Kick-Off of Paris City Innovation Lab (PAR0005)
Action Plan: Paris, France Action Plan
Action Plan Cycle: 2017
Lead Institution: Secrétariat général
Support Institution(s): Sabine Romon, Responsable de la Mission Ville intelligente, Laurence Girard, directrice en charge de la modernisation auprès du SG Cabinet d’Emmanuel Grégoire, Adjoint aux RH et à la modernisation Société civile : Association La 27e Région A l’international : Le laboratoire de la ville de Mexico dans le cadre du tandem Paris-Mexico Secteur privé : Bloomberg Innovation
Policy AreasAccess to Information, Capacity Building, Open Data, Public Participation, Science & Technology, Subnational
PROBLEM COVERED BY THE COMMITMENT: Administrative practices and culture are too often defined in a closed circuit. They must evolve in favor of co-designed services, tested by users and civil servants. PRIMARY OBJECTIVE The goal of this prefiguration is creating an internal innovation Lab within 18 months. The long term perspective is to equip the city of Paris with its innovation lab dedicated to assist the making of user-centered public policies, like in Mexico, Sao Paulo or Rio.; DESCRIPTION OF THE COMMITMENT: The City of Paris will engage in this prefiguration in 2017. The lab will first be used as a space open to train civil servants, spread the culture of public innovation within the administration. It will be able, once existing, be called out to adress public policy issues of the City of Paris in an innovative way, through a design approach. The prefiguration consists in co-building the lab with civil servants and elected representatives.; RELEVANCE: The prefiguration of the City of Paris internal lab will allow the City to engage into the spreading of an open government culture. The injunction to innovate, to involve citizens, to consult, is sometimes experienced as a heavy pressure by civil servants. The civil servants empowerment hence is a crucial key to success for open government The innovation lab will help sharing the Open government partnership values by training the city servants to innovative methods based on design thinking (immersion, observation, investigation, interviews, prototyping, video, experimentations…). The lab will be focused on citizens, they will be involved in its conception. By including citizens to every step of the policy making process, the lab will serve as a promoting tool for accountability. Finally, it will valorize collaborative practices and civic technologies.; AMBITION: The year of 2017 will be the year of the kick off. This preparation year will allow us to recruit and to train the first team of 20 agents likely to prefigure the innovation lab. Beyond this group, this year’s goal is to include as much as possible the officials and the city administration. The include as much as possible the officials and the city administration. The methodology likely to be used by the future lab will then experimented and shared through monthly workshops; STEPS IN IMPLEMENTATION: 1. RECRUITEMENT OF 20 CIVIL SERVANTS VOLUNTEERS TO THE PROGRAM “LA TRANSFO” 2. SHARING OF BEST PRACTICES WITH THE LABORATORY OF THE CITY OF MEXICO THROUGH THE INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP PARIS-MEXICO 3.SHARING OF BEST PRACTICES WITH BLOOMBERG INNOVATION TEAMS THROUGH THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN BLOOMBERG INNOVATION AND LA 27E REGION. 4.TRAINING PROGRA TO DESIGN THINKING METHODS BY THE TEAM OF LA 27E REGION 1. JANUARY 1ST 2017 2. MONTHLY WORKSHOP WITH MONTHLY PUBLICATIONS OF RESULTS 3.VISIT OF MICHAEL BLOOMBERG TEAMS AND EXCHANGES ON THE PARIS CASE. 4. ANALYSIS DURING THE PUBLIC INNOVATION WEEK OF NOVEMBER 2017 ; DECEMBER 31TH 2017 - ANALYSIS OF « LA TRANSFO » FIRST WORKSHOPS; - PUBLICATION OF THE KICK OFF YEAR RESULTS
IRM End of Term Status Summary
5. Kick-off of Paris Innovation Lab
Administrative practices and culture are too often defined in a closed circuit. They must evolve in favor of co-designed services, tested by users and civil servants.
The goal of this prefiguration is creating an internal innovation Lab within 18 months. The long term perspective is to equip the city of Paris with its innovation lab dedicated to assist the making of user-centered public policies, like in Mexico, Sao Paulo or Rio.
