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Opening up the public sector

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

Smart Public Service Delivery in a Cold Economic Climate | Opening Up the Public Sector Through Collaborative Governance | Going Green – Concrete Solutions from the Public Sector


Collaborative Governance refers to involvement of citizens, the business society, NGOs and other representatives from the civil society at different stages of political processes. These stages are: the preparation phase, where the bases for decisions are created; the decision-making phase itself; the implementation of the decisions; and finally the evaluation of the political action.

Impact assessment, monitoring and evaluating the effects of the actions are natural parts of all processes. Open governance refers to a situation where the entity shares information, consults, involves and even works together with the private sector. This also implies the regular sharing of information by using new technology for communication. Open data/sources means access to information; that information is provided in an understandable way and that the available information is relevant to citizens and businesses.

Involvement of the civil society is necessary for providing effectiveness, output orientation, cost efficiency and ownership in a society with growing complexity and increasing social demands. This has been especially relevant as a result of demographic changes and continuous cuts in public investment (especially in the most ‘sensitive’ areas of intervention, such as social care, education, communication, etc.). By using collaborative tools the citizens’ and businesses’ trust in politics will increase.

All levels of public administrations all over Europe have developed new institutional structures and created new policy frameworks to promote trust and transparency in governments, to enhance and facilitate access to information, to create spheres of public consultation and to ultimately engage the civil society in making policy decisions.

Collaborative governance aims, amongst others, to: enhance openness, transparency and accountability of government and administrations; share information, knowledge and experience in order to create ownership; enable dialogue and consultation between administrations and civil society in order to find the best solutions; create instruments for feedback and evaluation on governmental and public administrative decision making; and finally facilitate citizen involvement in debating, discussing and deciding within decision-making processes. Innovation takes place in all sectors and in all levels of governance in order to deliver more services and more effective administration for less money. An essential tool is to open the public sector by using different measures. Such open data can be related to the distribution of goods and services, the financing of public services, the organisation of the deliveries and interaction between levels and sectors. In many cases this will be financial information or administrative requirements.

We were looking for showcase projects that attempt to adapt private sector models of consumer involvement in policy planning and delivery, but which also build on concepts of ‘ open government’ and ‘active citizenship’. Essential questions such as: How and to what extent are citizens, civil society, administrators and politicians involved in the process and/or system? How can their satisfaction with the process and/or system be measured? What is the level of actual efficiency achieved? What are the costs versus the benefits of a new approach?

Specific criteria Theme 2:

  1. Willingness to open up the different phases of processes to civil society.
  2. Link between objectives and results, including measurement indicators.
  3. Assessment against alternatives for collaborative governance.

Award winners

ProjectsCountryOrganisationLevel of governmentSectorShort english description
Civil society involvement in the welcoming and integration of immigrants - The case of PortugalPortugalThe High Commission for Immigration and Intercultural DialogueNational levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformCivil society and migrants’ associations are, thus, the government’s partners, working together at several levels, particularly in the creation of the Consultative Council for Immigration Affairs (COCAI).

Award nominees

ProjectsCountryOrganisationLevel of governmentSectorShort english description
Little bird - Introduction of an interactive search-, allocation and administrative procedure for child care servicesGermanyMunicipality of HeidenauLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform‘Little Bird’ can be easily integrated into any administrative structure, and it offers substantial interactive features such as navigation, transparency and control. Both childminders and privately run childcare can be integrated.
Show colours for MünsterGermanyOffice for Green Spaces and Environmental ProtectionLocal levelEnvironment, climate change, agriculture (incl. food safety) and fishery‘Show colours for Münster’ is the slogan and the framework for a whole host of different activities.
Mijn Borne 2030 - Joint visionNetherlandsMunicipality of BorneLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe objective is to create a widely shared vision as a starting point for joint action.
The city of Barcelona's food markets remodelling processSpainBarcelona Markets Municipal InstituteLocal levelEconomic affairs, competition, SMEThis model of managing renovation or new construction has enabled Barcelona to keep, consolidate and improve the network of markets.

