Home>Launch of the 5th edition of the Public Policy Incubator to train students to design public policies differently


Launch of the 5th edition of the Public Policy Incubator to train students to design public policies differently

The Public Policy Incubator (IPP) started its academic year on 16 January 2023. This 5th edition started with an intensive week of activities aimed at familiarising students with the methods and tools of public policy design before confronting them with the realities of the field of the 20 selected challenges of public interest. This year, 115 first-year Master students from the School of Public Affairs are participating in the programme.

During the spring semester, the students work in small groups under the supervision of a designer tutor to come up with a concrete prototype of a solution that would, for example, make it possible to better welcome and take care of victims of serious personal injury within a police station, to fight against the spread of misinformation and fake news during election periods, to better coordinate public action in order to steer the ecological transition, or to strengthen the association of citizens in the programming of financial jurisdiction audits.

To do this, they are working directly with 20 partners who have agreed to open the doors of their organisations and share their expertise, their fields and their problems with them (see the list of the 20 challenges at the end of the page).

Through these concrete projects, the IPP's objective is to train future graduates of the School of Public Affairs to design public policies differently by responding to the real needs of citizens and by collectively thinking up new forms of public action that are better adapted to the changes brought about by the climate, democratic and digital challenges. 


During the first two days, the students were able to discover public policy design through theoretical learning, practical application and inspiring encounters.  

Apolline le Gall, professor and researcher in social sciences and co-founder of the design agency Où sont les dragons, reminded the students of the fundamentals of design and the interest of its growing development within the public sphere.

As this is a relatively new field for the students, they were able to benefit from the feedback of Benjamin Marteau, director of "Pix", the online public service whose mission is to assess, develop and certify the digital skills of citizens throughout their careers. In his inaugural lecture, he shared his experience as an entrepreneur of general interest who, with a political sciences background, had to learn to appropriate design methods and postures over the course of his career in order to do politics differently. 

To dive more concretely into what public innovation and transformation is, the students were also able to discover a variety of structures within the French ecosystem, as well as the career paths and occupations of the people working in them:

  • At the interministerial level, the students were welcomed at the Lieu de la Transformation Publique where they were able to meet the Direction interministérielle de la Transformation Publique (DITP), the Direction interministérielle du Numérique (DINUM) as well as the teams of projects internalised by the administration such as LexImpact, a service of the National Assembly. 
  • Another group was received at the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, where they were able to meet the teams of the Transformation Laboratory and the Innovation Mission of the Synthesis Coordination Innovation Delegation, who presented the services and support offered to the Ministry's agents.
  • >The third group met with private and associative structures that collaborate with public actors on public innovation and transformation issues on the site of CÉSURE, a "tiers-lieu" supported by Plateau Urbain. Among them, design agencies such as Vraiment Vraiment and Praticable, but also Démocratie Ouverte, the Université de la Pluralité and the Design Fiction Club.

Echange avec des agents de la DITP

Exchange with DITP staff © Céline Lopes-Correia/EAP


Over the next three days, the students explored their own challenges in groups and began to put into practice the knowledge they had acquired at the beginning of the week. 

Tailored to each topic, each group's programme allowed them to observe the different realities that often exist in the field and to listen to users and stakeholders.

"The idea is to look beyond the discourse, to observe, to put oneself in the place of the patient", summarises Anceline Brioudes in an interview with the newspaper Le Progrès after her group's three-day immersion in the Givors hospital.

It was in this same spirit that other groups set off to discover the cultural ecosystem of the Côtes-d'Armor region, to meet Restos du Cœur volunteers and carry out a few missions to put themselves in their shoes, to visit day-care centres and childcare centres (a challenge with the CNAF, the French National Family Allowance Fund), to talk to judges and court-appointed agents in the Hauts-de-France region (a challenge with the DGCS, the French Directorate General of Social Cohesion) or to visit the control and command centre of the Eau de Paris water authority (a challenge with Lille Metropole and the FNCCR, the National Federation of Water Local Authorities). 

