Lecce is a city in Puglia (Apulia) in Southern Italy, with a population of about 100.000 inhabitants. It is a thriving tourist destination due to its coastal proximity and rich cultural heritage, and a university city with both foreign and domestic students.
Together with a number of key actors, the Municipality of Lecce aims to put in place measures that will transform Lecce into a smart city, which will promote social innovation and inclusiveness along with economic innovation and sustainability. Therefore, new programmes such as CLIPS play an important role. In fact, they can integrate new ICT technologies and the needs of citizens to facilitate a better quality of life.
With Lecce’s candidacy process – started in 2011 – to become the European Capital of Culture 2019 and through other participatory processes initiated within other local and territorial projects, the city has also activated several initiatives that aim to involve and consult citizens and better understand their needs to improve public services. To this purpose, new approaches to administrative services were used within Lecce. Initiatives such as workshops, laboratories, meetings or focus groups involving citizens gave an opportunity to discuss topics related to their interests and needs. As a result, different actors were involved, including citizens, institutions, associations, sector operators.
The results showed that the would-be services listed below are likely to be of greatest benefit for a family moving to the city. These will also form the basis of the CLIPS Pilots.
- Applying for a kindergarten: the service allows parents to enrol their children in a kindergarten. In addition, two other external services will be provided in order to complete the whole “Manage Apply For Kindergarten” service
- Enrolment in school transportation service using a web form
- Enrolment in kindergarten canteen service.
Moreover, within the process and initiatives of Open Government undertaken by the Municipality of Lecce, there is also the Open Data project that fits in the continuation of the path towards participatory democracy, focusing on transparency and the active involvement of citizens. For this reason, the City of Lecce makes available to the CLIPS COMMUNITY one of the most important assets of the Public Administration: the data. The Open Data process allows the involvement of several Stakeholders (European, national and local) to enable the CLIPS ecosystem.
For example, as Lecce has gained its popularity over the last years as a tourist destination, the CLIPS project will seek to define services that will help tourists (and students) to plan their trip, providing them with information about cultural events in Lecce based on categories and dates. This would be based on open data provided by the Municipality of Lecce. The services will be integrated in the CLIPS cloud by implementation of micro-proxies and micro services that deliver services and data to be used by citizens. The proposed services can be part of the CLIPS Platform in order to be reused by Service Mashup Editor to create new services. They can be integrated in the CLIPS environment because they can be “mashupped” among them and with other services proposed by future pilots.
The participation of Lecce in the CLIPS project not only meets the demands of its citizens but also provides a technical infrastructure that the public authority could usually not afford. The project also offers compliance with the STORK (Secure idenTity acrOss boRders) – linked technology that allows to easily authenticate online services throughout the European Union. The Municipality of Lecce is trying to be compliant with this technology in order to allow citizen to perform the cross-border authentication.
In the first phase of the project the Enrolment in Kindergarten Canteen service was experimented as a live service. In the Educational Office of Lecce a “CLIPS corner” has been installed with a PC, where it is possible to use the web application, to allow the parents or guardians (helped by civil servants) to enrol their children into the canteen. Using this method, about 1000 enrolments were completed.
The Enrolment in Kindergarten Canteen service offered some functionalities to the users that were not provided previously. Moreover, it allowed the Public Authority to break the silos inside the municipality departments. It was possible to connect the General Register department with the ICT department and the Educational department, thereby providing citizens with added-value services.
For the second phase of the project, the Apply for Kindergarten service aimed to enrol children to kindergarten. The service was usable from January to February 2016 when the enrolment time-window was open. Unlike the first phase, the service is completely online, namely accessible not only through the “CLIPS corner” but through Internet. The parents who want to enrol their children can use the service through their laptop, tablet or smart phone without going to the Educational Office. If parents need help to fill in the enrolment they can always use the CLIPS corner, as they did in the first phase.
We noticed that fewer citizens were using the online service. To use the service, they had to register to the City of Lecce website and be recognized through a face-to-face meeting with a civil servant of the municipality that guarantees their identity in order to provide users with a strong authentication. This could be the reason why citizens are not using the service because they do not want to waste time. To address this issue we involved directly the Educational Department of the City of Lecce and the parent representatives. In doing so, we explained to them how the service works and what the advantages are from using it. They promoted the Apply for Kindergarten service among all the other parents.
As with the Enrolment in Kindergarten Canteen service, the Apply for Kindergarten service allowed the Public Authority to break the silos inside the municipality departments. It was possible to connect the General Register department with the ICT department and the Educational department, thereby providing citizens with added-value services.
The next goal in the Lecce pilot is to promote and successfully use the Transportation Enrolment service that starts in June 2016. It aims to enrol children to a specific route in order to use the school bus.
Public Authorities: Will manage applications for the kindergarten service, grant authorisation of the service and provide the data sets for cultural events.
SMEs: Will provide third-party services, such as enrolment for transportation and canteen services, and in turn may use the open data sets provided by public authority in order to build new services.
Citizens: Definition of services targeted, user testing.