Design in the Public Sector equips councils with design skills and techniques to apply to their toughest service challenges.

Cllr Peter Fleming, Chairman, LGA Improvement and Innovation Board

Overview

Our Design in the Public Sector programme supports public sector leaders to explore key challenges affecting their local communities and identify innovative opportunities to deliver positive and sustainable change. Using Design Council’s Framework for Innovation and globally recognised Double Diamond, the programme supports councils and their partners to further explore the needs and wants of their residents and place them at the heart of the decisions they make and public services they design. The programme also develops key skills and capabilities to embed new ways of working across the sector.

Download the key facts

For more information, read the Design in the Public Sector key facts.

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About the programme

Design Council's structured approach has been successfully adopted by over 60 Local Authorities so far.

The programme;

  • Delivers an accelerated learning experience for project teams through five, one-day workshops delivered over 18 weeks.
  • Between workshops project teams also benefit from 2 coaching sessions with our design experts to troubleshoot and keep them on track
  • Provides an introductory masterclass for senior stakeholders and their project teams during the first workshop
  • Is funded by the LGA, delivered by Design Council.

Councils benefit from:

  • Greater collaboration between you and your partners to tackle key public sector challenges together
  • An introduction to design approaches for healthier and happier communities
  • Support to use design to explore key public sector challenges, create new insights and develop alternative models based on prevention
  • New skills and capabilities embedded within your council and with your partners
  • Learning and applying a people-centred process that brings together public sector leaders, partners and the community in new ways.

Who is the programme for?

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

We look for applications led by councils across England which;

  • Tackle a key public sector challenge
  • Are led by a council, but involve wider partners from across the public sector
  • Are endorsed by your Chief Executive and a senior sponsor (e.g. a Director-level)
  • Have the capacity to undertake the work and attend all programme delivery days
  • Are willing to share learning and experiences from the programme with other councils across the country.

Read the FAQs

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

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Apply

Applications are now open!

We’re looking for applications which clearly demonstrate:

  • What your public sector challenge is and what you aim to achieve by addressing the challenge
  • Where you are currently in addressing the challenge e.g. what is the current state of the programme, project or service
  • How your project or challenge links to the wider strategic aims of your organisation, partners and external stakeholders
  • How and where you think design can help with your challenge
  • If you’ve participated in any similar programmes before or have some understanding of design thinking
  • Who is in your proposed team (you can have up to 5 team members including your Project Manager). Teams must be led by Local Authorities and include members from partner organisations e.g. public/third/private sector.

Apply

Apply to Design in the Public Sector now. 

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Resources

Brent Council: Keeping vulnerable young people safely in the community Brent Council wanted to develop their support for children, young people and their families through our Design in the Public Sector programme. Brent Council wanted to develop their support for children, young people and their families through Design in the Public Sector.

Case study — 12/09/2018

Five things we learned at Design in the Public Sector Ellen Care, Transformation and Change Officer for the London Borough of Bexley, gives us her top 5 things she will take from her time on the programme Ellen Care, Transformation and Change Officer for the London Borough of Bexley, gives us her top 5 things she will take from the programme.

Feature — 23/07/2018

Hackney Council: Connecting services to support the health of tenants in private housing Hackney Council applied for the Design Council’s Design in the Public Sector programme, funded by the Local Government Association, to find ways to deal with the health challenges some of their residents were facing. Hackney Council applied to Design in the Public Sector to find ways to deal with the health challenges some of their residents were facing.

Case study — 11/07/2018

Doncaster Council: Embedding user-centred design in local government David Ayre from Doncaster Council reflects on his experience of using design thinking to help address public health issues through our Design in the Public Sector programme. David Ayre from Doncaster Council reflects on his experience of using design thinking to help address public health issues.

Feature — 29/03/2018