The purpose of this article is to analyse the role of national context in public sector innovation. Whilst there is a growing literature on innovation types in the public sector, prior studies have analysed data from a single country. Consequently, there is an incomplete understanding of the national context. Our comparative study examines 108 innovations from Italy, Japan and Turkey. The first stage of our empirical evidence uncovers a divergent configuration of innovation types. Further analysis of how national context was constructed by the innovators allows us to provide evidence for a national-context framework for public sector innovation.