Digital Governments: Lessons from COVID-19

Authors: Ulrika KihlblomCommunications Officer, eGovlab, Stockholm University

Co-Inform has participated in a DG CONNECT & REA roundtable discussion about Digital Governments and COVID-19 and how the pandemic has changed the field of digital government.

The background is that the European Commission would like to involve the Horizon 2020 projects in the reflections on a new European policy, as Horizon 2020 projects have useful insight in common issues and best practices in the field of digital government at a local, regional and national level.

Co-Inform was invited, as one of three Horizon 2020 projects, to participle in an online roundtable discussion on June 15. The topic of the discussions was digital governments and COVID-19 and how the pandemic has demonstrated the need for the digital transformation of the public sector.

The Co-Inform-team was represented by Vasilis Koulolias, Dimitris Sotirchos, Evika Karamagioli and Myrsini Glinos, All from eGovLab, Stockholm University.

Lessons of today’s crisis

Questions discussed were, for instance, how the lessons of today’s crisis could be integrated into future European policies for digital governments and best practices or innovative actions that governments in Europe could deploy.

Myrsini Glinos, Project Manager at eGovlab, says that the capacity of digital government services to provide support during emergencies, is deeply related to the in-house knowledge to adapt processes without compromising security, the interoperability of the systems in place, and a management style that allows innovation.

“Those that were able to rapidly reallocate existing knowledge and resources to the response were the successful ones.”

Challenges of the digital transformation

In another discussion, the participants addressed how the Horizon 2020 projects could help citizens, businesses and public administrations face the challenges of the digital transformation of the public sector.

Myrsini says that the Co-Inform project aims to improve the three main pillars necessary for an efficient digital transformation: people, technology, policies:

Misinformation is a complex problem that requires multidisciplinary analyses and solutions. Co-Inform increases trust by including citizens, which democratises the technological process of browser plug-in creation. It also provides a powerful platform for policymakers to track misinformation.”

“In the context of a decreased trust in public authorities, we see that co-creation with grassroots society is important in fighting misinformation. This process considers the users’ perspectives and suggestions for a product ultimately addressed to themselves. This is crucial for any project of this kind to be successful.” Myrsini says.

Co-Inform’s mission is to foster critical thinking and digital literacy. 

Academic surveys have shown that online misinformation is becoming more difficult to identify. Online misinformation has the potential to deceive even readers with strong literacy skills. Our goal is to provide citizens, journalists, and policymakers with tools to spot ‘fake news’ online, understand how they spread, and obtain access to verified information.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get our latest project updates, news and events announcements first!

Co-Inform Copyright 2021

Co-inform project is co-funded by Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)
Type of action: RIA (Research and Innovation action)
Proposal number: 770302

Share This