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Designing for Policy &
Institutional Change in
Governance
Nenad Rava, PhD
“Advanced Policy Design”, #RSD5
Toronto, Oct 2016
2
practices create concepts,
and in turn
concepts create practices
(or vice versa)
3
Do government people “design”?
And what is design in policy / governance anyway?
Vs. “usability”/HCD/UX & design of policy instruments?
Vs. institutional/community design?
4
Who designs? - in a way, we are all designers - as we are scientists and artists (though some are professionals) – H. Simon
Cultural change: 1. Omnipotent designer 2. Professional co-design team
3. Stakeholder design
So, what can we design in Governance / Pub. Admin. / Public sector?
Services. Communications & Interfaces. Visual identity. Infrastructure & Built environments. Interiors . Tech. Other products.
Procedures. Processes. Projects/Programmes.
Policy instruments (e.g. plans, regulations, strategies, standards, training).
Organization. Management. Governance.
Institutions. Community. Culture. Values. Policy
5
• Design (“ability to imagine that-which-does-not-exist, to make it appear in concrete form as a new purposeful addition to the real world”)
• Policy (intervention into society for betterment based on (re)configuration of values (Ozbekhan) –> the whole policy process
• Evidence as design/policy judgment (not science)
• Generating systems (Alexander: “systems for designing systems”)
• Public Administration (vs. Public Sector)
• (state/society-centric) Governance vs. Government
• Center of Government – CoG / central bodies
• Meta-governance (system of systems governing systems)
• Development (increasing opportunities / perspectives / capacity)
6
Case study: Stakeholder design of a generating system/s for policy (?!?!?!)
Identifying Design by focusing on
-  Design Attitude (Boland & Collopy)
-  Design Competence & Culture (Nelson & Stolterman)
-  Design Ability (Cross)
7
EU-funded project in BiH: Strengthening the Central Bodies of Governments/CoM
(strategic planning, policy & RIA)
8
How did it manifest?
through proceses, practices, attitudes, values,
culture, relationships, methods….
9
A. Challenging the brief by redesign for upstream focus & stakeholders design
-> The Why & the Who?
REFRAMING: A “Gap Assessment”
collaborative -> introducing new concepts and frames of reference
took 4 months –> was not planned & delayed the “implementation” + increased the “risk” + invested scarce resources
low expectations -> convenience: everybody expected it to fail – so no “danger” in “playfulness”
NEW WHY-> purpose & intention (new “desiderata” with the same objectives!)
change of formal structures & use of benchmarks-> development of new practices, processes, skills, and attitudes
linear & downstream delivery (problem-solving) -> iterative design of a generating system for policy
NEW WHO -> Broadened boundary: from 4 to 20+ institutions (+ all other related projects)
10
B1. Throwness. “Liquid state”. Reflecting in/with/on/across (systemic) situation/s.
-> The “material” we are working with is “us”
USE WHAT YOU HAVE: the “upgrade” of the existing “Thesis” (re-composition)
context & material (people, culture, practices) are already there + most what you need has already been done
it has a “history” – you cannot start with a blank canvas
do it with local understanding by actual people (not “empathy”)
ALL OPEN UNTIL ALL IS DONE: iterations / probing until it is “good enough” (as defined by stakeholders)
nothing put on a paper for 3 months -> then a “Schreck prototype”
the “agony” of diverging and converging: strange-making and sense-making + judgment calls
still some “crystalline” process -> phased (concept, processes, templates, regulation, testing, application)
WORKING ACROSS (6) SYSTEMS: interactive & inter-subjective approach
relating and connecting + cross-fertilization & peer-learning
operating INSIDE & OUTSIDE the “box”
30+ workshops, coaching sessions, conversations - only in the first 10 months
visiting people for “friendly chats” - releasing their frustration and helping the sense-making
11
B1. Design into “making”. “Closure”.
