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Understanding value co-creation in public services for transforming European public administrations

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Co-VAL (Understanding value co-creation in public services for transforming European public administrations)

Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2021-04-30

The Co-VAL research and innovation action project takes on the challenge to find new ways of integrating the co-creation of value as a way to transform public administration services and processes. The core contribution is the analysis of innovative ways for a) the design of service models for public administration processes, mainly driven by demand (where service providers and the users of services, such as citizens and organizations, are the key actors), and (b) by bottom-up supply (e.g. through civil servants, front-line workers, or third parties) that promotes the voluntary and active integration of society in the transformative efforts of public administrations. The main goal of Co-VAL is to discover, analyse, and provide policy recommendations for transformative strategies that integrate the co-creation of value in public administration through the introduction of a new paradigm of public service design and delivery. The project accomplishes these objectives by conducting research on the paradigm shift from the traditional top-down model of service design to demand and bottom-up driven models. In the latter model, citizens, civil servants, private and third sector organizations voluntarily participate in the development of transformative innovations that can address changing needs and solve social problems.
Co-VAL managed to achieve the following:
• Developing Public Service Logic (PSL) as the new paradigm able to place co-creation at the heart of public sector transformation,
• Conducting case study research (8 in deep case studies) across seven countries in the areas of social welfare, care for the elderly, and health. This research explored the concept of value, how it is created (and destroyed) during public service design and delivery and who is involved in the processes of value creation. Besides, performing laboratory experiments about value co-creation behaviours. The experiments were designed to address the issues raised in the case studies evaluations to contribute to both the scientific and practitioners’ communities.
• Developing new theoretical progress aligned with PSL and service innovation multi-agent frameworks in four co-creation areas: digital transformation, service design, living labs and public service innovation networks for social innovation.
• Identifying and mapping the existing European data on public value co-creation. This allowed us to know current measures of dimensions of public value and provided a guide for building new metrics and measures (published in a high impact journal, Research Policy).
• Conducting a large-scale survey among public sector managers and managers of NGOs in 6 different countries (The Netherlands, France, Spain, Norway, Hungary and the United Kingdom). It followed a statistically representative sample leading to 1,135 replies that have been received and analysed.
• Creating new knowledge to understanding digital transformation for the public sector, moving from designing public service following the internal administrative logic to designing digital innovations from a client-service-centred perspective, putting the citizen at the centre of the design process. Besides, Co-VAL has worked toward a unique definition of digital transformation in the public sector, two years later still is the most downloaded article in Government Information Quarterly. Several theoretical and evidence contributions were also published, including case studies based on 52 expert interviews in 6 European countries
• Investigating how service design can contribute to the renewal and innovation of public services, herein how service design contributes to foster new conceptualizations and understandings of value in public service contexts.
• Building an online toolkit and practically oriented report in which policymakers and public service managers can work with the design and renewal of public services, helpful for making services better suited to support users need and preferences and thus enhancing the effectiveness of public services.
• Developing the concept of living labs and innovation as enablers of value co-creation in public services. The 21 case studies provided more detailed knowledge of how living labs contribute to the co-creation of public innovation in practice.
• Building three scenarios and narratives for applying living labs related to Living Labs for grand challenges, Living labs for domain-specific challenges, and Living labs as citizen-led initiatives targeting public value.
• Providing a comprehensive framework for understanding and discussing innovation in public services and its relationship with social innovation, in a service innovation perspective that is aligned with PSL, and focused on Public service Innovation networks and Public Service Innovation Networks for Social Innovation.
• Analyzing the main characteristics of the innovation processes, major drivers, institutional factors, constraints, and barriers to innovation based on 25 case studies conducted in the areas of elderly care, education, immigration/refugees, long-term unemployment, and environmental protection.
• Generation substantial progress beyond the state of the art with new theoretical developments, new quantitative and qualitative evidence (based on the new survey, experiments and 70 case studies) and more than 80 scientific publications, including key papers in high-ranked journals.
• Generating a sustainable impact in public administration policy and practice through continues collaboration with the stakeholders in European public administrations
The results of the project were produced in continuous interaction with stakeholders and have been translated into policy briefs and online and offline events. The policy briefs have been presented in a series of high-level summits, which included as participants and speakers top-level decision-makers, such as Johannes Hahn, European commissioner for budget and administration, and Kyriakos Pierrakakis, minister of state and digital governance (Greece). Further, the project has left behind a series of exploitable assets, such as the databases of practices and references, the meta-monitor, and the co-creation dashboard. All the exploitable assets will be used following the Co-VAL exploitation and sustainability plan. dashboard. All the exploitable assets will be used following the Co-VAL exploitation and sustainability plan.
Co-VAL has extended knowledge and policy beyond the state-of-the-art by:
- Developing new scientific concepts and theoretical frameworks for understanding value co-creation in public services. This has been done by i) developing Public Service Logic (PSL) as the new paradigm able to place co-creation at the heart of public sector transformation, and ii) developing new theoretical progress in four co-creation areas: digital transformation, service design, living labs and public service innovation networks for social innovation.
- Generating new empirical evidence on public service value co-creation, through the new survey on public sector innovation in 6 EU countries and new 70 case studies in 11 EU counties;
- Considering future changes and drivers and barriers of co-value creation and innovations through the delivery of policy recommendations by 6 policy briefs.
- Developing a knowledge repository, a case study repository database, and dashboards to monitor cocreation transformations in public administrations.
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