Best practice award winners

ProjectsCountryOrganisationLevel of governmentSectorShort english description
Policy counselling 2.0 - How open and community-based innovation processes promote political decision-makingAustriaAustrian Council for Research and Technology DevelopmentNational levelScience, research, innovationThe main objective of the project ‘Policy Counselling 2.0’ was to overcome an apparently irrevocable deadlock and to adopt an innovative approach to (RTI) policy counselling within the framework conditions of the internet, especially Web 2.0.
Sei dabei / Be part of itAustriaCity Government of Vienna Municipal Department 17 Integration and DiversityLocal levelotherThe project showcases private initiatives that bring together people of different ethnic backgrounds, ages, genders or religions, giving them the opportunity to speak about different world views.
It's all about kids - PPP for a school campusAustriaCity of Vienna, Municipal Department 5 Financial AffairsRegional levelEducation (higher and lower), training and learningThe school campus at the site of the former Northern railway station in Vienna combines an innovative educational concept and planning approach with innovative implementation and financing by PPP.
Corporate flag state governanceBelgiumFederal Public Service Mobility and TransportNational levelTransport and infrastructureThe CFSG integral quality control system is made up of four components: the inter-role arrangements between the three main actors, a management tool in the risk-based Flag State response system, the dynamic regulatory policy, and ultimately, the internal quality management system by all of the actors.
MOGDy - Munich open government dayGermanyCity Government of MunichLocal levelInformation society, technology, media and audiovisual‘MOGDy’ is a proof-of-concept that crowd sourcing not only works, but delivers real and usable results.
DOCAP 2020 - Dortmund climate action programme 2020GermanyCity of DortmundLocal levelEnvironment, climate change, agriculture (incl. food safety) and fisheryThe potential savings to be made by means of relevant climate protection measures have been specified, and the main activities required of all the groups of stakeholders who are responsible for greenhouse gases in Dortmund have been defined.
Solingen - Popular consultation on unpopular measuresGermanyCity of SolingenLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThis form of transparency was new, and it documents the city’s readiness to be open towards both political decision-makers and citizens.
STORK - Secure idenTity acrOss boRders linKedGermanyFederal Office for IT and Data SecurityNational levelInformation society, technology, media and audiovisualTherefore, ‘STORK’ infrastructure, pilots and services are considered a major breakthrough and an advanced and innovative solution in the field of European eID interoperability with the support of the major players and stakeholders.
Garda (Ireland's police service) youth crime, individual case managementIrelandAn Garda SíochánaNational levelJustice, police, human rights and securityThe main objective of the project is to provide appropriate interventions and services necessary to meet the needs of the children and to coordinate, manage and assess the impact of those services to engineer those children out of the criminal justice system.
Bridging the gap - Intermediate care service, county roscommonIrelandHealth Service Executive, WestLocal levelPublic health and social welfare/affairsThe aim of the service is to improve and maximise the physical, psychological and social wellbeing of persons following illness/disability and to enable them to live with dignity and independence in their own home.
Bouwen aan Brieven / Improving lettersNetherlandsMunicipality of ZeistLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformBouwen aan Brieven’ is a method equipped with a technical tool that allows governments to improve these letters through online crowdsourcing.
Electronic public recordsNorwayAgency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi)National levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform‘Electronic Public Records’ (OEP) is a joint publishing system that allows government agencies, ministries and the Office of the Prime Minister to publicise public records online.
Collaborative budget 2.0PortugalLisbon City CouncilLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe most important feature of their participation programme is their ‘Collaborative Budget 2.0’ (CB).
National network of Roma local experts, support mechanism for the implementation of the social inclusion measures for Roma people, a vulnerable group subject to social exclusionRomaniaGovernment of Romania National Agency for RomaNational levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe project aims to increase the degree of representation of Roma minority in local public administration. In total, 210 young Roma people, including Roma women, are trained in public administration, especially on Roma community development issues and are employed within city councils.
Transparent townSlovakiaTown of MartinLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe project has a direct impact on all who are part of the public life.
The spanish cadastre, an example of open public administrationSpainDirectorate-General for CadastreNational levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformFor this mission the SGDC provides a virtual office that gives all citizens, without exception, access to cadastral data via the internet or via 3000 Cadastral Information Points, avoiding the digital gap.
Global model of immigration and health - Building bridges to overcome barriersSpainMadrid Regional Authority, Deputy Ministry of Health Planning and Infrastructure and Ramón y Cajal Hospital, Tropical Medicine & Clinical Parasitology, Infectious Diseases DepartmentRegional levelPublic health and social welfare/affairsThis project offers originality with respect to current non-collaborative models.
The sant boi de llobregat's observatory - virtual space of knowledge and relationshipSpainSant Boi de Llobregat City CouncilLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe project is based on developing a tool that creates and spreads knowledge about the city, as well as the implementation of new areas for citizenship participation and the way this whole structure interacts and contributes with improving the policies that the city council must deliver.
Collaborative governance with eCognocracy - design of public policies in cadreteSpainUniversity of ZaragozaLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformDesigning public policies using information technology as a communication support system is one of the most important current issues in the field of citizen participation in political decisions.
Civic rights and integration - understanding citizenship and exercise it fullySwitzerlandMulticultural Cohesion OfficeRegional levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThis model inspired other Swiss Cantons and cities to participate in the Programme of Intercultural Cities of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, for which the Canton of Neuchâtel was also retained.

