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SmarterNJ is an initiative designed to improve the quality of government policies, programs, and services by fostering meaningful engagement with residents, businesses, and non-government organizations. In partnership with State departments and agencies, SmarterNJ works to harness the insights, perspective, and passion of the public to improve government outcomes.


Government policy making and service delivery can often be disconnected from the very individuals it is designed to help. To make policies even more effective, the State must tap its most valuable assets: the intelligence, expertise, and know-how of its people. However, engaging with residents in meaningful ways, and at scale, has long been a challenge for government.

Innovation In Action

SmarterNJ leverages technology, modern approaches, and industry expertise to tap the public to solve problems, develop policies, and measure the impact of services. OOI’s approach is guided by a fundamentally different philosophy: one that seeks to open design, development, and implementation processes to those outside of government. SmarterNJ’s tools include: open innovation, crowdsourcing, participatory research and evaluation, prize-backed challenges, and more.

Impact + Metrics

  • SmarterNJ launched the Innovation ENJINE Challenge, an open call to State employees for proposals to make government more effective and efficient. Over 2,000 employees participated, and the five winning proposals were selected in late 2019. OOI worked with those teams to help implement their plans. One notable proposal has already been implemented on the NJ State Department of Labor’s site, reducing long phone wait times.
  • Your Future of Work, a problem identification consultation, was launched in partnership with the New Jersey Future of Work Task Force. The project engaged over 4,000 workers to better understand the ways in which a changing economy and technology were impacting their jobs.
  • To support New Jersey’s efforts to combat COVID-19, the Your Voice Your Shot video contest asked the community to create compelling videos encouraging vaccination. Watch the winning video here.


  • SmarterNJ is working towards its goal of using technology to connect 20,000 New Jerseyans with policy makers in 2023. Visit to learn about ongoing and upcoming projects.

Resources and Additional Information


  • Office of the Governor

Last updated on 5/1/24

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