Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Mobile-Age (Mobile Age)
Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2019-01-31
Mobile-Age’s overall objective was to explore the possibilities of open government data, mobile technology, and the provision of public services in relation to Europe’s growing elderly population. To do this, Mobile Age adopted a situated, practice-based understanding of accessibility, mobility and usability of services. This approach attends to the specificities of what older adults do and seek to do in specific settings. We set out to co-create meaningful services with (rather than for) older adults. We committed to developing innovative digital services in each of the four European countries. Further, we sought to develop a Mobile Age platform that supports the development of technological solutions for older adults. Through reflecting on our co-creation interventions, Mobile-Age sought to develop a co-creation good practice guide and co-creation evaluation methodology to engage older adults effectively in the development of digital services.
A further key outcome has been the development of a conceptual framework and guide to creating pathways to meaningful access to services for all older adults. This comprises of first identifying what is meaningful by studying what older adults do or seek to do, and once established, creating pathways to access meaningful services. Opening and joining up data about transport, benches, toilets etc. can support pathways to accessing services. Recognising that older adults might not be independent users of technology, the strategy also focused on mediated access to services. This approach contrasts with the long established approaches that focus on training older adults to “catch up”.
The Mobile-Age Development Environment represents a key innovation. It enables efficient development of apps specifically for older adults. It includes: a data search component for app developers to discover and integrate open government data sets; a semantic annotations component for online collaboration to annotate these to generate five-star datasets or knowledge graphs; an analytics component enabling collection of data on both digital and physical user interactions across apps, to better understand and refine app interactions; and a concept lookup component linking dictionaries or glossaries to apps.
We created an interactive co-creation good practice guide. It documents the Mobile-Age co-creation methodology, good practice examples, methods and resources. A key component is the evaluation framework, which distinguishes between short-term outputs within the co-creation project timeframe from outcomes and impacts that take place subsequent to co-creation. We developed a methodology to identify pathways to impact as part of a co-creation project. A co-creation management platform enables structured monitoring of co-creation, automatic generation of analytics, and access to resources.
The demonstrator digital services support community participation, access and social inclusion, and are already in use by government organisations in Germany, Spain and the UK. A private sector organisation in the UK also uses the app to support social housing clients. Further pathways to impact are being explored in all four countries. The accessibility enhanced maps represent state of the art as they provide enhanced perceptibility in terms of contrasts and font-sizes (for outdoor use) when compared to existing maps. Finally, the development environment provides a unique combination of analytics, annotations and search components, enabling the more efficient development of future apps specifically for older adults. This has already been adopted by another H2020 project and a university.
Engagement comprised of meetings with politicians, public, third and private sector staff. Six policy briefs have been distributed at meetings and conferences. This cumulated in being invited to present the policy implications at the European Parliament. Mobile-Age has had considerable national and local television, radio and news outlets, international, national and regional print and digital news publications. The findings have been presented to the scientific community at conferences and through articles.