Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

MCW is a workshop within the InciLab of MLP. As a PSINSI, its focus is on non-technological innovation and it created a space to connect different actors who experiment together to rethink the life in the city. In MCW, five citizens, four civil servants, one promoter and one mediator collaborated over 15 days to create solutions to improve pedestrian mobility in the heart of Madrid downtown.

Co-creation process

MCW is better understood within the new public governance paradigm, as a prototyping workshop within a living lab. It constantly produces networks that fit into the PSINSI’s definition (Desmarchelier et al., 2018). The MCW, being one of those PSINSIs, focused on innovations related to products, namely interventions in public space. But beyond product innovation, MCW also aimed at other type of innovations:
  • new forms of collaboration and co-participation;
  • new methodologies, tools and protocols to reduce the distance between public institutions and people;
  • new forms to optimise resources thanks to the exchange of information between the municipal departments themselves and social, civic, and educational entities.

Digital Transformation Process

Not applicable.

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

This initiative produced a meeting place for citizens and municipal officials to experiment and learn together around initiatives that contribute to improving life together and optimising resources in the city of Madrid. Its main contributions were (are) along three lines of action:
  • Open research group about experimentation in public administration, to build case studies. Based on successful experiences in other regions and countries, participants in this line reflect on what tools and strategies are useful to develop public intelligence and innovation (under public values ​​and placing social justice and equity as referents).
  • Motioning around the city is a series of workshops open for the collaboration between public servants and citizens to develop initiatives around moving and motioning in Madrid.
  • Working group to support municipal transformation. This is a space for a learning and practice community set up with HR managers from the municipality to identify key changes and intra-innovation areas within the municipal organisation.

Challenges & Bottlenecks

For citizens, barriers were:

  • Fear of being used (do a volunteer or unpaid work for people who are paid, the public servants).
  • Frustration of earlier projects or initiatives that did not prosper (fear of losing time): “The idea of ​​coming to work for free for the City Council is present. And then I’m not even going to be the one to take it forward.” Or another workshop that does not move forward.
  • “it is difficult to manage the expectations and wishes of those who come to participate: Everyone wants the official’s phone number.”

For public officials, barriers were:

  • To find incentives (define when to do it, where and the extra services they demanded like children playroom or snacks).
  • The fear and vulnerability they feel when facing neighbours asking them for explanations.
  • To engage different public servants than those aware or related to the initiatives.
  • Officials who participated did so more as consultants than as true participants.

Overall barriers:

  • The workshop demanded an enormous effort of animation and diffusion. For promoters it is not easy to invest that much energy without success or some reward..
  • Expectations and wishes of those who come to participate are difficult to handle: From those who aspired to come with a solution and its implementation to those who were satisfied with generating a favourable climate on the subject.
  • Participants tend to think beyond the prototype and want to achieve results: “achieve more than a bunch of good intentions and reach future commitments”.

Transferability & Replicability

Our case, beyond the relevance of the prototype developed by a group of agents that got together by the workshop, serves to expose the practices to routinely produce PSINSIs with a two-fold aim:
  • Produce social innovation and prototype solutions for wicked social problems of any sort
  • Arrive to those solutions putting together individuals that do not know each other, but who after the process have discovered the power of networking, agreement and co-creation. In this context, each new community of agents built this way – i.e., the PSINSI itself – is an innovative product itself
The MCW lasted from February 5 to April 25, 2019 and the network formed followed the established practice of the workshops of the InCiLab (Citizen Innovation Laboratory – Laboratorio de Innovación Ciudadana). In there, citizens, public servants, promoters, mediators and a guiding team met for 15 days to experiment on ways to allow pedestrians to move freely in the area known as Madrid Central – the central district of Madrid. But their generic aims were:
  • To explore new forms of collaboration and co-participation in public affairs that contribute to the generation of more democratic, inclusive and diverse citizen services.
  • To test methodologies, tools and protocols that help reduce the distance between public institutions and people.
  • To detect opportunities to optimise resources thanks to the exchange of information between the municipal administration and social, civic, educational entities, etc.

Success Factors

  • Most collaborators and all proponents had participated in similar activities and, in some cases, have years of experience in participatory processes.
  • They valued the importance of this workshop as a space to share ideas, generate empathy and open the mind.
  • The experience has helped them to clarify their original idea of the project and focus their energies on the most important aspects.
Participants came motivated because they could learn more about the operation of the Administration: “this is a physical meeting space where we can talk, beyond the counter window, conflict or haste. We can create new dynamics and see what we have in common”.

Lessons learned

Mobility in a city is critical in its day to day and mediates the quality of life and social relations in it. Today, municipalities and citizens alike understand that motioning around the city has a fundamental impact on the configuration of the city, on social equality and on citizens’ rights. It is then a key issue when configuring new options, or keeping old standards affecting culture, education or health. The MCW addressed this in a very novel, participatory way. The MCW raised debates and participatory processes, organised experiments and prototypes (participants in this workshop set a physical prototype in a street-crossing in Madrid), analysed and visualised preliminary data and documented the process to report their findings: “If what we look for is to improve mobility of pedestrians, green lights for vehicles should be eliminated giving right to pedestrians at all times”, can summarise the prototype of this workshop. “The strategy to implement this prototype starts with communication. Then selection of simple targets, and measuring impact, and then scale it within the central district of Madrid, and later to the rest of the city”. “They [the Mobility Department] will study the proposal to test it in September 2019”.

Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

After the national government passed the law 39/2015, and most specially, due to its article 133, developing article 23 of the Spanish Constitution, any new norm in Spain is subject to public scrutiny by the citizens. Expanding this requirement, the municipality of Madrid embarked in a radically new form of citizens’ participation: the citizens’ jury or assembly or as they called it “The Observatory of the City”. This case explores this Observatory as a services design example aiming to capture the general interests of the citizenry of Madrid through the individual opinions of a permanent group of randomly selected citizens that meet regularly.

Co-creation process

This complex case is representative of two different levels of co-design of public services: 1) public and private agents got together to co-design the format of this citizens’ jury aiming at proposing public services and policy, mandatory for the government of the city; and 2) the jury’s members – 49 randomly-selected citizens – co-design public services and policy aided by city officials, outside experts and other citizens in working sessions, mediated by specially trained facilitators. We address both levels to enrich the view of this relevant case of value co-creation in the public sector.

Digital Transformation Process

Not applicable.

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

The Observatory performs three functions: Analysing and approving – rejecting – the most voted citizen proposals for new services on the Decide Madrid participation digital platform; reviewing municipal decisions and public policies and suggesting related actions; and calling for public consultations and proposing any type of new public service or policy. Summarising the innovative outputs of the Observatory case, we identify the following:
  • “The city of Madrid had no experience in putting up a random, lottery-like selection and a deliberative process. It was through MediaLab and the involvement of NewDemocracy that both became real. Without the two processes, Decide Madrid would have stayed as the individual participation digital platform it already was.”
  • The stages of design and development of the Observatory probably have been innovative from day 0: The idea in the Area of Participation and how the team in the government formed; the design and prototyping in the Collective Intelligence for Democracy workshop and the interaction with the Area; the design of the logistics of the Observatory; the design and implementation of the facilitation of the sessions; and the processes the members of the Observatory are following to reach agreements. All have been examples of innovative processes and finally public services in Madrid.

