Design has an an important role to play in delivering more efficient and effective public services – including the pressure to do more with less. It can help you become smarter with spending, generate new responses to difficult challenges, and ensure that citizens remain central to your services.

There is a growing interest in using design methods as a new way to spur innovation in challenging times, including from countries who are new to the approach. This means that raising awareness has been a theme at the heart of Design for Europe right from the outset. Many stand-out examples across Europe already show how design and innovation principles have been used to improve service delivery and make it more user-centered – but knowing where to start for yourself can be tricky.

The aim of this section therefore is to help you understand why design matters in the public sector. To do this we have brought together examples of good practice and combined these with tips and resources to help you to develop the case for using design in your sector, get buy-in from others and find support.

Begin by exploring the themes and content below to learn more about how you can raise awareness about the value of design in the public sector.

Understanding the value

Understand the benefits and value that integrating design approaches can bring and why placing the user at the heart of services is essential.

Building advocacy

Understand how to get buy-in and support from others – learn about how to identify advocates, and be aware of how advocacy can be used to raise awareness.

Getting support

Know where to go for advice and guidance in public sector innovation, and understand how to find support and inspiration.

Making it happen

Explore how to identify and scope out the right project, the tools or techniques you might need to use, and where you can go for advice.

Building capacity and skills

Find out about embedding new skills and changing culture in order to build your innovation capacity.