Public agencies struggle with engaging citizens in digital public service innovation. The notion that citizen engagement in public service innovation can lead to more citizen-friendly digital services is widely accepted. Moreover, citizen engagement has also become an indicator of legitimacy; public service innovation without citizen engagement is more likely to be scrutinized on public values like privacy, transparency, fairness, and citizen control. Yet it remains difficult to engage with citizens throughout the various stages of innovation. Often, the hard question of how to balance system performance and public values in innovation resurfaces, and we cannot leave it to software programmers to answer this question. This short paper reveals how the Netherlands and Italy are engaging citizens in public service innovation. We found that in both countries, the quadruple helix approach is gaining support and citizen engagement is increasingly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Both countries are gaining experience with new citizen engagement methods like user-driven prototyping and living labs. We found that these methods increase empathy, creativity and reflection on ethical dilemmas. Following such methods also signals to policymakers that a democratic process was followed, ultimately backing a specific innovation direction. Other countries looking to enhance citizen engagement in public services innovation can benefit from the insights presented in this paper.

Engaging citizens in digital public service innovation ecosystems-insights from the Netherlands and Italy

Marangio F.;Petti C.;
2021

Abstract

Public agencies struggle with engaging citizens in digital public service innovation. The notion that citizen engagement in public service innovation can lead to more citizen-friendly digital services is widely accepted. Moreover, citizen engagement has also become an indicator of legitimacy; public service innovation without citizen engagement is more likely to be scrutinized on public values like privacy, transparency, fairness, and citizen control. Yet it remains difficult to engage with citizens throughout the various stages of innovation. Often, the hard question of how to balance system performance and public values in innovation resurfaces, and we cannot leave it to software programmers to answer this question. This short paper reveals how the Netherlands and Italy are engaging citizens in public service innovation. We found that in both countries, the quadruple helix approach is gaining support and citizen engagement is increasingly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Both countries are gaining experience with new citizen engagement methods like user-driven prototyping and living labs. We found that these methods increase empathy, creativity and reflection on ethical dilemmas. Following such methods also signals to policymakers that a democratic process was followed, ultimately backing a specific innovation direction. Other countries looking to enhance citizen engagement in public services innovation can benefit from the insights presented in this paper.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/471868
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