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Using ATMs to facilitate participatory budgeting

Lab Notes - November edition

The November edition of Lab Notes brings together inspiring blogs, articles and other content for public sector and social innovators around the world, including news of a new nation-wide participatory budgeting exercise, lessons in digital social innovation for refugees, and more...

This month's key lab picks

1. Portugal, which is launching one of the world’s first national participatory budgeting initiatives, is piloting the use of ATM machines to try and ensure even those living in remote areas can submit ideas and decide on country-wide funding decisions. More from Apolitical here.

2. Under half of Wellington, NZ residents understand how they can contribute to local decision-making. This blog presents how the council is starting to work with Code for Aotearoa to build a more responsive feedback system for local democracy.

3. Ndidi Nwuneli’s new book Social Innovation in Africa notes that few social innovations have managed to create systemic change in Africa. Rise Africa Rise interviewed the author for a useful summary of how social innovations can be scaled in the continent.

4. Read a summary from eGov Innovation on how Medellin’s Smart City Initiative helped to drastically reduce the Colombian city’s crime rates by improving transport, reshaping public spaces and promoting people-centred policies.

5. Technology is affecting every stage of the refugee’s journey. A new Migration Policy Institute report on digital innovations developed in response to the refugee crisis highlights the need for tech entrepreneurs to better connect with traditional, offline services and policy.

6. Read the blog introducing a new Nesta initiative - “i-school” - which brings together the world’s leading public innovation practitioners to collect the best learning formats enabling governments to innovate.

7. In a big week for ridesharing service workers in the UK, this Conscious Company article lists six businesses using digital tools to create a version of the sharing economy that benefits everyone.

8. Digital Social Innovation for Europe has just launched a new website full of inspiring case studies, and details of events and funding opportunities for anyone interested in using tech for social good.

9. Quartz describes the emergence of Scandinavian “patient hotels” for remodelling hospital accommodation in a way that improves recuperation and reduces cost.

10. This World Bank blog describes initiatives that are working to translate Kenya’s recent decision to constitutionally enshrine openness, accountability and public participation in public financial management into local impact.

11. Enabling decision-making with data that is as close to the issue as possible: this UN Global Pulse blog describes its efforts to build data empowered villages in Indonesia, while Stefaan Verhulst makes the case for private and public organisations to adopt greater "data responsibility" to better respond to public challenges.

12. SHARECITY has created an interactive map of 4,000 social enterprises across global cities that are strengthening communities and reducing waste through food sharing.


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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