Etudiants sur le terrain

(left) Visit to a Restos du Cœur food warehouse in Gironde © Groupe 18 IPP / (right) Interview with Dorothée Deléglise, legal representative and member of the Tourcoing CCAS guardianship service © Groupe 10 IPP

While this immersion is essential for the students, it also gives the partners themselves a different perspective on their day-to-day issues, as Elisabeth Tan, deputy director of the Centre communal d'action sociale (CCAS) in Gennevilliers, explains: "Digital inclusion is a 'fashionable' concept, but it is a sad reality: people with a breakdown in their rights, young people and the not-so-young struggling with their administrative procedures, professionals overwhelmed by a lack of support in the area of dematerialisation... It was urgent for the CCAS of Gennevilliers to reflect on this issue. The opportunity of the challenge allowed us to formalize our needs, to set out our practices, to identify our strengths, but also to perceive our shortcomings and to be accompanied by 4 students with an outside view. The ideas they will present to us will strengthen the proposals to meet a major challenge: a digital service offer accessible to all.

In a few days, the groups will present the first results of their observations from this immersion phase before entering the second phase of the programme, which consists of imagining possible solutions to the challenge they have been given. Here again, the students will have to leave their comfort zone and deploy original tools and methods. Kenza Terkemani, a student taking part in the challenge with the Givors hospital, has this in mind: "We don't expect a report or an audit, the idea is to do something operational with an adapted tool that is easy to use for the target population”. 

See you in May 2023 to discover the final projects! 


  • Ademe & Coop des Milieux - How to coordinate public action on a territory to monitor, pilot and accelerate the deployment of the ecological transition?  
  • Caisse nationale des allocations familiales (CNAF) - How can we rethink childcare facilities and services for parents with a view to the early socialisation of the under-3s?
  • Campus Cyber - How to ensure the sustainability of the Digital Commons and thus encourage the commitment of public and private actors?
  • Centre Hospitalier de Givors - How can we transform internal communication in the hospital to improve the experience of both staff and patients?
  • Police station of the 13th district of Paris - How to improve the conditions of reception and treatment of victims of serious personal injury in police stations?
  • European Commission - How to identify and fight effectively against the spread of disinformation and fake news in the European digital space, especially during election periods? 
  • Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (CNIL) - How to guarantee the right to multiple identities? 
  • Conseil départemental des Côtes-d'Armor - How can culture and its actors accompany the ecological transition?
  • Cour des Comptes - How to strengthen the association of citizens in the programming of the financial jurisdictions' controls and give better access to their work?
  • Direction générale de la Cohésion Sociale (DGCS) - How to improve the protection of vulnerable persons by better supporting family guardians?
  • GHU Paris psychiatrie & neurosciences - How to reconsider the mental health care offer for young people in order to anticipate acute situations and facilitate access to care?
  • JCDecaux - How can the actors, especially private actors, in the city's fabric work effectively in favour of the fragile and vulnerable and thus make the city ever more inclusive and caring?
  • Métropole Européenne de Lille & Fédération nationale des collectivités concédantes et régies - How can the various stakeholders in the territory be made aware of the need to alter their practices to reduce drinking water consumption?
  • Ministry of the Interior - How to restore trust in institutions by designing an efficient and secure decentralised digital environment? 
  • Ministry of Overseas France - How to encourage the success of overseas students enrolled in higher education in metropolitan France? 
  • French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) - How can the economic and social rights and residence rights opened up by obtaining refugee status be made more effective? 
  • Préfecture de Loire-Atlantique - How can climate, societal and economic changes be identified and made legible so that the State's services can integrate them into their missions and the public policies they implement?
  • Restos du Cœur - How can we integrate "ad hoc volunteering" offers and link them to "traditional volunteering", while maintaining an involvement that makes sense for the volunteers and the associations?
  • UNESCO - How could youth support governments and social media companies to co-create policies to combat disinformation and hate speech online? 
  • City of Gennevilliers - How can we shape the digital support of marginalized populations with a view to improving access to rights?


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