Challenges & Bottlenecks

The main problems we identified in the set-up of the Observatory and work of the participants seem derived from a very initial stage of this municipal organ:
  • “As far as the operational part, the potential issue that we can see is the lack of diverse information for citizens to make decisions. We tend to think that the Council would give citizens just limited information from limited sources.”
  • “Another potential problem is related to the selection process: We have not seen a properly diverse room. In Australia, we diversify based on education level and things like earnings, but that was difficult in Madrid; they allocated quotas to certain parts of Madrid trying to cover the economic certification in the room. People who are more educated and better off are more inclined to participate in this process, and they tend to group together in the decisions.” Coincidentally, “after the first draw and election of the members of the Observatory, we realised that certain groups of people have voluntarily declined participation (blacks and other ethnic minorities). We have spotted people that are not feeling part of the city, and we would like to know if this is something we could facilitate. Being aware of the potential biases influencing the decisions, we in the municipality government needed to be trained in how to prevent them.”

Transferability & Replicability

We might highlight the following as the most transferable outcomes of the Observatory case when confronting the reality of collaboration with citizens for service design:
  • “After testing and validating our design methodology for experimentation, we have four big projects (ParticipaLab among them) that could have their autonomy and start an ecology or network of labs to reach a larger population and transform it. They could even propose new ideas and adapted methods.”
  • The most evident outcome of the processes described here is the Observatory itself – Madrid has now the first permanent citizens’ jury with the aim of reviewing citizens’ proposals, public policies and any topic they choose. “The process went really well. There was a confluence of interests and desires and they all fitted well (once in a lifetime this thing happens): from a prototype in a Lab, it went all the way to being implemented as a service development and public policy instrument. Some things we would have changed, but the final Observatory is part of a new way of negotiating by the public officials. Also, making it happen and in this short time was a big success. Ideally, this will continue and improve over time, since a design of this magnitude cannot have everything right from the outset.”
  • Other complementary outcomes, some more subtle, are related to the new relationships the government has established with the experimentation practices of MediaLab (Madrid’s government-owned living lab), the internal shortcuts they have designed to establish participation in the municipality, and the learning they have got from the actual jury meetings.

Success Factors

The complexity of the Observatory case is mostly based on its reach. As a complementary “chamber” to the elected members of the municipality council, the Observatory was made possible by merging several initiatives. As of January 2018, the Area of Participation began to work on a new regulation for the Observatory; in parallel, ParticipaLab (a living lab) began to collaborate with external experts in participatory processes and juries and co-designed the final draft of the Observatory. Both the design and the regulatory processes fed each other for several months. The co-design process, which had started with the Collective Intelligence for Democracy workshop (also a living lab) months earlier, concluded with the presentation of a final proposal or advice (https://www.newdemocracy.com.au/2018/11/15/the-city-of-madrid-citizens-council/) to the Area of Participation. It significantly influenced the final design of the Observatory (mostly, composition and times of the deliberation process). On January 29, 2019, the city council passed the new regulation and the new Observatory format had its legal framework as the first permanent deliberative chamber of citizen participants in any European local government – and definitely a pioneering experience worldwide. On the one hand, it regulated a lottery-elected citizens’ jury, with annual rotation. On the other, using a digital platform, it connected citizens’ initiatives for new services (collected through Decide Madrid) with citizens’ deliberative practices (the Observatory) which produces a double representation system for citizenry decision making. Complementary, the deliberations of the citizens’ jury are also connected with the entire population (through the Decide Madrid platform).

Lessons learned

Being this a complex project, with such relevance for the city and government of Madrid, we have experienced certain disconnections in the representatives of each agent we have talked to. Although everyone knew what the others were doing, their connections with the public agent were not always clear. The language barrier might play a role here, not only because of different actual languages, but because of different uses of the same language. A participatory process like the Observatory, both in the design and the operational parts, would initially be thought of as plagued with statistical assurances for getting the right quotas, segmentations, and the like. But it is not. The statistical significance is probably less relevant and what really matters is to have the right distribution of citizens that actually participate and show up for each session. The goal then is to avoid spontaneous groupings by economic or education achievements that can bias decisions. On the other side, there are no control groups to check whether the actual selection makes significantly different decisions than a proper statistical selection of citizens. An interesting point is the confusion of participating citizens. Probably, we must understand that we face different degrees of maturity or readiness in those willing to contribute through participation. A first stage might be participation as a means to have their voices heard – whether they are complaining, requesting or merely criticising; a second stage might be the realisation of participation as interaction with other peers, with equal voices but different intents; a third stage might be the confirmation of the need for consensus or agreement, which might imply knowledge acquisition, sharing, prioritising and decision-taking; a final fourth stage might be the setting of certain control tools and processes to ascertain their agreements are met and differences or deviations are understood and acted upon. It would be interesting to understand the transition from one stage to the other, as results certainly emerge in stages three and, specially, in fourth, and the time involved in maturing from the early stages to the latest.

Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

The stakeholders formed a multidisciplinary team with the technicians of the Directorates, the Neighbourhood Association, other neighbourhood entities and individual neighbours. The team was organised and dynamized by external consultants (GEA21 and Basurama). The beneficiaries of this project are the neighbours of the San Fermin neighbourhood in Madrid, Spain.

Co-creation process

The Area of ​​Culture and Sports of the City Council (through its General Directorate of Intervention in the Urban Landscape and the Cultural Heritage and the General Directorate of Libraries, Archives and Museums) and the Municipal Company of Housing and Land (EMV), pressed by the long-standing neighbourhood’s demand, decided to start a process of participation with different agents to design the new library and its uses. The content of the participation process included three related elements:
  • The library model. What library do you want for the neighbourhood? What services, activities, functions should the facility fulfil and how should they be produced? How will the future library be related to the other facilities, entities and projects of San Fermín?
  • The library building. What spaces should the library have? How should the distribution of spaces be, considering their future uses and users, and also including the public employees and management and volunteers?
  • The surrounding public spaces. How should the library relate to its surroundings? How to get the best out of the public space surrounding the library?

Digital Transformation Process

Not applicable.

