School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

Policy Innovation in the Digital Age

Amanda Clarke

Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University

Friday February 10, 2017,  12:00 pm 
Robert Sutherland Hall, 138 Union Street, Room 202

** Light lunch starts at 11:30 AM             All are Welcome

In the digital age, governments face increasing pressures to “do more with less”, to keep pace with evolving citizen expectations for service delivery, and to adapt to a society shaped by rapid information flows. In response, policymakers have attempted to integrate a range of new innovative policy instruments into their toolkits, including open data, big data, social media, behavioural insights and design thinking. Yet, facing a dearth of dedicated resources and talent, intense public scrutiny, the legacies of entrenched corporate policies and cultures, and in some cases, hindered by entirely legitimate legislative and ethical barriers, the pursuit of digital era policy innovation has in most cases resulted less in actual innovative policy, and instead, in the realization that the public service of today is ill-equipped to keep pace with the challenges and opportunities that accompany the digital age. Focusing on the Government of Canada, this presentation will identify the drivers of policy innovation agendas and the barriers that policy innovation efforts meet upon implementation. Looking forward, the presentation will point to both public management and democratic reforms required to build capacity for policy innovation in the public sector.

Amanda Clarke | February 10, 2017


Amanda Clarke

Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration
Carleton University


Amanda Clarke is an Assistant Professor with the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University. From 2010-2014, Amanda was a Trudeau Scholar, an Oxford University Press Clarendon Scholar, and a Doctoral Fellow of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. In 2014, she completed a DPhil exploring digital government in Canada and the United Kingdom at the University of Oxford. She is currently researching digital era policy design, public sector innovation, Open Government and civic technologies in Canada and internationally. Amanda also advises governments, international organizations and non-profits on issues related to digital era governance, including most recently the Governments of Ontario and Canada, the European Commission and the Mowat Centre. You can find her work at or on Twitter @ae_clarke.