-> Done? Ready? -> NO! Start all over again from the scratch
BRIEF CHANGED -> ALL OVER AGAIN (5month before end) -> integrate 3 other systems (budget + investments + HR)
One (!) stakeholder insists we integrate it all (although donors/experts prefer to leave it for the “next phase” )
major increase of complexity + high intensity (done in 2 months) -> Maaaaajor improvement of quality and added value!
to ensure “harmonization” - had to be re-done in other 2 governments
more risk involved: but trust and shared understanding again to the rescue
2nd “LETTING GO” & EVOLVING (living) DESIGN
don’t “overdo” – leave it “unfinished”-> not the “final” or even a “solution” 
cannot scale “solutions” to complex problems -> can scale practices (as continued in the last 2 years in cantons)
no need for an “exit strategy” – it has always been “theirs”
out from the “studio” -> raised to the political level (EU used it as a pillar for the whole EU integration agenda)
12
Beyond “co-design”
•  Not expert-driven, but a facilitated process
of stakeholder design
•  Not “they do not understand our design” -
it is their design and they create meaning
(including aesthetics of it)
•  Final design only after involving all ministries
and agencies (100+)
•  By the time it is finished the capacity was
built in – learning as a part designing (“they
know better then us”)
+ Understanding the culture: the case of
working with N.G
Responsibility for design outcome
•  More commitment than in the contract (with
less time/resources): the whole responsibility
(guarantor of design: g.o.d.)
•  Creating trust, while nurturing (painfully) an
enabling context (shared assumptions &
expectations + agreement on iterative &
participatory design)
+ Trust: the case of working with a GenSec - “tear
it up & throw into trash if you do not like it at the end”
13
Policy as learning
(Hisschemoller & Hoppe, 1996)
14
The “actual”
design problem
(Nelson & Stolterman, 2014)
15
Being a “professional” policy designer
How all this came to be?
- How many more are out there?
What does it mean for policy people and designers?
A) We do not have a policy design methodology – we
still might not even know what it is
B) Policy and Design are much closer than one would
expect (but cultures still very different)
16

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Nenad Rava: Designing for policy and institutional change in governance –a pioneering approach

  • 1. Designing for Policy & Institutional Change in Governance Nenad Rava, PhD “Advanced Policy Design”, #RSD5 Toronto, Oct 2016
  • 2. 2 practices create concepts, and in turn concepts create practices (or vice versa)
  • 3. 3 Do government people “design”? And what is design in policy / governance anyway? Vs. “usability”/HCD/UX & design of policy instruments? Vs. institutional/community design?
  • 4. 4 Who designs? - in a way, we are all designers - as we are scientists and artists (though some are professionals) – H. Simon Cultural change: 1. Omnipotent designer 2. Professional co-design team 3. Stakeholder design So, what can we design in Governance / Pub. Admin. / Public sector? Services. Communications & Interfaces. Visual identity. Infrastructure & Built environments. Interiors . Tech. Other products. Procedures. Processes. Projects/Programmes. Policy instruments (e.g. plans, regulations, strategies, standards, training). Organization. Management. Governance. Institutions. Community. Culture. Values. Policy
  • 5. 5 • Design (“ability to imagine that-which-does-not-exist, to make it appear in concrete form as a new purposeful addition to the real world”) • Policy (intervention into society for betterment based on (re)configuration of values (Ozbekhan) –> the whole policy process • Evidence as design/policy judgment (not science) • Generating systems (Alexander: “systems for designing systems”) • Public Administration (vs. Public Sector) • (state/society-centric) Governance vs. Government • Center of Government – CoG / central bodies • Meta-governance (system of systems governing systems) • Development (increasing opportunities / perspectives / capacity)
  • 6. 6 Case study: Stakeholder design of a generating system/s for policy (?!?!?!) Identifying Design by focusing on -  Design Attitude (Boland & Collopy) -  Design Competence & Culture (Nelson & Stolterman) -  Design Ability (Cross)
  • 7. 7 EU-funded project in BiH: Strengthening the Central Bodies of Governments/CoM (strategic planning, policy & RIA)
  • 8. 8 How did it manifest? through proceses, practices, attitudes, values, culture, relationships, methods….
