Governing Cross-Border Challenges
Governing Cross-Border Challenges

Governing Cross-Border Challenges

Report identifies key approaches to cross-border government innovation, highlighting benefits and challenges. Collective effort critical for tackling complex issues.
In Partnership with

The OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation have partnered to release a report on achieving cross-border government innovation. The report identifies three key approaches to cross-border governance, which include building cross-border governance bodies, innovative networks for cross-border collaboration, and exploring emerging governance system dynamics.

The report highlights that the biggest challenges we face, such as climate change and health inequalities, do not respect boundaries and therefore require collective efforts to address them. The report finds that cross-border government innovation can be driven by top-down or center-out governance bodies, but can also emerge from peer-to-peer connections through horizontal networks. Networks are becoming more innovative in their form and function, and as a means for developing innovation capacities across borders and systems, while simultaneously fostering cultural capacities that reinforce cross-border collaboration.

The report surfaces several benefits, challenges, and success factors related to cross-border government innovation. Key benefits to cross-border collaboration include regulatory effectiveness, economic and administrative efficiency, managing risks across borders, enhancing knowledge flow, and bringing about economies of scale. However, core challenges that limit cross-border collaboration include additional layers of coordination, difficulty of jurisdictions deviating from norms, perceived loss of sovereignty, and competing political interests, among others.

The report recommends five key actions for governing cross-border challenges, including securing political and leadership commitment and advocacy from the highest levels of government, pursuing cross-border efforts only where these make sense and involving all stakeholders in establishing a clear vision and strategy for cross-border collaboration, ensuring structural enablers are in place and exploring relevant systems dynamics that can better connect partners and collectively guide work, sharing costs and benefits related to collaboration, and being a good partner and building trust by fostering strong relationships over time.

The report provides a level-headed assessment of the challenges and opportunities associated with cross-border governance, highlighting that governance should be understood as a collective effort and that cross-border government innovation is critical for tackling complex issues that cut across borders.

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