A lab is a space and set of protocols where citizens, public administration, private sector and civil society sector can come together to brainstorm, develop and test ideas, experiment and learn from each other for public benefit.
The lab is about framing the opportunity for innovation by reducing hierarchy, focusing on design approaches, promoting appropriate levels of risk taking in the organizations, horizontality and the like.
Around the world Innovation Labs are used as an attempt by public administrators to overcome both some of structural (for example lack of horizontality) and of the process (risk aversion and blame avoidance) challenges. Their recent growth is further proof that this approach is becoming increasingly accepted in governments around the world even if their highest concentration is found in Anglo-Saxon and Nordic countries.
The process of co-design, or co-creation connects bureaucrats with an outside-in perspective on current practices; it opens public servants’ eyes to the experience of their users; and it helps public servants to see how services could be made more valuable to people, while utilizing people’s own networks and resources, thus reducing costs (Bason, 2015:2).
The mission of the Innovation Lab is to work toward improving the quality of life of the people in Skopje. This will be achieved through research and analysis of the needs and problems that are concerning the citizens, mapping, redesign or co-creation of new services, development of project for public benefit, and continuous monitoring and identifying opportunities for improvement.