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Affordable construction, Shazam for mosquitoes, and other lab musings ...

Lab Notes - May edition

The May edition of Lab Notes brings together inspiring articles, reports, events and other content for public sector and social innovators around the world, including an approach to meet demand for afforable housing, a simple method for tracking the risk of malaria, experiments in challenge-based procurement and more ...

This month's key lab picks

1. Learn more about Moladi: the innovative approach to affordable construction that’s being applied in over 20 countries across three continents.

2. A Shazam for mosquitoes: The Atlantic describes a simple way that people can use mobile phones for tracking the animal that endangers more humans than any other.

3. Who are the refugee startups striving to solve problems that migrant camps face, and what could this mean in a changing humanitarian aid landscape? Read more from Vocativ.

4. A new MaRS programme is using challenge-based procurement, enabling hospitals to co-design solutions with entrepreneurs.

5. Singapore's public innovation minister shares four principles for how civil servants can become innovators in a government growing in size and complexity.

6. A new report from the Institute for Government learns from the global landscape of delivery units - small teams that work to embed an evidence-based culture in government - exploring why so many are struggling and how we can learn from them.

7. Digital Social Innovation has mapped 1,200 organisations and 800 projects across Europe that are using existing and emerging technologies - like online platforms, open hardware and software, and blockchain - to tackle social challenges. Read more and use the tool here.

8. This Social Innovation Community blog reports back on a workshop with the Migration Hub Network on using human-centred design to support the integration of refugees. There’s also a collaborative document to capture learning material.

9. Danny Lämmerhirt provides four succinct takeaways from MySociety’s recent TicTec civic tech conference in Florence. You can also catch up with session notes and conference keynotes in this hackfoldr.

10. The GovLab’s Beth Noveck summarises the research landscape, and offers a number of short-term prescriptions, for how digital tools can bolster governance.

11. The Government of India has attempted the world’s biggest ever hackathon, offering cash rewards to 10,000 participants competing to solve problems across 29 government departments. Explore some of the results here.

12. This blog from The Sunlight Foundation reflects on the two-year anniversary of the What Works Cities Initiative, describing three critical steps needed for cities to realise the full potential of data-driven governance in a 21st century democracy.


Sophie Reynolds

Sophie Reynolds

Sophie Reynolds

Former Senior Researcher - Public and Social Innovation

Sophie was a Senior Researcher in Nesta’s Policy and Research unit. She is now Director of Sophie Reynolds Research & Consultancy.

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Theo Bass

Theo Bass

Theo Bass

Senior Researcher, Government Innovation

Theo was a Senior Researcher in Nesta's Research, Analysis and Policy Team

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