1 December 2020 begins a new international project UserCentriCities, which is coordinated from Brussels and funded by the European Union programme Horizon2020. UserCentriCities will last until 31 May 2023 and the project budget is 1.5 million euros.
Six European cities and districts will be taking part: Espoo (Finland), Milan (Italy), Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Murcia (Spain), Emilia-Romagna region (Italy) and Tallinn. The consortium also includes Eurocities and VTT (the leading Nordic technical research station in Finland). Project activities will be coordinated by the Brussel think tank Lisbon Council.
"Despite European cities being on the front line of creating digital e-services, they lack a method of comparative analysis that would help measure and compare the user-centricity of e-services provided by different local governments with other local governments in Europe," said Krista Kampus, head of Tallinn’s Competence Centre of International Projects about why the project has been created.
The main goal of UserCentriCities is to exchange knowledge and experience between partner cities and regions. Existing e-services will be audited and updated to be more user-friendly throughout the project. This will allow the current service providers to learn of potential shortcomings in their services.
"The UserCentriCities project will help bring e-services to a new level, making communication between the end-user aka the citizen and local companies and establishments as well as between the service provider and the city much more convenient," said Kampus.
These services will be developed and audited by service designers from the new Tallinn strategy center in cooperation with the city’s IT-service providers. The goal of the service designers is to evaluate the user's journey with the services, their real needs and how to make the current public sector digital services as comfortable as possible for the end-user.
By the end of the project, the following will be created for the city of Tallinn:
list of indicators and metrics to measure the quality of public e-services
a digital dashboard that Tallinn can amend with their service quality indicators in order to compare them with other EU local governments
a digital support environment with tools and instructions that will allow Tallinn to methodically develop user-centric public e-services.
In 2017, the European Union and European Free Trade Area (EFTA) Member States signed Tallinn's e-government declaration, the goal of which was to offer urban citizens high-quality and user-friendly digital public sector services and smoother cross-border services for companies. Citizens and companies must be able to use government services in a digital way without leaving their homes. Tallinn's declaration also gives guidelines on how to work on thematic cooperation in Europe.
The preparation and implementation of the international project UserCetriCities is coordinated by the Competence Centre of International Projects acting with the city's financial services. The goal of the competence centre is to increase the international project participation capacity of city offices and institutions governed by the city, and to strengthen the coordination of preparations and implementation of cross-sectoral projects important to the city.