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Policy Design: Redesigning the Traditional Policy Cycle Towards Human-Centredness

  • Citizens’ dissatisfaction with current policymaking is growing, including in Germany. Due to the steady focus on problem-solving, politics is moving further away from citizens’ needs. Therefore, traditional methods can no longer address the increasing complexity of political and societal problems. To counteract, Policy Design is introduced to enable policymakers to better deal with complex issues using designerly mindsets. This seeks to achieve more effective and human-centred policy outcomes. The thesis aims to integrate design approaches into policymaking, more specifically into the traditional Policy Cycle, in order to develop policies based on people’s needs. Therefore, the following research question is addressed within the scope of the study: Which design-specific measures must be integrated into the traditional Policy Cycle to ensure effectiveness in policymaking to develop thoughtful and humancentred policies? To address the research question, the core aspects of policymaking are clarified through scientific research, such as the traditional Policy Cycle and Policy Design. This formed the basis for further research using the Delphi method. In the next step, qualitative interviews are presented to identify criticism of the current policymaking process and optimisation proposals. For this purpose, eleven international experts from diverse domains were interviewed, reaching from the political to the design field. Finally, three points of criticism regarding the traditional Policy Cycle are revealed through an evaluation of the scientific research and expert interviews: 1. Policymaking as an isolated, linear, and top-down approach. 2. The gap between policy formulation and policy implementation. 3. The lack of active participation in policymaking. To counteract these points of criticism, the thesis proposes a redesign of the traditional Policy Cycle, moving toward more human-centredness. The developed new process, therefore, is guided by the Double Diamond, which exploits vital advantages of Design Thinking. In addition to the redesigned process, a map is established, showing the current and preferred state of participation in policymaking. Both attempts clarify the potential that design can unfold in policymaking.

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Author:Nabila AnnouriORCiD, Andrea PetzORCiD
Referee:Christof Breidenich, Oliver Szasz
Advisor:Christof Breidenich
Document Type:Master's Thesis
Year of Completion:2022
Date of final exam:2022/07/25
Release Date:2022/10/25
Tag:Design Thinking; Human-centred-Design; Policy Cycle; Policy Design; Policymaking
GND Keyword:Policy Design; Policy Cycle; Design Thinking; Human-centered-Design; Policymaking
Page Number:133
DDC classes:300 Sozialwissenschaften / 320 Politik
600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 650 Management
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell 4.0 International