Policy Lab UK

London skyline
Case Study
Location in government

Central government

Mission statement

The Policy Lab creates an experimental space for policy makers to trial new policy ideas using open policy making principles, exploring the most creative ideas through practical activities.

Size of team


Policy Lab UK is being trialled for one year by the UK government to test how a Lab model of working can help improve policy making. The Lab is based in the Cabinet Office and aims to work across all government departments.

What it does

In its first, test year, the Lab aims to:

  • Fully support up to five practical showcase projects working within and across government departments
  • Try out new and emergent tools and methods with departments on responsive or targeted basis – through shorter projects that offer more civil servants the opportunity to get involved
  • Develop the skills and capabilities of policymakers through practical projects and opportunities for shared learning
  • Build a robust and compelling evidence base to underpin the activities of the Lab

The Lab will use a range of tools and techniques to gain new insights into policy issues. These include ethnographic research, service blueprinting, data science and digital tools.

The first Lab project is in partnership with the Home Office and explores how policing might change in a digital world, such as how digital tools can help crime reporting and investigation. Surrey and Sussex Police are acting as a test-bed for the project and will be prototyping potential. During the pilot year the Lab will work on around 4 other projects to help refine the core model. 

Website: www.openpolicy.blog.gov.uk


Photo: London Whitehall (licence: Creative Commons
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This page was last updated on

Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 16:53