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

The designing, developing and management processes of the library in the San Fermin neighbourhood (LSF) has become one the symbols of the past government of the municipality of Madrid. San Fermin is a modest neighbourhood located in the south-west outskirts of the city of Madrid[1] and the LSF became one (if not the most) relevant example of collaboration between public institutions, private facilitating entities, civil organisations and individual citizens that can be found in the municipality of Madrid, from 2015-2019. Out of the information we have gathered about it, the Madrid City Council started the construction of this library in response to a local demand that under the slogan “Library in San Fermín NOW” had been active for more than 25 years (since 1994, and more effectively since 2008). A neighbourhood with a desire for culture and books (promoted by the initiatives of the Neighbourhood Association of San Fermin) is the backbone of the new proposed services to different population groups, including the marginalised or in a situation of exclusion: Kids from families with few resources, elderly willing to bridge the age breach, or young people at risk. These services had the objective of completing an offer of culture and leisure of quality that helped achieve the overall ideas of “confluence and dynamism” [7] currently driving all agents of the LSF project. [1] The neighbourhood covers an area of 1.47 km2 and 23,794 inhabitants, 23,5% of immigrants (Padron municipal, http://www-2.munimadrid.es/TSE6/control/seleccionDatosBarrio. Accessed 4-6-2019).

Challenges & Bottlenecks

As a pilot project, LSF participants faced a very steep learning curve, motivated by the initial distrust between each side. In fact, in the beginning, they felt as two sides. But before engaging in the first meeting, “internal opposition [within the municipality itself] was the first hurdle. We solved it selecting for the team those people we thought were more open, flexible.” Then, they needed to generate trust, externally and internally. They were helped by professional facilitators, because there are a lot of amateurs regarding methodologies, approaches. Still, “although everyone was called in to participate, the ones that did not participate were the technicians of the District Council. We had some decisions to make about the facility, which ultimately is theirs, but they didn’t come. Still, they are informed of everything.” Another internal issue needing clarification was “to check if this participatory type of design differs from the design made by the municipal architect that adds one more facility to the 50 he has already planned and which those differences are.” It resulted in a process that “lasted longer than usual due to the technical adaptation of the municipal architects. And probably the one that suffered the most was the architect, because he was the more reluctant to work this way. It is much more complicated to change management than design.” The issue of the over-extended design and execution times seems contradictory: “Probably, the only drawback was the time that was probably over what is conventionally usual. But we didn’t go over the nine months that were expected.” But the overall feeling is that “The process has been long, at times disappointing but with commitment we have achieved the result.”

Transferability & Replicability

LSF has left an invaluable legacy for Madrid and how facilities can be designed and built: “What it is that we have learnt about this process? The learning about silence, noise, or the collaboration with neighbours are in the requirements of the new bids (tenders) for the six new libraries in Madrid. In these new projects, the Architects Association of Madrid firstly were worried about the new public tender requirements based on the learning from LSF, but then they were especially happy with them.” The role of community or neighbourhood symbols: “The facility needs to be distinctive, a banner of the neighbourhood. A place everybody loves, where everyone is welcomed. Needs to be physically different to the rest of the district buildings. And this is a ‘strong idea’.”

Success Factors

Specific success elements of a co-design process are generally related to the level of attachment of each participant to the project. In the LSF case, since the number of participants was so high, the project caught on the spark that the neighbours’ association had started years ago and really produced a significant social impact. They expressed this as: “Our experience with participatory processes was similar to someone’s who comes and asks what’s your opinion on X? In this case, they came and said ‘there is nothing planned’. And this had an extremely catalysing effect. Also, the work relationship was horizontal, without hierarchies, interchanging experience and information (including telling where the limits were). This was very rewarding.” But other benefits were also exposed by our interviewees:
  • “The good co-design may be seen as slowing the process of decision making. If everyone has an opinion and shares it, that enriches the discussion; and then through discussion, the project gains trust and commitment. Participation shows people that they have authority. The rest, the results, are secondary.”
  • “It has never before happened to me. The collaborative process was so engaging, so wonderful, and the people were so nice. We were a great team. There was not a single problem. Four months were enough time to accomplish many things.”
  • “Co-design may mean to work on-demand, but with the regulative limits of an administration, and that resulted in tolerant, knowledgeable neighbours.”

Lessons learned

This project’s agents perspired satisfaction. They were proud of the work they have done, the output, and process they created. And they believed this new alternative to design public services arrived to stay at the municipality of Madrid. From a public policy perspective, the case presents the following highlights: At the tactical level:
  • Co-design with users is engaging for every agent
  • All agents must agree on every decision; formal decisions are as important as content decisions, and co-design involves both
  • All agents need a constant process to educate them along the co-design process
  • Finding a common language is a need of every session. More than games and other dynamics, it is videos and pictures that make this work
  • Members of the working team do not need to represent all potential users or public agents; members though need to have access to several sources of information
  • Non-users, such as consultants or members of the community, should be involved anyhow. They enrich the project, both in form and content
  • Public services, from the neighbours’ perspective, are more than the coverage of a number of needs: In the LSF case, neighbours see the library as a main driver of community cohesion, and the bridge to enact the connection of elderly and youth
At the strategic level:
  • The public team must be carefully selected.
  • A champion facilitates¾not necessarily makes it easier¾the project. Without her/him the PSL paradigm might not be feasible due to its richness and unexpected outcomes.
  • Time is not an issue. Co-design processes do not take longer than conventional design.
  • Neighbours become absolutely engaged and supportive using co-design.
  • Service co-design might be lacking from a complete set of metrics that connect the social and framework outputs with the economic and political ones.
  • The connection between this type of citizen engagement and the effectiveness in terms of votes is not clear. We know the satisfaction levels with the Council have peaked to maximum. But we have not asked how much of that satisfaction is linked to having participated with the Council in developing Madrid.

Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

Stakeholders include:
  • Consejería de Educación, Formación y Empleo (the Department of Education, Training and Employment)
  • The unions (UGT, CCOO)
  • The regional association of enterprises (FER)
  • Other relevant social stakeholders in the region (Asociación Promotora de personas con Discapacidad intelectual Adultas, ASPRODEMA, Consejo Estatal de Representantes de Minusválidos, CERMI, and the political parties)
Beneficiaries include:
  • The citizens of La Rioja

Co-creation process

This was a project that aimed at providing citizens with services, co-designed and co-produced with them (through the unions and most representative companies’ association in the region). This is demonstrated in the 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (out of 6) objectives stated by the working group for this Plan: (2) To set specific priority objectives in terms of PE and employment to guide the development of skills through-out space and time along the current office term, and promote them among citizens. (3) To lead the strategic approach of all the actors involved in PE and active employment policy in La Rioja, seeking to link their actions to the proposed objectives. (4) To integrate and coordinate the available resources in terms of PE and employability, both in the educational and employment markets, so that they support the objectives more effectively and efficiently. (5) To improve the interrelation between the different PE-providing subsystems and modes and, essentially, between all of them and actual employment. A greater involvement of the regional production system is essential. (6) To reach the highest degree of consensus in the formulation of the Plan from the technical, social and political points of view, so that public and private actions are mainly oriented towards shared strategic objectives.

Digital Transformation Process

Not applicable.

