Designing for participatory governance: Assessing capabilities and toolkits in public service delivery

Shenja Van der Graaf, Carina Veeckman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose-The purpose of this study is yield insight into how cities can optimize citizen involvement in the co-development of citizen services by providing the rights tools, knowledge and resources. Design/methodology/approach-By conducting a case study analysis of the city of Ghent, this study investigates how users are engaged in the development of mobile applications on a city-hosted platform. Findings-Findings show that public service delivery, related to the urban space, can be co-designed between the city and its citizens, if different toolkits aligned with the specific capacities and skills of the citizens are provided. Research limitations/implications-Data were collected between August 2012 and December 2013. Some preliminary findings are presented on the (design of the) dynamic co-creation ecosystem and the citizens’ capacities to participate on the city-hosted platform. In addition, while the examination is still ongoing some insights can be offered in the learning dynamics underpinning how the cities are setting up such a bottom-up process and how local participation for different citizen groups can be optimized in the context of design capabilities and the design space. Originality/value-This study yields relevant insights for policymakers, city administrations, as well as Living Lab practitioners into how public service delivery, supported by an inclusive participatory governance by design framework at the local level, can be co-designed between the city and citizens, if different toolkits aligned with the specific capacities and skills of the users are provided. By providing tailored tools, even ordinary citizens can take a much more active role in the development and appropriation of their urban space and generate solutions from which both the city and citizens’ everyday life can possibly benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-88
Number of pages15
JournalInfo
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • (citizen) Developers
  • Application development
  • Co-design
  • Decentralized governance
  • Local knowledge
  • Open data
  • Participatory governance
  • Public service delivery
  • Smart city
  • Toolkits

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