Civil Service 2041

WALKING IN CITIZENS’ SHOES

When public services are not designed with empathy for the people who use them, mothers have to travel long distances with their newborns and wait in long queues to collect government maternity allowances. Citizens lacking knowledge of where to access a service or even how to apply for it have to ping-pong among different agencies, sometimes for months and years. Unscrupulous intermediaries take advantage of this situation and charge exorbitant speed money.


Stepping into the shoes of citizens and frontline staff on the ground is crucial to developing empathy for the end-user experience of a system. A consultation with Nesta, the innovation organization of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, led to the crucial realization that cultivating empathy in civil servants can make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use. Seeing the world through the lens of citizens is often not enough; it is necessary to walk a few miles in their shoes.


The a2i Programme began a process to adapt the knowledge from NESTA to the reality of Bangladesh. After several years of persistent experimentation, daring to fail but learning continuously, it developed a unique empathy-based training module for civil servants in Bangladesh to help them embark on a journey of innovating citizen-centric services. Perhaps the biggest benefit from a2i’s efforts to cultivate empathy among government officers is that it shows them ‘why’ to do something rather than telling them ‘how’ to do it; thereby tapping into their innate desire to do good work and unleashing each individual’s unique innovation potential.


Empathy Training was a twist on the mystery shopping idea, handpicking about thirty government officers from different sectors – education, agriculture, social service, law enforcement, etc. and orchestrating them to go to different offices. The police officer visits a school. The teacher goes to a land office. The land officer goes to a hospital. Without administrative knowledge and privilege, civil servants become mere customers, and they begin to understand citizens’ problems much better. They bring back scathing criticisms about what is going wrong in each of these places. When they reflect together as a group, is that they begin to identify what must be done to improve things.


1. To Create Small Disruptions using ‘Empathy Training’

2. To Redefine the Problem in public service delivery

3. Understand the Citizen’s perspectives

WALKING IN CITIZENS’ SHOES

When public services are not designed with empathy for the people who use them, mothers have to travel long distances with their newborns and wait in long queues to collect government maternity allowances. Citizens lacking knowledge of where to access a service or even how to apply for it have to ping-pong among different agencies, sometimes for months and years. Unscrupulous intermediaries take advantage of this situation and charge exorbitant speed money.


Stepping into the shoes of citizens and frontline staff on the ground is crucial to developing empathy for the end-user experience of a system. A consultation with Nesta, the innovation organization of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, led to the crucial realization that cultivating empathy in civil servants can make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use. Seeing the world through the lens of citizens is often not enough; it is necessary to walk a few miles in their shoes.


The a2i Programme began a process to adapt the knowledge from NESTA to the reality of Bangladesh. After several years of persistent experimentation, daring to fail but learning continuously, it developed a unique empathy-based training module for civil servants in Bangladesh to help them embark on a journey of innovating citizen-centric services. Perhaps the biggest benefit from a2i’s efforts to cultivate empathy among government officers is that it shows them ‘why’ to do something rather than telling them ‘how’ to do it; thereby tapping into their innate desire to do good work and unleashing each individual’s unique innovation potential.


Empathy Training was a twist on the mystery shopping idea, handpicking about thirty government officers from different sectors – education, agriculture, social service, law enforcement, etc. and orchestrating them to go to different offices. The police officer visits a school. The teacher goes to a land office. The land officer goes to a hospital. Without administrative knowledge and privilege, civil servants become mere customers, and they begin to understand citizens’ problems much better. They bring back scathing criticisms about what is going wrong in each of these places. When they reflect together as a group, is that they begin to identify what must be done to improve things.


1. To Create Small Disruptions using ‘Empathy Training’

2. To Redefine the Problem in public service delivery

3. Understand the Citizen’s perspectives

WALKING IN CITIZENS’ SHOES

When public services are not designed with empathy for the people who use them, mothers have to travel long distances with their newborns and wait in long queues to collect government maternity allowances. Citizens lacking knowledge of where to access a service or even how to apply for it have to ping-pong among different agencies, sometimes for months and years. Unscrupulous intermediaries take advantage of this situation and charge exorbitant speed money.


