The Netherlands use case (ICTU)

In the Netherlands there are over 1500 Public Administrative Bodies, many of them are interacting with citizens. There are several initiatives on improving public services by citizen engagement, in many of which ICTU is involved directly or has been during development. For example the Pro Active Informal Approach Model (IPAM) and the Mypage/Messagebox by the Dutch Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations, and the Online consultation service for citizens about new laws and regulations.

ICTU will focus on Life events, which is website content and at the same time an API made by the central government to provide citizens with information regarding specific life events. It provides tailor made advice on things to do, and it provides information about rights and duties regarding a specific life event. With a step by step approach the citizen can also be redirected to particular government websites. At this moment the 4 life events are available for citizens:

  • Achieving the age of maturity (18+)
  • Unemployment
  • Divorce
  • Death

Life events build a bridge between the way government institutions are organised on one hand and citizens’ needs in life events on the other hand. The life events functionality on the website is doing so by presenting the information about life events orderly, unified and on a place where citizens are looking for this information. Often a certain life event will have a big impact on the life of the citizen, and sometimes emotions, worries and fears are present. Especially in these situations it is important that the government makes life a little easier by helping the citizen by showing him the ropes.

A good working life events site and API allows governments to widely spread its information without losing control. However the current setup is suboptimal.

  • The content is thin and gives the end-user a low result.
  • It is not enough tailor made at this moment

However, the current situation is showing that it is only little used. Maybe because of what is mentioned above, though another reason might be de relatively low familiarity with the life events website content, by citizens as end-users, but also by intermediaries. So there are some opportunities for getting citizens and stakeholders involved.
ICTU proposes a use case targeted on personalizing e-gov service offering based on life events as the current solution is not a real ‘one stop shop’ as it redirects users/citizens towards other websites of government institutions where interaction can take place. Not only citizens are targeted. In fact, the ambition is to open up life based e-government offering (and all available information) towards intermediaries and other stakeholders (via API) in such a way that they can integrate all relevant information on their web platform.  As such, citizens Googling for e.g. ‘divorce’ could end up on a website of a law firm that exposes the information retrieved via the API.

ICTU will focus on the life event of achieven the age of maturity in the context of CITADEL. Clearly, there are synergies possible between city of Antwerp, VARAM and ICTU with regards to mapping e-gov services to a certain life event. In fact, ICTU takes the reverse approach: based on user and stakeholder input they capture all relevant information on a certain life event.