Service Design Impact Report on the Public Sector

The Service Design Network will publish a public sector impact report at the Service Design Global Conference in October 2016. This report will provide a global overview on how service design is contributing to public services and draw conclusions for the future impact of service design in this domain.

Service Design Network convokes its outstanding international community:

The content of the report will be co-created with our community, so if you want to be informed and involved in this publication, please connect with our Linkedin group.

You can start right now by sharing your experience and insights by answering this survey. Together we can build a global overview of the field and discuss the impact of Service Design in the Public Sector.

Reporting the impact

In October 2016 the Service Design Network will publish a report on the impact of service design in the public sector. This report will provide an overview on how service design is contributing to public services and draw conclusions for the future impact of service design in this domain.

The report will serve the service design community - both agency and client side, - who are interested in current service design practice and activity in the public sector and who want to explore it on an international scale; and public sector decision makers who may be unaware of the potential impact of service design approaches.

The report will consist of a number of maps that give an overview of the public service sector and the impact of service design globally. The publication will feature outstanding case studies, articles and interviews with the leaders of this area. It will be available both as printed and a free downloadable digital version. And it will be presented to public at the Service Design Global Conference in October 2016, in Amsterdam.

SDN gathered influential members of the field, actively working with and producing content about Service Design in the public sector, to be part of the editorial board.

Public Sector on the spotlight

Societies today face common challenges in delivering the best possible quality of life in a way that is economically sustainable. Design thinking offers a highly effective methodology for squaring this circle and connecting with citizens – at all levels of the public sector, and from services to policy. (; Design for public good, 2013)

As business responds to the public’s desire to feel they are getting a personal treatment, these same expectations are being placed on our public services. Individuals want to be seen as just that – individuals – and this creates additional demand on our services to re-orient themselves to deal with the complex needs of a person against the ever present challenge of delivering public services universally. (Thomas. E, Grace, C: Innovation by design in public services, 2008)

Public sector innovation will be one of Europe’s greatest challenges in the coming years with the paradox of more pressure on public services but with less available resources.

Innovation in services is a priority for both the private and public sectors across Europe – in 2011, services contributed 72.5% of the EU’s total gross value added (GVA)01 and the public sector represents 45% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the 27 EU Member States 02.

Governments globally are looking for ways to improve outcomes in public services and significantly cut costs at the same time. Countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Singapore are all adopting design-led innovation to solve public sector and societal challenges. (Policy Booklet 7; An Overview of Service Design for the Private and Public Sector, 2013)

With governments around the world beginning to recognise this potential, it is a capability that Europe can neither ignore. This capability allows public institutions to do more for citizens with less, or do less with greater effect. Service Design added into public sector helps to meet the pressing needs of the present, but also to help governments achieve wider long-term aims of growth and quality of life for its citizens.


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