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The challenges of digital technology for local authorities

Step 3

Identify possible partners and map the ecosystem

Goal

Enter into relation with the digital ecosystem, open up spaces for exchange and create partnerships to deal with common local challenges.

Digital technology is not a tool for the exclusive use of the public authorities: the private sector, academia, civil society and citizens make use of it spontaneously. On the one hand, the local authorities are not specialists in digital solutions; on the other hand, the stakeholders of digital technology are not always fully aware of all the territorial issues at stake. It is therefore up to the former to tell the latter which subjects to deal with.

This means is it imperative to follow a rationale of partnership and openness from the very start. Cooperation between the innovators of digital technology and the users will ensure that the new digital services are appropriated and used.

Private sector

The local authorities can avail themselves of private sector technical expertise, innovative ideas and funding capacities to develop viable initiatives. Different types of stakeholders can be identified.

  • The traditional private sector (industries, banks, services, etc.) can be positioned as clients or funders: to improve operations or seize a market opportunity, they call upon the digital technology stakeholders to develop a solution, creating complementary services.
  • The traditional telecommunication sector (infrastructure operators, Internet service suppliers, mobile network operators, etc.) possesses data that is potentially useful to the public authorities or innovators. They may wish to expand their range of services to consulting and strategy thanks to the data at their disposal.
  • The digital sector, often small, young, dynamic enterprises who develop applications or services on niche markets. They are more oriented towards seeking finance and investments to develop their products and they possess technical skills.

Civil society

Civil society makes use of digital technology as a tool of knowledge, to build capacity, for participation in decision making or even social protest.

Mapping of the stakeholders involved, to be specified depending on the local context
Mapping of the stakeholders involved, to be specified depending on the local context+
Key questions

Identify the stakeholders likely to become partners

Who are the local stakeholders most familiar with and keenest to use digital technology?

The idea is to list the stakeholders potentially concerned either by the digitalization of a specific project, or by the emergence of ICT and the associated ecosystem.

Key questions

Identify the dynamics of stakeholders and the external resources that can be rallied

  • What would each potential partner gain by developing digital tools: profit expectations, social cause or political interest, generation of new knowledge, enhanced efficiency or democracy?
  • What are the resources of each that could be rallied for projects with the local authority: financial, technical, human, data?
  • What are the possible means of commitment and incentives to make them partners and conduct actions together: visibility and marketing, complementary partnerships, targeting of pilot actions?
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