Over the last two decades, the design practice has been expanding to the public sphere to generate solutions for public challenges. In particular, the reflections on the design practice of public sector innovation (PSI) units, working in or with governments, are increasingly contributing to a growing body of literature attempting to characterise the practice in policy making. Although scholars conclude that design’s significant contribution in policy refers to the implementation of public services and programs, there is also an urgent advocacy for a deeper study of the nature of design practices within earlier stages of policy processes addressing more specifically policy proposals and reforms. As part of a broader investigation, this paper seeks to shed light to this matter by identifying design-led activities and methods of PSI units in the policy making process and positioning them in the stages of the policy cycle. This research examines academic, grey literature and web content to uncover and position design activities of 46 PSI units from different continents in a policy cycle model based on Howlett, Ramesh and Perl (2009). Our work confirms that most design activities develop in the implementation stage rather than in early stages of the policy process. While design interventions are growing within policy formulation and agenda-setting stages, few of them were identified in the stage of policy evaluation. Decision-making stage remains purely political. This research may serve to a further understanding of the design practice and its potential contribution to policy making in the future.

Mapping design activities and methods of public sector innovation units through the policy cycle model

Villa Alvarez, Diana Pamela;Auricchio, Valentina;Mortati, Marzia
2022

Abstract

Over the last two decades, the design practice has been expanding to the public sphere to generate solutions for public challenges. In particular, the reflections on the design practice of public sector innovation (PSI) units, working in or with governments, are increasingly contributing to a growing body of literature attempting to characterise the practice in policy making. Although scholars conclude that design’s significant contribution in policy refers to the implementation of public services and programs, there is also an urgent advocacy for a deeper study of the nature of design practices within earlier stages of policy processes addressing more specifically policy proposals and reforms. As part of a broader investigation, this paper seeks to shed light to this matter by identifying design-led activities and methods of PSI units in the policy making process and positioning them in the stages of the policy cycle. This research examines academic, grey literature and web content to uncover and position design activities of 46 PSI units from different continents in a policy cycle model based on Howlett, Ramesh and Perl (2009). Our work confirms that most design activities develop in the implementation stage rather than in early stages of the policy process. While design interventions are growing within policy formulation and agenda-setting stages, few of them were identified in the stage of policy evaluation. Decision-making stage remains purely political. This research may serve to a further understanding of the design practice and its potential contribution to policy making in the future.
Public sector innovation units; Design methods; Public policy; Policy making; Policy cycle model; Innovation labs
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1203007
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