Asker Welfare Lab is a new concept for service delivery centred solely on the citizen, where all relevant municipal services together with external partners – the Investment Team – invest jointly in a person’s welfare. The lab adopts an investment mind-set and treats citizens as co-investors.

The aim is to raise the living standards of vulnerable individuals, thereby bettering the quality of life of each person and family in the programme. Most importantly, experts have to partner with the citizens whose lives they want to change, on the basis that “No decision about me shall be taken without me”. Public sector investment is closely monitored through a new form of reporting that focuses on the realisation of outcomes.

We need to think – and work – differently

Various local and global trends put pressure on public resources. Public services have to be more efficient to remain sustainable in the future.

Public services are traditionally provided in a specialized, short term manner. People in need of interdisciplinary support often meet fragmented public services.

In Asker Welfare Lab, all relevant disciplines work together with a broader and long term perspective.

How we work with people with complex challenges

  • We want to change our welfare services from being about clients to being about people.
  • We allocate more governmental resources towards prevention and early intervention instead of waiting until the challenges have grown too big and too complicated.
  • The municipality think as an investor. The profit of the investment is more self-sufficient citizens in the long run.
  • We expect the citizens and the families to take responsibility for their own life situations and be co-investors.
  • No decisions about the citizens shall be taken without them.

The Welfare Lab model 

  1. Find the qualified citizens. Citizens with complex challenges, or municipal employees working with them, contact the Welfare Lab.
  2. Map the citizens’ life situation. The citizens meet an interdisciplinary investment team. Together we examine their life situation.
  3. Make decisions and invest. The investment team has the authority to make decisions. Together we make a plan with short and long term goals.
  4. Reach our common goals. A sustainable life situation and better living conditions are the goals for both the citizens and the municipality.

Shared goals

The shared goal for both the citizens and the municipality is a sustainable life situation with lesser needs for public welfare services in a long term perspective.

What the citizen can expect from the municipality 

  • Coordinated help: You should not need to relate to various public branches
  • We will help you to establish a plan with short and long term goals
  • You will receive a close follow up

What the municipality expect from the citizen

  • You must be committed to make a change
  • Your whole family / social network will have to contribute
  • You will attend meetings and appointments
  • You will cooperate on finding good long term goals

Further information

OECD on Asker Welfare Lab

Asker Welfare Lab is also featured in the recent report “Embracing Innovation in Government: Global Trends 2018” from OECDs Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI)

OPSI collects and analyses examples and shared experiences of public sector innovation to provide practical advice to countries on how to make innovations work.