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.