How State wants to innovate

The State Department is contemplating a procurement that can drive innovation and collaboration among U.S. diplomats.

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WHAT: A State Department innovation platform

WHY: The technology at the State Department is notoriously creaky and out-of-date. One of the minor disclosures from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email systems was a 2011 suggestion from a colleague that the agency's "antiquated" tech could be the subject of an op-ed column.

The State Department is looking to blow the dust out of its hallowed halls and embrace digital innovation, as a means to support collaboration, develop new tools and encourage the adoption of web-based services that can be acquired at little or no cost.

In a new request for information, the State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships is casting a wide net for ideas about hackathons, crowdsourcing, brainstorming, improving user experience and developing digital tools to help diplomats do more with less.

"Our vision is to modernize the way the Department engages in diplomacy by institutionalizing private sector collaboration across bureaus and missions within the Department through a web-based one-stop resource center that captures our range of services and technical assistance, as well as provides offices guidance on how to integrate and implement innovative tools and practices (e.g. challenges, competitions, crowd sourcing, etc.) within their missions," the RFI reads.

State is looking to industry for a platform that can support all these services and scale to a global user base. Replies are due June 12.

Click here to read the full RFI.

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