’s open policy making toolkit – practical guidance on ethnography and more

The open policy making toolkit is a practical guide to techniques that can help you make better policy.

The toolkit, which brings together the latest techniques to improve making and delivering policy, is based on the principles of open policy making – to be open to new techniques, new evidence and new expertise so we can make better policy and implement more effectively.

It was created for civil servants, but it will also be of interest to others involved in making policy.

The toolkit contains practical advice and examples from the Policy Lab – a demonstrator project that is trying out experimental techniques with different departments.


  • Behavioural insights: helping you to understand why people make the decisions they do, allowing you to design policy better
  • Crowdsourcing: a way of asking the public or groups of people to help answer particular policy questions or solve problems
  • Data science: helping you to use large quantities of data to develop policy and improve public services
  • Deliberative dialogue – bringing together the public and policy makers to discuss policy issues in a structured way
  • Ethnography: exploring the perspectives of people who are involved in or affected by a policy problem to uncover new insights
  • Idea generation: techniques and tools for involving people in generating ideas to improve policy making
  • Prototyping: rapid cycles of prototyping can help you save money and work out which solutions you should implement
  • Social media listening and analysis: helping you find influential people in your policy area and understand public opinion
  • Working with experts: a selection of new tools and techniques to help policy makers find and work with experts

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