Stepping into the shoes of citizens and frontline staff on the ground is crucial to developing empathy for the end-user experience of a system. A consultation with Nesta, the innovation organization of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, led to the crucial realization that cultivating empathy in civil servants can make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use. Seeing the world through the lens of citizens is often not enough; it is necessary to walk a few miles in their shoes.


The a2i Programme began a process to adapt the knowledge from NESTA to the reality of Bangladesh. After several years of persistent experimentation, daring to fail but learning continuously, it developed a unique empathy-based training module for civil servants in Bangladesh to help them embark on a journey of innovating citizen-centric services. Perhaps the biggest benefit from a2i’s efforts to cultivate empathy among government officers is that it shows them ‘why’ to do something rather than telling them ‘how’ to do it; thereby tapping into their innate desire to do good work and unleashing each individual’s unique innovation potential.


Empathy Training was a twist on the mystery shopping idea, handpicking about thirty government officers from different sectors – education, agriculture, social service, law enforcement, etc. and orchestrating them to go to different offices. The police officer visits a school. The teacher goes to a land office. The land officer goes to a hospital. Without administrative knowledge and privilege, civil servants become mere customers, and they begin to understand citizens’ problems much better. They bring back scathing criticisms about what is going wrong in each of these places. When they reflect together as a group, is that they begin to identify what must be done to improve things.


1. To Create Small Disruptions using ‘Empathy Training’

2. To Redefine the Problem in public service delivery

3. Understand the Citizen’s perspectives

WALKING IN CITIZENS’ SHOES

When public services are not designed with empathy for the people who use them, mothers have to travel long distances with their newborns and wait in long queues to collect government maternity allowances. Citizens lacking knowledge of where to access a service or even how to apply for it have to ping-pong among different agencies, sometimes for months and years. Unscrupulous intermediaries take advantage of this situation and charge exorbitant speed money.


Stepping into the shoes of citizens and frontline staff on the ground is crucial to developing empathy for the end-user experience of a system. A consultation with Nesta, the innovation organization of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, led to the crucial realization that cultivating empathy in civil servants can make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use. Seeing the world through the lens of citizens is often not enough; it is necessary to walk a few miles in their shoes.


The a2i Programme began a process to adapt the knowledge from NESTA to the reality of Bangladesh. After several years of persistent experimentation, daring to fail but learning continuously, it developed a unique empathy-based training module for civil servants in Bangladesh to help them embark on a journey of innovating citizen-centric services. Perhaps the biggest benefit from a2i’s efforts to cultivate empathy among government officers is that it shows them ‘why’ to do something rather than telling them ‘how’ to do it; thereby tapping into their innate desire to do good work and unleashing each individual’s unique innovation potential.


Empathy Training was a twist on the mystery shopping idea, handpicking about thirty government officers from different sectors – education, agriculture, social service, law enforcement, etc. and orchestrating them to go to different offices. The police officer visits a school. The teacher goes to a land office. The land officer goes to a hospital. Without administrative knowledge and privilege, civil servants become mere customers, and they begin to understand citizens’ problems much better. They bring back scathing criticisms about what is going wrong in each of these places. When they reflect together as a group, is that they begin to identify what must be done to improve things.


1. To Create Small Disruptions using ‘Empathy Training’

2. To Redefine the Problem in public service delivery

3. Understand the Citizen’s perspectives

WALKING IN CITIZENS’ SHOES

When public services are not designed with empathy for the people who use them, mothers have to travel long distances with their newborns and wait in long queues to collect government maternity allowances. Citizens lacking knowledge of where to access a service or even how to apply for it have to ping-pong among different agencies, sometimes for months and years. Unscrupulous intermediaries take advantage of this situation and charge exorbitant speed money.


Stepping into the shoes of citizens and frontline staff on the ground is crucial to developing empathy for the end-user experience of a system. A consultation with Nesta, the innovation organization of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, led to the crucial realization that cultivating empathy in civil servants can make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use. Seeing the world through the lens of citizens is often not enough; it is necessary to walk a few miles in their shoes.


