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Manage urban services

Step 6

Evaluate improvement of the targeted service and user experience


Evaluation must be based on the monitoring of relevant indicators and take into account the possible risks of introducing digital technology into the management of basic services.

Depending on the goal chosen and the data available, the local authority needs a performance improvement indicator. This must be all of the following:

  • useful for the service providers, so that they can adjust their offer;
  • representative of the change introduced by digital technology;
  • and sufficiently eloquent to attract the attention of the media and/or general public.

The choice of indicator is therefore not neutral because it reflects the priorities pursued by the authority for sustainable urban development and enables the identification of the side effects expected in terms of savings in management cost, public health, access to jobs, etc.

Suggestion box

Examples of possible performance indicators for essential services

  • Energy savings and reduction in the consumption of vehicle fuel on optimised routes.
  • Increased revenue via growth in invoice collection rate using mobile payments.
  • Multiplication of applications (increase in the number of users) which facilitates the development of on demand services.
  • Number of lines, stops, collection points mapped and geolocalised.
  • Rate of use of a forum and queries on an online customer service.

L’arrivée du numérique dans la gestion des services essentiels présente cependant des risques :

  • for municipal providers, the introduction of digital technology must not obscure the fact that technical solutions are not a substitute for good management! The systems put in place can provide information about service operation, but do not predetermine strategic decisions in terms of investment and maintenance. The use of commercial tools and online clientele services must also be achieved gradually to avoid excluding the most vulnerable users, poorly served with services and often less connected to digital technology;
  • for small providers (artisanal or informal), while digital technology can effectively promote their supply of services and contributions towards certain users, it does not constitute a solution to their job insecurity and/or poor working conditions. The recognition and accompaniment of these small entrepreneurs can be improved thanks to digital technology, but should be backed with parallel methods of contractualisation, certification and training relative to their core business.

Lastly, digital tools can be mobilised for the implementation of communication campaigns on responsible uses, hygiene practices, changes in behaviour and saving resources. Through awareness raising campaigns on the social networks or in video format, the local authority can reach young people, who will be the consumers of the services of tomorrow, and thereby elicit more responsible behaviour in the long term.

Practical exercise

Evaluate and communicate on digital change in urban services

Choose at least one indicator that is significant, measurable and adjustable

The difference digital technology makes to the quality of service provided can be measured by an increase in the revenue generated by the service provision, by an improvement in the performance of service supply, by an increase in user satisfaction and by the shared benefits for the urban environment.

What existing data can be used to define the initial situation, and what data can be used to measure how it changes in terms of:

  • economic efficiency: income generation, gains in efficiency and avoided expenses?
  • technical optimisation and management: reduced corruption, reduced losses or errors, prevention and attenuation of crisis impacts (losses and damage avoided, etc.)?
  • social utility: increase the number of users, develop new services, enhance transparency and confidence, user satisfaction, etc.
  • environmental sustainability: reduction in natural resource consumption, pollution, improved public health, etc.

Define the first communication actions

  • Disseminate information and raise user awareness: communication campaigns, presence on social networks, websites
  • Feedback and information gathering: call centres, online surveys and questionnaires, claim and complaint management system, urban problem reporting tools.
  • Share to inform about decisions and create spaces for virtual dialogue: online forums, participatory mechanisms, making available of open data.

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