Design in the Public Sector trailer

We recognise that there is a growing movement of design thinking and innovation in public services and the LGA is keen to equip more councils with the necessary tools and knowledge.

Councillor William Nunn, Chairman, LGA Improvement and Innovation Board


There are many challenges we need to understand and address if we are to become a healthy nation. How might we improve our physical and mental health and be more socially engaged in order to lead to better health outcomes?

This year’s Design in the Public Sector programme, delivered in partnership with the LGA, is focused on applying design process and methods to tackle public health challenges with a focus on prevention. It is for people working in public services who are passionate about transforming the health of our nation. Whatever your challenge within your community, our design led experts can help you, your team and health partners explore the issues and identify new ideas and opportunities to bring about positive change.

We invite leaders, managers and decision makers in local government to sign up to our 16 week programme and join a growing national movement and network of public sector innovators who have already discovered the power of design to address social challenges.

At a time when budgets are tight and resources stretched within public health, design is increasingly being recognised as a critical tool to help transform services in communities across the globe. There is no better time to sign up to our Design in the Public Sector programme. We look forward to welcoming applications and supporting teams across the country in the coming months to use design to deliver healthier communities.

Download the brochure

For more information, please download the full Design in the Public Sector brochure.


About the programme

Design in the Public Sector will:

  1. Bring together design experts, public health professionals and the third sector to find new ways of working
  2. Identify possible alternative models of service provision
  3. Encourage longer term thinking
  4. Shift the emphasis and focus to prevention as well as acute services
  5. Provide an opportunity to address entrenched service challenges, tackling issues that resonate at both local and national levels
  6. Help local government to deliver efficiently, whilst ensuring the needs of local populations can be met in new ways
  7. Focus on lived experience and bring together public health teams with service users in a new way
  8. Support public health leaders and decision makers to apply design methods to tackle public health challenges – using a proven structured, people-centred process, enabling leaders to identify alternative potential solutions
  9. Build understanding of the value that design can bring to improving public health and enable local government and service delivery partners to work together to embed design into public health policy and practice
  10. Facilitate the transfer of knowledge back into councils, enabling teams to embed learning back into their organisations.

The programme in summary:

  • delivers an accelerated learning experience packaged into five, one-day workshops delivered over 16 weeks with coaching in-between
  • brings together public sector teams and their partners to tackle public health challenges collaboratively, encouraging peer learning and development of regional public health support networks
  • provides a structured process supporting teams to apply design to explore and reframe key public health challenges and to develop alternative models based on prevention
  • builds skills and capabilities to improve health outcomes
  • creates new insights and evidence, and generate solutions
  • is funded by the LGA, delivered by Design Council.

The programme will be delivered to two cohorts – the first cohort will be delivered in Leeds and the second cohort in London. Local authorities across the country are invited to apply. If shortlisted, the nominated sponsor and project teams must be available to attend an interview with the Selection Panel.

Call for applicants

The call is now live for both cohorts of the Design in the Public Sector programme. 

Cohort one: November 2017 – March 2018

The first cohort of the programme includes the following regions: North East, North West, Yorkshire & Humber, East and West Midlands. The application deadline is Wednesday 20 September 2017 at midday. Delivery of the programme will be at The Studio Leeds, Leeds.

Delivery dates:

  • Masterclass for members and senior project sponsors: 25 October 17
  • Day 1-2: 1-2 November 17
  • Day 3: 13 December 17
  • Day 4: 30 January 18
  • Day 5: 7 March 18

Cohort two: January 2017 – May 2018

The second cohort of the programme includes the following regions: South East, South West, the East of England and London. The application deadline is Wednesday 29 November 2017 at midday. Delivery of the programme will be at Design Council, London.

Delivery date:

  • Masterclass for members and senior project sponsors: 23 January 18
  • Day 1-2: 1-2 February 18
  • Day 3: 21 March
  • Day 4: 4 April
  • Day 5: 9 May

For further information outlining specific programme delivery dates, please download the Design in the Public Sector brochure.

Who is the programme for?

The programme supports teams of decision-makers actively involved in the delivery of public health services with a focus specifically on prevention.

We encourage applications from local authorities wanting to work collaboratively with other organisations to address a public health challenge. This can include collaborations between councils, CCGs, third sector partners, NHS and blue light services and community groups.

Interested? Find out more.

Read the FAQs

For more information, view our Design in the Public Sector FAQs


How to apply

For this year's programme, we will only be accepting digital applications through our online application form, hosted by F6S. In order to apply, you will first need to set up an F6S account.

Setting up your account

When you first access F6S you will be asked to create a profile. You can either sign up using your Facebook or Linkedin accounts, or else by choosing to sign up using your email address. You will also need to create a password. Please make a note of these details, as you will need to sign in with this profile if you wish to view/complete your application at a later date. 

During your application

Your answers will be saved automatically as you type. You can exit the form at any point and come back to it at a later date – it will be saved to the profile you set up when first accessing F6S.

How do I know my application has been submitted?

Once you submit your final application, you will receive a confirmation email to the email address you used to set up your F6S profile (please remember to check any spam/junk folders). If you signed up using Facebook or Linkedin, emails will be sent to the address attached to this account. If you do not receive an email, please contact us and we will be able to confirm whether your application has been successfully submitted.


Apply to Design in the Public Sector now. 


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