POLICY INNOVATION LAB
2018/2019, Semester 2
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy)
Modular Credits: 4
The Policy Innovation Lab is a project-based module that allows students to work on concrete innovative solutions to real-world public policy challenges. Students work in teams with external partners (government, corporate, incubators, non-profit organizations, foundations, etc.) or on their own project ideas for the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) 2019 Conference to develop concrete innovative solutions that address specific public policy issues. Students will also have an opportunity to apply to the projects what they have learned during their past professional career and in other Master modules. This is an application course with a capped number of participants, as external partners reserve the right to select the students working on their proposed projects.
What is the Policy Innovation Lab?
The Policy Innovation Lab provides students a creative space and dynamic environment to conduct public policy-related investigations, develop specialized technical skills, including design thinking, and engage with real-world stakeholders. Policy labs encourage critical thinking, data-driven, new technology-oriented, and user-centered policy development. The LKY School's Policy Innovation Lab aims to help students to develop innovative solutions to complex public policy challenges, with a specific focus on Singapore and Asia at large.
Approximately 80% of the workload will consist in working with your partner or team on a specific project. Some class time (approximately 1 hour and half every two weeks) will include short lectures with the instructors and guest speakers on tools and issues related to innovation in public policy (for example, data analytics, behavioral insights, design thinking, ...). The remaining of the class time will be devoted to meetings with the clients, to work on the projects, and/or on project presentations and briefings. There are no reading requirements, but suggested literatures will be provided on specific topics.
Lectures and Site Visits
As of today, these are the lectures that have been confirmed. A few other speakers have been approached and will be able to confirm in the next weeks:
Please note that one-day workshop is offered on
Saturday, 26 January
from 9:00am to 3:00pm on
. The workshop will be conducted by
, a creative designer who has been working on delivering design solutions since 1998 and his now the Director of a
new boutique service design studio based in Sydney, Australia, with clients in Singapore. The workshop will be a hands-on training to allow you to be quickly up-to-speed with how to apply design thinking to your projects. Since the training requires 6 hours, the workshop will be held on Saturday. It is not mandatory, but strongly recommended.
Professor Reuben Ng
will give a lecture on "
Analytics and Behavioural Insights as tools for innovation" during session 2, on 24 January.
, Executive Director and Co-founder of
Participate in Design
a designer and community organizer, will present on her organization's Participatory Design Framework that provides common platforms for stakeholders and people to co-create policy solutions, during session 6, on 21 February.
Site visit to the
Innovation Lab of the Yishun Community Hospital
Assignments and Grading
Students are graded through a combination of traditional assessment appraisals (i.e., assignments graded by the instructors) and 360-degree feedback, or multi-source feedback, a process that includes feedback from supervisors, colleagues, external stakeholders, as well as a self-evaluation.
The comprehensive assessment methodology seeks to evaluate the students' creative thinking, analytical capacity, and public policy acumen, as well as their project management, leadership, and teamwork skills. The assignments are intended to provide students with a full set of skills required for both design thinking and implementation of innovative public policy ideas.
The components of the assessment include:
Instructors' assessment of final deliverables, project management, and reflective essay (50%) [75% for those teams working on a project for the GPPN 2019 Conference]
Partner's feedback on quality of final deliverables and project management (25%)
Self-assessment on quality of final deliverables and project management (15%)
Team peer-assessment on teamwork (10%)
The final grade will be calculated according to the following percentages:
Final deliverable (50% - 20-20-10 between instructors, partner, and self-evaluation)
In-class or at partner's site final presentation (10% - 7-3 between instructors and self-evaluation)
Project management (25% - 8-5-10-2 between instructors, partner, team, and self-evaluation)
Individual reflective essay (15% by instructors)
Policy Labs entail teamwork. For this reason, individual projects are not allowed and students will be required to form teams. The external partners will select the teams (ranging between 3 and 5 members), based on student applications and interviews.
Description of the assignments:
Final Deliverable (due date: Monday, 29 April 2019, by 5:00 p.m.)
. The content and format of the final project deliverable (final assignment) must be agreed with the partner. It may take the form of a final report (either in Word or PowerPoint format), but in some cases it can consist of an actual "product" (for example, the development of an app, a prototype for a social campaign, an innovative internal process for a client, an e-governance service, a civil engagement platform, etc.). No specific length is required, but it is advisable that students avoid delivering lengthy and overly academic reports.
In-class or at Partner's Office Presentation (due date: toward the end of the semester, to be coordinated with the partner)
: Student teams are required to deliver a 20-minute presentation on the analysis and solutions envisioned for their partner. If the partner is available, the presentation can be organized at the partner's site.
Project Management (throughout the semester)
: Students will be assessed throughout the module on their teamwork, stakeholder management, and leadership skills. The components to assess project management include:
A short project description, which includes the problem definition, the set of tasks, a timeline, and the methodology applied to be delivered as soon as agreed with the partner, but no later than
Thursday 30 January, by 5:00pm
Short weekly oral briefings at the beginning of each class session.
Individual Reflective Essay (due date: Friday, 3 May 2019 by 5:00 p.m.)
: Each student will have to submit an
reflective essay (no longer than 1,000 words) on their overall learning experience in the Lab. Reflective writing is your response to a particular experience. In this module, the reflective essay aims to give the students an opportunity to think about their learning process in the Lab and to achieve clarity and better understanding of what they have experienced through the semester. Research has shown that reflective essays can enhance both the learning experience and critical thinking. A reflective note is not about describing what happened in class. Rather, students can elaborate, among others, on: 1) their perceptions of the module and the content; 2) ideas and observations they developed, and how they relate to their project's topic; 3) what they found interesting, difficult, inspiring, unhelpful, etc. and why; 4) different perspectives on what they have learned in the Lab; 5) how the new knowledge challenges what they already knew; etc. There is no right and wrong in reflective writing, as it is mostly subjective. However, a reflective essay is an analytical piece that should include descriptions (what was learned or how), explanations (why you like, dislike, etc.), and expressive language ("I think," "I feel, "I believe").
There will be penalties for late submission of the assignments. The grading scale is from F (Fail) to A+ (Excellent).