Governments are increasingly turning to public sector innovation (PSI) labs to take new approaches to policy and service design.
This turn towards PSI labs, which has accelerated in more recent years, has been linked to a number of trends. These include growing interest in evidence-based policy making and the application of ‘design thinking’ to policy making. According to their proponents, PSI labs are helping to create a new era of experimental government and rapid experimentation in policy design. But what do PSI labs do? Can we identify distinct types of labs? And how do they either fit into the landscape of policy making as usual, or challenge it?