Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
Citizens from towns of less than 20,000 inhabitants (10,000 inhabitants in the initial phase) and neighbourhoods located in the most under-populated and disadvantaged areas of Andalusia. As such, Guadalinfo was born to foster social cohesion and regional development by minimising both the urban-rural divide and the emergence of exclusion in processes of innovation. The project is organised as a massive network with a strong degree of capillarity.
Three different levels of co-creation can be emphasised:
– Low co-creative content. Activities of this kind have to do with eAdministration procedures. Thus, in this level the basic aim of citizens when accessing a Guadalinfo centre is to be engaged in eAdministration procedures as users and being provided guidance on how to proceed with it. Co-creation in this case is almost negligible as the activity (and the outcome) is known and pre-defined
– Medium co-creative content, where a training action is usually the “spark” to unleash co-creation practices. Good examples are those training actions of high technological & hands-on nature (e.g. robotics, 3D printing) where users co-create and co-innovate along with the local innovation agents and the other users.
-High co-creative content. Here co-creation goes a step further, arising long-standing projects that were born or “incubated” in the living lab thanks to social innovation and collective intelligence. Usually co-design & co-production “shake hands”.
Digital Transformation Process
Guadalinfo was initially set up to close digital gaps and break down several barriers (i.e., technological, skills, etc.) and the centres were led by what was called an animator, in charge of bringing ICTs closer to people so as to ensure universal digital literacy. Notwithstanding this, it greatly evolved from a digital literacy-based network to a powerful tool spurring social innovation and citizens´ empowerment, thus unleashing fruitful processes of co-creation.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
Quantitative and qualitative assessment of Guadalinfo policies was set up through a scoreboard of indicators In the Guadalinfo living lab themselves, an online internal monitoring tool has been used since the beginning of the initiative in 2004 and provides results indicators for every Guadalinfo centre, updated every month.
Furthermore, the Second Strategic Plan (2016-2020) contained a very robust monitoring and evaluation system that is organised under periodic reports (quarterly, biannual and annual). The reports include a portfolio of indicators measuring the degree of completion of every action. A particular action of the Second Strategic Plan (n. 2.2.3) is called “Living Lab” and is targeted at “boosting social innovation through cooperation, collaboration and citizenry participation in order to take up projects and initiatives”. Two specific outcome indicators, namely, “number of projects taken up”, and “level of satisfaction of users” have been designed to measure the real impact.
Finally, within the realm of some specific projects, results indicators are aligned to some macro indicators coming from external sources to determine the real impact of the measure.
Challenges & Bottlenecks
In the past, a major challenge was to how to effectively turn into a powerful social innovation tool, as Guadalinfo has been traditionally associated to a tool aimed at providing digital literacy.
Currently the major challenge is how to cope with such different needs and expectation from the citizens ‘side. Guadalinfo is a pervasive network of living labs and a great deal of coordination is a priority. Local innovation agents need to be properly skilled to meaningfully interpret and provide useful responses, giving rise to different co-creation layers.
Transferability & Replicability
Guadalinfo is a showcase of replicability, as the project is organised as a massive network with a strong degree of capillarity. As such, about 770 centres are operating throughout Andalusia. Guadalinfo network is mostly funded by Andalusia Regional Government (Junta de Andalucía), which provides 66.66% of total funds, whereas the eight Provincial Councils (Diputaciones Provinciales) provide the remaining 33.34%. As a conclusion, the network is 100% public owned, and it is managed by the Fernando de los Ríos Consortium (Consorcio Fernando de los Ríos), which in turn is owned by the Andalusia Regional Government (50%) and the eight Provincial Councils (the remaining 50%). The Consortium provides strategic support and guidance, network capabilities, technical equipment, training, projects and innovation.
Guadalinfo is perceived as an element of trust and confidence for Andalusian population. The presence of Guadalinfo is pervasive in Andalusia, in such a way that whatever ICT-project involving public bodies you may think of, Guadalinfo will be somehow engaged.
Local innovation agents play a crucial role in the effective and successful implementation of Guadalinfo activities and vision. Local innovation actors are the main drivers of co-creation, and three specific skills have been identified as especially relevant to unleash co-creation potential, namely:
- Versatility: as the local innovation agent is trained in whatever digital competence is considered necessary (having the European competence framework as a backdrop), versatility seems paramount
- Pedagogic skills: these are especially necessary to create the atmosphere of trust and reliability “made in Guadalinfo”.
- Soft skills (e.g. self-confidence, active listening, problem-solving, etc).
The importance of trust and reliability to explain Guadalinfo success. Guadalinfo has been able to become a relevant social innovation platform in such a way that a sound alignment between supply (Guadalinfo centres) and demand (users and citizens) does exist.
By doing so, Guadalinfo is: a) Increasing regional innovation and entrepreneurship potential of all Andalusians; b) Having a knock-on effect for the economy and growth in Andalusia, especially in rural areas and depressed areas; c) Promoting local and regional culture so as to reinforce local identity, having a further positive impact on the wellbeing and the quality of life of the Andalusian population as a whole.