Award submissions

ProjectsCountryOrganisationLevel of governmentSectorShort english description
Austrian nanotechnology action plan - stakeholder processAustriaAustrian Federal Ministry for EnvironmentNational levelScience, research, innovationThe Austrian Nanotechnology Action Plan is an example of how stakeholders with different expectations and interests can work together to develop common concrete measures for a very complex subject area.
ViennaGis - Geoinformation portal of the city of ViennaAustriaCity of Vienna, Municipal Departement 14 Automated Data Processing Information and Communication TechnologyLocal levelInformation society, technology, media and audiovisualThe City of Vienna has also shown pioneering spirit by introducing a web map service, which offers all ‘ViennaGIS’ geo-data in original quality for integration into external products, thus enhancing participation and added value products.
Effect-oriented steering and good governance - from subsidy recipients to service providersAustriaOffice for Equal Opportunities, Anti-Discrimination and Women’s Affairs, State of SalzburgRegional levelotherThe project was to launch a new female customer relationship, eye-to-eye, between women’s organisations and the Office for Equal Opportunities, Anti-Discrimination and Women’s Affairs in the State of Salzburg; working together to secure the satisfaction of female citizens.
Seniors meeting point main libraryAustriaVienna Public LibrariesLocal levelEducation (higher and lower), training and learningThe seniors meeting point main library has proved a highly successful project which is easily transferred to other libraries, archives and museums where modern technologies have also been gaining ground lately.
Talentenwerf / Talent building siteBelgiumCity of Antwerp, WNE – regievzw Werk en EconomieLocal levelEmployment, labour related affairs and gender equalityIt aims to develop a joint sectoral approach to raise the level of people’s skills at a local level.
OSORBelgiumDirectorate General for Informatics – European CommissionEU institutionsInformation society, technology, media and audiovisualThe main objectives of the project was to re-use as much as possible already available open source solutions.
EU careers - Enhancing awareness and attractiveness of European public sector career opportunitiesBelgiumEPSOEU institutionsPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform
WebIDM - Flemish platform for federated collaborationBelgiumFlemish Government, entiteit eGovernment en ICT-BeheerRegional levelEconomic affairs, competition, SMEThanks to ‘WebIDM’, applications can easily, quickly and securely be made available to different target groups and users, and their corresponding rights can be managed in the same way.
Digitale regio kortrijkBelgiumLeiedalLocal levelother‘Digitale Regio Kortrijk’ is a shared platform for transactions and information in municipal websites.
Enhancing the effective expenditure of public resources through increased transparency of public procurement and concession granting review proceduresBulgariaCommission on Protection of CompetitionNational levelEconomic affairs, competition, SMEThe target groups of the project were central, regional and local authorities and bodies in their function of contracting authorities, as well as businesses and citizens wishing to and participating in public procurement and concessions procedures.
Opening of public sector via joint managementBulgariaMunicipality of Stara ZagoraLocal levelRegional policy and development, decentralisationThe main goal of the project is to prepare for an adequate strategic planning for 2014-2020, with a view to integrating urban development plans into plans to regenerate the economy, transport, housing policies, educational and healthcare policies, and the overall economic development, increased competition and expected climate change.
Transparent and accessible information - Transparent, accessible and effective administrationBulgariaNational Statistical Institute of BulgariaNational levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe overall objective of the project was to enhance the credibility, visibility and awareness of the work of National Statistical Institute among central, regional and municipal administrations and among citizens, and businesses by providing more, better quality and accessible information.
System for informational integrity of the services provided by public administrations in the north central region, including the regions of ruse, veliko turnova, silistra, razgrad and gabrovoBulgariaRuse District AdministrationRegional levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThis project aims to improve this situation by introducing new information channels.
Fostering structured civil dialogue in CroatiaCroatiaCroatian Government Office for Cooperation with NGOsNational levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe project is based on the notion of openness and inclusion as drivers to a more efficient and transparent public administration.
ARHiNETCroatiaCroatian State ArchivesNational levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform‘ARHiNET’ is a complete solution for archive work, since not only it processes archival records, but also supports all types of documentation on archival material, use and digitalisation of archival records and other associated features.
Measuring local units' transparency and accountability - The Croatian open local budget indexCroatiaInstitute of Public FinanceNational levelScience, research, innovationThe goal was to investigate the disclosure of budget information by local units, as well as the openness of local units to the public.
