Developing a citizen-centric community

What does the digital transformation of public services entail? The Digital Transformation Office of the Federal Public Service Strategy and Support (BOSA) thinks that human-centered design culture is vital in a sustainable future vision for government.   

FOD/SPF BOSAPublicFrench/Dutch3 designers,
content creators (coaches) 

A playbook for the digital transformation of federal public services 

In a previous analysis the Digital Transformation Office of the Federal Public Service Strategy and Support (BOSA) identified a need to create a playbook for the digital transformation to inspire other federal administrations. Namahn, as a framework contract partner, took the challenge head-on to develop a digital playbook that puts citizens in the center.  

Today processes, products and services are too often looked at through an inside-out lens. This playbook would support a needed mind shift through inspiring cases, events and hands-on tools. 

Test, learn, repeat 

The team started small, designing a website and developing content to raise awareness on what citizen-centricity is and why it is crucial in government. We drafted some accessible principles for the playbook, that came to life through videos of citizens. Next step was building a toolbox fed by the knowledge gathered on different projects conducted on the framework contract. With this first version of a website, we did a round of user feedback sessions to quickly improve the content and ensure all new concepts were easily understood. 

The first test inspired us to look further than a playbook and think of building a community where its members inspire each other and can learn through sharing experiences. The playbook became a touchpoint for this community that we named Digital Open. Digital Open is a network that inspires, supports, activates and connects public services to transform their digital user experience, for and with citizens. 

We drafted some prototypes of possible events and tested these in another round of user interviews. Learning from the test we started organising events during lunchtime, free for anybody to join. The goal of these “lunchtalks” is to lower the threshold of getting started with human-centered techniques and to show how others apply the methods in a government-context. Namahn helped plan, facilitate and communicate these events. 

Namahn also drafted a communication plan to ensure the Digital Open reaches all their target groups via different channels, to get key messages across. A decision maker needs different content than a product owner. 

We continued building the playbook, moving from static templates to download to dynamic e-learning modules, available both on the e-campus, an e-learning platform for all civic employees, and the playbook. Namahn created the learning journey, the different scenarios, provided the coaches in the videos and edited the results in short videos.  

Broadcasting a digital lunchtalk

Building on reach, deepening the engagement 

After the first year of community building, Namahn worked on reporting on the impact of this innovative community. You can see the result in the yearly report of the Digital Open

We reached 12 out of 17 federal public services, so there’s still room to grow. We did reach new federal employees and new organisations which each event organised. 

In 2021, the Digital Open will continue to grow and evolve in order to move towards a more mature citizen-centric government and make this approach a strategic priority in government. Namahn remains a key and multi-disciplinary partner in the community’s evolution.