An OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation &
Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation Partnership

Achieving Cross-
Border Government Innovation

OECD -  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OPSI - Observatory of Public Sector Innovation
WGS - Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation


The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how the interconnectedness of countries may have made the world more vulnerable to common threats, and has exposed weaknesses in international co-operation. Major challenges are not limited by jurisdictional borders, and demand collective action.

This calls for exploring innovative approaches to cross-border collaboration. However, government innovation efforts are largely confined to national or local borders. Why is collaborating across borders not happening more often? And how can we break this paradigm?

To help answer these questions, OPSI and the MBRCGI have worked in partnership to determine which set of innovative practices can best support collaboration to tackle cross-border issues, including a variety of inputs.

OPSI and the MBRCGI have developed a series of three reports on key modes of cross-border government innovation, which are being published here.

Report 1

Governing Cross-
Border Challenges

Issues facing governments are increasingly complex and transboundary in nature, making existing governance mechanisms unsuitable for managing them. Governments are leveraging new governance structures and mechanisms to connect and collaborate in order to tackle issues that cut across borders.

Report 2

Surfacing Insights and Experimenting Across Borders

The field of public sector innovation has long promoted building conduits for ground-up ideas and solutions. Likewise, experimentation is a key mode of innovation in governments and is gradually becoming a norm. New practices derived from these efforts help government move beyond organisation-centric thinking to test ideas in ways that promote learning manage risk. The success of these efforts within countries and jurisdictions has led governments to apply similar approaches in cross-border ways.

Report 3

Delivering and Enabling Impactful Cross-Border Solutions

Hands-on delivery and implementation represent the culmination of the different types of initiatives, structures and mechanisms uncovered in the work conducted by OPSI and the MBRCGI. Likewise, governments are putting in place foundations and cross-border enablers to allow for collective design and implementation of innovative policies and services, which can also support the topics covered in the other reports in this series. These enablers include interoperable digital architectures and the skills and capacities needed for cross-border government innovation.