co-designing policies and services that enable sustainable behaviours

What is Open Practices?

Open Practices is a design research project that explores how policies and public services in Ireland can enable sustainable behaviour and practices. The project is funded by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency through the National Waste Prevention Programme

The research integrates academic knowledge on sustainable behaviours with user-centred design research methods. To date, the research has developed empirical insights into existing services, policy interventions, behaviours and practices among Irish businesses and community initiatives as well as designing prototype services and policy interventions.


The Open Practices project approaches policy problems from a number of different perspectives depending on the policy problem. The four themes below provide an overarching framework that guides our approach.


Developing policies, services and programmes based on actual rather than assumed behaviours and social practices by applying behavioural insights.


Applying design methods such as ethnography, user journey mapping, data visualisation and prototyping when developing services and programmes.


Co-designing and co-producing solutions with citizens and other stakeholders. Applying methods of public engagement that go beyond public consultation.


Developing an innovative culture that creates the conditions for experimentation e.g. developing prototypes, user/AB testing, randomised control trials.


The Open Practices project is currently addressing a number of specific themes such as sustainable communities, business behaviour change and public sector innovation. These themes address a broad range of services and programmes that are delivered by the EPA.

Recent blogs

We occasionally blog about our projects and other issues that interest us. You can find more blogs in the “Field Notes” section.