Modernizing Government

Modernizing Government

Implementing scalable and practical solutions

The structures, systems and processes typical of current governments are under pressure. The challenges of citizen involvement, technology, demographics and globalization have drastically changed expectations and governments are now seeking new ways of governing, engaging partners and delivering services. Our work in this area helps forward-looking organizations seeking advanced practices on structure, training and technology.

Access leading expertise through our advisory services

Our highly experienced team of consultants has over 20 years experience exploring and developing innovative approaches to responsible and responsive governance and public sector leadership in Canada and abroad. We have worked sector-wide in public, private and not-for-profit institutions and bring a full network of expert resources to everything we do.

Our advisory work addresses your specific needs

Our approach takes account of your particular objectives, history, stakeholders, personalities and culture and is underpinned by our extensive research in all areas of governance. We can help your public sector organization by:

  • Improving your organizational effectiveness and efficiency through business process transformation
  • Conducting comparative research, stakeholder engagement and organizational reviews that generate actionable insights you can use to improve your operations
  • Supporting strategy development and strategic planning through in depth analysis and expert facilitation
  • Conducting customized training, facilitation and moderated workshops and retreats
  • Helping you better understand the unique challenges of distributed governance as more power and responsibilities are distributed out among the broader public sector.
  • Optimizing public policy outcomes by aligning new ways of working to mandate and organizational structure
Access leading expertise through our learning products

We have developed a wide range of learning products that give you the knowledge and tools you need to be successful in an environment where change is the only constant. We offer an Executive Leadership Program, leadership boot camps, day courses and custom courses. All of our learning products are developed, tested and taught by former senior public servants and reflect the most up-to-date knowledge of policies, practices, structures and the true functioning of the enterprise. Learn more about learning opportunities at the IOG.

Customize your learning experience

We can customize our course content to meet the unique needs of your department, agency or functional community. Our custom courses couple practical exercises with our research, our experience, and action-oriented case studies to provide you with actionable insights and practical tools that enhance your learning experience and inspire you to lead transformative change. Contact us for more information on our custom courses.

Access leading expertise through our research

We have launched a multi-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council-funded (SSHRC) project – the Digital Governance Applied Research Program – to develop a national and international partnership to generate actionable governance insights for the digital era. Our founding partners included the University of Victoria, OCAD University, Dalhousie University and MIGHTY Purpose.

Digital Governance Applied Research Program

We recognize that the discourse around governance in a digital era must move beyond technological change to an understanding of the disruptive nature of digital transformation as fundamentally recasting the role and responsibilities of governments, citizens and other actors. Learn more about our Digital Governance Applied Research Program.

TMEx - Talent management for today and tomorrow More >

The Talent Management Exchange (TMEx) is a federal and provincial government community of practice that builds talent management capacity among its members by sharing experiences, insights and practical approaches to talent management as it adapts to the changing needs, circumstances and expectations of the public service. In this shared space, the IOG offers members the benefit of our facilitation, expertise, analytical tools, directed research and, with Monster Canada, software solutions.


Through TMEx members will:

  • Share how leading public and private sector organizations are approaching talent management and the processes that they are putting in place
  • Explore the various approaches to talent management, performance management, learning and development, and career planning and succession planning are affected by the diversity of institutions, policies and existing structures
  • Assess the often complex relationships between managers, employees and HR in talent management and how accountabilities and responsibilities can best be assigned and managed
  • Explore best practices in talent management, including how to identify and nurture those employees with the highest potential to senior executive positions
  • Discuss the relationship between talent management, learning and development, performance management and career and succession planning
  • Access to a bilingual software solution that can integrate talent management; performance management; learning and development management; and career development and succession management processes and that is compatible with PeopleSoft and most other HR management information systems.


The IOG has undertaken a number of projects aimed at creating a baseline for talent management in federal and provincial governments. Most recently, it has completed a report on public service transformation and talent management based on interviews with 25 senior leaders from the Government of Canada, five provinces and one municipality. You can find the full report here.

The IOG will be launching three sessions exploring the challenges of modernizing talent management to meet the needs of the government of the future in February and March.

We have run large-scale learning conferences and small-scale workshops featuring presenters and panels of senior government officials in the area of talent management and other topics on governance and the modernization of public service.


Membership is open to all federal and provincial government departments. For further information, contact Steve Tierney at or a 613-562-0090 extension 237.

Our virtuous circle in action

Our leading expertise is rooted in the balanced growth of our research, advisory and learning activities. This “virtuous circle” means that you benefit from a strong applied research focus that strengthens our ability to provide advisory services and informs our learning products; advisory services that shape our research and leverage our learning programs; and learning products that are based on evidence and experience.

Iraq Fiscal Decentralisation and Resiliency-Building

The IOG is continuing its work with the Governments of Iraq and Kurdistan with a three-year project on Fiscal Decentralisation and Resiliency-Building upon receiving $7.8 million in funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC).

The Fiscal Decentralisation and Resiliency-Building project started in the fall of 2015. The IOG has begun working with the Federal Government of Iraq (GOI), the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the provinces to adapt the best practices, relationships, and institutions of federal states to help transition the country from a highly centralized form of government to a federal parliamentary democracy. IOG staff have offices in Baghdad and Erbil, and local staff have been hired to assist with research, needs assessments, and project management. Iraqi study missions to Canada will expose Iraqi and Kurdistan government officials to the roles and responsibilities of elected and senior officials in a federal Parliamentary democracy. This work with GAC will carry on through to December 15, 2018.

GAC is funding this project in order to achieve two main objectives: 1) assist the GOI, the KRG and other governorates to stabilize their fiscal and program responsibilities and relationship through the design, implementation and management of predictable and sustainable intergovernmental fiscal transfer programs supporting more rapid decentralization; and 2) assist by strengthening capacity to manage the current humanitarian crisis in the near and long-term.

The Institute on Governance has been working in Iraq since 2011 on several projects, including building capacity for senior public service executives – a Senior Executive Service – funded by the UNDP.

City of Ottawa

We have been working with the City of Ottawa on ServiceOttawa since 2011, designing new governance and organizational models that allow them to better deliver streamlined citizen centric services to Ottawans. We have continued to provide the city with ongoing advisory services and developed a three-year transformational roadmap detailing the strategic initiatives necessary to support ServiceOttawa’s Integrated Service Model on a continued basis; this work includes the creation of a comprehensive integrated service delivery strategy, identity management strategy and client segmentation. Our work with the city allowed it to better understand the needs of its citizens and integrate its service offerings.

In addition, our work with the city on channel management, user experience and in-person counter rationalization, has informed our leading expertise in modernizing government and helped us work with other service delivery organization on integrating their service delivery vehicles. Our approach with the city for this project was based on our extensive research and practice-based insights into the benefits of modernizing service delivery.

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  • Maryantonett Flumian


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