The a2i Programme began a process to adapt the knowledge from NESTA to the reality of Bangladesh. After several years of persistent experimentation, daring to fail but learning continuously, it developed a unique empathy-based training module for civil servants in Bangladesh to help them embark on a journey of innovating citizen-centric services. Perhaps the biggest benefit from a2i’s efforts to cultivate empathy among government officers is that it shows them ‘why’ to do something rather than telling them ‘how’ to do it; thereby tapping into their innate desire to do good work and unleashing each individual’s unique innovation potential.


Empathy Training was a twist on the mystery shopping idea, handpicking about thirty government officers from different sectors – education, agriculture, social service, law enforcement, etc. and orchestrating them to go to different offices. The police officer visits a school. The teacher goes to a land office. The land officer goes to a hospital. Without administrative knowledge and privilege, civil servants become mere customers, and they begin to understand citizens’ problems much better. They bring back scathing criticisms about what is going wrong in each of these places. When they reflect together as a group, is that they begin to identify what must be done to improve things.


1. To Create Small Disruptions using ‘Empathy Training’

2. To Redefine the Problem in public service delivery

3. Understand the Citizen’s perspectives

WALKING IN CITIZENS’ SHOES

When public services are not designed with empathy for the people who use them, mothers have to travel long distances with their newborns and wait in long queues to collect government maternity allowances. Citizens lacking knowledge of where to access a service or even how to apply for it have to ping-pong among different agencies, sometimes for months and years. Unscrupulous intermediaries take advantage of this situation and charge exorbitant speed money.


Stepping into the shoes of citizens and frontline staff on the ground is crucial to developing empathy for the end-user experience of a system. A consultation with Nesta, the innovation organization of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, led to the crucial realization that cultivating empathy in civil servants can make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use. Seeing the world through the lens of citizens is often not enough; it is necessary to walk a few miles in their shoes.


The a2i Programme began a process to adapt the knowledge from NESTA to the reality of Bangladesh. After several years of persistent experimentation, daring to fail but learning continuously, it developed a unique empathy-based training module for civil servants in Bangladesh to help them embark on a journey of innovating citizen-centric services. Perhaps the biggest benefit from a2i’s efforts to cultivate empathy among government officers is that it shows them ‘why’ to do something rather than telling them ‘how’ to do it; thereby tapping into their innate desire to do good work and unleashing each individual’s unique innovation potential.


Empathy Training was a twist on the mystery shopping idea, handpicking about thirty government officers from different sectors – education, agriculture, social service, law enforcement, etc. and orchestrating them to go to different offices. The police officer visits a school. The teacher goes to a land office. The land officer goes to a hospital. Without administrative knowledge and privilege, civil servants become mere customers, and they begin to understand citizens’ problems much better. They bring back scathing criticisms about what is going wrong in each of these places. When they reflect together as a group, is that they begin to identify what must be done to improve things.


1. To Create Small Disruptions using ‘Empathy Training’

2. To Redefine the Problem in public service delivery

3. Understand the Citizen’s perspectives

WALKING IN CITIZENS’ SHOES

When public services are not designed with empathy for the people who use them, mothers have to travel long distances with their newborns and wait in long queues to collect government maternity allowances. Citizens lacking knowledge of where to access a service or even how to apply for it have to ping-pong among different agencies, sometimes for months and years. Unscrupulous intermediaries take advantage of this situation and charge exorbitant speed money.


Stepping into the shoes of citizens and frontline staff on the ground is crucial to developing empathy for the end-user experience of a system. A consultation with Nesta, the innovation organization of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, led to the crucial realization that cultivating empathy in civil servants can make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use. Seeing the world through the lens of citizens is often not enough; it is necessary to walk a few miles in their shoes.


The a2i Programme began a process to adapt the knowledge from NESTA to the reality of Bangladesh. After several years of persistent experimentation, daring to fail but learning continuously, it developed a unique empathy-based training module for civil servants in Bangladesh to help them embark on a journey of innovating citizen-centric services. Perhaps the biggest benefit from a2i’s efforts to cultivate empathy among government officers is that it shows them ‘why’ to do something rather than telling them ‘how’ to do it; thereby tapping into their innate desire to do good work and unleashing each individual’s unique innovation potential.


