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Discover the solutions devised by the students of the Public Policy Incubator

On Wednesday, May 11, 2022, after an intensive semester of learning the tools and methods of design applied to public action, the 121 first-year students at the School of Public Affairs who participated in this year's Public Policy Incubator (IPP) presented the concrete solutions they had devised to respond to the challenges of general public interest submitted by the 18 public, private and associative partners in this 4th edition. 


The solutions presented during this closing day took a wide variety of forms (mobile applications, physical objects, serious games, action programmes, etc.). This diversity illustrates one of the main pedagogical objectives of the Public Policy Incubator, which is to learn how to move from a theoretical analysis of a problem to the design of something concrete that can be shown and tested with the public concerned in order to really improve their situation.

Discover all the student projects in the Challenge Library

To achieve these "tailor-made" results, the students adopted new approaches and stances derived from design such as user-centredness, iteration, testing, object prototyping, etc. All these approaches are complementary to the more traditional training they received during their studies and enable them to tackle complex public policy issues by relying directly on field experiences.

First, the students visited their partners to identify the concrete problems underlying their initial challenge. Laura Bellet and her group worked on the challenge "How to make the conditions of access to social housing more transparent and understandable in order to improve the user-journey of social housing applicants?" They spent three whole days immersed in the Municipal Housing Service of the City of Saint Denis at the beginning of the semester: "the immersion phase was the most important of the project because we got the whole difficulty of this system in our heads. It was essential to get just an idea of the very important confusion it represents for the beneficiaries."

Immersion in the field also means finding precise and personal angles to tackle issues that are often complex and global. This year, for example, Lucile Baumann worked on the difficulties in understanding the administrative procedures encountered by asylum seekers when they arrive in France (a challenge proposed by the Interministerial Directorate of Public Transformation - DITP). While many diagnoses and studies exist on the subject, Lucile explains how design enabled her group to come up with a concrete and applicable solution: "When you work on a subject like this, you see the figures, you see them in the street or in the media, but when you are confronted with the reality of the person, there are many things that stand out, such as body language or emotions, and it is on this feedback that we were able to build a really relevant solution".


Among the 18 challenges of the 2022 edition, health and social issues were strongly represented: here are three concrete examples of projects designed by students that illustrate the diversity of the solutions proposed. 

Engaged School Community and Child Mediator Network (REM)

Challenge proposed by the French Red Cross: "How to support child carers in newcomer families?

Through field surveys, including marauding in Lyon, and interviews with stakeholders and experts, the students decided to look for ways to shift the burden of 'caring', from children onto empowered third-party carers and to empower parents through two proposals: the Engaged School Community project, a network of Red Cross mediators and parent volunteers to support newcomer parents (language, administrative, etc.); and the Child Mediator Network (REM), this time aimed at members of the associative ecosystem specialised in psychosocial activities carried out on the territory with newcomer children, with the aim of disseminating good practices and speeding up the sharing of expertise (interactive map, training courses on the subject, contacts of other members, etc.).

Discover the presentation videos of Engaged School Community and Child Mediator Network (in French)


Creating a mapping of  the key actors to understand the spheres of life of a newcomer migrant


Challenge proposed by the Foundation for Medical Research: "How to fight against misinformation and mistrust of the scientific word?

After several weeks of investigation, the students realised that misinformation on medical subjects feeds mistrust of scientific discourse in general. They therefore decided to develop a solution to combat misinformation and educate people about the scientific process by focusing first, only on one disease: endometriosis. This resulted in the project BasEndo, a web application that provides simplified access to studies on endometriosis, translated and summarised thanks to an artificial intelligence, with key results that can be easily shared. The solution also allows patients to take control of their disease by offering them a way to clearly explain its consequences to their family or employer. The students were able to benefit from AWS' skills sponsorship to build their prototype.

Watch the video presentation of BasEndo (in French)

GHE’Fait le tri

Challenge proposed by the Women's and Children's Unit of the Grand Hôpital de l'Est Francilien (GHEF): "How to limit the environmental impact of a hospital's activities and how to engage it in an eco-responsible approach?"


Exchange with the nurses and staff of the GHEF's Women and Children's Unit

>Faced with the deficit of recycling in hospital services and its impact on the environment, the students chose to materialise their solution in the form of a one-week plastic waste sorting test operation in the Women and Children Unit. They coupled it with a roadmap detailing the steps to be taken to set up real new sorting channels. They opted for this strategy in order to prove the involvement of the nurses and staff in the act of sorting, without interfering with the care gestures, as well as to demonstrate that the change is operationally feasible. "The group that intervened was very efficient and friendly. Their work convinced the management, which agreed to initiate a concrete environmental approach", said Asmahane Khelfat, the centre's deputy director, a few days after the students' presentation.

Watch the video presentation of GHE'Fait le tri (in French)


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Video © Lucile Meunier

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