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Lab Notes - March 2016 Edition

Published Date: 7 March 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. UNICEF is launching a non-equity venture fund for open-source civic technologies. Check out this FastCoExist article to learn more about how the fund aims to nurture projects with potential to benefit children globally.

#2. Through a partnership with the Government of Mexico, social impact firm Reboot has packaged key lessons from its work on the Open Government programme into a number of useful resources for frontline public sector innovators everywhere. More here.

#3. In this Medium article, Andrew R. Schrock reflects on the rise of the ‘city as laboratory’ and its implications for urban life.

#4. The GovLab and Omidyar Network have launched Open Data’s Impact - a custom-built repository offering a range of in-depth case studies on global open data projects. Discover the new public and social innovation opportunities being created by open data here.

#5. In Latin America, health innovations are being used to improve the lives of waste pickers and other informal economy workers. Find out how in this NextCity article.

#6. Can innovation help tackle Europe’s migration crisis? Creative approaches such asconnecting research results to policymaking and encouraging citizen-led solutions to foster the integration of refugees and migrants show promise that it can.

#7. Find out about China’s efforts to transition into a low-carbon economy in the Gizmodo article ‘China's wind and solar energy capacity is soaring’.

#8. In this Centre for Public Impact article, ‘Lab lessons: better by design’, Dr Andrea Siodmok speaks about the UK Policy Lab’s early successes and ongoing work.

#9. San Joaquin County, California was selected for the Google Government Innovation Lab in 2015. Read about the 5 resulting projects in this Government Technology feature.  

#10. Devex article ‘Is UNDP the 'SDG accelerator'?’ reflects on the agency's historical mission, and looks at to how newer priorities – such as knowledge sharing and strengthening regional collaboration - look set to shape the agency’s future.

#11. An award-winning greenhouse designed by two Kenyan students allows farmers to control temperature, humidity and soil moisture on their mobile phones. Read more here.