MIT GOV/LAB is launching a new initiative in governance innovation. By converging the skillsets of makers (i.e., engineers, designers, tech developers) with the expertise of social and political behavioral scientists, we seek to bring a fresh approach to governance and accountability efforts. Citizen trust, for example, is critical in improving service delivery, on issues of health care, social welfare, and education, and a lack of trust in service providers can undermine the best scientific and technological solutions. 

Our model for governance innovation seeks to address this problem by convening coalitions of government and non-governmental partners to co-develop governance solutions that combine evidence and methods from design and social science. We then plan to test those solutions on the ground to learn what works, and what doesn’t work. 

The initial plan includes a bootcamp course to pilot our governance innovation methodology, emphasizing creative problem solving; multi-stakeholder engagement; prototyping and experimentation; and, evaluation and learning. Promising ideas from the course will then advance to design, prototype, and testing phases with comprehensive coaching and mentorship with MIT faculty, makers, and local thought leaders.