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Helpific - a catalyst in a new era in the development of public services

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Service innovation in Võrumaa, Estonia

As a part of an international consortium that consists of 24 different European Universities, NGOs and service providers, Helpific will have an opportunity to participate in an innovative research and development program called CoSIE – Co-creation of Service Innovations in Europe.

Tallinn University, Võrumaa Omavalitsuste Liit, and Helpific will co-operate over the next three years to pilot an innovative method for service development in the field of disability care and mental health in Vorumaa county, Estonia.

The European Union’s Horizon2020 program finances the Estonian part of the program with €386,066.
A pilot project will be implemented in Vorumaa for co-desigining innovative community-based services. Within the framework of the pilot, “Social hackathon” events will be organized to mobilize the creative energies of a large number of local citizens with the help of Helpific platform in order to raise the capacities of local services by increasing citizen and community participation in service design and implementation.

The CoSIE project builds on the idea that public sector innovations – whether ICT-related or not – can best be achieved by creating collaborative partnerships between service providers (i.e. public sector agencies, third sector organizations, private companies) and service beneficiaries (i.e. citizen)

We are living in the age of rapid change. This age is characterized with an ageing population, digitalization, interconnectedness and political landscape transformation. The pace of the change is fast and it presents us with many opportunities.

The rapid pace of change presents challenges for public sector, which is characterized by relatively high expenditure, relatively low effectiveness and efficiency; moreover, it is slow to adapt. New skills, knowledge and, more importantly, insight is needed to update the public service sector. This is easier said than done. Research suggest that the public sector suffers from an innovation deficit compared to the private sector. This has been explained to be a by-product of a culture of risk-aversion and a reluctance to close down failing programmes and by an unintended consequence of the concerted public sector drive toward the elimination of waste through efficiency, accountability and transparency.

Paradoxically, research has shown that public sector innovation capabilities can be improved by leaning on the experiments and adapting bottom-up approaches. In addition, technology, and particularly digital technologies, have been seen as important for improving public sector innovation capabilities.

Our vision of CoSIE is to be a catalyst in a new era in the development of public services. We aim to catalyse a sustainable, strategic change by combining user insight, applied co-creation methods and ICT solutions. We propose the ecosystem view that enables 

• active involvement of the citizens in co-creation of services, 
• enhanced collaboration and new roles between the public, private and third sector actors, 
• evidence-based, bottom-up approach in developing the service system, 
• building platforms for new service innovations,
• adopting new methods in the use of data, 
• cost-effectiveness and better quality of the services, 
• improved innovation competences of the service providers.

CoSIE contributes to the sustainability of the service system, the competitiveness of European societies through new service innovations, and to the improvement of the quality of life through better service adoption and customer satisfaction.

The CoSIE Project consists of nine pilots in a range of contexts, which are targeted for a variety of challenges in public services. We are very proud that one of the pilots will be implemented in Estonia with the participation of Helpific.

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