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Participatory Design in Emerging Civic Engagement Initiatives in the New Public Sector: Applying PD Concepts in Resource-Scarce Organizations
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Information Systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4677-1949
2018 (English)In: ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, ISSN 1073-0516, E-ISSN 1557-7325, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 5:1-5:26Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study, we address the role of Participatory Design (PD) in emerging public sector governance forms and, more specifically, civic engagement and we-government initiatives. We achieve this by first providing a research overview of the development of PD approaches since they originated in the 1970s, identifying different PD generations and associated concepts, contexts, and challenges, and then relating them to current public sector trends. Next, we link the overview to a practical example by presenting a case of applying PD to a civic engagement project that takes place in the Swedish emergency response system. Our example findings sustain previously identified needs to return to broad change processes and balance this with ICT re-configuration and structuration of the collaborative processes, the related stakeholders, and their needs, this time in a context where work tasks and responsibilities are not yet defined, known or experienced among stakeholders. We then suggest methodological ways to handle this by (1) applying an interdisciplinary PD approach, (2) replacing the traditional design group with a combination of various qualitative methods and PD techniques, e.g., focus groups, modified scenario-based future workshops, exercises, and after-action-reviews, and (3) support PD activities with context-specific frameworks. We argue that applying PD concepts to the governance forms that are emerging in resource-constrained public sector organizations poses a number of challenges, many of them relating directly to the unknown character of the work setting and the practical difficulties of involving civil citizens as end-users. However, if they are addressed and handled adequately, making civic engagement initiatives work processes and ICT support to work smoothly, this can contribute to a re-politicization of PD in terms of space, action, and the empowerment of citizens both by enhancing their skills and by having them represented in design activities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ACM Digital Library, 2018. Vol. 25, no 1, p. 5:1-5:26
Keywords [en]
Participatory design, civic engagement, public sector
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences Information Systems, Social aspects Human Aspects of ICT Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-145388DOI: 10.1145/3152420ISI: 000426900600005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-145388DiVA, id: diva2:1186137
Note

Funding agencies: Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency; SOS Alarm

Available from: 2018-02-27 Created: 2018-02-27 Last updated: 2018-04-11Bibliographically approved

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Pilemalm, Sofie
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