Innovation Journal: Annual Report for 1999

December 31, 1999

Dear Editorial Board Members,

As the century turns, I would like to thank you for the support you have offered me and the Innovation Journal during 1999, and to wish you a happy and productive 2000. This is an opportunity to consider our accomplishments and identify our objectives for the year 2000.

Report on Year 1999

Most importantly, thank you to the Editorial Board for the material and authors you have recruited during 1999. I am convinced you are the main source of energy for the Innovation Journal.

As you know, the objectives we set for 1999 were the following:

1. Improve design as the amount of content increases

This is an ongoing issue, but we have made many improvements since December. The IJ is stable and functioning well. The changes necessary to the IJ’s software to avoid Y2K problems were done, and no problems have arisen. Search engine?? Comments and suggestions are welcome.

2. Upgrade the Revue de l’innovation. First priority was to find a French editor.

I am delighted to report that Luc Bernier of Ecole nationale d’administration publique, Université du Québec has agreed to become the editor of La Revue de l’innovation.

3. Attract more readers

Getting readers can be looked at from several points of view. I will discuss five: Getting access to others’ mailing lists, getting hits on the IJ site, getting noticed, who is willing to join the Editorial Board, whether and how many papers are submitted.

A. Access to Others Lists
Getting access to lists of people who would potentially be interested, most likely public administration lists would be the easiest. We have found, however, that others are not often willing to share lists. Consequently, I send the announcements to my networks, and they are often willing to post the information. Your passing the announcements of What’s New in the IJ on to your networks would be most welcome. French-speaking dissemination lists would be especially helpful.

B. Hits on the IJ
The Innovation Journal had 5547 readers from January 1, 1999 to January 4, 2000. This compares to a total of 2418 readers in 1998. Readership doubled.

La Revue de l’Innovation had 463 readers from January 1, 1999 to January 4, 2000. This compares to 234 readers from May 24, 1997, when it was established, to December 31, 1998.

The readership always goes up when an announcement of new material in the IJ goes out. These were sent out three times in 1999: March, June and November.

C. Getting Noticed
Another aspect is getting noticed. We are receiving some appreciative feedback from readers. The series of articles on risk-taking from the risk-taking conference sponsored by the Auditor-General of Canada and the Public Policy Forum were especially noticed this year.

Development of the Editorial Board
A third form of notice is the caliber of the people willing to join the Editorial Board. Ours is a first-rate board, and includes many well-known people in public sector innovation. Since January 1, 1999 the following have agreed to join the Board:

  • Alan Altshuler. Alan was Director of the Ford Foundation-Kennedy School Program, Innovations in American Government for the last ten years
  • Luc Bernier, Professeur, Ecole nationale d’administration publique, Université du Québec
  • Daniel Caron. Daniel was Director of the Innovation and Quality Services Division in the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada and is now a Director General in Human Resources Development Canada
  • Jeanne-Marie Col, Division of Public Economics and Public Administration, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Organization
  • Salvador Parrado, UNED (Universidad Nacional De Educacion a Distancia), Facultad de Ciencias Politicas y Sociologia, Dpto. Ciencia Politica y de la Administracion, Spain
  • Jack Smith, National Research Council of Canada
  • Francoise Waintrop, Government of France

D. Unsolicited Contacts/Articles
Another indicator of our reaching our audience more effectively is that we have now begun to receive unsolicited contacts and articles. Three unsolicited articles have been submitted since January. I was particularly pleased to receive an article from Terry Nichols Clark, Professor of Sociology, at the University of Chicago and Coordinator of the Fiscal Austerity and Urban Innovation Project. This is a world-wide research project on innovation in government that has produced huge data bases.

Meeting of the Editorial Board

The first face-to-face meeting of the Editorial Board was held in Sunningdale, Great Britain on July 14, 1999. You have received the minutes from that meeting (copy attached).

Some ideas for the IJ and the idea of a workshop on public sector innovation were discussed. Would anyone like to volunteer to work on these issues?

Looking Forward: Years 2000, 2001

The objectives set by the Editorial Board at its July 1999 meeting are an appropriate basis for discussion of objectives for 2000:

Possible Themes:

  • innovation in health, law enforcement, education, industry, sustainable development
  • information technology capabilities: look for specific innovations in public works, accounting
    • Make contact with high technology companies e.g. Intel, Microsoft, IBM
  • implementation
  • processes
    • mediation in hospitals
  • voluntary/third/not-for-profit sector
  • should not have too much focus on Canada
  • not the reform but the innovation


  • Michael De Vries, Netherlands: paper on bureaucratization of public participation to IIAS: More do, more process, fewer results [contacted January 6, 2000]
  • Alan Altshuler, "What I’ve Learned": rewrite or republish.

Case studies:

  • Victoria, New South Wales, Australia
  • European Union? Case studies: Richard Murray, Francoise Waintraup [forthcoming]
  • Ask Otto Brodtrick [no specific ideas]

Workshop in 2001:

Hold workshop and publish papers.