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

The general guidelines that grouped the results of this project aimed at improving employment qualification of human resources were:
  • To reduce structural unemployment and to promote employment of quality;
  • To achieve a qualified active population through lifelong learning;
  • To improve the quality and results of education and training systems at all levels;
  • To promote social inclusion and to alleviate poverty reinforcing social protection systems, lifelong learning and active and comprehensive inclusion policies, with special attention to women.
Additionally, the EU 2020 Strategy helped identify other results along the objective of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth:
  • Smart growth, through the development of an economy based on knowledge and innovation;
  • Sustainable growth, by promoting an economy that uses resources more efficiently, that is green and more competitive;
  • Inclusive growth, through the promotion of an economy with a high level of employment that results in economic, social and territorial cohesion.

Challenges & Bottlenecks

Regarding R&D and innovation investment, La Rioja presented certain weaknesses. According to Eurostat data, it reaches 0.87% of regional GDP. This is lower than the national average (1.33%) or that of the European Union (2.02%) and far from the 3% target of the Europe 2020 Strategy. La Rioja had 23,083 companies in 2015. Out of the total, 99.92% were companies without employees, micro-enterprises and SMEs. More than 50% of business units do not have salaried workers (12,314, according to the latest published statistics). This atomization is also reflected in the fact that most of the companies in the region are legally formed as solo-corporations or freelances. Likely, this bears an individualization effort to promote and engage these individuals into employment and training policy.

Transferability & Replicability

The Plan FP+E is a complex strategical project. Our selection of this case is justified as an example of the tremendous impact that PSINSIs may have in all sorts of public sector initiatives. In this case, a strategic plan for a social issue of major relevance such as unemployment and your professional education was handled with such a type of network. What surprised us from this case, beyond the formation of the network itself, is the publicity and openness of the initiative. It is true that it was subject to criticism, but the Working Group developments and final version of the plan was publicly and easily available from the regional government website. Moreover, the sessions of the Working Group, being a heterogeneous group including less qualified organisations, or certainly, not used to develop strategic political and operational plans, must have been rather complex to coordinate. Still, using the European, Spanish and earlier regional mandates and frameworks, they put together a complex plan that includes not only young people entering the labour market, but also long-term unemployed, disabled people, and those willing to re-qualify to improve their employability.

Success Factors

One of the major drivers for this Plan FP+E is the willingness of all economic actors to regain the competitiveness of the economy of La Rioja. Even along the economic crisis of the 2008-2013, the greater weight of the secondary sector justified that the economy of La Rioja was more productive than the Spanish economy. Measured through the relationship between GDP and the number of hours worked, La Rioja’s productivity was 36.37 in 2012, compared to 34.75 in Spain as a whole (Regional Accounting, Base 2008, INE). Another decisive driver of this Plan was the (EU) 2015/1848 Decision of the Council (October 5, 2015) on the guidelines for the employment policies of the member states for 2015. It set the following guidelines in terms of employment within the EU:
  • Boost the demand for labour.
  • Improve the job offer, qualifications and skills.
  • Improve the functioning of labour markets.
  • Promote social integration, fight poverty and promote equal opportunities.
  • Lessons learned

    The 3rd Plan for Professional Education and Employment (Plan FP+E: Plan de Formación Profesional y Empleo of La Rioja) for the 2016-2019 office term represented an effort towards facilitating access to employment of the citizens of La Rioja, a region in the central northern Spain, World-famous for its wines, shoes and agriculture. The new federal government of La Rioja soon declared the care for its youth and unemployed a priority of its policies and public actions. And it embarked in a new plan towards improving professional education and employment in the region. This initiative was led by the Consejería de Educación, Formación y Empleo (the regional Department of Education, Training and Employment) and was the result of a very close temporal collaboration with the most representative unions (UGT, CCOO), enterprise association (FER) and other relevant social stakeholders in the region. Together, they built a Working Group to design and implement a new plan for professional education (PE) and employment for the 2016-2019 term. This has been a project then that can be associated with the new public governance paradigm (NPG) paradigm, and fits into the public sector innovation networks for social innovation. Besides the specific context described earlier, there have been several news concerning the implementation of the Plan FP+E since its inception. Maybe the most relevant is that the Spanish Court of Auditors, in its evaluation of the different instruments for employment policies in La Rioja, 2016 has observed a degree of implementation of the objectives of the Annual Employment Policy Plan higher than the average of the Autonomous Communities. In the case of Plan FP+E though, there is an absence of an evaluation. Also, some criticism from the political opposition publicised the plan was delayed in some of its proposals.

    Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

    Stakeholders and Beneficiaries include:
    • Civil servants
    • Other national, regional and local public administration
    • Associations, representatives and intermediaries
    • Citizens as final users and professionals
    • Businesses and third sector associations

    Co-creation process

    Civil servants, citizens, business, intermediaries and other stakeholders participate during the whole cycle of creation of value. For example, when thinking about the projects launched to create some of the most relevant services nowadays, it was clear that the voice of the large number of stakeholders was collected and taken into account. It is worth noting that direct participation is not the most relevant way of co-creating value, the role of the intermediaries and external evaluation plays a central role. The main barrier to involve citizens in the early stages of the development of a project is the lack of an interlocutor. The administration usually collaborates with citizens when they are part of an association or a civil society cluster. It is especially during the legislative reform and the evaluation phases that the opinion of citizens, public servants and other stakeholders is gathered and taken to the continual improvement process. Nonetheless, efforts have been done during the last years to create spaces for collaboration. For example, the current administrative laws include some steps in which collecting the opinion of stakeholders is a legal requirement for their publication. Also, formal groups have been created within the governance structure which meet often to share opinions regarding digital transformation. During the phase of evaluation, the feedback of the stakeholders is the main indicator of the success of the service. In the case of the coordination between different administrations and different administration levels, formal working groups with the participation of the CIOs and other managers are arranged and some of them are even regulated by law. This multiple structure of collaboration and cooperation is deemed necessary because of the complexity of the territorial model and of the administration.

    Digital Transformation Process

    The provision of digital public services in Spain involves multiple actors, different in their powers and interactions amongst them. Even though there is a basic legal framework that applies for all the national territory, there are different competencies that result in the fact that strategies, legislation and public services are not unique Spain. The Law 11/2007 recognised citizens’ right to use electronic means in their relations with public administration. Afterwards, two new administrative laws integrated eGovernment into its core. These established the citizens’ right to communicate via an electronic channel with the public administrations and the obligation of the public administrations to use electronic means in their communications. Alongside, it was created the figure of the CIO of the Public Administration of the State, in charge of promoting the digital transformation process and the coordination with other administrations and with the European Union, together with the General Secretary for Digital Administration. One example. A relevant success case about co-creating value in digital administration is in the selection of the non-working days for notifications in the Tax Agency. Citizens, businesses and the public administration are able to enjoy a complete vacation period without problems derived from failed notifications, with the corresponding improvement in management. The quality of the service of the Tax Agency has been improved when taking into account massive feedback from all stakeholders.

