Read the latest blogs from the IGL network.

Promoting experimentation in government – learning from Canada’s experience

By Giulio Quaggiotto and Shatha Alhashmi on Wednesday, 7 June 2017.

Back in 2015, the Canadian Prime Minister publicly released, for the first time, his instructions to all his ministers. Among these instructions, entitled mandate letters, one was particularly relevant to experimentation. It was addressed to the President of the Treasury Board of Canada, and it stated:

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Towards an experimental culture in government: reflections on and from practice

By Jesper Christiansen, Bas Leurs, Giulio Qiaggiotto on Thursday, 27 April 2017.

Recent years have seen a growing interest and increasing uptake of experimental methods in government. Around the world, we see a growing number of governments taking up experimental approaches to tackle complex issues and generate better public outcomes.

Good people or good ideas? Which makes for a good startup?

By Linus Dahlander, Christoph Ihl, Rajshri Jayaraman & Viktoria Boss on Thursday, 2 March 2017.

Entrepreneurship is a major source of job creation and is considered to be an engine of economic growth and innovation. As a result, there is no shortage of initiatives to promote it. Governments across the world spend billions subsidising entrepreneurial activities, companies increasingly introduce measures to encourage workers to engage in entrepreneurship, and investors are constantly on the lookout for potential “winners”.

Taking the first steps in business policy experimentation

By James Phipps on Friday, 10 February 2017.

Embarking on a journey of policy experimentation might be easier with just a first small step… Keen to encourage a culture of experimentation amongst policy makers, IGL has been examining the barriers that prevent its adoptions – finding that these include a reluctance to disrupt the status quo, fears of a backlash if ‘lotteries’ are used to allocate support or simply that evaluation is considered too late.

Manchester city - Image copyright David Dixon

Insights from Greater Manchester on the application of randomised controlled trials to business support services and programmes

By David Morris & Martina Vojtkova on Wednesday, 11 January 2017.

Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) are considered by many to be the gold standard in demonstrating the real impact of an intervention such as the introduction of a new medicine; but translating the approach to the social sciences is not without challenges. Within the field of public policy, conducting an RCT can be viewed as a challenge to traditional institutional practices, raise ethical and political concerns, and be too complex for non-expert staff to design and implement.