Community planning of social servicesCzech RepublicTown of OtrokoviceLocal levelPublic health and social welfare/affairsThe main goal of the first project was to start the process of community planning and developing a plan for the improvement of social services.
Egebjerg DemokratekDenmarkOdsherred LibraryLocal levelotherIt is a physical and virtual meeting place for the local population in and around the village of Egebjerg, in the Odsherred municipality.
EPrescribing in EstoniaEstoniaEstonian Health Insurance fundNational levelPublic health and social welfare/affairsThe project has already enhanced openness and transparency in the area of prescribing medicines and, more importantly, it has opened up a whole new avenue for future developments aiming to share information and statistics, as well as to improve medical care and also the quality of decision-making among policy makers.
ERP Software solution implementationFYROMGoce Delcev UniversityNational levelEducation (higher and lower), training and learningThe main objective of this solution is to enable students and employees to follow the rules and regulations defined by the statutes and the additional acts of the university in an unambiguous manner.
Integrated sustainability management LudwigsburgGermanyCity of LudwigsburgLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformParticipants from all kinds of urban spheres developed visions, goals, and ideas, and defined 11 municipal subject fields: attractive housing, education and care, economy and work, mobility, coexistence of generations and nations, dynamic town centre, vital town districts, energy, cultural life, a world of sports and green areas in the city.
Seamless application processing of administrative processes for citizens and foreigners on user-guided workflow platformGermanyCity of NurembergLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe application process can be electronically signed and/or paid electronically.
S.A.F.E. - Secure access to federated eJustice/eGovernmentGermanyMinistry of Justice of the State of Baden-WürttembergNational levelJustice, police, human rights and security‘S.A.F.E.’ provides an open and standardised framework to all public and legal German administrations.
Budget citizens' forumGermanyMülheim an der Ruhr CityLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformIt is the first project enabling citizens to participate in the drafting of the municipal budget.
The 'Di@vgeia (clarity)' programme, publishing all government decisions on the internetGreeceGeneral Secretariat of Public Administration & eGovernmentNational levelInformation society, technology, media and audiovisualThe implementation of the ‘Di@vgeia (Clarity)’ programme contributes substantially towards establishing a more transparent relationship between citizens and the state.
Information and communication technology projectsGreeceOffice of the Vice President of the Hellenic GovernmentNational levelEconomic affairs, competition, SMEThe main objective of these reforms was to establish transparency systems which would open up public administrations and promote openness and cooperation with their citizens.
Transparent operation of the local government's decision-making processHungaryBudapest Főváros X. Kerület Kőbányai ÖnkormányzatLocal levelInformation society, technology, media and audiovisualThe active participation of the population in the actual decision-making process is currently insufficient, in part due to a lack of information and communication.
New weir regulation of lake fertöHungaryNorth Transdanubian Environmental and Water DirectorateRegional levelotherTo summarise, the open planning was very interactive, all target groups were successfully involved and there were no objections.
Intercomunic@ItalyCatanzaro Province Healthcare AgencyRegional levelEmployment, labour related affairs and gender equalityThe objectives of the project included the introduction of communication technologies and ICT in the company, aimed primarily at promoting flexibility of working hours of working mothers.
Project G.A.I.AItalyCatanzaro Province Healthcare AgencyRegional levelPublic health and social welfare/affairsThe national health plans and guidelines for health in the Region of Calabria have provided, among its objectives to be achieved, the protection of health in early life, childhood and adolescence.
PEH - Performance evaluation of healthItalyCatanzaro Province Healthcare AgencyRegional levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe structure of this software provides information systems for interthematic or thematic PA with a vision, not a topical or limited one, but a holistic approach that makes the existing platforms organically structured in order to reach this strategic position.
SIS.CALItalyDepartment of Health and Health PolicyRegional levelPublic health and social welfare/affairsThe project ‘SIS.CAL’ includes a series of operational solutions for the management of health information flows, technology cooperation using the application, with a public connectivity system.
Europe social lab - equal opportunitiesItalyEurope Direct Catania – Comune di CataniaLocal levelJustice, police, human rights and securityThe project is based on the idea of Europe as an open sphere, a place where citizenship can flourish.