Empathy Training was a twist on the mystery shopping idea, handpicking about thirty government officers from different sectors – education, agriculture, social service, law enforcement, etc. and orchestrating them to go to different offices. The police officer visits a school. The teacher goes to a land office. The land officer goes to a hospital. Without administrative knowledge and privilege, civil servants become mere customers, and they begin to understand citizens’ problems much better. They bring back scathing criticisms about what is going wrong in each of these places. When they reflect together as a group, is that they begin to identify what must be done to improve things.


1. To Create Small Disruptions using ‘Empathy Training’

2. To Redefine the Problem in public service delivery

3. Understand the Citizen’s perspectives

WALKING IN CITIZENS’ SHOES

When public services are not designed with empathy for the people who use them, mothers have to travel long distances with their newborns and wait in long queues to collect government maternity allowances. Citizens lacking knowledge of where to access a service or even how to apply for it have to ping-pong among different agencies, sometimes for months and years. Unscrupulous intermediaries take advantage of this situation and charge exorbitant speed money.


Stepping into the shoes of citizens and frontline staff on the ground is crucial to developing empathy for the end-user experience of a system. A consultation with Nesta, the innovation organization of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, led to the crucial realization that cultivating empathy in civil servants can make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use. Seeing the world through the lens of citizens is often not enough; it is necessary to walk a few miles in their shoes.


The a2i Programme began a process to adapt the knowledge from NESTA to the reality of Bangladesh. After several years of persistent experimentation, daring to fail but learning continuously, it developed a unique empathy-based training module for civil servants in Bangladesh to help them embark on a journey of innovating citizen-centric services. Perhaps the biggest benefit from a2i’s efforts to cultivate empathy among government officers is that it shows them ‘why’ to do something rather than telling them ‘how’ to do it; thereby tapping into their innate desire to do good work and unleashing each individual’s unique innovation potential.


Empathy Training was a twist on the mystery shopping idea, handpicking about thirty government officers from different sectors – education, agriculture, social service, law enforcement, etc. and orchestrating them to go to different offices. The police officer visits a school. The teacher goes to a land office. The land officer goes to a hospital. Without administrative knowledge and privilege, civil servants become mere customers, and they begin to understand citizens’ problems much better. They bring back scathing criticisms about what is going wrong in each of these places. When they reflect together as a group, is that they begin to identify what must be done to improve things.


1. To Create Small Disruptions using ‘Empathy Training’

2. To Redefine the Problem in public service delivery

3. Understand the Citizen’s perspectives

WALKING IN CITIZENS’ SHOES

When public services are not designed with empathy for the people who use them, mothers have to travel long distances with their newborns and wait in long queues to collect government maternity allowances. Citizens lacking knowledge of where to access a service or even how to apply for it have to ping-pong among different agencies, sometimes for months and years. Unscrupulous intermediaries take advantage of this situation and charge exorbitant speed money.


Stepping into the shoes of citizens and frontline staff on the ground is crucial to developing empathy for the end-user experience of a system. A consultation with Nesta, the innovation organization of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, led to the crucial realization that cultivating empathy in civil servants can make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use. Seeing the world through the lens of citizens is often not enough; it is necessary to walk a few miles in their shoes.


The a2i Programme began a process to adapt the knowledge from NESTA to the reality of Bangladesh. After several years of persistent experimentation, daring to fail but learning continuously, it developed a unique empathy-based training module for civil servants in Bangladesh to help them embark on a journey of innovating citizen-centric services. Perhaps the biggest benefit from a2i’s efforts to cultivate empathy among government officers is that it shows them ‘why’ to do something rather than telling them ‘how’ to do it; thereby tapping into their innate desire to do good work and unleashing each individual’s unique innovation potential.


Empathy Training was a twist on the mystery shopping idea, handpicking about thirty government officers from different sectors – education, agriculture, social service, law enforcement, etc. and orchestrating them to go to different offices. The police officer visits a school. The teacher goes to a land office. The land officer goes to a hospital. Without administrative knowledge and privilege, civil servants become mere customers, and they begin to understand citizens’ problems much better. They bring back scathing criticisms about what is going wrong in each of these places. When they reflect together as a group, is that they begin to identify what must be done to improve things.


