Programa Conexão para Reconhecimento Aberto (Connection for Open Recognition Program)
The Conexão Inovação Pública RJ is a network of Brazilian public servants. Distance and other factors negatively impact the interaction and mobilisation of network members. The Connection for Open Recognition Program is an action of engagement, collaboration and strengthening of the network to encourage the sharing of material, promotion of new events and recognition and appreciation among the members of the network.
Conexão Inovação Pública RJ is a network formed by Brazilian public servants that promotes free courses and events to share knowledge and experience about innovation in the public sector. The network has two major challenges: maintaining member engagement and improving the dissemination of relevant content about innovation. To face these challenges, the Connection for Open Recognition Program was created. The first prototype was launched in 2019 and the second (current) version in January 2020.
The Program consists of using gamification and open recognition to promote various engagement actions among the members of Conexão Inovação Pública RJ
The main objectives of the Program are:
a) Valuing and recognising members who actively participate in Conexão Inovação Pública RJ;
b) Build several collaborative and constantly growing databases: work on innovation, tools, videos, venues for events, calendar of events, laboratories, teams and innovation networks, etc.
All public servants interested in innovation in the public sector are benefited, as everything done by Conexão Inovação Pública RJ is published in groups on Whatsapp and on the network's LinkedIn page.
For the future, the number of program participants is expected to continue expanding, since it was designed from the beginning to be scalable. The test of the first prototype was until 12/15/2019 and ended with 21 registrants. The second version has 95 enrolled on 02/19/2020.
The program's course of action was determined from the delivery of expected value (recognition among peers sharing knowledge) through diversified actions related to the purpose of the network. Firstly, the aim was to reinforce the feeling of recognition among people in the network and then to foster a culture of knowledge sharing.
Gamification techniques were used for the program, such as badges (which allow you to track which types of activities are most used by the network) and points ("Connection Points"), which can be used in auctions to earn rewards (such as books). For the mapping and enhancement of laboratories, teams and innovation networks, an award contest was created where voting takes place through "investment" of "Pontos Conexão", using a process inspired by the GovTech Program of the government of Portugal. The recognition of members of the network takes place through referrals between peers. This nomination is submitted for approval by the other members of Conexão Inovação Pública RJ. Whoever obtains a certain number of votes approving the nomination receives a "Certificate of Recognition". The idea is inspired by the Belgian government's Be Badges Program.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
The Connection for Open Recognition Program is innovative for several reasons:
1) Encouraged the sharing of knowledge, work and material on innovation, allowing the creation of a collaborative repository of tools, works, articles, videos, places for events and an agenda of events for innovation.
2) Increased people's engagement and sense of belonging to the Conexão Inovação Pública RJ network;
3) A form of governance and management of the network and talent was created through gamification and open recognition;
4) It allowed the expansion of the network's scope of action. Originally it was restricted to public servants in the State of Rio de Janeiro, but today it has a national reach; and
5) Keeps the network active with daily production of new content by the members of Conexão Inovação Pública RJ.
What is the current status of your innovation?
The Connection for Open Recognition Program is currently in its second version (launched in early January 2020). Among the current products of the Program is the creation of a repository of material related to innovation: articles, academic papers, methods, toolboxes and videos from the material that is sent by the members of the network.
17 "Certificates of Recognition" have also been issued (until 02/19/2020) for people in the Conexão Inovação Pública RJ network. In terms of physical rewards, three books were auctioned (with Connection Points) among members of the network.
A location map for events for innovation in the public sector and a collaborative agenda of innovation events in the public sector were also created. The Conexão Transforma * Gov Award for laboratories, teams and innovation networks is also underway. In addition to the award, an e-book will be created with the mapping of all participants.
Collaborations & Partnerships
The Connection for Open Recognition Program was created and is managed by a public servant from the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC). Awards (such as books) are purchased by the members of the Conexão Inovação Pública RJ network with their own money.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
The members of the Conexão Inovação Pública RJ network (public servants, public employees and people interested in innovation) are the main ones impacted by the actions of the Connection for Open Recognition Program.
Like all material that is created or shared by Program participants, citizens, other public servants, companies and civil society organizations also benefit from the Program's results, as they have access to material and events on innovation.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
Between 01/06/2020 and 02/20/2020 (second version of Program):
95 people registered
5,500 Connection Points Awarded
17 Certificates of Recognition issued
3 auctioned books
30 shared materials (videos, tools, articles)
17 name proposals for the Connection Transforma Gov name contest
74 votes in the Connection Transforma AwardGov name contest
7 spaces for registered events
12 innovation events mapped
It was observed that after the implementation of the Program, the number of followers of the Conexão Inovação Pública RJ page on LinkedIn grew exponentially. An increase in the frequency and quality (more material exchange) of messages from the Whatsapp group of the Conexão Inovação Pública RJ network was also observed.
Challenges and Failures
The biggest challenge is to maintain the engagement of network members over time, as well as maintaining the supply of databases with new content. A risk of all action with the use of gamification is to stimulate participants with extrinsic rewards only. To encourage intrinsic motivation, physical rewards are used very sparingly and forms of recognition among peers are encouraged.
However, there are very different levels of engagement. The average Connection Points per person is 58, but of the 95 participants, 62 have 50 or less Connection Points and only 14 have 100 or more points.
In order to increase participation in the Program and engagement, new forms of interaction are constantly created with the Conexão Inovação Pública RJ network, which can receive Connection Points and badges.
Conditions for Success
A program like the Connection for Open Recognition requires a good knowledge of the target audience (which is quite diverse) and of gamification and open recognition concepts and techniques so that the experience created is appropriate and makes sense to the target audience.
The correct management of the program (granting points and badges, organizing auctions, extracting and analyzing data, etc.) and creating new forms of participation on an ongoing basis is also essential.
Certainly the most important element for the success of the program is that it is appropriate and used continuously by the members of Conexão Inovação Pública RJ, mainly due to the fact that the databases and content of Conexão are fed by the members of the network.
The Connection for Open Recognition Programis easily replicable and scalable due to its simplicity. Essentially, it uses several forms as data entry and these data are tabulated, analysed and consolidated using an electronic spreadsheet and a word processor.
The main potential of innovation is the use of gamification (to encourage engagement) in conjunction with open recognition practices (to work with intrinsic motivation) and neither requires specific software.
It should be noted that the Program operates in an innovation network that involves hundreds of public servants from local, regional and national governments, which greatly increases the complexity of the operation. Still, the Program is easily manageable and can be scaled down to be used in simpler structures like small organisations or specific sectors.
In an innovation network formed by people and on a voluntary basis, there will be different types of profiles and needs. Many will simply come in to consume what is done or shared by others and others (few) will really advance the network with their knowledge and experiences.
These people need to feel valued and part of the network. Conexão Inovação Pública RJ is a network formed by people, it is not an institutional network. The Connection for Open Recognition Program exists to value these people and encourage them to make the network grow by generating a virtuous circle of knowledge, collaboration, sharing and recognition.
It doesn't have to be anything complex. You can start with something as simple as referring someone to receive a certificate of recognition and asking others if the person deserves it. That alone is capable of making a big impact.
The Conexão Inovação Pública RJ appeared in July 2018, but it was through the Connection for Open Recognition Program, in 2019, that the network boosted its expansion and reached more public servants who are hungry for innovation and do not know where to find or with whom to talk.
The moment when the team realised that the Connection for Open Recognition Program was important was when one of the members of the network that received a "Certificate of Recognition" said that the certificate was very valuable to him, as it was the first time that he was recognised for his work in the public sector and that this recognition came from other civil servants like him.