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Overview:   co-design in the smart cities project
Overview:   co-design in the smart cities project
Overview:   co-design in the smart cities project
Overview:   co-design in the smart cities project
Overview:   co-design in the smart cities project
Overview:   co-design in the smart cities project
Overview:   co-design in the smart cities project
Overview:   co-design in the smart cities project
Overview:   co-design in the smart cities project
Overview:   co-design in the smart cities project
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Overview: co-design in the smart cities project

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This short document summarises the main findings from the internal formative evaluation of the practice of co-design within the Smart Cities project. It forms as starting point for a workshop held on …

This short document summarises the main findings from the internal formative evaluation of the practice of co-design within the Smart Cities project. It forms as starting point for a workshop held on 27 April 2011, and contains examples of the different approaches to co-design that have been taken by the project partners.

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  • 1. Co-design in the Smart Cities project<br />A briefing document for the Edinburgh workshop on 27 April<br />This short document summarises the main findings from the internal formative evaluation of the practice of co-design within the Smart Cities project. <br />It forms as starting point for the workshop, and contains examples of the different approaches to co-design that have been taken by the project partners.<br />We hope that the result of the workshop will lead to new understandings for us all. <br />The full evaluation report is available to project partners.<br />Contents<br /> TOC o "1-2" n h z u Approaches to co-design<br />Co-design and the citizen<br />Co-design in Smart Cities<br />Recording co-design activities in Smart Cities<br />Findings on co-design within Smart Cities<br />Working with colleagues: Horizontal co-design<br />Working with stakeholders: Vertical co-design<br />Establishing a definition for co-design within the project<br />Summary & Conclusions<br />Further reading<br />Annex: Tools & techniques<br />Approaches to co-design <br />The Smart Cities project has taken a pragmatic approach to the meaning of ‘co-design’, starting from a simple definition as:<br />Activity where the users of the planned new system actively collaborate in (a) defining what the system should do (problem definition), (b) the development process and (c) acceptance of the results.<br />Co-design is more than just simple user testing: stakeholders need to have an active role in the design and implementation process.<br />In co-design there are many (possibly conflicting) stakeholders, goals, perspective and interests in design. The aim is to let these stakeholders constructively contribute to the design. It does not assume that any stakeholder is more important than any other. Co-design can be seen in the wider context of co-production of services, where citizens continue to have active roles in delivering a service once the design stage is complete.<br />A project Research Brief on the subject was issued in January 2009, which made the key points that co-design is more common in organisations with a relatively high level of new product development. It is generally initiated by the provider as part of an evolution to niche markets, and can feature user-friendly toolkits. Co-design depends on the maintenance of long term relationships with customers, rather than mass-market transactions. One objective of co-design can be seen empowerment of citizens.<br />This definition was simplified and developed in the project wiki to provide a reference point against which to compare the partners’ actual activities in the evaluation, and to use for the project’s internal activity reports. <br />Co-design and the citizen<br />As the Research Brief notes, B2Cit (Business/government to citizen) co-design strategies differ from others in that they are not either provider, or customer-focussed. They relate to what is commonly referred to as a user-centric co-design strategy: that type of co-design strategy in which collaboration is not based on the notion of customer, but of a citizen who participates in the process.<br />In more detail, co-design can be seen as having four aspects:<br />Participation: Co-design is a collaboration. The collaborative nature of the process is enhanced and extended by several of its other features. There is a great deal of transparency involved in co-design: all participants are aware of the design methodology, its inputs and outputs, its goals and current status, etc. It is designing with people, not merely for people. This high level of participation requires continuity of participants, to ensure the development of a close working relationship. The breadth of input from all parties is wide-ranging, ensuring a multiplicity of viewpoints and building wider community relationships between those involved.