Oulu citizens panel issues three recommendations on digitalisation in the public sector

  • cooperation
  • knowledge society

As part of our Cities4Europe campaign, Oulu held a citizens' consultation to discuss the challenges, benefits and opportunities of digitalisation in the public sector and develop three recommendations

Digitalisation, the megatrend shaping the everyday life of citizens, is transforming the way we communicate, work, study, do business, participate in civic life and access public services. The specific purpose of the event was to facilitate an open dialogue with the citizens of Oulu about accessibility of digital services, digitalisation as a tool for citizen engagement and digital literacy and skills.

Three speakers were invited to take part in the panel:

  • Mr Heikki Talkkari, counsellor, Ministry of Finance
  • Mr Juhani Heikka, director, Regional Government Reform, ICT, Oulu Regional Council
  • Mr Tapio Matinmikko, ICT specialist, Digital Oulu, City of Oulu

The panel event resulted in three recommendations:

1. Create digital, user-oriented service maps by residential area

This proposal is based on the idea of producing a map-based service that provides details about public, private and third sector services, hobby activities and events in residential areas based on the user's requirements and preferences, such as age group, life situation and free-time interests. The digital service map could also provide detailed information about the physical accessibility of associated buildings, facilities and service points.

2. Develop a regulated, standardised online platform with one single login for citizens to secure, manage and share their personal data

Discussions revealed that users are ready to deliver their own information to ensure user-oriented digital and other services, provided that sharing is perceived as secure and that the management and sharing of the data remains in their own hands. The proposed solution acknowledges that it is essential to collect currently dispersed user-specific information in one online platform and to ensure that personal data may only be combined and shared according to each user's own needs and choices.

3. Enable a digital one-stop-shop approach to customer services

Digitalisation and ICT–mediated services are expected to introduce new ways to improve the efficiency of customer processes and improve customer experience so that, from the customer's point of view, the one-stop-shop principle is realised. The customer launches their service at one point of contact or service. Integration according to service needs takes place in the delivery process by the service providers and there is no need to direct the customer from one service and/or system to another. The success of this approach requires transparency and opportunities for feedback and dialogue.

These citizens' proposals, together with those from other panel events taking place across Europe until the end of February, will be presented at the second mayors summit on the future of Europe on 20 and 21 March 2019.

As part of the mayors summit, which will take place two months ahead of the European Parliament elections in the presence of more than 100 city politicians, EUROCITIES and the European Commission will present the panel results to national and European political leaders.

EUROCITIES staff contact

Marta MarcuzziMembership coordinator & EA to the Sec Gen

EUROCITIES staff contact

Nicola Vatthauer