On 26th of October took place the final event of the project by Praxis and a local partner named “Raising the quality and user- friendliness of public services in Georgia” in Tbilisi. Design process of five Georgian public services and its results will be explained along with a discussion of values in developing user-centric service in the public sector.
Rauno Vinni, the program manager of governance in Praxis, says that the contexts of public services and policy design are country- specific, but the main challenges are similar: impact of technology, limited resources, rapidly changing inner and outer environments and the rising expectations of the citizenry. „Design thinking and the tools for design management offer ideas and ways to deal with the problems facing governments today, “states Vinni and adds, that the Estonian and Georgian partnership projects are initiated to create a supportive culture for change in the public management, step by step.
The implementation of principles of service design in the Georgian environment is facilitated by two Estonian designers: Ruth-Helene Melioranski and Geroli Peedu. „Georgia is still taking its first steps in the development of digital services and the concept of service design is a very new thing here, “ notes Ruth-Helene Melioranski, one of the first propagators of service design projects in Estonia. „The Estonian experience has helped us to understand the local context and to adapt the possibilities of service design to fit the local culture during the project.” added Peedu.
Project manager Jane Matt from Praxis summarizes: “The common trait of the European states is the ever higher demands on services in the context of scarce resources and technological developments. The consumers are ever less willing to make concessions on services, which mean that increasingly higher expectations are raised on effectiveness, availability and user-centeredness”.
According to her, the approaches and models in the public sector about the service provision will have to be rethought. “There has been in the private sector the talk for years about the importance of innovation in improving competiveness and this mindset is increasingly spreading to the public sector,” says Matt.
The purpose of the project is to raise awareness and skills related to user-centric service design, its principles and tools. The five Georgian public services included in the project have passed the service design audit, during which the problems and expectations of service users were evaluated and relevant specific developmental goals or prototypes were designed. At the end of the project user’s manual and case descriptions will be created, which can be used by other service owners who wish to develop their service to be more user-centric.
The five services developed are:
- The web page for downloading software and introducing functionality.
- Environment for e-auctions to trade in property for private individuals and state institutions.
- Environment for e-communication for communication with state institutions.
- The service for challenging state procurements.
- The service for registering official documents/certificates.
The project is founded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia from the resources for developmental cooperation and humanitarian aid.
The project was implemented with a local partner (Economic Policy Research Center).