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CEMSDI (2010-2012)

Civil-servant Empowerment for Multi Media Service Delivery ICT-enabled The CEMSDI project focuses on capacity building of civil servants and other practitioners forming part of the service delivery chain in territories in need of active eInclusion and eGovernment policies. The project focuses in particular on Local Governments which serve around 8.000 inhabitants or fewer, where the digital divide tends to be the largest. For these administrative units, the empowerment of Public Officers and their administrations is vital in order to ensure the implementation of digital inclusion policies, which target the socially disadvantaged, modernise the organisations of public administration and efficiently deliver eGovernment and other local services. The project will use the DLA (Digital Local Agenda) as a key instrument to achieve its goals. Five specific pilot actions at European level in Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the UK will validate the training and empowerment instruments created by the CEMSDI network of eGovernment experts so as to provide a trans-European methodology that can later be implemented in other territories in European countries.

The CEMSDI project focuses on capacity building of civil servants and other practitioners forming part of the service delivery chain in territories in need of active eInclusion and eGovernment policies.

The project focuses in particular on Local Governments which serve around 8.000 inhabitants or fewer, where the digital divide tends to be the largest. For these administrative units, the empowerment of Public Officers and their administrations is vital in order to ensure the implementation of digital inclusion policies, which target the socially disadvantaged, modernise the organisations of public administration and efficiently deliver eGovernment and other local services.

The project will use the DLA (Digital Local Agenda) as a key instrument to achieve its goals. Five specific pilot actions at European level in Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the UK will validate the training and empowerment instruments created by the CEMSDI network of eGovernment experts so as to provide a trans-European methodology that can later be implemented in other territories in European countries.

 

Main objectives of CEMSDI

  • Create a network of eGovernment experts from the different European countries, willing to work in a common framework and learning environment to put up and carry-out training and empowerment activities in the field of inclusive eGovernment;

  • Set up a community of practice that shall come into existence during the lifetime of CEMSDI with the aim of organizing the human capital dealing with eCapacity Building in the public sector across Europe (and worldwide), both to integrate their experiences and to develop new initiative in their own environments learning from the pilot action;

  • Set up a cluster of innovation ICT-based centres specialising in eLearning and content provision for multi-media training and empowerment services;

  • Designate five pilot sites in Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the UK where the CEMSDI methodologies and instruments will be implemented, assessed and validated;

  • Produce a relevant manual with guidelines for implementation of capacity building and empowerment actions regarding governance and the use of ICT in order to simplify and adapt the experience gained for new initiatives;

  • Create a set of relevant policy recommendations for associations of local and regional governments drawing on the development of the Digital Local Agenda as tool for empowerment of civil servants;

  • Set up a web-portal for the project supporting CEMSDI and its community of practice, in order to collaborate with other important European hubs and networks and to provide space for stakeholders share their experiences and best practices and ask for information and problem solving.


Background

Administrations in local areas provide 70% of the public services addressing citizens and enterprises in European countries. However, an average of 30% of Europeans are still not benefiting from these public services provided through internet and digital platforms. An important segment of the digitally excluded are socially disadvantaged groups, precisely the people that most need these kinds of services. Because of socio-economic, cultural and language barriers these people are not benefitting from Information Society unless public administrations and other intermediaries help and support their inclusion. Urgent action is needed in this matter and CEMSDI shall be the catalyst by reinforcing the inclusion objective of the Digital Local Agenda, which is supported by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and major European networks representing local and regional administrations that participate in the EISCO conferences.

However, this is not sufficient. There is an urgent need for training and empowerment of civil servants and other practitioners to guarantee social inclusion and eGovernment action throughout Europe. Especially in non-metropolitan areas, which make up a large majority among the 90.000 local and regional administrations of the EU, local governments suffer from the digital divide and civil servants are often also among those digitally excluded. The lack of skills and resources among these administrations in managing ICT represents a major barrier to modernizing public administrations and prevents them from playing a positive role in the implementation of inclusive eGovernment policies for the socially disadvantaged, producing greater social cohesion and leaving no-one behind.

In synthesis, CEMSDI is a project aiming at inclusive eGovernment by supporting civil servants from small local administrations through eCapacity building instruments and a learning environment powered by ICT. Critical for success is that these civil servants learn to plan and assess their inclusive eGovernment initiatives and learn to work together both within their local government and with other administrations and organizations that form a part of the local service delivery chain.


Beneficiaries

The main beneficiaries of the capacity building and empowerment action are:

  • Public officers from small and medium local and regional governments involved in decision-making, planning and organization of eGovernment and electronic service-delivery;

  • Civil servants from decentralized offices, institutes or agencies of the national government that are involved as well in local public service delivery and social services (i.e. cadastral units and units dealing with housing problems, job centres, taxation agencies, social services agencies, agencies focusing on young people or immigration, offices dealing with pensions, chambers of commerce, etc.);

  • Practitioners from associations, agencies, institutes, local networks and enterprises created by local/regional administrations as part of their strategies to govern and serve their territory;

  • Practitioners from SME’s and different kinds of non-profit organizations that collaborate with these administrations for the said purposes, as sub-contractors of specific services or through horizontal subsidiary actions helping administrations to perform, usually in the field of social, cultural and development services.

The ultimate beneficiaries of CEMSDI are the end users in local areas that are not receiving or using ICT-enabled public services, especially socially disadvantaged groups in need of appropriate policies and assistance to use them.


Supporting program

CEMSDI is an inclusive eGovernment initiative addressing Objective 3.3 “Inclusive eGovernance: flexible, personalized and multi-channel based service delivery targeted at the socially disadvantaged” of the Policy Support Programme within the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Pogramme (CIP/PSP) 2009 work program.

The main expected results of the project are the following:

- Creation of transnational network of experts based in the participating countries
- Dedicated European web portal and extranet
- eLearning Platform
- Program (curricula) for eCapacity Building and Empowerment of civil servants
- Analysis of different scenarios for Program Implementation (based on pilots and good practices identified)
- Community of Practice at European level
- Practical Guide for civil servants on management and use of ICT – enabled public services
- Communication on training and empowerment methodologies focusing on new Member States and disadvantaged areas
- Input to the European Commission on inclusive eGovernment policies to empower civil servants and administrations in danger of exclusion
- Input to CEMR, European Networks and EISCO on training and empowerment policies of civil servants

http://www.cemsdi.eu

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