Design as an instrument of public policy

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The design of public services is particularly challenging because services are tax-payer funded and earnings are measured in terms public trust, and not financial profit. We’ve seen, even simple service systems in government can exhibit complex behavior, often confounding policymakers and implementing agencies. It’s why service design capabilities at RVO had to go beyond usual methods, to include those from systems thinking, economics, and industrial engineering. We share our experience of developing design capabilities at the RVO X Lab, based on the belief that service design is a way to prototype policy. As the implementing agency of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, our challenges often start with helping answer the question “Should the government invest in a new public service?”


The RVO Accelerator is an example of our anti-disciplinary approach to service design. As a design tool it maps the journey of a policy or programme, from the initial idea in the mind of an entrepreneur or policymaker, all the way to a project or programme funded by taxpayer money. The Accelerator is also a business model template for initializing service design. By encoding the base values of our agency into the Accelerator, we codify the Ministry’s policy and strategy into the design of our service offerings. Thinking in services helps frame new and interesting policy options, that ultimately contribute towards reducing the cost and risks of implementing policy.




October 27th




03:30 pm

Speaker Info

Dounia Ouchene
Netherlands Enterprise Agency

Learn more about her

Speaker Info

Majid Iqbal
Netherlands Enterprise Agency

Learn more about him