  • Possibility: Ottawa, fall 2000. [Availability checked: all Ottawa hotels full in 2000 and substantial reservations for 2001]
  • Invited papers.
  • Need some well known people that would draw registrants.
    • Would like to see Alan Altshuler publish in the IJ before a workshop
    • And chair the workshop.
  • Other possible speakers:
    • Mme Busier, Directrice de la recherche de CNRS


  • Identify provocative articles and people, who are having trouble getting published.
  • Link with or translate other material e.g. Japanese site for public policy: OECD has retired translators.
  • Communicate with Shan Sul Haque, Singapore, on IIAS board
  • Communicate with European Community Steering Group on Public Service Innovation
  • Approaches: legal, public administration, behavioural


  • One page summaries in other languages.

Quality and reproduction:

  • The IJ should be a high quality journal.
  • The IJ could reprint materials from other journals.
    • The original journal might refuse to allow reprints.
    • Would reprinting mean the IJ is a second class journal?
    • How would the copywrite issue be dealt with?
    • Perhaps the editor could limit the amount of reprinting–to one article per month, for example.
  • The IJ could seek papers from people at conferences that are not published by the conference e.g. IIAS conference. Possible strategy for allowing: require second peer review if somebody else rejected. Remember: a journal will only publish the papers that are right on topic. Some of the interesting papers might not be.

Suggestions for making Innovation Journal better known:

  • Add 3-400 people on public administration network of CCMD
  • VPAC list
  • Question: how to get message to those who want to contribute
  • Market at international conferences: web site demonstration, brochure, book marks
  • Newsletter
  • P.A. Time (American Society for Public Administration: has calendar of conferences. Send them a brochure, 8.5 x 11 inches)
  • Get on list servers for ASPA, NASPA, Academic Management (Florida)
  • Create an education committee
  • Recruit famous authors like Alan Altshuler. This would encourage other academics to submit papers to the IJ.
  • Announce in other journals e.g. Journal of the European Evaluation Society, International Review of Administrative Sciences (IIAS journal)
  • Write articles
  • Cheskin, California:
    • What clients expect on net
    • best performing sites: see what they do to attract people


  • Possibility of producing a hard copy: not considered worth the effort. Electronic is wave of the future. Improvements a better strategy.
  • Design improvements: Daniel Caron to put together a group to develop suggestion for improvements.

Improvements to be made:

  • Subtitle to be added to Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal [Done]
  • Search engine to be developed.
  • Library to be divided into two sections: innovation and other [Done]

Possible Partnerships:

  • Canadian Evaluation Society 2000 meeting theme is innovation

La Revuede l’innovation

  • Connect with university-based public sector groups
  • Possible contacts:
    • Jacques Chevallier, France, a university professor
    • Sylvie Trosa or Francoise Waintraup [Francoise agreed to sit on the Editorial Board]


  • Government of Canada is interested in innovation. Perhaps the IJ could become an element of their strategy. Daniel Caron to speak to Owen Taylor, Industry Canada, who is chairing the government-wide information management committee, TIMS.
  • Possibility of charging for access discussed: Two stages: (1) get people accustomed to it, (2) start charging.
  • Other governments interested? Consulting firms? Universities?

Next Steps:Action Plan

  • Design: Daniel Caron to lead group of Board members to develop suggestions for presentational/functional improvements for the Internet site re design, look, access
  • Marketing
  • Recruiting materials: Ken Kernaghan to approach academics for articles, including Tom Lynch, Ken Rasmussen, Alan Altshuler
  • Follow up on Editorial Board suggestions
  • Put together a planning committee for the workshop
  • Identify members of the Editorial Board to work on the issues identified.

Eleanor Glor
Editor and Publisher

Members of the Editorial Board:

Alan Altshuler, professor, Harvard University and former Director of Ford Foundation-Kennedy School Program, Innovations in American Government

Luc Bernier, Professeur, Ecole nationale d’administration publique, Université du Québec

Sandford Borins, Chair, Division of Management and Economics, University of Toronto

Otto Brodtrick, President of Centre for Public Management and Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Management, McGill University

Jeanne-Marie Col, Interregional Adviser in public administration in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Daniel Caron, Director General, Assets Management, Human Resources Development Canada

Howard A. Doughty, Book Reviews Editor, Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, Canada

Shun'ichi Furukawa, Associate Professor of public administration at the Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Eleanor Glor, Editor and Publisher of Innovation Journal

Pat Griffith, former Government of Canada executive

Arie Halachmi, Professor, Tennessee State University, Chair of the International Working Group on Public Sector Productivity of IIAS and the President of the South Eastern Conference of Public Administrators (SECOPA)USA

Ken Kernaghan, Editor, International Review of Administrative Sciences; Professor, Brock University, Canada

Thomas D. Lynch, Ph.D. is a Professor of Public Administration at Louisiana State University

Elke Löffler, PUMA, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), France

Wendy Macdonald, former deputy minister, Government of Prince Edward Island, Canada

Salvador Parrado, Dpto. Ciencia Politica y de la Administracion, Spain

Ken Rasmussen, Associate Professor, University of Regina, Canada

Jack Smith, Policy, National Research Council of Canada

Paula Tiihonen, Committee for the Future, Parliament of Finland, Finland

Françoise Waintraup, Government of France

Last updated: November 2009