(05-09-2019) Empowering citizens to transform European public administrations

Public administrations and institutions in the European Union should be open, efficient and inclusive, providing borderless, personalised, user-friendly, end-to-end digital public services to all citizens and businesses in the EU. In order to support this goal, the CITADEL-project focuses on transforming the public sector to make more efficient, inclusive and citizen-centric public services that identify new or unsatisfied needs more quickly and that satisfy these needs more effectively and in an inclusive way.

imec-mict participates in CITADEL in collaboration with three other imec research groups (imec-IDLab, imec-smit and imec-livinglabs) and eleven partners from five different countries, representing Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe.

The goal of their collaboration is to:

  • incentivize the co-creation of digital public services;
  • increase the participation of citizens by improving their experience with digital public services;
  • facilitate the use of digital public services;
  • analyse information to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public administrations and to provide a set of recommendations;
  • validate the CITADEL ecosystem in local, regional and national environments.


While imec-mict mainly worked on the use case development and evaluation strategy, imec-IDLab created, amongst others, a KPI Report Generator-tool. imec-livinglabs was predominantly involved in setting up co-creation tracks with CITADEL partners and imecsmit developed a co-creation strategy and manual. Below, we delve a bit deeper into these results.

imec-mict coordinated the development of the CITADEL use cases. These were chosen on a demographic basis including a municipal entity represented by the City of Antwerp in Belgium, a regional entity through Regione Puglia in Italy and a national entity interpreted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Republic of Latvia (VARAM). The use case for the city of Antwerp wants to contribute to the improvement of the A-STAD platform's reach by enforcing 'loyalty' (keeping current users active) and enhancing 'entry' (attracting non-users to start using the platform). In Italy (Puglia Region) the main target is to co-design public digital services concerning security, quality and open data and creating a digital maturity assessment of Apulian Public Administration. The use case in Latvia wants to improve the public administration services portal in order to decrease the massive workload of municipal unified customer service centers.

imec-IDLab focused on the analysis of the usage of digital public services. To facilitate this process they developed a KPI Report Generator, which is a set of tools serving three purposes: (i) publish data in a reusable, open format, (ii) convert data to Linked Data, and (iii) calculate and report on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Read all about this KPI Report Generator (in this academic paper – or in this blogpost).

imec-livinglabs performed their tasks in a two sided approach. For the use cases of Latvia, Italy and The Netherlands they focused on ‘train the trainer’ sessions in order to help the use case owners develop their user engagement activities. For the use case of Antwerp they deployed and executed a full living lab track with different co-creation sessions. Next to deciding on methodologies to use they also took care of recruiting and supporting the actual engaged users.

imec-smit contributed to the creation of a practical and hands-on co-creation manual in order to help practitioners in public administration with the challenging task of implementing co-creation in their city realities. This manual helps the practitioner by first proposing for the 4 phases of co-creation development of a project or service, practical co-creation activities and their concrete link to specific methods, techniques and tools. Secondly, it helps the practitioner by providing for each of the supporting methods, techniques and tools.

Interested in knowing more about this project and the project outcomes? Read the CITADEL brochure, have a look at the CITADEL website where all the public deliverables can be downloaded or check-out the CITADEL GitHub repository.