Linea Amica - Friendly lineItalyFormez P.A.National levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformIt is an initiative launched by the Italian Ministry of Public Administration and Innovation and operated by Formez P.A. since January 2009.
Sportello virtuale del cittadinoItalyIstituto Nazionale Previdenza SocialeNational levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe current ‘Virtual Desk’ web implementation represents the first step in the wider path that will lead INPS to the management of services/social benefits provided through the web platform.
Analysis and reorganisation by processesItalyJuvenile Court of SalernoLocal levelJustice, police, human rights and securityThe services are based on the principle of equality, guaranteeing equal treatment to all citizens, without distinction of nationality, sex, language, religion or political opinion.
I reggiani per esempio / people from reggio emilia, for exampleItalyMunicipality of Reggio EmiliaLocal levelotherThis programme aims to promote citizens’ participation in public life, with a view to the community and active citizenship, preventing forms of isolation and generating new possibilities of social inclusion.
Actions against economic crisisItalyProvincial Administration of SiracusaRegional levelEconomic affairs, competition, SMEIt is a self-governing autonomous local government, halfway between a city and a region.
Privacy and personal data protection aimed to develop a quality public administration oriented to citizensItalyUSL5 Pisa Health AgencyLocal levelPublic health and social welfare/affairsThis organisation solved this problem by implementing a novel system that ensures that sensitive data is handled whilst guaranteeing the privacy of the citizens.
Promotion of electronic democracy in salcininkai districtLithuaniaSalcininkai District Municipality AdministrationLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe aim of the project was to create and implement measures allowing citizens to participate in the decision-making process in the Salcininkai District Municipality, as well as to receive qualitative, up-todate information.
Family mattersMaltaParentcraft ServicesNational levelPublic health and social welfare/affairsParentcraft Services is a dynamic service of the obstetrics department at the national hospital, Mater Dei Hospital, ever changing along with the needs of its clients.
The smarter networkNetherlandsMinistry of the Interior and Kingdom RelationsNational levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformBefore summer 2011, a ‘grand café’ took place, a bigger meeting with the main objective of giving a space to doetanks to report the results they suggest to the problems that governmental organisations expressed.
WatergraafsmeerNetherlandsWaternetLocal levelEconomic affairs, competition, SMEThe result of this project will be both in process innovation and in physical changes.
WING - (W)inclusion policy in Georgian local governmentPolandCity Hall of BydgoszczLocal levelExternal relations and aid, development and enlargementThe ‘WING’ project, co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the ‘Polska Pomoc’ programme, is the first multilateral joint action dedicated to development policy and Eastern Partnership that is managed by the city of Bydgoszcz together with local and Georgian partners.
Partnership with business in view of the polish EU presidency 2011PolandEU Presidency Coordination DepartmentNational levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformAhead of the first Polish EU Presidency in 2011, Poland was looking for the most transparent and open way of engaging the private sector in the organisation and promotion of the Presidency.
Providing information in advance and collection of comments and observations of the local community about the planned construction of a section of national road no. 16 mragowo - mikolajki - elkPolandGeneral Directorate for National Roads and MotorwaysNational levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe project illustrates perfectly that involving society in projects created by public administration enhances the accountability of public bodies’ decisions.
Team for corporate social responsibilityPolandMinistry of EconomyNational levelEconomic affairs, competition, SMEIn order to meet social expectations, the public sector has to create the conditions conducive to sustainable development by acting as a bridge between society and the business sector.
'Malopolska 2020 - unlimited opportunities - unlimited debate' - regional public discussion on the malopolska region development strategy for 2011-2020PolandThe Marshal Office of the Malopolska RegionRegional levelRegional policy and development, decentralisationUsing communication tools resulted in MRDS consultations within the framework of a multi-platform regional debate about the future of Malopolska, lasting several months.
Early intervention system in opole policePolandThe Regional Police Headquarters in OpoleRegional levelJustice, police, human rights and securityThe Early Intervention System’ (EIS) involves creating an effective policing system by implementing an efficient system for identifying areas within the organisation that are not working.
Client's needs survey as a way to start a dialogue with citizensPolandThe Tax Office in RawiczLocal levelTaxation, customs, financesThe project being carried out by the tax office in Rawicz involves cooperation with society in order to achieve a series of common goals, mainly by creating a platform of dialogue with the clients, based on the survey research about their contentment and expectations.
... further results