<br />Development: Co-design is a developmental process. It involves the exchange of information and expertise relating to both the subject of the design process and the process itself. In this sense, co-design teaches co-design.<br />Ownership and power: Co-design shifts power to the process, creating a framework that defines and maintains the necessary balance of rights and freedoms between participants. There is equality of legitimacy and value in inputs from all those involved, whether suggestions entail large- or small-scale changes. This combination of controlled abrogation of power by those with whom it usually rests, and the concomitant empowerment of those in a traditional ‘client’ role, serves to create a sense of collective ownership.<br />Outcomes and intent: Co-design activities are outcome-based: they possess a practical focus, with clarity of vision and direction. Methodology and implementation seek to ensure a shared creative intent between all participants. <br />Co-design in Smart Cities<br />The general definition of co-design emphasises engagement with stakeholders in general, and the end user, customer or citizen in particular. Within Smart Cities co-design is treated has having three dimensions:<br />Vertical: Up and down the process chain, generally within the organisation. It could involve stakeholders in the same department, right though to citizens and customers. The general theme of the project objectives can seen as relating to joint design with Smart Cities partners (working or learning together)<br />Horizontal: learning and working with parallel organisations – in the same region, country or trans-nationally, for example through the Smart Cities project. Examples would be working with project partners in Smart Cities, but could also include working with other municipalities<br />Intensity: Is the engagement simply a case of fact-finding, or are the people involved in the design process able to shape the outcome together?<br />Recording co-design activities in Smart Cities<br />As a central concept in the Smart Cities project, co-design is documented through two different reporting streams: Project Initiation Documents (PIDs) which describe local implementation plans and the monthly partner Activity Reports. It was intended that the Activity Reports would record co-design activities under the following headings:<br />Co-design with local stakeholders<br />Co-design with transnational colleagues and stakeholders<br />Co-design with citizens (or citizen groups)<br />The information recorded in the PIDs and activity reports was also intended to help the mainstreaming process.<br />Findings on co-design within Smart Cities<br />This section summarises the evidence gathered during the evaluation work grouped around three themes:<br />Working with colleagues: Horizontal co-design<br />Working with stakeholders: vertical co-design<br />Establishing definition for ‘co-design’ within the project<br />The annex lists the tools and techniques that the partners reported using in their work<br />Working with colleagues: Horizontal co-design<br />This perspective ties in best with the language used in the project objectives and can be summarised as “Working together with partners to deliver new services”. Under this definition, it involves working with peers such as Smart Cities partners or other partners such as neighbouring municipalities. An example includes Leiedal and Kortrijk working with other municipalities in their region, or with other Flemish cities such as Ghent. <br />25768307620Working with colleaguesSmart Cities partnersNeighbouring municipalitiesThis kind of activity can seem like mainstreaming, as both involve sharing and spreading best practice between similar organisations, regionally and transnationally. Within the project, partners generally have been using each other as sources of advice or experience, rather than activity jointly designing a new service.<br />Although this form of interaction is not normally considered as co-design, it does help change mindsets to one of learning of and working with outsiders, and therefore should not be discounted. <br />Working with stakeholders: Vertical co-design<br />This dimension is closest to the generally accepted usage of the term ‘co-design’. Minimal co-design can be characterised as working with stakeholders. <br />68580132715Working with stakeholdersOther departmentsSuppliersAgenciesCitizensIdeally, co-design is seen as moving from just talking internally to contacting end users or customers. Citizens could be considered customers in their own right, but it may be that the customers have an intermediary role, for instance as a service delivery department within a municipality, or an agency or third-sector organisations that act on the behalf of citizens. <br />This section uses a sample of activities by Smart Cities partners to illustrate the different approaches to co-design within the project.