    Results, Outcomes & Impacts

    • Improvement of user-centricity, accessibility and quality of digital public services.
    • Satisfaction of the final user.
    • Reduction of the average time of processing of the administrative procedure.
    • Reduction of the development cost of the digital public services.
    • Reduction of fraud and increase of revenue.
    • Transparency and openness.
    • Better skills for digital transformation among civil servers and the civil society.
    • Improvement of knowledge about the public administration among citizens and other stakeholders.

    Challenges & Bottlenecks

    Interviewees identified an attitude of risk aversion among the public servants, as a consequence of fear to possible negative outcomes. Some interviewees declare that the coordination of a large number of stakeholders of different nature required a lot of effort, both with other administrations and with the private sector. Technical challenges have been identified, such as the use of some services by a large number of users complying with the requirements of availability, together with the digital divide, which complicated the adoption of some projects by all users and made it necessary to give several alternatives for the different groups of users. Other challenges are in changes in the direction of the project and varying degrees of support through time. It was also noted that the resistance to the projects was often against the way and the conditions of implementation and not against digital transformation. Starting the projects with quick-wins or clear advantages from the beginning can help to advantages and benefits to be noted from the beginning. In some of the more complex services, training and appropriate technological equipment has been necessary. It is needed an especial effort in training a deployment of technological equipment for its success. In the case of public servants who are involved in the design and operation of the projects, it is important to value and reward the whole team in the case of success, so that they feel co-responsible in future digital transformation projects. It has been identified in the surveys that the resistance to change among civil servants and ICT experts often comes from previous projects which were not successful.

    Transferability & Replicability

    There is a culture of cooperation and coordination among administrations, implemented through technical committees and working groups with representatives from the state administration, the regions and the municipalities. In the surveys, all of the interviewees from the Digital Secretariat for Public Administration declared that the source code of the digital services they were responsible for was published. Cloud computing is particularly relevant, as it allows this segment of users to access services without the need of meeting specific requirements in terms of infrastructure, budget or human resources. The current model is usually based on offering the service on the cloud to the final administrative user without a payment, as a policy to increase the use of digital services among small administrations. This model was preferred by most of the interviewees. The Law 39/2015, of the Common Administrative Procedure, establishes that regional administrations must reuse the common digital services unless otherwise justified in terms of efficiency. This helps the smaller municipalities to adopt digital transformation services, being usability crucial for the success of the project.

    Success Factors

    • Participation of stakeholders should avoid one-size-fits-all strategies; idiosyncrasy matters and as well as the nature of the service, project, sector and type of users.
    • Prioritisation is essential as well as fast interactions along the value co-creation life cycle.
    • Moving from service offering model to on-demand model.
    • Key issues for involvement of stakeholders: dedication, selection, competences, awareness.
    • Less bureaucracy, direct on-line relationships and closeness to the citizens and other stakeholders.
    • Starting the projects with quick-wins or clear advantages from the beginning, so the advantages and benefits can be noted from the beginning.
    • In the case of public servants who are involved in the design and operation of the projects, it is important to value and reward the whole team in the case of success, so that they feel co-responsible in future digital transformation projects.

    Lessons learned

    The main conclusion of this report is that co-creation of value is a reality in the public sector of Spain. Direct participation is not the most relevant way of co-creating value, the role of the intermediaries and external evaluation plays a central role. Statistics of use as an indicator of the success and importance of a digital public service are regarded as a central piece. This study has identified some challenges regarding co-creation of value. It is necessary to improve the digital skills of citizens and other stakeholders in order to encourage their participation in the creation of value in digital transformation. It was identified that some of the services are not known by some of the segments of potential users and this reduces the success of the project. The organisation of the different stakeholders, their dedication and implication in the administrative affairs is very unequal and for that reason the co-creation of value could favour some stakeholders against others. It was declared by most of the interviewees that an improvement of the digital skills of the Spanish society would help to increase the quality introduced in the projects by the external stakeholders. It was a general opinion collected in the interviews that, by working further on the topic of co-creation of value, public administration will be able not only to be transparent and improve their accountability, but it will be possible to deliver services of a higher quality, user centric and which give a better response to the necessities of the society.

    Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

    Stakeholders and Beneficiaries include:
    • Fundación Alas and the Special Employment Center Trefemo
    • The families that support the Foundation
    • The disabled elderly supported by the Foundation
    • The regional government of the Comunidad de Madrid (Spain)

    Co-creation process

    The content of the participation process included three related innovation elements:
    • The services model. This affects the facilities and types of services the elderly demand. But it also affects the type of professionals involved in providing the services. Finally, the measurement of the relevance and impact of the services is subject of review.
    • The facilities’ design. Residences need adaptation, but also the Foundation must develop new facilities to train and fulfil the needs of ageing disabled.
    • The relationships with other agents. If the earlier two might be related to services innovation, this concerns the processes and how the Foundation launches and consolidates new relationships with different public and private agents to help elderly sustain themselves and fulfil their rights to autonomy and proper care.

    Digital Transformation Process

    No digital transformation process involved.

    Results, Outcomes & Impacts

    The ageing project of Fundación Alas is centered in solving wicked problems associated with the longer life-expectancy of people with disabilities (Plena inclusión, 2014) thanks to the improvement on their life conditions and treatments. Far from technological, the types of social innovations the foundation designs and executes are related to a public function that public agents in Madrid (Spain) have traditionally left to private agents. Indeed, at least in Madrid, the public agents have failed providing adequate services to this community and currently acts as mere funder of private initiatives – mostly supported through conventional tenders. The effectiveness of the intervention strategies for elderly with intellectual disabilities depends on the ability of the technical teams to develop and communicate clearly the plans to other professionals (Morgan, 1990; Shaddock et al., 1986 in Novell, et al., 2008), but also on the capacity, training and motivation of professionals who have the direct responsibility to carry them out (Aylward, Schloss , Alper and Green, 1995 in Novell, et al., 2008), as well as the coordination between all of them.