1. To Create Small Disruptions using ‘Empathy Training’

2. To Redefine the Problem in public service delivery

3. Understand the Citizen’s perspectives

WALKING IN CITIZENS’ SHOES

When public services are not designed with empathy for the people who use them, mothers have to travel long distances with their newborns and wait in long queues to collect government maternity allowances. Citizens lacking knowledge of where to access a service or even how to apply for it have to ping-pong among different agencies, sometimes for months and years. Unscrupulous intermediaries take advantage of this situation and charge exorbitant speed money.


Stepping into the shoes of citizens and frontline staff on the ground is crucial to developing empathy for the end-user experience of a system. A consultation with Nesta, the innovation organization of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, led to the crucial realization that cultivating empathy in civil servants can make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use. Seeing the world through the lens of citizens is often not enough; it is necessary to walk a few miles in their shoes.


The a2i Programme began a process to adapt the knowledge from NESTA to the reality of Bangladesh. After several years of persistent experimentation, daring to fail but learning continuously, it developed a unique empathy-based training module for civil servants in Bangladesh to help them embark on a journey of innovating citizen-centric services. Perhaps the biggest benefit from a2i’s efforts to cultivate empathy among government officers is that it shows them ‘why’ to do something rather than telling them ‘how’ to do it; thereby tapping into their innate desire to do good work and unleashing each individual’s unique innovation potential.


Empathy Training was a twist on the mystery shopping idea, handpicking about thirty government officers from different sectors – education, agriculture, social service, law enforcement, etc. and orchestrating them to go to different offices. The police officer visits a school. The teacher goes to a land office. The land officer goes to a hospital. Without administrative knowledge and privilege, civil servants become mere customers, and they begin to understand citizens’ problems much better. They bring back scathing criticisms about what is going wrong in each of these places. When they reflect together as a group, is that they begin to identify what must be done to improve things.


1. To Create Small Disruptions using ‘Empathy Training’

2. To Redefine the Problem in public service delivery

3. Understand the Citizen’s perspectives

WALKING IN CITIZENS’ SHOES

When public services are not designed with empathy for the people who use them, mothers have to travel long distances with their newborns and wait in long queues to collect government maternity allowances. Citizens lacking knowledge of where to access a service or even how to apply for it have to ping-pong among different agencies, sometimes for months and years. Unscrupulous intermediaries take advantage of this situation and charge exorbitant speed money.


Stepping into the shoes of citizens and frontline staff on the ground is crucial to developing empathy for the end-user experience of a system. A consultation with Nesta, the innovation organization of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, led to the crucial realization that cultivating empathy in civil servants can make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use. Seeing the world through the lens of citizens is often not enough; it is necessary to walk a few miles in their shoes.


The a2i Programme began a process to adapt the knowledge from NESTA to the reality of Bangladesh. After several years of persistent experimentation, daring to fail but learning continuously, it developed a unique empathy-based training module for civil servants in Bangladesh to help them embark on a journey of innovating citizen-centric services. Perhaps the biggest benefit from a2i’s efforts to cultivate empathy among government officers is that it shows them ‘why’ to do something rather than telling them ‘how’ to do it; thereby tapping into their innate desire to do good work and unleashing each individual’s unique innovation potential.


Empathy Training was a twist on the mystery shopping idea, handpicking about thirty government officers from different sectors – education, agriculture, social service, law enforcement, etc. and orchestrating them to go to different offices. The police officer visits a school. The teacher goes to a land office. The land officer goes to a hospital. Without administrative knowledge and privilege, civil servants become mere customers, and they begin to understand citizens’ problems much better. They bring back scathing criticisms about what is going wrong in each of these places. When they reflect together as a group, is that they begin to identify what must be done to improve things.


1. To Create Small Disruptions using ‘Empathy Training’

2. To Redefine the Problem in public service delivery

3. Understand the Citizen’s perspectives

The 'Civil Service 2041' Model

Key Impacts

  • Create Small Disruptions using ‘Empathy Training’

  • Redefining the Problem in public service delivery

  • Design service delivery taking account of Citizen’s perspectives

Publication

Innovation Brief: Empathy Training

Publication

Innovation Brief: Empathy Training