Smarter Crowdsourcing is a method that combines rigorous problem definition with crowdsourcing to attract diverse ideas from global experts and rapidly develop those ideas into actionable proposals.


Smarter Crowdsourcing | Anti-Corruption brought together the Mexican government, civil society and over 100 global experts in the summer of 2017 to devise specific, workable and impactful solutions to the problem of corruption in Mexico.

In a series of weekly, two-hour web-based conferences in 2016, experts from around the world explored innovative and practical ways to address the causes of zika and mosquito-borne diseases in four Latin American countries resulting in 20+ policy proposals, many of which are already be implemented.

In 2015, the GovLab helped government officials in Quito, Ecuador prepare for the imminent eruption of the Cotopaxi Volcano, which was spewing ash for the first time in over a century. The GovLab worked with the municipal government and nonprofit organizations to develop a more nuanced understanding of the public health problems needing to be tackled in connection with the Volcano, and over sixty-five experts joined two months of online discussions.

Our Methodology

Problem Identification and Definition

Using our problem definition methodology, we break down a larger issue into actionable, focused problems. Government partners prioritize among problems, selecting the ones to focus on.

Curating Guests and Online Conferences

We organize a two-month open innovation process that combines self-selection with curation to attract a wide range of diverse experts- specifically those with the experience, not just the credentials. Our team moderates two-hour online conferences focused on a different piece of the problem every week. We brief the most innovative and actionable ideas from the conferences and government partners select from them the ones they want to implement.

Putting Ideas into Practice

Following the conferences, our team conducts research and follow-up interviews to translate ideas into executable implementation plans. We cover those areas governments most need to know to successfully implement a solution, such as cost, timeline, metrics and how-to’s.


The GovLab