    Challenges & Bottlenecks

    Dimension: Physical fitness

    • Lack of health care standards
    • Communication and identification difficulties of pain threshold
    • Participation in the promotion and living a healthy lifestyle
    • Lack of specific resources and standardised protocols for the evaluation of elderly with   intellectual disabilities
    • Insufficient training of socio-health professionals in ageing issues and intellectual   disabilities
    • Insufficient physical therapy

    Dimension: Emotional well-being

    • Integration of the information from the field of dual diagnosis[1] and the gerontology   area[2]
    • Environmental situations having a negative impact on the adaptive abilities of elderly or   could raise behavioural problems or stress
    • Training professionals in ​​ageing and dual diagnosis

    Dimension: Material well-being

    • Adaptation to the needs of elderly with intellectual disabilities
    • Less opportunities to participate in meaningful leisure activities, less stimulating   environments, lack of staff preparation and relationship difficulties between individuals
    • Lack of experiences with the rest of the ageing population
    • Segregated and expensive environments
    • Existing geriatric or gerontological intervention models are scarce and are not easily   transferable to services
    • Decreased productivity associated with ageing, difficulty to make personal and social   adjustments beyond the 50
    • Few work or occupational itineraries to support elderly with this condition
    • Pension plans different to those available for those without disabilities
    • Lack of assessments due to disability and ageing to maximise compensation when   leaving   work activity

    Dimension: Human Rights

    • Physical access
    • Access to information
    • Disability recognition associated with ageing
    • Right to decide where and with whom to live
    • Right to health, training and rehabilitation
    • Barriers to keeping an adequate standard of living and social protection
    • Right to develop and keep plans and goals

    Dimension: Self determination

    • Lack of information necessary to identify or recognise abuses
    • Transition to retirement getting actively involved in self-care

    Dimension: Social inclusion

    • Opportunities to participate actively in their environment
    • Lack of relevant social goals and aspirations
    • Greater contact with people without disabilities and greater autonomy
    • Lack of promotion of the inclusion of the elder with intellectual disability by the support  professionals
    • Ageing of the main carers
    • Lack of coherence in the implementation of an inclusive model
    • Shortage of personnel

    Dimension: Interpersonal relationships

    • Continuous changes of professionals
    • Housing size
    • Physical and social barriers
    • Long stories of institutionalisation and change of services that make it impossible to   consolidate a social network
    • Behavioural problems
    • Adaptive and communication skills

    Dimension: Personal development

    • Feeling of ‘disconnection’ with the activities carried out in earlier stages
    • Favouring free-time of their main carers
    • Lack of a process of active ageing
    • Lack of services and opportunities that promote rest, fun and personal development
    [1] For example, to know the most frequent psychiatric conditions in the population with ID or specific etiologies that present a higher risk of certain types of mental illness. [2] Identification of which behavioural and psychological changes are associated to the overall ageing process.

    Transferability & Replicability

    The institutional needs and problems detected in the main services that might affect the project of Fundación Alas are summarised below (Novell, et al., 2008):

    Services of homes-residence / supervised homes

    Personnel ratios are insufficient, both in residential homes and in homes, when it comes to addressing needs arising from cognitive deficits, behavioural issues and the functional deficits associated with ageing.

    Occupational Centres

    The ageing process generates continuous adaptation needs that pose an opportunity for the innovation of these services. Most generally, personnel in the occupational centres are not well prepared to carry out the work of Psycho-geriatric Day Centres – e.g., they are not provided with physiotherapy services. These centres usually lack transition services from the world of work towards a compatible satisfactory activity able to meet the needs of people who cannot continue in Special Employment Centre but still can work and get paid and that enhances their skills.

    Leisure and educational activities

    Elderly with intellectual disabilities need enough and varied social activities, adjusted to their age, to choose from according to preferences and accessibility. Enjoying free time and leisure is one of the most rewarding activities and making them accessible is a good indicator of the quality of a service. The elder with disability has motor and cognitive difficulties to self-organise and, depending on the level of disability, also to enjoy leisure. Promoting adapted leisure for elderly would benefit them normalising activities and improving adaptive behaviours, socialisation, fun and distraction, and quality of life.

    Individual level

    The need to enhance their self-esteem and personal growth, fighting loneliness; the need of full social acceptance; and the need to make decisions about aspects of one’s life in the most similar way possible to people without disabilities.

    Success Factors

    Dimension: Physical fitness

    • Sleep, food, activities of daily living
    • Health (physical and mental), health care and access to socio-health services (including technical aids)

    Dimension: Emotional well-being

    • Community environments, ordinary or supported employment, significant learning opportunities, absence of problems social or emotional behaviour and support
    • Depression and anxiety, stressors – social exclusion, stigmatisation or lack of social support
    • Healthy lifestyle and food, access to valued activities, health and well-being in the housing environment, adequate emotional response to separation or death of parents

    Dimension: Material well-being

    • Economic status (i.e., having enough income to buy what one needs or likes), employment (i.e., having decent work and an adequate working environment), or housing (i.e., having a comfortable home where one feels comfortable)
    • Adequate standard of living
    • Social protection
    • Searching, getting, keeping the employment and having the possibility of returning to it
    • Having the right to choose where and with whom to live

    Dimension: Human rights

    • Rights that may be violated at ageing
    • Proposals to empower disabled elderly to educate them to self-manage their lives and defend their rights

    Dimension: Self-determination

    • Autonomy or personal control self-regulation or setting own goals and values
    • Training or psychological competence
    • Self-realisation or own elections

    Dimension: Social inclusion

    • Active participation of the elderly in their community
    • Residence or housing options that favour social inclusion during ageing

    Dimension: Interpersonal relationships

    • Natural supports: significant relationships with family and friends
    • Interpersonal relationships through leisure experiences integrated into the community
    • Collaboration with community services belonging to the network of services for the elderly
    • Interpersonal relationships (friends, partners): emotional, sexual and social

    Dimension: Personal development

    • Education, personal competence, performance, functional skills
    • Use of support technology and other alternative communication systems

    Lessons learned

    This case presents the collaboration process of a private institution with users and their families to provide a public service that is not properly covered by the public sector. It answers a pressing concern of the families and the elderly with disabilities, as this latter group has become a relevant part of the total disabled population. This is not the normal case of a PSINSI, as the public agent is just one of the actors involved by the initiating agents, and mostly covers what relates to the overarching legal or normative framework of the caring for the ageing disabled people. Besides those differences with other social innovation cases, we appreciate similarities that even in the absence of a strong public actor are well covered by the PSINSI theoretical framework. This is relevant as it may indicate that the focus on the social innovation aspect might drive agents, independent of their ascription, to form similar types of networks.

    Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

    Stakeholders and Beneficiaries include:
    • the Primary School of San José Obrero (SJO)
    • the Antropoloops group
    • the Carasso Foundation
    • the Instituto de la Cultura y las Artes (ICAS) of the Seville Municipality

    Co-creation process

    This AW project is an example of process innovation to promote cultural inclusion in a primary public school in the South of Spain (Seville). Its main aim is to transform the teaching and learning processes to prevent stigma, dropouts and exclusion right at the youngest possible age. This idea was put into a project by Antropoloops, a NGO focused on combining music, education and technology. It consists firstly of an exchange of musical life stories between students (ages 10-12) of the CEIP San José Obrero School (Seville, Spain). Secondly, the students leave the School and record sounds and later mix those sounds and musics with other students, even from foreign schools. This mode of collaboration between the CEIP San José Obrero and Antropoloops seems to fit well in the rapid application model as the planning, delivery and innovation processes are one. It is an unplanned innovation, that was originally designed to find funding, but then changed into this other loose, less formal structured and spontaneous process, given the nature and aims of the project.

    Digital Transformation Process

    No digital transformation process involved.

