New Zealand Embassy launches GovTech Accelerator program in the Philippines

Published on August 3, 2022

Ambassador Peter Kell introduced the New Zealand Embassy's public sector innovation program known as the "Govtech Accelerator," during a Liveable Cities Lab held last August 3. He was joined by CreativeHQ's Head of Government Innovation Jonnie Haddon and Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Philippines' Deputy-Director General and OIC Ernesto Perez. 

Globally ranked first in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report, the Ambassador shared that the key characteristic of New Zealand’s successful digital transformation journey is prioritizing the needs of people. “Digital government is about putting people first, not about what governments want to do. It’s about focusing on what people need from the government in these fast-changing times using emerging technologies, data, and changes to government, culture, practices, and processes,”  said Ambassador Kell as he shared New Zealand’s experience. 

With the help of CreativeHQ, the GovTech Accelerator will capacity-build and transform government organizations in the Philippines to produce creative solutions that will address the country’s most urgent challenges. Agencies and LGUs who join the program undergo 12-week ideation, innovation, and prototype-building for solutions to specific customer (e.g., citizen) pain points. The 12-week program is facilitated by Wellington, New Zealand-based CreativeHQ, an organization that specializes in facilitating this innovation process in government agencies.

“The primary objective of this program is to provide a better outcome for who we are trying to serve,” CreativeHQ’s Head of Government Innovation Jonnie Haddon emphasized. “It’s also about building the capability of public sector staff to apply these principles throughout their career and create a groundswell of practitioners who can challenge the status quo and do things in a different way.” 

Through its partnership with the New Zealand government, ARTA Philippines is aiming to eliminate bureaucracy and improve public service delivery. Currently, the agency is upskilling its own employees on innovation tools and methodologies under Creative HQ’s T7 Masterclass Training. To accelerate innovation in the country, ARTA is also planning to establish creative laboratories for startups, corporates, and governments. “We hope to create inclusive growth to ensure that no one is left behind in the process. We believe that streamlined and re-engineered intelligent, ICT-enabled systems will improve the lives of our people,” says ARTA Philippines’ Deputy Director General Ernesto Perez. 

The Embassy has already partnered with Anti-Red Tape Authority of the Philippines (ARTA) and Valenzuela City in the GovTech Accelerator program to improve public sector efficiency. 

The Lab was co-presented with the New Zealand Embassy and in partnership with the League of Cities of the Philippines and Globe Telecom. 

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