Design of IT in Use; supportive technologies for public services

Document type: Miscellaneous
Author(s): Sara Eriksén
Title: Design of IT in Use; supportive technologies for public services
Translated title: Design av IT i användning; teknikstöd för medborgarservice
Year: 2000-2002
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: Department of Human Work Science and Media Technology (Institutionen för arbetsvetenskap och medieteknik)
Dept. of Human Work Science and Media Techn., S-372 25 Ronneby
+46 455 38 50 00
http://www.iar.bth.se/
Authors e-mail: sara.eriksen@bth.se
Language: English
Abstract: In the DitA project, we are studying and actively working with the development of integrated services and IT design within the public sector. This is a research and development project that is being run in cooperation between Blekinge Institute of Technology, five municipalities, two consultancy firms and a Call Center. During nearly three years (April 2000 - December 2002), the DitA project is being financed by Vinnova, the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems.

The DitA project focuses on the continual design and development of supportive technologies for public services. We are especially interested in how these processes can be integrated in practice with the redesign and development of the contents and organisation of integrated public services on-line. There has been a rapid and widespread development of local Internet/intranet solutions for public services during the past few years. At the same time as the public sector is "going on-line", and interdependently with this, public service administration is having to come to terms with an on-going internal metamorphosis. New ways of managing and sharing information, and of constructing and organising public services within and between different service providers in the public sector, are being tested and explored.

In the DitA project, we are studying how IT can be used to support local participation in the continual design and development of public services. The challenge is, as we see it, to explore how IT can contribute to creating an informated (that is, competent, well-informed and informative) rather than an automated public sector. During the initial phase of the project, we have mainly studied the daily use of computer support for service delivery at a number of different workplaces within municipal public service administration. We have also been studying at close hand the largely cooperative processes of design during the local development and tailoring of a document management part of a municipal intranet system.

Now, during the second phase of the DitA project, we are focusing more on citizens' active participation in the design process than we have done previously.
Summary in Swedish: Med den snabba pågående teknikutvecklingen ökar allmänhetens krav på interaktiv medborgarservice. I projektet sker ett samarbete kring verksamhets- och IT-utvecklingen mellan medborgarserviceverksamheten i fem kommuner, ett call center företag och två applikationsutvecklande konsultföretag. Målsättningen med projektet är att, tillsammans med systemutvecklare, teknisk supportpersonal och dem som arbetar med medborgarservice, vidareutveckla den IT som används idag, samt testa nya möjligheter avseende ett tekniskt och designmässigt avancerat integrerat IT-stöd för medborgarservice. Avsikten är också att bidra till utvecklingen av en reflekterande praxis kring IT i användning, bl a genom att utforska möjligheterna att stärka resurserna för kontinuerlig lokal design och 'fininställning' av IT i användning. Det handlar om att stödja, synliggöra och utveckla strukturerna för, och samarbetet kring, IT management som en del av vardagens praxis. Projektet fokuserar på arbetets praxis. Grundhypotesen är att IT är något som konstrueras i användning. I den konstruktionsprocessen behöver design-perspektivet stärkas och stödjas.
Subject: Human Work Science\Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Human Work Science\Participatory Design
Software Engineering\General
Keywords: Design in use, Participatory Design, Public Services, Information and Communication Technologies
Note: Granting authority: VINNOVA See project home page http://www.iar.bth.se/forskning/arbv/dita/
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