Digital Tools for Rapid Policy Design

Authored by: Justin Longo

Routledge Handbook of Policy Design

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9780815369189
eBook ISBN: 9781351252928
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351252928-19

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Abstract

Policy design focuses on the application of knowledge about the effects of policy tools on objectives, with the aim of improving implementation and outcomes. Yet in considering policy formation based on the model proposed by Lasswell over 65 years ago, policy design remains conceptually embedded in an approach that views these as discrete elements. The digital era, however, offers ubiquitous, multi-directional connected technology that allows for a seamless linking of those discrete stages into a continuous real-time feedback cycle of problem identification, tool modification and system monitoring. These platforms allow for micro- experimental policy interventions that can be rapidly prototyped with their effects precisely observed in real-time, with continual modification of interventions to steer the system towards policy goals. Drawing on the literature from design thinking and rapid prototyping, a revised approach of rapid policy design that takes advantage of new digital technologies is described. This is complemented by a discussion of emergent examples and potential applications, while some limitations and caveats are sketched in conclusion.

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