<br />Co-design of citizen services<br />An example of co-design involving front-line agencies was behind Norfolk’s drive to reduce unnecessary client contact and thereby contain costs of service delivery. <br />Working with end-users is in practise recognised as including work with agencies that work with or advocate their positions. NGOs/third sector are most aware of their clients’ needs; as they are involved in service delivery, they are more likely to spot false economies.<br />Norfolk also shows how working with partners can operate on different levels, for example:<br />Developing common data sets for customer profiling and common techniques, in conjunction with health and police services, informing a number of big strategic needs assessments.<br />Example: DuViTo Centre, KristiansandThe Health and Social Care department in the municipality of Kristiansand uses the Duvito Centre as its main point of customer (citizen) contact; it has won several awards in Norway for the way they meet the citizen.The centre was designed in cooperation with representatives of the user-groups. All cooperation was based on the vision: “You can, we will” and the use of joint resources – that is, the centre was designed as an enabler. Early in the process when the premises were prepared for the opening of Duvito, user-groups representatives were consulted in design of offices, entrance and the whole concept is based on universal design for not excluding any potential clients possibilities. (Easy wheel-chair access, help for visually impaired, help for hearing-impaired and so on.) Naturally a commitment to staff engagement and training have been important for the centres’ success.Crucial for the success was the support of top management in particularly for training, and in the design process.This description is based on notes on the project wiki and subsequent discussions. Designing individual campaigns, such as health and school on teenage pregnancy campaigns.<br />Local legislation may require that citizens (or other stakeholders) are involved in the design process, in effect mandating the use of co-design techniques. This for instance motivated the user engagement by Kristiansand for its DuViTo Centre (see box) – note that the engagement was via user representative groups, rather than directly with users.<br />Both these examples are not centred around the use of technology, instead, ICT is implicit in the services delivered to the citizens.<br />Osterholz-Scharmbeck: Moving towards co-design?<br />At the other end of the spectrum is the Osterholz-Scharmbeck, whose Smart Cities project has been the development of a citizen oriented internet presence. The project is following best practise in understanding user needs. This can be seen as a process for the city to learn to take ownership rather than contracting out service provision to consultants, in conjunction with Smart Cities partner Jade University (Oldenburg) an early step towards co-design capability.<br />The I-Scan report: Kortrijk and Leiedal<br />Kortrijk has been undertaking a number of local projects. The majority have been focussed on improvements to services in conjunction with internal stakeholders.<br />Kortijk commissioned a report from Hogeschool Gent on the effectiveness of integration of the IT service and the municipal organisation. Its main focus was the features of governance: what is the relation between the organisational features, the management of the organisation and the interoperability? <br />The focus was on internal city staff with the expectations that citizen would benefit indirectly from the improved project management and so a better service delivery. <br />Recommendations were for inclusion of stakeholders – a different way of working, with much stronger involvement of the internal user in every step taken in developing ICT. For the IT department it is important to involve the end-user with every IT-solution while at the same time, users need to change their perception of IT from just a provider of computers and programs.<br />As of the end of 2010, the perception of these recommendations within the IT department of Kortrijk was that this way of working was creating unnecessary barriers to progress. Going behind this problem, this can been seen as highlighting the importance of long-term engagement and commitment by senior management (similar to the example of the DuViTo Centre in Kristiansand). One first step would be to address where the issues with deeper engagement with the internal customers has arisen and work out if there are some areas or techniques where the IT department could benefit from increased customer engagement.<br />Porism and Leiedal: indirect access to citizens<br />Some project partners, Leiedal and Porism in particular, have an indirect relationship with citizens; they both rely on municipal partners for feedback on citizens’ needs. In these cases, co-design can best defined in terms of providers collaborating with customers.