We are asking what experiences people have had of using "policy Labs" inside and outside of Government? We are especially interested in where some form of 'virtual' space has been used?

Professor Colin Talbot on May 13, 2019 • 4 answer
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We have done some work experimenting with various forms of (mainly) online 'Policy Labs' and are hoping to start on several more later this year. See here https://cambridgepolicylab.org Anyone one with experiences to share or willing to discuss please let us know. Thanks. Professor Colin Talbot, Co-Director, Cambridge Policy Labs

Answers

I've been involved in various public labs for over 20 years and tried to pull together experiences and analysis in this piece, which also addresses the common dilemmas people working in labs face. I wrote it for a big gathering we hosted with dozens of labs from around the world. It's a few years old but I'm not sure it would be very different today. https://media.nesta.org.uk/documents/social_and_public_labs_-_and_the_radicals_dilemma.pdf

Geoff Mulgan on May 13, 2019
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In my work for the government as a technical expert in a specific field, I had to provide an objective assessment on certain issues based on engineering expertise combined with cost, benefits and probability of success based on similar projects and life experience.
The recommendations, supported by facts (pictures and data), technical and financial analysis were dismissed by other perceived political priorities and interest which lead final decisions which didn't take into consideration the a.m. assessments.
My take from this experience which repeated in other instances is that technocrats and specialist assessments become irrelevant if the recommendations do not support and match the political interests.

Peter Tal on May 13, 2019
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This may sound simplistic, but based on more failures than successes, hire an experienced professional to create, promote and manage the online community, not just a part time grad student...

Ernest J Wilson lll on May 13, 2019
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In Brazil, the Federal Government has been running a successful initiative called GNova (http://gnova.enap.gov.br/index.php), but it is not online. Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the UK Policy Lab (https://openpolicy.blog.gov.uk/about), with a greater online presence than its Brazilian counterpart.
I was interested in knowing how they work, to understand the relationship between stakeholders (for and against) and the success of the policy, but I could not come to a conclusion so far.

Arthur Wittenberg on May 13, 2019
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