Community-led commissioning work with Design Council

Lambeth Council has been successful in securing support from the Design Council through its Public Sector by Design programme in relation to community led commissioning.  We are now working with the Design Council to look at innovative and design-led solutions in both Tulse Hill and Herne Hill; the areas were chosen as they presented particular challenges and opportunities.

The Design Council held a kick-off workshop which took place in early February, attended by both internal and external stakeholders to start to co-design a long list of projects.  A second workshop in late February (which I was unable to attend) generated 96 potential projects; these will be filtered down to a manageable number and considered for delivery.

The kick-off workshop was really exciting, engaging and certainly enjoyable. The focus was on using design-led approaches to look at problems and potential solutions.  As part of the process, we carried out an observation exercise to understand people’s needs by spending time with them.  For example, for our group we were given £5 to use on a service, which in our case was to buy some produce from  the local fruit and veg stall/shop. One of the other groups had £5 to spend at the bookies!  All the groups then mapped their experience, recording both ‘magic’ and ‘miserable’ moments, so customer journey mapping in effect.

The Design Council approach to observation is to ensure ‘that before you create something, you understand the people who are going to use it.  Otherwise you may end up creating something that seems like a good idea on paper, but doesn’t work for the people who are going to use it’.   So the message here is connect design thinking to projects and design techniques can help frame a problem in a different way.

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2 Responses to Community-led commissioning work with Design Council

  1. I look forward to reading more about this approach and what evolves from it. We’re embarking on a new journey in Dudley which appears to have some similar thinking to your community-led commissioning process, we’re calling it MASH (Managing Assets and Services Holistically) http://oursocietydudley.org.uk/mash-lab/. Perhaps we could compare experiences at some point?

  2. salomesimoes says:

    An update on this project is that a short list of 8 projects were chosen from the 90+ ideas generated for delivery in a small area of Tulse Hill/ Herne Hill. Those selected were chosen as they are achieveable over the 30/60/90 day time period and for the interconnections between the projects. Two planning meetings were held and the community/ council partnership leads are taking projects forward for delivery by August 2012. Look for project updates on the coop toolkit over the coming months!

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