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Design in the Public Sector FAQs

Design in the Public Sector FAQs

20 July 2017

1. Programme Information

What is the purpose of this programme?

The LGA and Design Council are keen to working with Local Authority led teams and their partners across each of the nine English regions to explore their most pressing climate challenges. Through an online, team-based approach, Design Council will help you and your partners to: 

  • Discover the impact of your climate challenge or goal locally, understand the lived experiences of your residents and natural environment while mapping the wider context of your challenge 
  • Use design research methods to gain insights from residents and local partners, and draw together different types of data to collaboratively identify where to act 
  • Develop ideas and solutions in response to the challenges identified 
  • Begin to prototype and test ideas and interventions while monitoring these to measure your impact
  • Build strong, mission-driven partnerships committed to learning and working together over the longer-term

How long does the programme run for?

The programme will start in October 2020 and will run through to May 2021 and consists of a series of online workshops, dedicated coaching support and peer show and tell sessions. How many local authorities will be successful?  

Nine local authority led teams will be successful, ideally one from each region. We encourage councils to submit a joint application with other councils and/or key partners looking to address the same climate challenge.  

What support will I receive?

The support will include:  

A three-hour digital launch to kick-off the programme, so you can meet other teams and projects, share your climate challenges and begin a community of practice around climate action 

Four action learning sets delivered over six months to support you to progress with your project. These include; digital workshops that will introduce teams to design approaches they can apply in practice, dedicated coaching support and show and tell sessions to share progress with a wider audience 

Three days of dedicated coaching support with Design Council design experts per team. We will support teams to draw down this support based on the needs identified from their work on the ground. 

Will I need to commit to an onboarding call?

Yes, your onboarding call with the Design Council programme team will take place on one of the following dates 7th, 8th, 9th October between 9.00 – 13.00.  A date and time for these will be arranged with you if your application is successful. 

As part of these calls we are keen to speak to your project’s senior responsible officer and project manager. These calls provide us with an opportunity to get to know you, but also for us to hear more about the project you have put forward and your ambitions. We’ll also speak to you about what you can expect being involved in the DiPS programme.

What does my team need to commit to? 

Successful teams will be required to attend all online workshops (4 workshops, up to 3-hours each), attend coaching sessions with your design expert (we will be working with each team to help you draw down this support to meet your specific project needs) and attend the peer show and tell sessions (4 sessions, up to 3-hours each).  

What are the key programme delivery dates? 

The programme will be delivered using a combination of Zoom and Miro (an online whiteboard platform). The workshops and show & tell sessions will only ever be a maximum of 3-hours long as we know a full day workshop in a digital world is no longer possible! 

Please make sure the following dates are on hold in your diary: 

Programme launch – Wednesday, 4th November 2020 

Workshop 1 – Wednesday, 18th November 2020 

Show & Tell 1 – Wednesday, 9th December 2020 

Workshop 2 – Wednesday, 20th January 2021 

Show & Tell 2 – Wednesday, 10th February 2021 

Workshop 3 – Wednesday, 3rd March 2021

Show & Tell 3 – Wednesday, 24th March 2021

Workshop 4 – Wednesday, 21st April 2021

Show & Tell 4 – Wednesday, 12th May 2021

Final show case – June 2021 

Will all support take place online?  

Yes – all the online workshops, coaching support and peer show and tell sessions with be delivered virtually.  

How many hours should we expect to work on our projects between workshop days? 

Outside of the workshops and show and tell sessions your team is expected to take the time it would ordinarily invest in developing a real-world project. As a guideline, each team should work towards matching the contact days of the programme. Therefore, one workshop day should mean one day of contact time with your team. This can be split any way you wish. 

What will I commit to doing after the programme has finished? 

To share your learning with other councils and public sector partners via a blog, a webinar, a podcast, or similar.  

A series of monthly keep in touch calls with the LGA whilst you finish the project. 

2. Communications and Media

We want to write a press release to announce our successful application onto the programme. Is that ok? 

Absolutely. If you would like to issue a press release, please let us know as we can share this with our media contacts and promote your announcement via our social media channels. As a courtesy, all that we ask is that you send a copy to so that we can make sure Design Council and the LGA are referenced correctly. 

