Current PPG seminar series


Innovating through design in public services 2010 - 2011

"Necessity is going to be the mother and father of innovation,
- there is no other way." Sir Gus O'Donnell, March 2009.

We are now in a period of uncertainty for public services with a new coalition government promising cuts within the year. Senior civil service officials recognise the need for innovation at this time.

There will be a push to re-examine existing provision to identify news ways to create, plan and deliver public services. Design and redesign of public services will be a key way to cut costs without affecting service quality.

The Design Council's sponsoring department, BIS, sees design as an economic lever to identify where failures have occurred and to increase the productivity of public services.

This fits very well with the themes that have been covered in the seminar series running through the academic year 2009-2010 on Innovating out of the Recession looking at key aspects of innovation in the public sector. Often the teams working on the policy behind services and the design of service provision rarely overlap, and the seminar series can help provide an excellent space for experts from different backgrounds to meet and discuss these issues.

Taking place during the academic year 2010-2011 there were:

Two launch seminars to introducing the series entitled 'Innovating through Design in Public Services'. These seminars highlighted key themes that were followed up throughout the series looking at how design can act as an economic intervention in delivery of services and how it can improve the productivity of service provision.

A series of six seminars spaced across the academic year 2010-11 and addressing specific themes in the innovation and design areas. For each session, we to produced a discussion output before the seminar. We also produced a document at the end of each session.  

Previous seminars - Innovating through design in public services


Wednesday 25 May 2011 

Service Design for Joining-up Health and Social Care 



Marlene Winfield OBE, Director for Patients and Public for the NHS
James Munro,  Director of Research and Informatics at Patient Opinion
Alex Bax, Chief Executive of London Pathway

Chair: Dr Adam Oliver, LSE Health.





The government has proposed a raft of reforms to be made at both the central and local level as to how health and social care services will be provided in the future. The Department of Health estimates that abolishing PCTs and handing their commissioning roles to GPs and consortia will cost £1.6 billion with external estimates putting it nearer to £3.5 billion. Finding innovative ways to deliver services, with more involvement of user groups, will be key to ensuring that this sizeable cost does lead to improved services.


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Wednesday 30 March 2011

 Designing Digital Public Services



Jane Frost, Individuals Customer Directorate, HMRC
David Dinsdale, former Director,
Tonino Ciuffini,  Head of ICT, Warwickshire County Council


Chair: Dr Edgar Whitley, Information Systems Group, LSE


When cost-cutting in public service delivery, government will have to look to move services online. The UK does not have a good track record here with only self assessment tax being undertaken online by large numbers of citizens. DWP is moving forward with putting jobseekers allowance and pensions online and the recent use of online delivery of medicines during the swine flu outbreak show moves are being made. This seminar will cover these developments and will seek to establish ways forward in designing digital public services. 




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 Wednesday 23 February 2011

Designing for Nudge Effects: How behaviour management can ease public sector problems


Chair: Jane Tinkler, LSE Public Policy Group


Dr Sunjai Gupta,
Deputy Director with the Department of Health

Gavin Jones, Chief Executive, Swindon Borough Council

Dr David Halpern, Cabinet Office

Initiatives across the public sector have highlighted that interventions such as fines and penalties have a limited effect in changing behaviours of citizens in areas such as health, recycling and liability payments. However experiments in attempting to 'nudge' citizens into changing behaviours seem to be showing more consistent results.

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 Thursday 27 January 2011 Design in Government and Public Services


Chair: Professor Patrick Dunleavy, Chair, LSE Public Policy Group


Rt. Hon David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science
Lord Michael Bichard, Chair of the Design Council


This seminar will look at why the public sector should incorporate design in the delivery of public services. It will cover questions such as - Who is best placed to tackle design issues, delivery departments or external experts? What roles do cross-government bodies such as the Government Design Service, Design Council and NESTA play? How can design act as an economic intervention where there has been a systematic failure in service provision? Often services are not designed at all but configured around how they have always been supplied, the set up of the departments providing the services and the political influences in play. Design can be key in making service provision more productive.


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Thursday 9 December 2010 Designing 'Big Society' provision 

Chair: Tony Travers, Greater London Group, LSE

David Rogers, Executive Director, CDS Co-operatives
Deborah Rozansky, Principal, Office for Public Management

The government is committed to extending the role of civil society, third and voluntary sector bodies and the private sector in the provision of public services. How will the design of these organisations affect their strengths and weaknesses to delivery services that are most responsive to local communities. The seminar will look across social enterprises, co-operatives and employee-owned models.


