15 March 2010
Smart Cities project at EU workshop on Efficient and Effective eGovernment

Dave Fitch (Edinburgh Napier University): "The Smart Cities Project is an Interreg IVb project that brings together 13 municipal and academic partners from around the North Sea Region to develop better e-services and e-government. The project aims to develop an understanding of which e-services services work best and why, to facilitate the transfer of e-Government successes across national borders, and to identify and support the real transformational impacts of this transfer of good practices on local government service delivery.

What makes this project unique is the integration of an academic network – SCRAN (the Smart Cities Regional Academic Network) within the Smart Cities project. SCRAN brings together six institutions across the North Sea Region to support local municipal partners. This network includes academic partners (Edinburgh Napier University, MEMORI, and UAS Oldenburg), a commercial partner (Porism Ltd.) and several associate partners (Groningen University and Karlstad University).

The SCRAN network’s principal role is to offer hands-on support to the government partners, to qualify good practices and to accurately translate pilots into transferable good practice, white papers and methodologies. The network is working to identify good practice inside the project by developing project wide monitoring and evaluation tools, by collaborative joint working with municipal partners to supporting the development of local pilots, and by identifying relevant good practice outside the project.

We will present findings on the lessons SCRAN has learned to date about supporting monitoring and evaluation efforts to support the development of e-government in the Smart Cities project. In particular, we will focus on how policy expectations of the development and transfer of good practice need to be built upon the practical development of appropriate, evidence-based foundations. Efforts to deliver ‘efficient’ services need to be predicated upon well developed and robust models of service delivery, while the identification of ‘good practice’ requires the development of appropriate baselines and benchmarks and a considerably more rigorous comparative examination of impact and effectiveness than is often the case."

Mike Thacker (Porism): "The UK experience of using a standard list of service definitions across local government has enabled municipalities to share information and make meaningful comparisons. It also allows central government to apply standard metrics and improve its citizens’ portal. The EU North Sea Region SmartCities project is now developing a European list that cross references the services of participating countries and increases their potential for learning from each other's activities.
Mike Thacker from esd-toolkit - partners in the Smart Cities Regional Academic Network (SCRAN) – will describe the framework of standards used by UK local government and how it supports benchmarking and efficiency savings. Examples will be provided of better customer insight and more efficient service delivery from a range of UK municipalities.
An early version of the European services list will be presented illustrating how it allows partners from multiple EU countries to share and compare. The short presentation is intended to foster discussion on how standardisation can improve information sharing and the streamlining of public services across national boundaries."

This workshop is an initiative of DG INFSO, European Commission and will be held March 17, 2010. It aims to encourage the sharing of good practice in the area of efficient and effective eGovernment. In particular, the workshop will take stock of eGovernment good practices related to Measurement – how Member States, Regions and public administrations in general measure their performance (back office) and/or the impact and user satisfaction of the eGovernment services. Ultimately, this workshop will aim to share good practice initiatives, knowledge and experiences on the field as a means of accelerating the uptake of eGovernment services and improving both policy-making and research.


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