Executive Education

Designing Effective Public Policies: Blending Design Thinking, Behavioural Insights, and Futures Thinking

Programme Overview

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It is a stylized fact that the policymaking process is bounded by context and politics. Policymakers and public managers are rarely conceived as “designers” in the same sense as product or service designers. Increasingly, however, there is a realization that even within these constraints, there are degrees of freedom and room for creativity that policymakers and public managers can exercise to ensure effective policy design, that is, policies which are likely to succeed in being adopted, implemented, and possibly even replicated. These degrees of freedom allow policymakers and public managers to embed design features such as empathy, behaviour change, technology, and experimentation into policies and also factor in complexities and uncertainties to ensure robustness and resilience in the delivery of the policy. Importantly, the design approach to public policy underscores the importance of collaboration and co-production in the policymaking process, wherein non-state actors such as the private sector, civil society, academics, international organizations, and so on play a key role in informing, shaping, and designing effective public policies.


For more information or any questions, contact Suman Verma: suman-exed@iima.ac.in | +91 92277 93191

Participants’ Profile

The programme welcomes participants from central and state governments, public sector, private sector, and non-profit sector. The programme is structured to be relevant to participants across policy domains. It would help participants from non-government and non-public sector backgrounds to have certain level of exposure to or interface with policymaking to grasp and apply the learnings.


Middle-to-senior government officials Municipal corporations Public sector organizations Private sector organizations including participants from consulting firms, healthcare, financial services, technology and so on Non-profit organizations International organizations

Program Objectives

The programme is structured to take participants through the key frameworks of design thinking, behavioural thinking, and futures thinking and apply them to real-life policy problems spanning across different policy domains. The programme will closely focus on the following aspects:


Understanding the policy process and how design thinking can be incorporated in it Understanding the design thinking framework and applying the principles to policymaking Understanding design principles of policies aimed at bringing about behavioral change Understanding frameworks that will enable assessment of risks and uncertainties in the policy environment and how policies can be designed to be future-oriented 

Program Highlights

Policy process and spectrum of policy design The EDIPT design thinking framework and its applications to policy design Designing and implementing behavioural change interventions Exploring drivers of change, scenario mapping, and visioning for future-oriented policy design Applying all the tools to a real-life policy problem in a “policy design sprint”