[HN] People Powering Policy

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff Metropolitan University
Department Name: Product Design and Development Research

Abstract

This project aims to identify if, where and how design research might enhance policy-making through greater citizen involvement. It will produce a Design for Policy Toolkit containing metrics, methods and tools to support academics and policy-makers to engage more effectively with citizens at appropriate stages of the policy-making process.

Design is an approach to problem-solving that departs from an analysis of user needs and involves users in jointly developing and testing solutions. Design is increasingly being adopted by government teams called 'Policy Labs' in an attempt to renew the legitimacy of public policy-making through greater citizen involvement'. Despite this, to date, 'there has been little academic research into design in the context of policy-making' (Kimbell, 2015).

The classic policy-making model in the UK is ROAMEF (Rationale, Objectives, Appraisal, Monitoring Implementation, Evaluation and Feedback) . For Joseph Lowe, Head of Economics Branch in the Treasury, "There is a need to enhance citizen engagement in policy-making. The challenge is to align design research with ROAMEF." This project seeks to identify if, where and how design research might enhance citizen involvement in the various stages of the ROAMEF policy model and directly addresses the AHRC priority to 'enhance the role of design research in policy'.

This fellowship builds on my experiences gained in the AHRC projects 'Mapping Design for Innovation Policy' and 'ProtoPolicy' as well as the European project 'SEE - Sharing European Experience on Design Innovation Policy', all of which used design methods to engage policy-makers and citizens. It also builds on my experience as the Emerging Researcher member of the AHRC Public Policy Advisory Group and attending the AHRC/Institute for Government course 'Engaging with Government'.

I have a strong track record in working with government and citizens in the context of design and policy. Over a number of years I have collaborated with the Cabinet Office Policy Lab, Welsh Government Innovation Team, Northern Ireland Innovation Lab and Scottish Government Ingage Team (see letters of support). I will participate in one-month immerse 'residencies' with these policy labs to test the tools, methods and metrics. Engaging citizens, policy labs, policy-makers, designers and academics in developing the Design for Policy Toolkit from the outset will help to ensure that the tools, methods and metrics are fit for purpose and adopted.

Planned Impact

A desire to generate meaningful impact in the policy-making arena is a key driver of this research. In order to foster engagement with and legitimacy for the Design Policy Toolkit I will build a common understanding among key stakeholders. A Pathways to Impact Action Plan has been developed identifying a range of actions targeted at five beneficiary stakeholder groups.

1) Citizens - Citizens will be actively engaged during the research process participating in hands-on workshops to develop, test and refine the Design for Policy Toolkit. They will be approached via relevant community and advocacy groups depending on the policy topic selected by the Policy Labs. They will receive selected project updates particularly via social media (e.g. Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn etc.).

2) Policy Labs - Four Policy Labs (Cabinet Office Policy Lab, Welsh Government Innovation Team, Northern Ireland Innovation Lab and Scottish Government Ingage Team) will be actively engaged in the research and benefit from knowledge exchange during the one-month residencies. The Policy Labs will be inducted in the use of the tools, methods and metrics to use in their mainstream practice. However, according to a recent report by the European Commission there are 10 Policy Labs in the UK and these Policy Labs will also receive project updates, the Design for Policy Toolkit and be invited to the launch event. A series of joint-press releases will be issued between Cardiff Met Press Office and the four Policy Labs throughout the project.

3) Policy-makers - The Policy Labs are connected to the Civil Service Policy Network with 17,000 users. The Labs are crucial for disseminating the Toolkit through the network to ensure its adoption after the end of the project. Each Policy Lab engages with between 800 and 2,000 civil servants per year and these policy-makers will participate in projects with the Policy Labs using the Design for Policy Toolkit. The project outputs and findings will be presented at six policy events (brokered by the Policy Labs) including targeted at the Treasury and Civil Service Policy Network. After the end of the project, I would like to develop a commercial offering for other Policy Labs around Europe (65 Policy Labs in Europe).

4) Academics - I am the Emerging Research representative for the AHRC Public Policy Advisory Group. The group will be regularly updated on the project findings and the vision for the future of design and policy research. They will also be crucial for identifying other relevant policy research initiatives (such as, for example, the What Works Network) as impact channels. Furthermore, with support of existing contacts, I will identify and connect with four 'Thought Leadership Mentors' from other academic institutions who will both guide my Leadership Development Plan and the Pathways to Impact Action Plan. It is an objective within my Leadership Development Plan to create a network of academic and policy stakeholder active in design and policy and to formalise the network potentially by applying for network grants. I would also like to engage with the Institute for Government (having undertaken the AHRC/Institute for Government course 'Engaging with Government') to explore the feasibility of integrating the Design for Policy Toolkit into the training module for Emerging Researchers. The project outputs and findings will be presented at six policy events (brokered by the Thought Leadership Mentors) including targeted at the What Works Network. It is also planned to submit two peer-reviewed journal articles, one in a policy journal and one in a design journal. It would also be an ambition after the end of the project to engage with the Thought Leadership Mentors to co-author a book on design research for policy.

5) Designers - The Design for Policy Toolkit will be presented at two design events (brokered by the Design Council - see letter of support) including Lab Works Global Network conference.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Commercial funding - Creative Policy Workshop
Amount £4,000 (GBP)
Organisation Plymouth College of Art 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 02/2018
 
Description Commercial funding - Design Policy Workshop
Amount £3,500 (GBP)
Organisation City of Design (Saint-Etienne) 
Start 09/2017 
End 09/2017
 
Description Commercial funding - Design Policy Workshop
Amount £4,000 (GBP)
Organisation Wallonie Design 
Start 12/2017 
End 12/2017
 
Description Commercial funding - Design Policy Workshop
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Union 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2017 
End 09/2017
 
Description Commercial funding - Policy Design Workshop
Amount £2,500 (GBP)
Organisation Civil Service College 
Start 11/2017 
End 11/2017
 
Description Commercial funding - Service Design Training (Greenhouse)
Amount £9,650 (GBP)
Organisation Northern Ireland Civil Service 
Start 10/2017 
End 10/2017
 
Description BEDA Insight Forum: What's the future of design for policy-making? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I host an international roundtable with the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA) called Insight Forum: What's the future of design for policy-making?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://pdronline.co.uk/blog/2017/12/policy-lab-what-is-the-future-of-design-for-policymaking
 
Description Developing HMRC Policy Lab 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Supporting the development of HMRC Policy Lab through a workshop with three government departments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://pdronline.co.uk/blog/2017/10/hmrc-service-design-in-a-policy-environment
 
Description International Design Policy Roundtable - Singapore 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited by the Government of Singapore as an expert for their International Design Policy Roundtable.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.interregeurope.eu/design4innovation/news/news-article/2186/international-design-policy-r...
 
Description Meeting with BEIS 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting with BEIS to provide evidence of the impact of Brexit on university funding.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation World Design Summit Montreal 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation World Design Summit Montreal as a Leadership activity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://pdronline.co.uk/blog/2017/10/world-design-summit-2017