Configuring the Constitution of Civic Innovation Lab

The session piloted by Namit Arora, looked at the operational side of the Lab and find answers to questions like- What should the lab do? What should be the seven core activities of the Lab? What is the right organizational structure of the Lab?

Namit started the session by brainstorming about the seven core activities that the Lab should engage in order to provide effectual and systematic deliverance of public services. The participants of the session including MP Ramjan, Soaib Grewal, Sumandro Chattopadyay, Sunil Abraham, Usha Alexander and Ishan Khosla listed ‘Thought Leadership’- synthesising- knowledge sharing- as the fore most activity of the lab as the need to well articulate the missions and goals is a vital step for the Lab to work effectively. The group stressed upon the need for reaching out to a wider audience and clarifying the Lab’s motive as to what it stands for- to be it’s primary activity.

The other activities of the lab included-

  • Identifying problems in a frame work solution i.e. conducting field work, crowd sourcing data, involving citizens into the problem unravelling activities
  • Resource mapping and forging networks
  • Create capacity building via tools, platforms and developing solutions- shifting the power dynamics- making more aware of their problems
  • Crack open data problems- a different design approach-framework for designing the relationship with the citizens. Also modulate various data designs to access information ably.
  • Creating an effective feedback loop and improving the communication process.
  • Lastly, the Lab should work upon influencing the policy makers in order to implement the solutions devised.

Discussing the organizational structure of the Lab, the group opined that people from backgrounds like social science, academic research, design (urban designers/ planners), programming, mass communication, data set manipulators, policy making (political science) and strategy building should be part of the working team of the Lab.

The session ended with the group debating about the success criteria of the Lab and concluded that standards of the quality and quantum of citizen engagement, efficiency of service delivery, citizen use of services and the feedback by the key stakeholders can contribute in mapping the success rate of the Lab.

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