<br />Co-design depends on a long term trusting relationship with consistent funding. In Porism’s case, the development of a complex product/service like esd-toolkit has not always given them positive experience of the provider/customer relationship. Once the esd-toolkit data has been downloaded, municipal customers do not have an incentive to stay in a long term relationship with Porism. There is also a concern that where procurement rules require frequent re-tendering this could prevent the formation of the relationships needed by co-design, raising the question of whether co-design is only viable when led by municipalities.<br />As with Porism, Leiedal’s main engagement is with municipalities; citizen involvement is generally indirect. Leiedal has been acting as a facilitator for the process, for example through the peer-group Ateliers. The need for increased communication of lessons learned is acknowledged, for instance from the MijnGemeente project <br />Conclusion <br />Effective co-design is not necessarily technology focussed, and not all partners are at this stage able to embark on citizen-led co-design processes. Despite this, even IT-led departments are in a strong position to encourage steps towards co-design as a process that ensure long term customer engagement, even if more effort is required at the beginning to ensuring commitment from all the stakeholders.<br />Establishing a definition for co-design within the project<br />The background research carried out for this project has shown that there is no one clear definition for co-design. In fact, some partners were reluctant to use the term ‘co-design’ because the definition is not clear, or it cannot be clearly distinguished from other project concepts such as transnational activity, mainstreaming, citizen engagement, participation, knowledge management. <br />Even where partners use the term, the meanings they use are not consistent. Two partners supplied useful definitions:<br />A transformation of services involving working with end users (or agencies that work with them) “a wholesale change in service design”<br />A change in mindset, moving from what the technological developments can do, to what the stakeholders want<br />This reflects the experiences of the workshop on the subject of co-design that was held in Karlstad in the summer of 2009, where it became clear that no consensus on even the basic meaning of co-design existed. It is also reflected in the inconsistency in the content of the monthly Activity Reports between partners, and also over time.<br />Conclusion<br />A consensus definition of co-design as actually used within the Smart Cities project would seem to be:<br />There is a change in mindset, moving from what the technological developments can do, to what the stakeholders want AND<br />A service is being fundamentally reshaped AND <br />There is concrete work (ie more than information sharing) with stakeholders or another partner OR the transformation of services involves working with end users (or agencies that work with them)<br />This definition is broader than normal for co-design, but is more in line with the philosophy of the project.<br />One of the issues underlying the differences may be organisational capability maturity, which can be characterised by ability to define the process, capability to carry out the process, how the process is actually performed and the management of process improvement. It is clear that the partners will have different capabilities in these areas<br />Summary & Conclusions<br />The evaluation exercise revealed the Smart Cities municipalities are engaging with a wide range of partners, inside and outside the project. <br />In order to align ‘co-design’ with the terminology used in the project application and the emerging wider use of the term, the concept has been split into ‘horizontal’ (peer-group) and ‘vertical’ (stakeholder/customer oriented) aspects. What has been referred to here as ‘horizontal’ co-design has much in common with capacity building and mainstreaming – regional and transnational – in that all involve similar organisations learning from each-other. The perspective did allow the coherence of the project network to be examined, showing areas where work on improving internal links could lead to improved project outcomes.<br />The ‘vertical’ aspects of co-design link to the underlying Smart Cities theme of increased citizen engagement and participation in the services they consume, which aligns the project with the T-Government theme of other EU programmes (eg Parisopoulos et al, 2009). The broader concept of co-production is also relevant here.