USING A DESIGN-LED APPROACH FOR STRENGTHENING EVIDENCE-BASED POLICIES
The critical challenge that public agencies face is to make smarter decisions tapping into multiple sources of data, information, evidence, agency personnel expertise, and stakeholders' experience. This evidence-based decision-making ultimately makes agency services more effective.
Learning Agenda for public agencies
A learning agenda is a short document that integrates different streams of evidence and learning activities around key questions important for agency mission and operations.
It supports the agency's strategic and operational decision-making and focuses the team's efforts around the common goal.
Learning Agenda design process
The purpose of the design process is to develop a Learning Agenda for a specific program, strategic objective, or even multi-year strategy.
We propose a highly innovative approach to developing learning agendas: a decision-oriented, game-like interactive co-design.
Our design process includes 1 - 2 workshop sessions engaging personnel across the agency, followed by a feedback activity that involves the agency's senior management and key stakeholders.
Participants work in groups on big game-like boards, using design aids in the form of colourful cards, tokens, and markers as basic building blocks for learning agendas.
Participants are guided with clear design steps, complemented by group discussions, and micro-lectures from policy experts to inspire their thinking.
Follow up feedback is run on the same boards, allowing decision-makers to mark priorities and visualize their preferences physically.
The final results of the process are turned into a digital version of mind maps, and also formatted into a standard government document.
1. Decision focused
It identifies pivotal moments on the agency implementation timeline. This makes the evidence base timely and relevant to agency operations.
It recognizes various types of knowledge users and brings to the table different points of view and voices from across the agency and its environment. This strengthens shared ownership of the Learning Agenda.
It turns abstract concepts into tangible objects and visual relations that can be built during quick, creative sessions. This makes the design process more intuitive and less tedious.
It is grounded in comparative research on organizational learning, knowledge brokering, and design-led approaches to public policies.
It has been tested with European and American public agencies.
Participants sharing what was the most valuable in Learning Agenda workshop for them:
„Provide great strategies to organize and share knowledge.”
„It made me aware that having time for reflection about implemented actions is crucial for improving our services and fulfilling the strategic objective.”
„Structure for what seemed amorphous.”
"It brought together and organized tacit knowledge of workshop participants coming from across our organization.”
"Understanding the different perspectives that must be accounted for developing Learning Agendas."
"Organizing the process linking milestones, knowledge needs, and sources."
Duration: 1 - 2 days
Number of players: 4 - 40