and evidence into decision-making and maximizing the potential for improved outcomes.
Bootcamp Learning Goals

During the bootcamp, participants will go through the Innovation Methodology and gain experience:

  1. Identifying opportunities for innovation through landscape analysis and systems mapping;
  2. Conducting original field research, including stakeholder interviews and observations, to deepen empathy with end users and expand understanding of the problem;
  3. Synthesising qualitative and quantitative data, to hone problem statements into actionable design insights;
  4. Applying design methods to brainstorm new ideas to solve entrenched governance challenges;
  5.  Test ideas through rapid, iterative prototyping;

Conducting hypothesis-driven user testing to validate assumptions before implementing solutions in the field.

HOW TO APPLY

This is a team-based experience and teams must be nominated by the relevant Division or Department Head .
The nomination process is the following. 

  • Team Formation 

To be eligible, your team should have 2 to 3 members, all of whom are currently working in your MDA. All members should be able to commit to the following: 

  • During the Bootcamp 

To be eligible participants should have the capacity to dedicate a minimum of seven (7) hours per day throughout the two-week program. Consider this as a full-time course for two (2) entire weeks. All participants must attend live sessions and complete all assignments.  

  • After the Bootcamp

If the project is selected at the end of the Bootcamp, all participants should be committed to work with DSTI  to implement over the next six months.

  • Project Selection 

Define what governance project you and your team want to bring to the Bootcamp. Projects should be aligned with MDA’s goals, be relevant to the participant’s role in the organization and have high Governance Innovation Potential. (Refer to the next section for more details on Project Selection) 

  • Selection

A selection committee will review and evaluate all applications based on their innovation and impact potential. Six teams from various MDAs will be selected to join the Governance Innovation Bootcamp 2021. 

To get the most out of this Bootcamp, the ideal team will be composed by government officials who are:

  • Early to Mid-career professionals. An early or mid-career professionals working in GoSL 
  • Self-Motivated. Driven and self-motivated to improve the public sector capacity.
  • Critical thinkers. Avid problem-solvers who want to improve in thinking critically and creatively.
  • Team players. A proven team player,willing to share the knowledge gained during this Boot Camp with your colleagues.
  • Dedicated. Currently or will potentially be in a project-based role and able to dedicate time and effort in advancing a governance innovation project as part of their daily work priorities.
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