Today Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, welcomed delegates to the inaugural Design in Government conference at the Light House Cinema.
Presented by the Creative Ireland Programme and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform as part of Public Service Innovation Week 2022, the Design in Government conference, the first of its kind in Ireland, aims to embed design in the heart of Government.
The purpose of the conference is to showcase the benefits of building design capabilities into the public sector for both service users and service providers.
The conference will also include contributions from Michael McGrath, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, and Ossian Smyth, Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement and eGovernment. It will feature the launch of a prototype of design principles
which have been created to embed design techniques into public services. The principles were developed with experts from the public sector, industry and academia.
2 international leaders in the field are headlining the conference:
Lou Downe, former Design Director of the UK Government, founded the discipline of service design in the UK government. Lou will introduce the concept of Design in Government and share their own experience in effective design of public services
Mari Nakano is the former Service Design Director at New York City Office for Economic Opportunity. Her experience demonstrates how positive outcomes reach beyond customer experiences, right through to the way that public servants work and collaborate with one another
Case studies of good practice in the public service will be showcased.
During the pandemic Ireland’s public service responded at speed to the huge challenges that the virus imposed on the effective delivery of government services. As we emerge from the pandemic, there is an acknowledgement that the momentum for change must be continued.
In reflecting on the ambitions of the conference Minister Catherine Martin stated:
“My department is delighted to collaborate with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on this work to embed design thinking in public services. I warmly welcome the opportunities for change that will be generated by this conference. Creativity and design thinking needs to be hardwired into our public services.”
Minister for State with responsibility for Public Procurement and eGovernment, Ossian Smyth, said:
“I am today calling on public servants at all levels to engage with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on the development of an action plan to embed design methodology into how we plan and deliver public services. By engaging with our users and testing, learning and iterating, we will guarantee that our citizens’ needs are put front and centre in crafting our policy responses and delivering our services."
The Creative Ireland Programme is an all-of-government programme that places creativity at the centre of public policy. The Programme strives to (i) promote understanding and appreciation of the value of creativity in all its forms, (ii) engage and influence decision-makers to embed creativity across public policy, and (iii) support and enable participation in creative industries.
One of the policy areas it is developing is a new Roadmap for the Digital Creative Industries which is due in 2023. This will look at how to grow the design-based creative industries. The conference is part of the preparation for this Roadmap. Find out more about the programme.
DPER's public service transformation role
DPER invests in improvements that support excellence in public service delivery across the Irish Public and Civil Service. National Public Service Innovation Week 2022 is organised by the Public Service Transformation Delivery unit of DPER. The unit is responsible for driving the government’s programme of public service modernisation, innovation, and civil service renewal.