Project One

Creating world-leading solutions with the Filipino government

Philippines Manila
Who we worked with

DTI, Philippines and G2G

What we did together

A series of sprints

Key Skills

Problem discovery, Ideation, Prototyping

Read more

NZ aids Philippines in ease of doing business – Philippine Star


In 2016, the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index ranked the Philippines in 113 place – a drop from 99 in the previous year. To improve this score, the Filipino government turned to the New Zealand government (ranked 1), who engaged Creative HQ to help.

On October 31 2016, the World Bank (“WB”) released its most recent Ease of Doing Business (“EODB”) Report. The Philippines’ rank dropped to No. 113, down 14 places from its No. 99 position the previous year.

Prior to the release of the 2018 WB EODB report, the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) in the Philippines partnered with the New Zealand Government to bring the best of New Zealand’s state and private sector solutions to ease of doing business in the Philippines.

In December 2016 the NZ Embassy requested its NZ G2G Know-How (a joint venture enterprise of the Ministry of Foreign Enterprise and Trade (MFAT) and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) group to undertake a scoping and exploratory support exercise to provide recommendations for further improvements to make it easier for people to do business in the Philippines.

This is the first time the Philippine government will deploy Design Sprint to solve business registration problems in an innovative manner. We have high hopes that this is a good start after the law on ease of doing business has been enacted. We expect that with the successful creation of a prototype, we will be able to address the lack of information which has been identified as a major bottleneck for investors and MSMEs. We hope to transform how government works with the use of technology (govtech)

Ramon Lopez
DTI Secretary

How we did it

The NZ mission, led by Creative HQ, was undertaken to explore the problem in more detail, on the ground, and make recommendations. 

The Mission concluded that there exists a “significant opportunity for the Philippines to take a leadership position in the business registration process by becoming one of the world’s first countries to adopt a fully mobile-based registration process.”

One of the recommendations made by the NZ Mission was a programme of work. This programme would enhance the level of transparency and publicly available information; reduce confusion and duplication of data used during transactions between businesses and government agencies; and streamline the “end-to-end” registration process. The ultimate goal was to create a seamless online transaction that could be completed on any internet-connected device. 

In line with experiences from the NZ public sector, the NZ Mission suggested a specific approach for delivering the outcomes; the use of “Design Sprints” (5-day workshops to develop a realistic prototype for a given business problem). 

Over the last few years, Design Sprints are increasingly used in the public sector due to their high levels of productivity, efficiency, and customer orientation.

The result

Three Design Sprints focused on three connected problems – collaboratively solving complex problems represents a new way of working for the Philippines government.

The Design Sprint approach for the Philippines set out to achieve the following objectives:

  • Create and test realistic prototype solutions for well-defined problems, in five days
  • Strengthen engagement between the public and private sectors by bringing them together to solve critically important problems. 

The Sprints were five-day, ‘in-residence’ Sprints, in Manila, with the core team (of 6–7 people full-time) being made up of a combination of public and private sector participants.

A one-day Bootcamp was run to select the core team participants for each sprint; assessing and selecting from a long list of potential candidates based on a combination of ‘fit’ with the Sprint style of working (i.e. agile, ambiguous, fast-paced) and domain knowledge and expertise.


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