This paper provides an introduction to collective intelligence in government. It aims to be useful and relevant to governments of countries at very different levels of development. It highlights the ways in which governments are better understanding the world around them, drawing on ideas and expertise from their citizens, and encouraging greater scrutiny of their actions. Collective intelligence is a new term to describe something which is in some respects old, but in other respects changing dramatically thanks to advances in digital technologies. It refers to the ability of large groups - a community, region, city or nation - to think and act intelligently in a way that amounts to more than the sum of their parts.