  • 9. 9 A. Challenging the brief by redesign for upstream focus & stakeholders design -> The Why & the Who? REFRAMING: A “Gap Assessment” collaborative -> introducing new concepts and frames of reference took 4 months –> was not planned & delayed the “implementation” + increased the “risk” + invested scarce resources low expectations -> convenience: everybody expected it to fail – so no “danger” in “playfulness” NEW WHY-> purpose & intention (new “desiderata” with the same objectives!) change of formal structures & use of benchmarks-> development of new practices, processes, skills, and attitudes linear & downstream delivery (problem-solving) -> iterative design of a generating system for policy NEW WHO -> Broadened boundary: from 4 to 20+ institutions (+ all other related projects)
  • 10. 10 B1. Throwness. “Liquid state”. Reflecting in/with/on/across (systemic) situation/s. -> The “material” we are working with is “us” USE WHAT YOU HAVE: the “upgrade” of the existing “Thesis” (re-composition) context & material (people, culture, practices) are already there + most what you need has already been done it has a “history” – you cannot start with a blank canvas do it with local understanding by actual people (not “empathy”) ALL OPEN UNTIL ALL IS DONE: iterations / probing until it is “good enough” (as defined by stakeholders) nothing put on a paper for 3 months -> then a “Schreck prototype” the “agony” of diverging and converging: strange-making and sense-making + judgment calls still some “crystalline” process -> phased (concept, processes, templates, regulation, testing, application) WORKING ACROSS (6) SYSTEMS: interactive & inter-subjective approach relating and connecting + cross-fertilization & peer-learning operating INSIDE & OUTSIDE the “box” 30+ workshops, coaching sessions, conversations - only in the first 10 months visiting people for “friendly chats” - releasing their frustration and helping the sense-making
  • 11. 11 B1. Design into “making”. “Closure”. -> Done? Ready? -> NO! Start all over again from the scratch BRIEF CHANGED -> ALL OVER AGAIN (5month before end) -> integrate 3 other systems (budget + investments + HR) One (!) stakeholder insists we integrate it all (although donors/experts prefer to leave it for the “next phase” ) major increase of complexity + high intensity (done in 2 months) -> Maaaaajor improvement of quality and added value! to ensure “harmonization” - had to be re-done in other 2 governments more risk involved: but trust and shared understanding again to the rescue 2nd “LETTING GO” & EVOLVING (living) DESIGN don’t “overdo” – leave it “unfinished”-> not the “final” or even a “solution”  cannot scale “solutions” to complex problems -> can scale practices (as continued in the last 2 years in cantons) no need for an “exit strategy” – it has always been “theirs” out from the “studio” -> raised to the political level (EU used it as a pillar for the whole EU integration agenda)
  • 12. 12 Beyond “co-design” •  Not expert-driven, but a facilitated process of stakeholder design •  Not “they do not understand our design” - it is their design and they create meaning (including aesthetics of it) •  Final design only after involving all ministries and agencies (100+) •  By the time it is finished the capacity was built in – learning as a part designing (“they know better then us”) + Understanding the culture: the case of working with N.G Responsibility for design outcome •  More commitment than in the contract (with less time/resources): the whole responsibility (guarantor of design: g.o.d.) •  Creating trust, while nurturing (painfully) an enabling context (shared assumptions & expectations + agreement on iterative & participatory design) + Trust: the case of working with a GenSec - “tear it up & throw into trash if you do not like it at the end”
  • 15. 15 Being a “professional” policy designer How all this came to be? - How many more are out there? What does it mean for policy people and designers? A) We do not have a policy design methodology – we still might not even know what it is B) Policy and Design are much closer than one would expect (but cultures still very different)
  • 16. 16