The City of Paris will engage in this prefiguration in 2017. The lab will first be used as a space open to train civil servants, spread the culture of public innovation within the administration. It will be able [it will allow], once existing, to address public policy issues of the City of Paris in an innovative way, through a design approach. The prefiguration consists in co-building the lab with civil servants and elected representatives.
1. Recruitment of 20 civil servants volunteers to the program “La Transfo”
2. Sharing of best practices with the laboratory of the City of Mexico through the international partnership Paris-Mexico
3. Sharing of best practices with Bloomberg Innovation teams through the partnership between Bloomberg innovation and La 27e Région
4. Training Program to design thinking Methods by the team of La 27e Région
Overall Objective & Relevance
This commitment covers an administrative problem: elected officials and civil servants tend to frequently work through using a top-down approach and in a closed loop system. Researchers in political science such as Hassenteufel (2011) call this a “ballistic design” Hassenteufel P. (2011), Sociologie politique : l’action publique, Paris, A. Colin. of policies, which assumes that there is a unique identifiable leader with clear objectives and that implementation will follow independently of the concrete situation of those concerned by the policy. Therefore, this approach can lead to poorly designed public policies that do not accurately reflect the needs of citizens.
According to the action plan, this commitment aims to shift the administrative culture of civil servants from a top-down approach to a bottom-up approach that is more user-centric. It also wants to diffuse an internal culture of innovation within the Parisian administration through the training of volunteers to design new ways of problem solving. To do so, it proposes the launch of an innovation laboratory dedicated to training and empowering Parisian civil servants in public innovation. There are several activities detailed to achieve this objective. The first is to recruit 20 civil servants that will form the first session of the pilot program. Volunteers will participate in workshops and exchange best practices with the laboratory of the City of Mexico and Bloomberg Innovation teams. Finally, the civil servants will participate in a training program on design-thinking methods taught by La 27e Région, an organization working with governments and citizens on the co-design of public policies, which developed a program named “La Transfo” to foster innovation labs within local governments.
Although this is a laudable activity that aims to strengthen the public administration and trust in government, the commitment restricts participation of this innovation lab to civil servants without providing a public-facing mechanism to enhance citizen participation. It has no clarity in regards to how the commitment will improve access to information by publishing government-held information, include citizens in decision-making processes through open forums, nor how this could be a mechanism for government to justify their actions to citizens. Therefore, the relevance of this commitment to OGP values is considered unclear.
Specificity and Potential Impact
The specificity of this commitment has been coded as medium. All milestones are clearly verifiable, though hard to measure. The proposed activity to open a lab internal to city government is not coupled with a follow-up implementation plan that outlines the steps to achieve the creation of a lab open to citizens.
The city’s inspiration to carry-out this initiative comes from experiences with innovation labs in other cities, such as Mexico City and Sao Paulo. Labs of this type have proven to have a major impact in the co-creation of policies and innovation for better public services with the use of government data Tõnurist, Piret, Rainer Kattel, and Veiko Lember (2017). 'Innovation Labs in the Public Sector: What They Are and What They Do?' Public Management Review 19, no. 10 . . However, because this commitment restricts the innovation lab to civil servants, it is considered a positive step towards constructing a culture of innovation and co-design of policies, but limited to internal city staff.
Additionally, considering it does not outline a follow-up implementation plan, it is limited in scale. Therefore, this commitment is a positive, but incremental step towards changing the internal administration culture towards civic engagement. While innovation in management and training of civil servants could potentially help reduce top-down policy making in local government as it could lead to the creation of a design-thinking approach and application of user-centric methods, the commitment as described is expected to have a potential minor impact.
The first milestone, related to the recruitment of 20 civil servant volunteers, was achieved during the first session of “La Transfo”, http://latransfo.la27eregion.fr/allumez-les-moteurs-lancement-de-la-transfo-paris/ a program run by La 27e Région (a public innovation lab) to help local authorities create their own innovation lab. The first session of the program took place on 15 November 2016, prior to the release of the action plan. The 20 participating civil servants represented a wide variety of government departments, such as the Direction de la Démocratie des Citoyens et des Territoires (DDCT), the General Secretariat (SG), and the Center for Social Action (CASVP). The participating civil servants and their departments are photographed here: http://latransfo.la27eregion.fr/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2016/07/TP_S5_groupfie_legende.jpg
The sharing of best practices with the laboratory of the City of Mexico—the second milestone—took place in April 2017. Stéphane Vincent, head of La 27e Région, reported on the learnings of this trip http://www.la27eregion.fr/mexico-megapole-creative-notes-de-voyage/ . In particular, the Parisian civil servants and their Mexican counterparts—Laboratorio para la Ciudad—discussed the public policy challenges in Mexico City, and the work that the Mexican innovation lab carries out to address them. It is unclear if other organizations were also involved as the agenda for the trip was not publically available.