<br />Smart Cities partners have been shown to have a wide range of these co-design practices and capabilities, ranging from legally mandated engagement with user representatives when designing services (Kristiansand), using customer journey mappings to ensure improved customer experience when redesigning services (Edinburgh) to simply listening to user requirements as a web platform is developed (Osterholtz-Scharmbeck). <br />The major theme to emerge from the project partners’ experience could be summarised under the heading organisational maturity or “don’t run before you can walk”. Before committing to co-design, it is necessary for an organisation to understand how to manage the required level of engagement and commitment long term, and be aware of risks and resource requirements. This is likely to involve access to skills and experiences that many traditional ICT departments may not have, needing internal collaboration with customer-facing departments or external agencies like advocacy groups. Note that this will not necessarily require more money or resources, and could be expected to increase the effectiveness and success of the resulting service – as Kristiansand and Norfolk have demonstrated. Co-design should be seen as a learning process for all, including the providers, and if the providers are comfortable with their own processes, it is quite likely that attempting to incorporate new stakeholders could lead to confusion and reduced effectiveness, at least in the short term. <br />In conclusion, there are a number of areas that could be explored further, including the sharing of best practice in co-design in approaches and techniques, how co-design can be related to broader organisational requirements and the relation to other Smart Cities themes of customisation, customer profiling and mainstreaming. These will be taken up in the Workshop to be held in Edinburgh on 27 April<br />Further reading<br />Berger C, Möslein K, Piller F, and Reichwald, R. (2005) Cooperation between manufacturers, retailers, and customers for user co-design: learning from exploratory research, European Management Review, 1:70-87. <br />Binder T, Brandt, E, and Gregory, J (2008) Design participation(-s) – a creative commons for ongoing change, CoDesign, 4, (2): 79–83 <br />Botero A and Saad-Sulonen J (2008) Co-designing for new city-citizen interaction possibilities: weaving prototypes and interventions in the design and development of Urban Mediator in PDC '08 Proceedings of the Tenth Anniversary Conference on Participatory Design 2008. ACM. ISBN: 978-0-9818561-0-0<br />Franke N, Keinz P, and Schreier M (2008) Complementing mass customization toolkits with user communities: How peer input improves customer self-design <br />Lind M and Forsgren O (2008) Co-Design and Web 2.0: Theoretical Foundations and Application in Collaboration and the Knowledge Economy: Issues, Applications, Case Studies, Paul Cunningham and Miriam Cunningham (Eds). Amsterdam: IOS Press. ISBN 978–1–58603–924-0 <br />Löffler E, Parrado S, Bovaird T and Van Ryzin G, Governance International (2008) “If you want to go fast, walk alone. If you want to go far, walk together”: citizens and the co-production of public services. Report. Paris<br />Marr B (2008) Making the most of collaboration: an international survey of public service co-design. DEMOS REPORT 23 in association with PwC’s Public Sector Research Centre<br />Miceli G, Ricotta F, Costabile M (2007) Customizing customization: a conceptual framework for interactive personalization, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 21, (2): 6- 25 <br />Nikolaus F, Keinz P, and Schreier M (2008) Complementing Mass customization toolkits with user communities: how peer input improves customer self-design, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 25 (6): 546-559. <br />Parisopoulos K, Tambouris E and Tarabanis K (2009) “Transformational Government in Europe: A Survey of National Policies” in Visioning and Engineering the Knowledge Society. A Web Science Perspective. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2009, Volume 5736/2009, 462-471, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-04754-1_47<br />Wind J, and Rangaswamy A (2001) Customerization: The next revolution in mass customization Journal of Interactive Marketing, 15, (1): 13-32. <br />Annex: Tools & techniques<br />The table in this section briefly summarises the techniques used by Smart Cities partners that could be seen as supporting co-design activities. Most of these can apply to both the vertical and horizontal relationships described in the previous section.<br />PartnersCommentsMeetingsStakeholder meetingsAll, KristiansandStakeholders could include citizens, or agencies that work directly with citizensWorkshops and focus groupsAllSubset of aboveAteliers LeiedalThese have been used successfully by Leiedal for bringing together Dutch-speaking colleagues to share ideas and experiences.Surveys as alternative to focus groupMass survey of needs MEMORI for LeiedalIdentified general trends within Flanders – can be used as basis for On specific issuesLeiedal, NorfolkUse of small scall surveys on specific issues – for instance, disabled badge holders’ needs (Norfolk) Engagement through a processProcess mapping / customer journey mappingEdinburgh, Karlstad, (Kortrijk)Customer journey mapping provides another route through which Project board membershipMost users<br />There is nothing ‘new’ to these techniques: most will be familiar to all the project partners. Rather, co-design works through commitment from the provider. The intensity of co-design depends on the stage at which these start being used. The nearer the problem definition stage (rather than feedback on proposed solutions), the more likely the process is to be characterised as full co-design.<br />

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