What tools can public services use & develop to effect change?

3 min readSep 12, 2020

How do we influence change as policy makers?

I blogged on my visit to Policy Lab on how they apply design in policy and shared how at Camden we open up about how we develop change, when local places are becoming more and more interdependent and connected.

One of the tools they’ve developed was the Styles of Action for Government and in a Local Government Innovation Network I co-host, we hacked it to adapt it to local government, as you can see from the post by Cat Drew.

Unlike central government, local government doesn’t have the legislative power, but could thinking about the legislative tools we need help us think differently about how we strengthen our argument for devolving powers?

We have much more visceral focus on places, partly because we have a geographically closer relationship and because we need to compensate for our lack of hard legislative power with softer influencing power.

During the pandemic, local government has used many of its roles to influence and engage citizens to protect themselves, design & develop new interventions to respond to the emergency, resource & deliver support and control & enforce to reduce the spread of the virus. In the table below and in a recent post I shared how it used those roles:

That’s why I’m excited about a workshop we’re co-hosting on 25 September with Policy Lab who will introduce their evolved version of the Government as a System toolkit.

What tools can government use & develop to effect change?


Discover the different styles of action that public services can use and how you can use them to tackle big issues

We’ll be hearing from Vasant Chari from the Policy Lab, introducing their Government as a System toolkit and then breaking out into groups on how we could use this to tackle big issues coming up for local government

Sign up now!

Which roles does your council prioritises or should improve?

How could we develop frameworks of the different roles & tools we can use with communities, businesses, charities, employers or places?

What can we learn from the roles that other sectors have (i.e. venture capitalists, foundations, startups)?




Head of Policy Design, Scrutiny & Partnerships @newhamlondon #localgov Co-founder of #systemschange & #servicedesign progs. inspired by @cescaalbanese