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Civic Service Design Tools & Tactics

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An introduction to service design for public servants, and a set of practical ways to include design methods in your work. This resource was developed for the City of New York but is relevant to other cities, governments, and innovation labs as well.

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City of New York

Discipline or practice

Service Design

About this resource


United States

Date Published


CC BY-NC Attribution-NonCommercial


Web-based resource

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2 reviews for "Civic Service Design Tools & Tactics"

  1. mpscipo says:

    On the main page I like that everything flows so nicely with the graphics and that as you scroll down everything is in order logically. On the “Set the Stage: Scanning the Landscape page”. It asks a series of questions to research and recommends putting your findings in Excel. I think that it would be helpful if the toolkit came with a template like the “Public Problem-Solving Canvas” with the research questions at the top of boxes. So that users of this toolkit would automatically have a place to put their findings. Other steps like “Mapping the Stakeholders” do have templates you can download. But it would be nice if all the steps used one template like the canvas so that you could easily navigate the information at different steps of the process more seamlessly.

  2. This toolkit is provided by the Mayor’s office for economic opportunities in New York. However, its practicality makes it transposable to many other cities, regardless of the level of public decision-making. This toolkit provides political decision-makers with concrete tools to design a relevant public policy. While the authors do not give the keys to a quality policy, they do provide a framework for maximizing it. From a visual point of view, the website is very clear: you only have to scroll down to be guided through the process. On the practical side, the toolkit gives the feeling of being truly guided and not simply navigating through vague and universal concepts. PDF or Word templates can be found on the website, making it possible, at each stage, to fill in documents that have already been pre-edited, which makes it possible to feel less drowned at the beginning of the design of a public policy.
    On the heart of the matter, the Civic Service Design toolkit guides the reader through 6 steps: from contextualization to prototyping through the best method of interviewing and immersion in the daily life of the beneficiaries of the designed reform or policy, the details are numerous. Furthermore, the authors do not simply ensure the immediate success of the policy, but also think about the sustainability of the project by looking at the impact assessments to be carried out in a second phase, and the partnerships to be established (particularly with other public bodies) to ensure the long-term robustness of the project in question. A small hitch should however be noted: the “Case studies” link, which would have made it possible to make the detailed points even more concrete, is inaccessible (an error message is displayed when you click on the link).

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