• News
  • March 13, 2019
  • 5 minutes
  • 1

Our first interactive policy game; Denmark’s sex week; US gender pay gap

Our weekly rundown of global policy

Top Stories

Game: Have you got what it takes to save the citizens of “Apolitical Land”? In this interactive policy game, players must work out how to manage spiralling demand on health services in a fictional country. But be careful: in policymaking, things don’t always turn out as planned… (Apolitical)

This year, 400,000 schoolchildren participated in Denmark’s “sex week”.  Many countries, including England, are rewriting sex education policies for the 21st century. But with a whole week dedicated to helping children navigate their sexuality, Denmark is still ahead of the curve. (Apolitical)

How to keep your innovation lab alive: Lessons from Latin America. Many public innovation initiatives in the region have folded under political or funding pressures. Here’s why Chile’s Laboratorio de Gobierno is still going strong after four years — and a change in government. (Roman Yosif Capdeville, Laboratorio De Gobierno, Chile)

Three ways government can enable breastfeeding at work. Returning to work is one of the most common reasons women stop regular breastfeeding. But policies like paid breastfeeding breaks and mandated provision of lactation facilities are starting to change that. (Apolitical)

Quiz: Which rural region should you govern? Rural communities are becoming older and emptier, and services are deteriorating. In this quiz, it’s your job as an officer in charge of a rural region to decide which policies to use to stop the decline. (Apolitical)


Are you a public servant with big ideas? Why not share them with our global network by pitching an op-ed to Apolitical. 

Find out more!

Health and Ageing

Italy is stopping unvaccinated children from attending school. Parents risk fines of up to $560 if they send children to school without the required jabs, and children under six can be turned away at the gates. The new law was passed during a sharp rise in measles cases. (BBC)

One of the world’s poorest countries is giving free healthcare to under-5s and pregnant women. Mali’s government will also give out free contraceptives and introduce tens of thousands of extra community health workers. Today, one in 10 Malian children dies before their fifth birthday. (The Guardian)

Energy, Environment and Economic Opportunity

US companies will have to report their gender, race and ethnicity pay gaps. A new court ruling means that companies with over 100 employees will have to disclose the data to the government — possibly within weeks. (Bloomberg)

Norway’s $1tn wealth fund is divesting from oil and gas exploration. The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund was first created to invest profits from North Sea oil. Its strategy shift will now see it sell stakes in 134 companies.  (The Guardian)


“This new approach… is part of a bold agenda to transform the public sector into a more modern, agile and friendly ally for citizens” — Roman Yosif Capdeville, Laboratorio de Gobierno

Evolving Cities

Philadelphia became the first US city to ban cashless stores and restaurants. Businesses say contactless, cash-free payments make shopping hassle-free. But those systems can marginalise low-income shoppers, who may not have access to credit lines or necessary tech. (Vox)

The Indian city of Pune is turning old buses into bathrooms for women. For a 7-cent fee, users can access sanitary pads, showers, breastfeeding space, diaper-changing stations and health information. The 12 WiFi-enabled buses mostly run on solar power. (CityLab)

Governance and Citizen Engagement

A Belgian city created a permanent citizens’ council to recommend policies. The 25-person council, the first of its kind in the world, will decide which issues parliament must consult citizens on. Councillors will be randomly chosen from the public to avoid self-selection bias. (The Mandarin)

And finally

After 150 years, Cleveland’s public library is going fine-free. Ending fines is a growing trend among libraries; officials believe they can be a barrier to use and undermine the mission to serve the community. (Crain’s Cleveland)

(Picture credit: Unsplash)


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