Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
BESS-CLES (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Mission & Content Summary


Change and innovation processes in the public sector are fundamental for the modernization of the public sector. In most cases these processes are implemented with the support of data. The public sector is becoming increasingly aware of the potential value to be gained from big data. Governments generate and collect vast quantities of data through their everyday activities, such as managing pensions and allowance payments, tax collection, national health systems, recording traffic data, and issuing official documents. Throughout the course students have the opportunity to meet with public managers who are currently implementing innovation processes as well as with practitioners who are managing the use of big data in collaboration with or for the public sector.


The course provides concepts for managing innovations and big data in the public sector. The topics include:

  • Understanding the landscape of innovating in public sector organizations.
  • An analytical framework to assess needs, prioritize objectives, support decision making and set the road map for implementation of innovation processes given a public agency’s context.
  • Tools and capabilities to plan and develop an innovation process.
  • Exploring the emerging issues of open government, open and big data, and discussing new practices, questions and dilemmas they raise for people working in public organizations.
  • How to use data to support transparency and to enhance performance in public sector organizations.
  • How to use data to manage different areas of government: city development, healthcare, international organizations.
  • Organizational and cultural change challenges in the public sector related to advances in big data.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...

This course aims at providing students with the knowledge, analytical frameworks and skills necessary to:

  • Define strategies for making government perform better and for increasing public value.
  • Identify and implement innovative solutions to public problems using big and open data.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Develop and implement an innovation strategy for a public agency.
  • Address critical concerns in strategic innovation management in the public sector.
  • Assess the impact and performance of innovation processes in public agencies.
  • Extract meaningful insights for public operations from big and open data.
  • Interpret data in ways that support evidence-based decision making.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Company visits
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


There are different modes of learning in this course, each with their own dynamic and requirements. This way, we hope to create a learning environment that accommodates diversity in terms of the way students learn. These modes are: 1) Interactive Lectures 2) Case Discussion, 3) Team Work, 4) Guest speakers’ talks. 

  1. Interactive Lectures. Lectures are meant to discuss theory and practice of all issues related to innovation and big data use in the public sector. Students' contribution to the lecture is considered fundamental in order to enhance your understanding of the issues.
  2. Case Discussion and Role Playing. The purpose of a case study is to place participants in the role of decision-makers, asking them to distinguish pertinent from peripheral facts, to identify central alternatives among several issues competing for attention, and to formulate strategies and policy recommendations.
  3. Team work and students’ presentations. Students apply the concepts introduced during the course through group works. In particular, they manage a decision-making process in the public sector as well as an innovation project using big data.
  4. Guest speakers’ talks (in class or in distance). We are hosting several guest presenters on topics relevant to learning innovation and big data. Guest Speaker' talks and seminars provide an opportunity for the students to benefit from the experience of prominent government officials, corporate executives and technology professionals. Distinguished speakers are invited from the public sector to highlight current issues, trends and concerns related to the innovation process and the use of big data. Students are given the opportunity to interact with these experts and gain their viewpoint on academic concepts that are actually practiced in the public sector.  These opportunities provide students with a broad perspective to evaluate theoretical concepts and transform them into realistic plans.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


The final grade is determined by weighting grades for the following components:

  • 15% Class active participation.
  • 35% Group work, presentation and discussion.
  • 50% Final written exam.

Dates and times are posted in the University exam timetable.


Written exam.

Teaching materials


  • Readings are available in the Library Course Reserves.
  • Role playing, incidents, case studies and other relevant material are available on the Bboard page of the course.
  • Slides are uploaded after each session and are available on Bboard.
  • Additional resources are available upon request based on your personal interests.


  • Readings are available in the Library Course Reserves.
  • Additional resources are available upon request based on your personal interests.
Last change 01/06/2019 17:30