Can we publicise the fact that we are on the programme? 

Yes, we actively encourage you to share learnings internally within your council and externally via blogs, case studies, events, social and other suitable media. 

3. Application Questions

How do I apply? 

Applications will be hosted digitally via Microsoft Forms. Please click here to apply. 

When is the deadline for the application form to be submitted? 

The deadline for applications is Friday, 4th September 2020 at 17:00. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered. 

How do I know you have received my application? 

Once you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation email to the email address you provided on your application (please remember to check any spam/junk folders). If you do not receive an email, please contact us and we will be able to confirm whether your application has been successfully submitted. 

Who can apply? 

Applications must be council-led. However, it is key that partners and providers are involved in the process and part of your team where possible. Within the application, please clarify how you plan to secure their involvement in the process and where possible, supply evidence of their engagement and commitment to doing so. 

What scale of project or challenge should we apply with? 

The challenge needs to be achievable, strategically aligned to your organisation, and you need to show how you can make an impact using the programme. Projects put forward should be of importance at both a local and national level to provide peer learning for other organisations.  

Can we submit more than one application? 

Yes, a council can submit more than one application; however each application needs to address a different climate challenge. 

Would you accept joint application from councils? 

Yes, we welcome joint applications if it provides the opportunity to deliver a meaningful solution. However, you need to show how you will actively work in partnership across the programme. We also encourage councils to join up with other public sector partners. 

How many people can be in the team? 

There can be up to five members in your team, including your project manager. Applications must be led by the council; however, we encourage collaboration with other organisations such as other councils, voluntary and community sector partners, and community groups. If agencies wish to apply, they must partner with a council. 

How should we involve partners or providers? 

We are open to how partners and providers should be involved. This could be through attendance at the workshops or through the activity you take forward in-between the sessions. 

Who should our sponsor be? 

Your sponsor should be someone able to champion your involvement in the programme and provide senior-level support and responsibility for the delivery of your project, e.g. a Director Level. 

When completing the application, do we need to use the entire word count in our responses? 

The word count is for guidance only, if you feel you can provide us with the relevant information in your response using less than the word count – brilliant! 

Who will be reviewing our applications? 

Senior stakeholders from the Local Government Association (the programme funders) and a representative from Design Council. 

4. Programme workshops / Peer show and tell sessions 

How long does each online workshop and/or show and tell session run for? 

Each workshop and show and tell session will run for a maximum of 3-hours. Workshops and show and tell sessions will never fall on the same day and will typically occur 3 or 4 weeks apart. For example: 

Week 1: 3-hour online workshop 

Week 2: Individual and team action and reflection 

Week 3: Coaching session with your design expert 

Week 4: Peer show and tell session (max 3-hours) 

How will workshops, coaching and peer show and tell sessions be held? 

Online workshops will be run using Zoom, Zoom Breakout Rooms and Miro Boards. 

Coaching sessions can take place via Zoom, MS Teams or a traditional conference call. We will work with each team to understand what works best. 

Show and tell sessions will be hosted via Zoom and may occasionally involve Miro Boards. 

Are the dates for delivery flexible? 

No, therefore we encourage you and your project team to block out and place all key delivery dates as shown in the application form in your calendar. 

Who should be involved in the project team? Can it be anyone? 

The programme aims to work with officers within councils who can lead and influence service development and redesign. This means that the programme involves participants from a mix of areas, such as centrally located ‘Transformation’ or ‘Business Improvement Teams’ as well as those involved in the delivery of public services. 

Can the team members change throughout the delivery days? 

No, it is integral to the success of the programme that the core team members make every effort to attend the online workshops, coaching session and peer show and tell sessions. Naturally, we understand that in unforeseen circumstances this may not be possible. 

How much does it cost to participate? 

The programme is fully funded by the Local Government Association.  

What ongoing evaluation will there be? 

Before, during and after the programme, Design Council will ask you to take impact surveys to measure the progress of your project. Once the programme has finished the LGA will undertake monthly phone calls with you to support progress and monitor impact. 

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