    Results, Outcomes & Impacts

    The specific objectives of the project are:
    • To promote the interest and knowledge of other cultures through music and personal stories;
    • To improve musical listening skills and an emotional and cultural interpretation of music;
    • To promote creativity and imagination through narratives and stories generated from music and images;
    • To improve English language skills through the translation into English of student-produced texts;
    • To improve the knowledge of students with examples of traditional music in different locations in the world.
    A summary of the seven impacts and goals identified and achieved through the first year, fully described in the case, is:
    • To expand the musical knowledge of students and to awaken their curiosity for the diversity of traditional World music as a source of inspiration for new creations. Students understand this heritage is not something parked far away and fossilized, but it is something alive and reusable;
    • To develop new ways of composing music. Use of tradition from creativity and remixing, with an approach that combines electronic music with traditional music to foster student interest in the proposed repertoire.

    Challenges & Bottlenecks

    The main barrier outspoken by our interviewees is the level of flexibility required to get the most of the project. “Only in a school like ours, devoted to work by projects, that is not opposed to changes of class schedules, class contents, and with faculty that is willing to take the extra step to work and be available beyond expectations, is AW possible.” The project is extremely rewarding for teachers and motivating for students. “But it is a lot of hard work and dedication.” A second potential barrier comes from the perspective the project produces in kids. While at their early education stages they experience teaching and learning through integration, practice and playful experiences, later stages do not seem to follow and build over the same perspective. This breach and the abilities they receive to cope with it seems a matter of concern for the design team.

    Transferability & Replicability

    The AW project uses a pedagogical approach based on working by projects. As with any of this type of projects, it requires that the School adapts its teaching curriculum to the needs of students – in this case, more than 32 nationalities. The AWs are run in a public institution with a managerial team that has understood its potential as an integrating element of many of the programs and teaching currently being carried out. Also, and from this institutional perspective, the project might help deepen the position of the school in its district as a cultural and relational reference.

    Success Factors

    One of the major drivers for this AW project has been the support of the Carasso Foundation. Through their regular calls for projects to innovate in nutrition and feeding, and in education, they shaped the individual contributions of a group of seven friends and colleagues into a prototype to innovate the integration of school’s boys and girls. They put together an original design combining education, integration, music, experiences and remixes. But it was through the call from the Carasso Foundation that they formalized the prototype and were able to get the funding. A second driver is the commitment of the school management and faculty. “A project like this involves a lot of flexibility, changing schedules, topics, and it could not be successful in another environment where management and teachers are not fully committed to it.” It is through it, developed over time, with results, and evident in the sheer number of active projects being run in the school at any given time, that AW has received full support from all the agents. This commitment is seen beyond the participation of the teachers in the activities of AW. They are adapting their own classes according to the experiences they and the students are being exposed to in AW. Even non-participating teachers, being aware of these experiences, are expected to modify their own approaches and behaviors thanks to AW. Thirdly, the AW network is constantly evolving the original design. Not that this design is no longer valid. It holds as the centerpiece of the project: Music and remixes for integration. But the project now involves exposure to neighboring institutions (a chorus of elder people, the local mosque, the local stores), language and verbal expression in Spanish and English, body coordination, or teamwork. This evolution is the result of the constant interaction of the two operating and design teams.

    Lessons learned

    This is a case reflecting a top-down network with a social aim. The distinctiveness of this case is its initiation: The call for projects of the Carasso Foundation aiming for social innovation. The call is won by an informal group of musicians and IT technicians that put up a project that, through music, teaches inclusiveness and cultural emotions. The project found an immediate welcome in one of the most committed schools of Seville, and its management saw in it a transversal project to help kids aging 10-12 years. It has served not only as teaching tool. Teachers involved in the project use some of the techniques in less soft classes. And it has enacted the school as a means of generating community in the neighborhood. Out of the interviews, we perceived that the principal of the school, is the champion of the project. Her commitment to innovate socially is paramount; she is driven by inclusiveness and making an impact in the neighborhood through the kids and their engagement with their families. The rest of her team, and the willingness of the Antropoloops team has leveraged the school principal’s drive to motivate themselves and produce significant benefits for the kids and their families – that large that they are planning to expand the experience to other locations.

    Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

    Various actors in the local community become relevant stakeholders in this case, since one of the aims is to create more active links between the community and the elderly care services. Private businesses, civil society (NGOs and volunteers) and other public sector actors are invited in to provide inputs in the ‘co-creation’ of the village at the ideation and planning stages of the process. Moreover, local stakeholders are invited to ‘co-create’ the services when the new care facilities open. This can be volunteers taking part in arranging activities, schools or nurseries setting up performances, or private businesses providing services such as hairdressing, cafés etc. The main beneficiaries of the case are senior citizens suffering from dementia and their next of kin.

    Co-creation process

    The municipality has placed emphasis on co-creating the new services with potential residents, their next of kin, and other local stakeholders. To co-create the new services, the municipality is drawing on inspiration from service design and co-design. The design processes are mainly being carried out ‘in-house’ and facilitated by a development team with experience and training in facilitating innovation processes.

    Digital Transformation Process

    We have not focused on the technological aspects of the dementia village in the case study. However, introduction of new technology will be important for the development and operation of the new services.

    Results, Outcomes & Impacts

    There are two ways of understanding ‘results’ in the context of this case. First, the main results of the dementia village project are linked to the construction of the new care facilities. Second, we may also highlight the results of the co-creation processes undertaken to create new solutions in this new service setting. These processes have generated a range of ideas for new solutions that will shape the new services. In this case, it is too early to assess outcomes and impact of the dementia village and the various new solutions within the new care facilities because it has not yet opened. We understand outcome and impact as the effects of new solutions which may be measured in various ways.

    Challenges & Bottlenecks

    There are some obvious challenges involved in co-creating dementia care. When the end users have cognitive impairment, and may even lack the ability to communicate verbally, co-creation and co-design is difficult. Finally, the challenges and constraints of service design in this context largely concern the complexity of the project and in providing high-quality services in dementia care. Dealing with dementia is inherently challenging.

    Transferability & Replicability

    The dementia village concept is already spreading across countries and communities (I.e. from the Netherlands to Norway) and across municipalities in Norway. However, the concept may be implemented with more or less focus on involvement and co-creation. We find that there are potential for inspiration, learning and transferability in the way Bærum has aimed to co-create the new dementia services with users and other stakeholders.

    Success Factors

    Not relevant.

    Lessons learned

    One of the central lessons learned from this case is that co-creation of innovations with services users is possible also when service users suffer from cognitive impairments.

    Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

    The main beneficiaries are the service users that receive follow-up services from the employment and welfare services. Consultancies providing design and programming expertise are involved stakeholders.

    Co-creation process

    A service design approach was explicitly adopted for the preliminary part of the project. In the project document, it was stated that the project ‘uses service design as a method to ensure a holistic approach in the development of new concepts. Service design is used throughout all phases of the preliminary project, with a continuous focus on the user’. Hence, a ‘holistic approach’ and ‘continuous focus on the user’ underpinned the service design approach. The project is anchored in qualitative and quantitative user research, and designers worked closely with frontline employees responsible for follow-up work in the development process.

