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|Missions for governance||1.04 MB|
|Missions for governance (summary)||123.94 KB|
Mission-oriented innovation policy (MOIP) has provided a new approach to addressing relevant societal challenges and enhancing our collective capability to solve them. Yet, when put into practice, MOIP faces similar challenges as other policy innovations. For example, electoral cycles, governmental silos, low capabilities or the need for broad collaboration pose radical challenges to how the potential of MOIP is eventually translated into practice. Shifting public action, which MOIP promises, necessarily questions the core mechanisms that define how governments work.
Countries have not been able to unleash the potential of missions because of three challenges: (i) ambiguity, (ii) incrementalism and (iii) mission-washing. The ambiguity of the concept leaves policymakers without clear paths forward. In the lack of feasible alternatives, incrementalism becomes the standard go-to approach for embedding new policy rationales into old tools. As a result, mission-washing materialises as a critical risk, leading to transformative narratives with modest effectiveness.
This paper identifies three main challenges and relevant recommendations to address them.
Purpose is the only silver bullet to make missions a valuable compass for societal transformation. In a few words, the sole adoption of the MOIP label without any relevant change in how governments operate will fail to make transformative change happen. All in all, the question is not what missions are, but what one wants to do with them. It is less about how they look in practice — as if there was only one way of making them — and more about how to devise them in a way conducive to the desired goals.