Essentially, mission-oriented policy translates to joint action undertaken to achieve common, ambitious, concrete, and time-bound policy objectives. Both mission definition and implementation require the establishment of appropriate governance structures and co-ordination mechanisms to ensure that policymaking institutions (often operating across policy fields and levels of government) effectively align their public interventions to reach set targets. Missions also involve active engagement of diverse stakeholders beyond government, including organisations that may never have interacted together before and hold differing interests and points of view.
This raises the need for effective horizontal and vertical coordination and, more broadly, pro-active multilevel governance. Despite this, mission governance and structures are in practice often afterthoughts, resulting from and limited by pre-existing institutional set-ups. This represents a serious constraint on the transformative ambitions of the mission they are meant to enable.
The Mission Action Lab works to change this, by seeking to develop guidance on governance that give mission-oriented policies a fair shot at delivering on their many promises. We therefore investigate questions such as:
- What are the implications of governance level ownership (e.g. centre of government, ministry, agency, platform) on missions?
- What governance instruments and roles are needed for successful mission-oriented policy implementation?
- What mechanisms can help ensure both horizontal and vertical coordination within mission stakeholders?
- What can missions keep momentum and sustain legitimacy in changing political and economic environments?