Funding and partners
BeCoDigital is a research project funded by BELSPO that started in January 2023 till December 2024. The partners working on the project are the KULeuven, the University of Namur, the University of Antwerp, and Sciensano.
Digital government consists in using digital technologies to improve the internal functioning of administrations and the delivery of services to companies and citizens. In recent years, numerous authors have been calling for a digital government that is citizen-centric, open to external innovations, or that integrates citizens' input and ideas for smarter decisions. The confluence of four major factors has redefined the role of citizens in government to turn them into potential co-creators of public services instead of passive beneficiaries. First, citizens have increasingly higher expectations regarding public services and expect more personalized public services as well as opportunities for participation. Second, public organizations are limited by their resources and their knowledge of what citizens need and therefore require innovative ways to develop solutions. Third, the problems faced by governments are increasingly complex (e.g., reaching Sustainable Development Goals) and call for collaborative approaches that include external partners, including citizens. Finally, the use of digital technologies allows making co-creation easier and more cost-effective.
For these reasons, digital co-creation methods present a highly promising avenue for improving the delivery of public services. However, due to the rapid evolution of digital technologies and the resulting diversity of co-creation methods, it is tedious for governments to implement the most optimal co-creation strategy given the stakeholders they wish to involve and the outcomes they wish to achieve. Therefore, the objective of the BeCoDigital project is to develop a practical and scientifically grounded roadmap (consisting of organized guidelines) to support citizen co-creation through digital technologies, and to validate it with use cases in a government context. To achieve this objective, the BeCoDigital project is structured into three main work packages (WP), each of them studying one aspect of digital co-creation and converging toward the roadmap. The research will take place over two years, from January 2023 to December 2024.