Public administrations are generally seen as bureaucratic and hierarchical, and innovation in public administration is often a challenge for various reasons. This can be from lacking a culture of questioning set procedures to fear of failing and potentially wasting public funds, or even because legislation is too inflexible. In this context, the Portuguese government set up the LabX project, which proved to be a valid and fruitful pilot project and remains to be a solid pillar in the Portuguese innovation landscape. It is focused on improving the Portuguese public administration’s way of work, based on the core principles of innovation in the public sector.
LabX stands for ‘Experimentation Laboratory of the Public Administration’, which in itself is an indication of how the project embraces innovation. At the core, the project aims to provide public administration with strategic thinking which, through experimentation and the prototyping of public services, would lead to the simplification of processes. One of LabX’s main goals was also to foster capacity building in public servants, and to stimulate the dissemination of best practices in the public administration.
Ultimately, LabX’s most significant objectives are to redesign services, improve access to public services, and optimise ICT applications and all interaction processes. It focuses on the co-creation and implementation of new concepts and models of shared services, and prototyping solutions to ensure their viability. All this makes LabX a space to test and prototype quickly and at low cost, thus stimulating a culture of creativity and experimentation. LabX fosters better communication and involvement of all parties, contributing to the co-creation of accountable public services that ease the interactions of citizens and businesses with the public administration. Read more here.