Designing Our Public Services

Welcome to Designing Our Public Services

Why design?

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is leading an initiative to support public service organisations to deliver user-centric services that are accessible, effective and efficient in line with Actions 12, 13 and 14 of the Civil Service Renewal Action Plan 2024.

The first phase of this initiative was to develop and launch ‘Designing Our Public Services’, the first prototype set of design principles for public services in Ireland. These principles were developed in response to evidence from around the world, which shows that design is a powerful tool for transformation and innovation in how public services are delivered. The principles were developed by an expert working group with members from the public sector, industry and academia.

What are the design principles?

The prototype design principles launched in October 2022 introduce design as a new way of working, and identify simple ways to introduce a design mind-set to the public service.

This is not design that is limited to aesthetic considerations – but the holistic design of service experiences & delivery, focused on the needs of people.

Designing our Public Services is an aid for public servants that are eager to put people at the forefront of service provision. This principles should serve to empower Our Public Service to use powerful design tools and techniques to deliver human-centric solutions to complex social issues.

These principles are just the beginning of our efforts to put design, and the people we are designing our services for, at the heart of Our Public Service.

You can find the prototype design principles here: Design Principles – Designing Our Public Services.

What’s next?

We hope the prototype design principles will serve to spark interest, conversation and ideas. Like any good prototype, it can only get better with your feedback.  We will shortly commence consultation across the public service to hear feedback on the prototype, and to develop an action plan to embed design in public service organisations

This process will enable you, as a public servant, to submit your thoughts on how these principles can shape the future direction of public service delivery in Ireland.

Please check back here soon for more information.

Contact us at

‘Design in Government | Impact for All’ Conference

The Creative Ireland Programme and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform was delighted to host 250 people for the ‘Design in Government | Impact for All’ conference on 28th October 2022. Watch back the presentations and addresses below.

Lou Downe, Former Director of Design, UK Government: ‘What is Design in Government?’


Mari Nakano, International Design Strategist: ‘Impact of Design in Public Services’


Trevor Vaugh, Assistant Professor of Strategic Design at Maynooth University and Chair of the Service Design in Government Working Group: ‘Design at Scale in Public Services’


Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin: Opening remarks