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Wednesday 17 November 2010 Innovating in Public Sector Procurement

Chair: Seb Elsworth, Director of Strategy, ACEVO
Martin Chown,  Director of Business Procurement, OGC Buying Solutions
John Warrington, Deputy Director of Procurement, Department of Health
Nigel Kletz, Assistant Director of Corporate Procurement Services, Birmingham City Council

The government spends over £125 billion per year on a wide range of goods and services but does it use this spending clout to best advantage? The Gershon Review highlighted the costs of procurement processes and recommended using online methods to decrease costs. There has also been a focus on sustainability and the increased use of procurement relations with SMEs. How consistently have these suggestions be taken forward?

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Innovating out of the recession

30 June 2010 Cutting back on Call Centres

Patrick Dunleavy, LSE Public Policy Group

Mark Andrews,
Head of Contact Centre Services for the Cambridgeshire Direct Contact Centre, Cambridgeshire County Council
Peter Coates
, Chair of the Local Authority Contact Council, Sunderland County Council
Chris Hopson, Director of Customer Contact, HMRC
Bernard Quinn, Public Service Reform Group- Digital Delivery, Cabinet Office

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19 May 2010 Innovating through Machinery of Government Changes

Chair David Halpern, Institute for Government

Professor Patrick Dunleavy
and Anne White, LSE Public Policy Group
Raymond Fawcett, National Audit Office
Sir Richard Mottram, Former senior civil servant and Visiting Professor, LSE
Dr David Bennett
, Former Head of Policy and Strategy, 10 Downing Street

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28 April  2010 Innovating out of Digital Exclusion
Chair - Dr Alison Powell
- Oxford Internet Institute

Speakers - Helen Milner, Managing Director, UK Online Centres
Graham Walker, Director of Policy for the Office of the Champion for Digital Inclusion.
Dr Leandro Carrera, LSE Public Policy Group

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17 March 2010 Innovating through Public Sector Information
Chair - Guy Ker - Director, Publishing, Directgov

Speakers - Professor Nigel Shadbolt
- Southampton University
Jerry Fishenden - Visiting Fellow, LSE and Centre for Technology Policy Research
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25 February 2010 Rethinking IT and shared services procurement
Chair - Professor Leslie Willcocks, LSE

Speakers - Professor Helen Margetts
- Oxford Internet Institute
Dr Mark Thompson - Judge Business School, Cambridge University
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28 January 2010
New strategies in human resources
Chair - David Marsden -
LSE Centre for Economic Performance

Speakers - Adam Sharples,
Director General for Employment, DWP
Jan Parkinson, Managing Director of Local Government Employers
Patrick Dunleavy, LSE Public Policy Group
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Wednesday 13 January 2010 Improving Government Communication with their Customers
Chair - Professor Helen Margetts,
Oxford Internet Institute

Speakers - Sir Leigh Lewis, Permanent Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions
Sir Michael Bichard, Executive Director, Institute for Government

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25 November 2009 Managing and Growing Public Sector Productivity
Chair -
Sir Richard Mottram GCB

Speakers - Dave Barnbrook,
Department for Work and Pensions
Robert Arnott, Head of Value for Money & Productivity Unit, Home Office
Patrick Dunleavy, Professor LSE Public Policy Group
Leandro Carrera, LSE Public Policy Group
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28 October 2009 Innovating out of recession in the NHS
Chair  - Professor Howard Glennerster
, LSE Professor Emeritus of Social Administration and Co-Director of CASE (Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion)

Speakers - Jim Easton
, NHS National Director for Improvement and Efficiency at the Department of Health
Steve Barnett, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation
Patrick Dunleavy, Professor LSE Public Policy Group
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30 September 2009 Innovating out of recession in Local Government
Chair - Tony Travers
- Greater London Group

Speakers - Irene Lucas -
Director General at Communities and Local Government
Peter Gilroy - Chief Executive Kent County Council
Patrick Dunleavy - Professor LSE Public Policy Group
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22 June 2009

Innovating out of recession in Public Services
- Stian Westlake, NESTA

Speakers - David Albury, Innovation Unit
Sir Michael Bichard,
Institute for Government
Patrick Dunleavy, Professor LSE Public Policy Group

More info