Open Government of Catalonia (AOC) is a public digital agency with the mission to foster the digital transformation of the 2.200 public administrations of Catalonia (Spain).

The challenges

We are living a digital revolution that is going to change the world we know. Governments are not isolated: they are already facing major challenges. Some of them are the following:

  • Data is the new oil of the 21st Governments have a huge amount of citizen information but they are not taking advantage of it to provide better services.
  • New generation expectations are much higher than in the past. Some of the demands are to improve customization, proactivity, usability, trust and cross-government approach.
  • Public services are usually developed to meet the administration interests. Governments must use co-design methodologies to fulfill the citizen needs.

The goal

We have applied all the previous ideas to one specific project: how might Governments provide a personalized, proactive and trustworthy relationship to citizens using their personal data?

A citizen usually has three questions about their information: what is the status of my applications? What data do governments hold about me? And what are governments doing with my personal data? Only the most advanced governments of the world are currently responding to these questions from a cross-government view.

But the most important question is “what can governments do for me?”. So, how can governments move from a reactive and standard service practice to a proactive and customized approach? The final goal is to develop a solution, called MyGov, that accomplishes all the previous requirements.

Methodology and process

We have carried out the following phases:

  • Legal evaluation: we have validated that it is possible to conduct data science analysis according to the European Union legal framework if we anonymize the personal data, making sure that there are no indirect ways to identify a specific person.
  • Data science analysis: we have these preliminary conclusions:
    • Little data: AOC holds a huge amount of public records but only a small fraction is relevant to define citizen profiles. One of the areas where AOC holds more quantity and relevant data is about citizens with social needs. So, this group is our early adopters.
    • Mobile-first: citizen with social demands do not have a good internet connection and a PC at home but most of them have a smartphone. So, we have decided to make MyGov a mobile-first solution.
  • Research: we have done an extensive research in the public and the private sector. We have been inspired by some solutions in the banking industry.
  • Co-design: we have carried out several co-design activities:
    • An online open innovation challenge with public employees to manage the collective creativity
    • A design thinking workshop with public employees.
    • Several co-design workshops with citizens to define archetypes and identify expectations using design thinking techniques, identify the citizen journey using ethnographic methodologies, and to co-create the main functionalities of the solution.
  • Prototype: from the previous results we developed a minimum viable product to be tested by the users.
  • Validation with end users: we have made new iteration versions of the prototype according to the feedback and validation of the end users.

The final prototype

Validation by end users

We have successfully validated the final prototype with end users (citizens and social public employees) and we have compiled the expected benefits.

  • For citizens: empowerment through increased transparency related to citizen’s data, increased confidence, increased satisfaction, savings of time and reduced anxiety and stress as citizens know all their entitled benefits.
  • For governments: better valuation by citizens of government services, making sure social benefits are provided to the citizens in need, savings in time and administrative tasks and increased satisfaction of public employees.

Next steps

After building several prototypes and the validation by the end users, now we are developing the final solution.


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