The partnership between La 27e Région and Bloomberg Innovation was accomplished in July 2017. As part of this partnership, Bloomberg Innovation announced that it would be providing $1.4 million to La 27e Région for it to provide training, technical support, and peer-to-peer learning to 10 cities within France, including Paris. https://www.bloomberg.org/press/releases/bloomberg-philanthropies-partners-la-27e-region-expand-innovation-teams-france/ According to Bloomberg Innovation, the trainings focus on making the French public sector “more inventive, agile, and suited to the needs of citizens.” Ibid. Specifically, each participating French city identifies a group of public servants who are trained by the La 27e Région team to learn new ways of tacking complex problems, designing solutions with clear goals, evaluating progress and results, and sharing results with others.
The training program, carried out by the La 27e Région team, took place throughout the course of 2017 in a series of sessions. As reported on the blog of La Transfo Paris, 13 sessions were held by the end of 2017 http://latransfo.la27eregion.fr/category/transfoparis/journal-de-bord-de-la-transfo-paris/ . The final 15th session took place in February 2018. Throughout the sessions, the 20 participating civil servants engaged in a series of reflections, practical case studies, and dynamic exercises. The final sessions involved the early establishment of the innovation lab through workshops in which participants co-designed innovative solutions such as resilience during heatwaves or digital mediation in libraries http://latransfo.la27eregion.fr/transfo-paris-session11-vous-prendrez-bien-un-peu-de-labo/ .
While the training program officially ended in early 2018, the government clearly specified in the commitment text that this would be an 18-month-long process. Indeed, the program began in late 2016 and importantly, there was no interruption in the training sessions during the period of the action plan. For this reason, the IRM researcher considers the commitment to be completed.
Early results: did it open government?
Access to information: No change
Civic Participation: No change
Public accountability: No change
This commitment aimed to shift the administrative culture of the city of Paris to be more user-centric and innovative through the training of volunteers to design new ways of problem solving and the launch of an innovation lab. However, the commitment text did not specify an implementation plan for the lab and the training program was limited to a small group of 20 ambassadors for an administration of 50000 employees. Moreover, the commitment did not include a public-facing mechanism to improve access to information, include citizens in decision-making processes, or improve mechanisms for government to justify their actions to citizens. Given the internal nature of the commitment, it is not relevant to the OGP values of open government. For this same reason, there was no change in the level of government openness as a result of its implementation.
Still, the early results of the innovation lab prototype are encouraging. In the final sessions of the training program, the participants were able to use co-design techniques to imagine innovative solutions to concrete city problems. The co-design practices will form the foundation of the innovation lab. Nonetheless, according to the coordinator of La Transfo training program for the city of Paris, questions remain on the human and financial resources allocated to the innovation lab, and therefore its ability to spread these practices throughout such a large administration. Nadège Giraud (La 27e Région), interviewed by the IRM researcher on 29 September 2017.
Launching the innovation lab will require the city of Paris to clarify its ambition regarding this project. If the city wants to extend the innovation lab beyond a small group of civil servants and beyond a very localised impact, the resources of the lab will be a key issue. Innovative projects will also require high-level political and administrative support. The city of Paris should build awareness of its top management to support the ambitions of the innovation lab by, for instance, conducting a seminar or a training on co-design methods.
The innovation lab should also consider how the public can directly benefit from its methods. For example, the training program projects were decided based on city administration priorities. To complement this approach, the innovation lab could dedicate a percentage of its projects to issues raised by the public.
Lastly, if this theme is included in a future OGP action plan, it is important that it be more closely linked to the values of open government through the inclusion of public-facing activities. For instance, the government could commit to the co-design of innovative initiatives with the public, or the implementation of specific actions in collaboration with civil society organizations or members of the public.
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