Mission & Values

Our Mission

The Public Policy Lab helps Americans build better lives by improving the design and delivery of public services. We are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Our Values

We think that all Americans should have the opportunity to pursue a healthy life, a good education, rewarding work, and a secure retirement — and we believe that government can offer public services that help people to improve their own individual well-being and prosperity.

As citizens, we deserve respectful, efficient services from the government we empower. As taxpayers, we require a credible return on our investment. As a community — in our local neighborhoods or across the nation — we have an extra responsibility for the wellbeing of our children, our veterans, our elders, and those citizens struggling to get by and get ahead. Effective public programs are a necessary resource for all of us.

How We Help

Public programs are how our society invests in citizens. Too often, however, public services don’t feel very friendly, or even very useful. Here at the Public Policy Lab, we think the solution lies with the people themselves: when services are thoughtfully designed to serve the needs of their users, to be engaging and easy to use, then they’re more satisfying for citizens, as well as more effective and cost-efficient for government.

And that’s what this organization is all about: We engage in research at the intersection of policy and user-centered design. We examine how policy goals and public services can be assessed through the experience of their users. We identify best practices from the design professions that can bring value to the public sector. And then we directly engage with government leaders and designers in projects to improve service delivery.

Learn more about what we do for public agencies, our fellowships for service designers, and our research topics. Or watch this short video of our executive director, Chelsea Mauldin, discussing our work in a pecha kucha presentation at EPIC: