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This open access book attends to the co-creation of digital public services for ageing societies. Increasingly public services are provided in digital form; their uptake however remains well below expectations. In particular, amongst older adults the need for public services is high, while at the same time the uptake of digital services is lower than the population average. One of the reasons is that many digital public services (or e-services) do not respond well to the life worlds, use contexts and use practices of its target audiences. This book argues that when older adults are involved in the process of identifying, conceptualising, and designing digital public services, these services become more relevant and meaningful.

The book describes and compares three co-creation projects that were conducted in two European cities, Bremen and Zaragoza, as part of a larger EU-funded innovation project. The first part of the book traces the origins of co-creation to three distinct domains, in which co-creation has become an equally important approach with different understandings of what it is and entails: (1) the co-production of public services, (2) the co-design of information systems and (3) the civic use of open data. The second part of the book analyses how decisions about a co-creation project’s governance structure, its scope of action, its choice of methods, its alignment with strategic policies and its embedding in existing public information infrastructures impact on the process and its results. The final part of the book identifies key challenges to co-creation and provides a more general assessment of what co-creation may achieve, where the most promising areas of application may be and where it probably does not match with the contingent requirements of digital public services. Contributing to current discourses on digital citizenship in ageing societies and user-centric design, this book is useful for researchers and practitioners interested in co-creation, public sector innovation, open government, ageing and digital technologies, citizen engagement and civic participation in socio-technical innovation.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Open Access

Introduction

Abstract
Increasingly public services are provided in digital form; their uptake however remains well below expectations. In particular, amongst older adults the need for public services is high while at the same time the uptake of their digital counterparts is low. One of the reasons is that many digital public services (or e-services) do not respond well to the life worlds, use contexts and use practices of its target audiences. An increasingly popular approach to design more user-centric services is co-creation with future users. It has been noted however, that in particular older adults lack the willingness (and often ability) to co-create e-services. Hence, there is an articulated need to engage older citizens in design practice, but a lack of evidence concerning successful participation approaches. This book addresses this gap by providing evidence from three co-creation projects with older adults. In order to understand the challenges and opportunities of co-creation, the book attends to the following three aspects when analysing, evaluating and comparing the three projects: (1) Governing co-creation and sharing control: What are the implications of different modes of governing and managing co-creation? How do (and can) specific methods facilitate the sharing of control? (2) Sharing expertise: How can a variety of stakeholders be engaged in meaningful ways? What are specific challenges and opportunities for sharing (lived) experiences? (3) Enabling change: What types of public services are most suited for co-creation and to what extend do they enable individual and/or social change?
Juliane Jarke

Open Access

Ageing Societies and Technological Innovation

Abstract
Demographic ageing has been declared one of the main challenges for countries in the Global North by politicians, journalists, industry and academia alike. Many frame ageing as a problem that needs a technological fix and most digital technologies designed for older adults, reproduce images about old age defined by ill health, deficits and limitations. Digital public services are no different. However, scholars in critical and social gerontology argue that most of the alarmist rhetoric around demographic ageing and projected social implications are based on flawed assumptions about older people (e.g. their ability to contribute to their communities) and the ageing process (e.g. as solely described in terms of decline and long-term care needs). This chapter reviews dominant concepts about ageing societies, older adults and technological innovation. It argues, that engaging older adults in design processes, allows for alternative measures and attributes of “success” in later life and that participatory approaches can reconfigure how and which imaginaries and social practices are being scripted into technologies.
Juliane Jarke

Open Access

Co-Creating Digital Public Services

Abstract
This chapter reviews key literature and concepts relating to the co-creation of digital public services. For this task, it is firstly important to consider what kind of digital public services may be suitable for co-creation. In order to do so, the first section of this chapter defines what a digital public service is (e.g. with respect to different types of service providers, different types of services and service delivery) and considers what kind of digital public services allow for meaningful citizen participation. To better conceptualise different degrees of participation, the subsequent section reviews Arnstein’s (1969) “ladder of citizen participation” and related work. This allows distinguishing between different degrees of non-participation, (consultative) participation and beyond. Thirdly, the chapter reviews traditional participatory approaches that provide the basis to co-creating of digital public services: (1) co-production of public services, (2) co-design and (3) civic open data use. The chapter summarises and compares the different rationales for participation in these approaches, and reviews how they understand the sharing of control, the sharing of knowledge and the enabling of change.
Juliane Jarke

Open Access

Mobile Age: Co-creating Digital Public Services with and for Older Citizens

Abstract
This book describes and compares three co-creation projects that were conducted in two European cities as part of a larger EU-funded innovation project called Mobile Age. This chapter introduces Mobile Age and presents the project’s framework and methodology for co-creating digital public services. Part of the framework are seven streams of activity that need to be considered. These streams of activity are not sequential but run in parallel and inform each other: (1) governing and managing a co-creation process; (2) continuous recruitment and engagement of stakeholders; (3) co-creating a service concept; (4) working with (open) (government) data; (5) co-creating software; (6) evaluating the co-creation process and its results; and (7) exploiting and disseminating the co-created service. All three co-creation projects featured in this book are described along those streams of activity. In addition, for each project its specific problem focus, target audiences, value propositions and resources are provided.
Juliane Jarke

Open Access

Co-creation in Practice I: Co-creating a Digital Neighbourhood Guide (Bremen Osterholz)

Abstract
This chapter reports on a co-creation project that was conducted in the city district Bremen Osterholz. A core group of 11 older residents co-created a digital district guide over the duration of ten months. In a first step, the group identified an information gap between existing neighbourhood resources to support older residents and older residents’ awareness about them. The solution proposed was to better inform older adults in order to facilitate social participation in their everyday lives (ranging from consulting services to social encounters and outdoor activities). Members of the core group defined the specific information needs (including relevant attributes for each information category) and collected data for all categories. In addition, focus groups with 80 older residents were conducted with the support of local social care service providers. The focus groups were used partly for collecting information about the district, but also for testing the first prototype. The chapter describes co-creation methods such as cultural probes and data tables. It concludes with lessons learned.
Juliane Jarke

Open Access

Co-Creation in Practice II: Co-creating a Digital Walking Guide (Bremen Hemelingen)

Abstract
This chapter reports on a co-creation project that was conducted in the city district Bremen Hemelingen. A core group of seven local service providers steered the process in which 46 older residents participated. One of the tasks of social care service providers is to organise outdoor activities for older residents (also to facilitate social participation). To support their work, this co-creation project resulted in a digital walking guide that provides multi-media information on walks in different parts of the district. The walks were defined and organised by social care service providers as well as individual older residents. Older participants defined relevant information needs. A core group of five older residents defined design requirements and created content for the digital walking guide. The chapter describes different kinds of co-creation walking methods such as ideation walks, data walks and user test walks. It concludes with lessons learned.
Juliane Jarke

Open Access

Co-Creation in Practice III: Co-Creating Age-Friendly Routes (Zaragoza)

Abstract
This chapter reports on the third co-creation project described in this book. The project was managed by two departments of Zaragoza city council: the Department of Elderly Care and the Technical Office of Participation, Transparency and Open Government. Several activities aiming to improve the lives older citizens have been conducted by the city administration since Zaragoza joined the Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. In a consultation process, older citizens had expressed a demand for safe and well-equipped outdoor spaces. Thus, the broad problem focus of this co-creation project was on the improvement of an age-friendly city infrastructure. The co-creation project covered six walks in three different districts. In each district, groups of six to eight older residents defined two relevant routes and collected information (problems and improvements) about them. The data was integrated in a collaborative digital map provided by the city’s Technical Office. The result of the project is an enhanced map service, which allows (older) citizens to report problems in the public (road) infrastructure and/or propose improvements. Their suggestions for improvements enter a list of citizen proposals for a participatory budgeting process.
Juliane Jarke

Open Access

Learning from Co-creation Practice

Abstract
This chapter reflects on the learnings from the three co-creation projects featured in this book and attends to the central research questions posed in the introduction. In sum, the chapter presents nine learning points. These cover very different aspects of co-creation ranging from the different roles local government, social care service providers, intermediaries and older citizens may assume, to the implications of embedding co-creation processes in existing service portfolios and strategic policies. The chapter furthermore reflects on different types of co-creation methods (e.g. cultural probes, data tables, data walks) and how they allow for meaningful participation and sharing of knowledge. Ultimately the chapter considers to what extent the openness of a co-creation process impacts on the sustainability of its results and the ways in which co-creation may contribute to joint socio-technical future-making.
Juliane Jarke

Open Access

Conclusion: Co-creating Inclusive Digital Futures

Abstract
The first and positive conclusion—relating to the governing of co-creation and the sharing of control—is that co-creation is indeed an appropriate method to develop digital public information services that meet the needs of older users and achieve an output that is better than existing, comparable services. The second conclusion—relating to the sharing of expertise and knowledge—is that the co-creation of digital services works well with older adults, including those with little or no digital literacy skills. However, the performance and achievements of co-creation processes seem highly contingent and dependent on several factors. The third conclusion—relating to enabling change—is that not every digital public service is equally suited for co-creation. A lasting social as well as individual change can only be implemented if the resulting service does indeed respond to the needs of local stakeholders. Co-creation may become a way to improve the lack of user-centricity and user experience of digital public information services. However, there is no guarantee for its success. It is a complex multi-task and multi-stakeholder process, more demanding than traditional citizen participation. Due to the openness and complexity inherent to any co-creation process, providing strict guidelines and recommendations is not possible. However, the learning points identified in this book provide evidence on ways to co-create better, more user-centric public services with and for older adults.
Juliane Jarke

Backmatter

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