Governments have turned to public-sector innovation labs to develop new approaches to designing policies and public services. Worldwide, more than 100 government innovation units have sprung up to find solutions to pressing social challenges (Deloitte
2020). Among APO members, some of the notable ones include the Public Service Division’s Innovation Lab in Singapore, the Innovation Bureau in the Republic of Korea, and the Thailand Policy Lab that was launched in collaboration with the UNDP.
Innovation labs provide platforms and protocols for engaging civil society, technologists, the private sector, and government to solve social and public challenges with experimental methods. They can take various forms from small, distributed teams to
a physical office, and employ diverse methodologies. These include design thinking, behavioral insights, randomized controlled trials, and advanced data analytics. The labs share some common features. First, they are focused on people-centered policymaking.
This means that innovation labs involve co-designing proposals with citizens and bringing in diverse stakeholders to develop empathy and ensure successful design and implementation. Second, they employ design-thinking approaches, i.e., processes of
iterative, user-centric problem solving originating from tech and product design. Third, they promote cross-departmental collaboration, enabling different government agencies to work together and share learning.
The main objectives of this course are:
This e-learning course will cover the following modules:Module 1: Introduction to innovation labs Module 2: Setting up the team and conditions Module 3: Prototypes and pilot projects Module
4: Tools and techniques Module 5: Sustaining a lab