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Lab Notes - July 2016 edition

Published Date: 6 July 2016

Brought to you by Nesta, GovLab, MaRS, MindLab and SIX; Lab Notes is a loose network of labs, units and teams working to support public sector innovation. Through a combination of useful content and links, our monthly digest will bring together interesting tools and news from public sector innovators around the world.


This month’s key lab picks: 

#1. In ‘Opening up Sao Paulo’s health innovation system’, Nesta asks how can we redesign systems to be more agile, participatory and open to new ideas in response to increasingly complex public and social challenges. 

#2. Read the GovInsider interview on co-sourcing - an innovative alternative to outsourcing which is helping Singapore’s Government Digital Service minimise risk and retain new skills in the public sector.

#3. The UNDP’s new annual report covers 62 examples of initiatives around the world, such as labs, foresight techniques and evidence-informed policy, that are supporting innovation for international development.

#4. Can social impact bonds help governments use data for performance rather than compliance? Brookings considers the huge potential for ‘pay for success’ financing mechanisms for education globally.

#5. The private sector has already turned to satellite images and machine learning for data-led innovation. Now a pilot study will use AI to help map poverty in Sri Lanka.

#6. In Kampala, real-time analytics are increasingly becoming part of the monitoring and evaluation toolkit to measure the quality of public services. Check out this Pulse Lab Kampala blog and further quick links.

#7. Is government innovation actually supporting governments to govern better? Apolitical asks four experts.

#8. Jocelyn Bailey provides valuable insights from the UK context on how not to be wide-eyed and naive when implementing design approaches in government.

#9. Read a summary of the Democratic Cities conference, which brought together some of the world’s leading experimenters and pioneers in collective intelligence tools for government and digital democracy.

#10. Greg Lindsay explains how 'engineering serendipity' in cities will create the future of innovative work.

#11. Design for Europe scans the landscape of public sector innovation labs, asking why so many are now emerging, and how the next generation should move forward meaningfully.

#12. Temporary housing solutions for LGBT refugees and design solutions to help change local perceptions of migrants are just two of the 30 projects recently announced as semifinalists by the European Social Innovation Competition on Integrated Futures.

#13. Watch Harvard’s Sendhil Mullainathan talk on how machine learning can address 'prediction policy problems' at the World Bank Conference on Development Economics.