    Digital Transformation Process

    The simplified follow-up project is closely connected to digital transformations in the organization. It is specifically interlinked with the introduction of a new system, called Modia, supporting new work methods in frontline work and digital interactions with clients. Moreover, the project was taking place in parallel to a broader organizational shift towards more agile methods for system development and organizational learning.

    Results, Outcomes & Impacts

    The central results and outputs of the service design process in this case was the development of a digital activity plan with an integrated chat function for direct communication between councillors and users. The interactive functionality was enabled by broader system changes in the organization related to the introduction of the administrative system Modia, developed to support two-way interaction between users and councillors. There are indications that the new solutions are well received among frontline employees and users, and it seems generally perceived as an improvement to how service interactions and follow-up is being carried out. It is not possible to say whether these improvements have broader impacts regarding employment rates. Calculations of benefits realization were still ongoing at the time of the case study.

    Challenges & Bottlenecks

    The case highlights various potential dilemmas related to the use of service design for public service innovation. First, service design assumes open, creative innovation processes in which time is spent on deeply understanding the service and its ‘pain points’. At the same time, service design stresses the importance of iterations as central to the creative processes, which require a proposed solution that can be prototyped.  In this case, there was a concern that the main solution was launched too early, which somewhat closed the innovation process. It was reasoned that the result perhaps became less ‘revolutionizing’ than it could have been. Second, service design also underlines the importance of working both holistically and iteratively. The case shows how this can involve dilemmas in the sense that iterations may lead to a narrow focus on testing and improving specific solutions, in which the broader, holistic perspective of the services gets lost. Third, it was acknowledged that the insight work informing service design processes may run the risk of becoming detached from existing research knowledge.

    Transferability & Replicability

    The case can serve as inspiration for similar public service organizations seeking to digitalize service interactions, or to improve existing digital platforms for interaction with users. There are potential for learning from the service design approach underpinning the innovation process, and there are potential for learning and transferability when it comes to the concrete digital solutions that were developed and implemented.

    Success Factors

    Not relevant.

    Lessons learned

    There are valuable lessons to be learned from this project when it comes to efforts to rethink relations and interactions between public services and users in the context of labor and welfare services. These relations tend to be largely asymmetrical, and the users can feel inferior and alienated from the administrative processes of the public service organization. The outputs of this project (the digital activity plan and the chat for communication between users and frontline employees) challenge these asymmetries. The new solutions seem to provide platforms for improved interactions between employees in the welfare bureaucracy and users. The case shows that interactions through digital platforms can strengthen relations and interactions between service providers and users.

    Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

    The scheme covers and supports projects in a wide range of service areas, but included projects are somehow meant to lead to improved services, processes or systems. Hence, the broad objectives of the scheme is to support development of more holistic and improved public services for citizens, and to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in public administrations. All parts of the public sector can apply, and the applications are controlled and rated by the Stimulab actors. “Wicked” problems (tasks that are shared between several actors and where the actors do not see an easy way out), are seen as particularly important to support. The Government is a stakeholder, and all public agencies. They can also be the beneficiaries, together with the firms that win the contracts, and hopefully the citizens who can get improved services.

    Co-creation process

    Stimulab demands several co-creation processes. They support the first part of a process to improve public services. First, some projects (among the applications) are selected for a next step, a project pitch where Stimulab wants to make sure that the selected projects have an innovation potential and can have a benefits realization. The projects that will be given support are selected, and a contract is signed between the applicants and Difi. The demanded next step is a dialogue with the market, where the project owner should find private partners with competence both in service design and leading the process for change. The experience so far has been that specialists in service design have made alliances with consulting firms. But some actors now (such as PwC) have competence in both fields. When the private partner(s) are chosen, the cooperation between the public agency and the partner(s) can start, using methods of the triple diamond, where the intention is that the actors should use extra time in the beginning of the process. The triple diamond method used by Stimulab is an adaptation of the Double Diamond developed by the British Design Council. In the Stimulab version, the third diamond is included to highlight the need for taking time to properly understand the problem, coined as ‘setting the right diagnose’. It is also underlined that this process of understanding the problem needs to be carried out in collaboration with agencies/ consultancy firms with innovation and design expertise.  This is meant to ensure that the public service organisations and the external consultancies have a shared understanding of the problem, which in turn is expected to strengthen the likeliness that the developed solution will meet the actual problem and needs (thus, the third diamond adds an extra step in the start of the process).

    Digital Transformation Process

    There has not been any systematic digital transformation process in the projects.

    Results, Outcomes & Impacts

    Stimulab uses three different categories of projects in its discussion of results:
    • Projects with concrete ( and measurable gains) after the projects are finished
    One project about renewing driver licences has a calculated saving of 940 m ill. N. kr. in ten years. In a project for the Archive Service they have no exact number, but state that they now can conduct more supervisions with the same resources, to take two examples.
    • Projects who have developed tools already in use, but where the results will come later
    Improved air quality may be a case where they have to wait for the results.
    • Projects were gains are identified but further development of the project is needed before a take out is possible
    These will be the more complex projects, and even if the gains are identified, they do not know if a gain will be realised. The impact of Stimulab can be seen in a wider context, because the establishing of Stimulab itself can be seen as a reminder of the need for innovation, using service design to be user-friendly. Positive feedback from those who have participated can stimulate other services both to apply for support and to start innovation program themselves. Stimulab has got to be a symbol for user-oriented innovations in public services.

    Challenges & Bottlenecks

    In the projects supported so far, Stimulab`s activities have mainly been in the initiating phase. Stimulab`s platform is to be an active facilitator, who stimulates co-creation between public services and private enterprises. What they offer and demand is the active use of service design and of spending time in the beginning of the process, to understand and diagnose the situation. Seen together we are left with the impression that the main attention has been given to the procedures, to conduct the service design process properly. No recipes were given for the implementation process, and the actors had to apply for additional financing for this stage. The floor was left to the project-owners and the private consultants. But the project owner could stop the implementation when the money ran out. Lack of money and extra funding can therefore be a barrier for the implementation of good and innovative ideas. Support money can be given (after application), but cannot be taken for granted, and they may not be sufficient. It may give non-stimulating signals to the rest of public sector, if several of the initiated projects crash before they have given any results. If the interest for service design driven innovations should grow fast, the economic support frame will need to be scaled up.

    Transferability & Replicability

    The models and principles of service design can easily be transferred and replicated in all other parts of the public sector.

    Success Factors

    The success factors were the needs among the applicants to find new solutions, the possibility of economic support, and the inclusion of dialogue processes in the initiation phase of the projects.

    Lessons learned

    Public services need assistance to start and implement innovation processes where service design is meant to be an important part of the project. To make sure that initiated project can be realised, a project leadership – that is responsible for the whole project, from initiation to implementation, and has a realistic plan for financing it – is necessary.