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Bringing Human-Centered Design to International Public Policy

A diverse team of HCD and government digital design experts led a training for public policy makers in the Balkans.

Investment in Innovation

Improvements for people begin with transformations in government.

The western Balkans have made new investments in quality management over the last 10 years. The region seeks dynamic innovation that will help build a more responsive, more modern government that improves the way people live. An experienced team from Coforma, CivicMakers, and the California Health and Human Services Office of Innovation led a five-day training for public policy makers from a number of Balkan countries in order to raise awareness around frameworks and methodologies we’re implementing in the US, and communicated insights across countries and languages to help the region’s government staff level up their skills in digital service design areas.

Cross-Culture Collaboration

One training impacted digital services and innovation across many countries.

We traveled from the US to Montenegro with our partners to facilitate a hands-on workshop at ReSPA’s five-day seasonal school. We led the participants, who came from countries throughout the western Balkans, through digital service design learning modules, with a focus on design thinking, agile project and project management, and human-centered design methodologies. Together, Coforma’s team shared insights from working across digital services in government and a “blueprint” for structuring innovation in government to help Balkan public policy leaders pave a new way for digital services across the region.

ReSPA participants developed proficiency in formulating a problem statement, created toolkits and leading others through visually solving problems, gained confidence in leading workshops and presenting their work, and utilizing tools to visualize problem solving. The individual participants gained transformative skills that helped their respective countries move forward in the digital services and innovation space. In bringing these practices home, and beginning to implement the methodologies in their own countries, they are building a larger community of design thinkers worldwide.

New Ways of Thinking About Public Policy

Participants worked together to apply digital service design principles and practices to real situations. From problem statements to human-centered solutions, the groups thought through public problems using a new framework for thought.

A group of people presenting work where post it notes are sorted out into sections on the wall.

Simple Tools for Visual Problem Solving

We used Post-Its and Sharpies to visualize real-world problems and formulate problem statements.

A group of people working together on a project.

Making Informed Decisions

In small groups, participants applied human-centered design methodologies.

A large group of people all sitting in a conference room watching a presentation.

Celebrating Achievement

Participants presented their findings and solutions during the finale event and closing ceremony.

Project Team

  • Eduardo Ortiz Eduardo Ortiz Instructor