Active Social Innovation through Information and Communication Technology (IESI)

نوآوری اجتماعی فعال به کمک فناوری اطلاعات و ارتباطات

نوآوری اجتماعی فعال به کمک فناوری اطلاعات و ارتباطات

First of all, we should familiarize ourselves with this definition of active social innovation with the help of information and communication technology: “The combination or new formation of social methods that lead to new or better responses to the challenges and needs of the social support system for people throughout their lives. and derives from the innovative use of information and communication technologies to create new connections or strengthen collaborations between institutions and promote processes of recycling or re-allocation of public value.”

The definition of this concept comes from the work of the Joint Research Center of the European Commission in the city of Seville, together with the overall management of work and social affairs and employment in Europe. This research focuses on evaluating the impact of social innovation using information and communication technologies and provides evidence-based support to the European Union’s Social Investment Package for Growth and Social Cohesion (SIP). The package encourages EU states to prioritize social investment and update their welfare systems.

IESI research has provided a knowledge base with evidence on the impact of social innovation using ICT across the EU. This research collects and analyzes more than 600 actions across the European Union, where it studies the emergence of active social innovation with the help of information and communication technologies in different fields.

IESI Conceptual Framework
The conceptual and analytical framework of the IESI was developed through a comprehensive review of the state of the art and presented by studying a number of measures being implemented in Europe and abroad. The research deals with actions that create steps between social innovation and service innovation and is based on a multifactorial framework. In other words, the research specifically focuses on innovative social services that are created and implemented in a collaborative context where citizens, service providers, social entrepreneurs and third sector organizations play an important role in the innovation process and actions by public stakeholder institutions. Joins support in an evolving field.

This framework is designed in a Cartesian coordinate system and by studying how measures are placed in each dimension, it is possible to evaluate how much their ability to respond to complex social issues and challenges. Actions can fall into two main areas of impact:

– Provision of public sector social services: Organizations at different levels are involved as main service providers through traditional mechanisms of public service provision. Services in this area may be privatized through concessions, privatization or other public-private partnership systems. Private or third sector organizations and citizens have a collaborative role; However, they often play a subordinate role. In some cases, the design and delivery of innovative social services may be initiated by private or third sector organizations and embedded in the public service delivery system.

Public value creation broadly refers to value created by government through services, laws and other regulations. The public value of a broad measure of outcomes, the means used to deliver them, provides credibility and legitimacy.

It addresses issues such as fairness, ethics and responsibility and may create value for stakeholders involved in the innovation process. Innovative creation of public value for citizens is dependent on the quality of service delivery, which means service access, satisfaction level, importance, fairness of delivery and measured cost.

Social innovations increase the possibility of enhancing the value of public service delivery compared to traditional service delivery mechanisms. Each action can be interpreted from the point of view of different approaches. In the tradition of activity

Theoretically, social innovation is a response to a social problem. It has to do with the creation of social services to meet a demand that is not being met by either the government or the market. In the transformational approach, social innovation is meaningful as a driver of organizational changes. Therefore, solving social problems is part of a broader perspective that includes change in institutions and society.

The IESI framework expands on four main dimensions:
1) Active social innovation with the help of information and communication technology

2) Elements of social innovation

3) Levels of governance in service integration

4) types of service integration

Potential types of active social innovation with the help of information and communication technology
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) contribute to the socio-economic interaction of people in many fields and enable social innovation processes through various channels. In fact, ICT alone is not a policy tool on the same level as direct public services, regulation, taxation or aid. They provide channels and tools to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of social service systems. The opportunity for social innovation enabled by information and communication technology is in the design of innovative social policies and service delivery mechanisms for their effective implementation.

To utilize the framework, a systematic classification of the various innovation impacts enabled by information and communication technology was used. This framework was developed by Misuraca (2012) and explained more comprehensively in Misuraca and Viscusi. These types include the following:

a. Technical/incremental innovation: The use of information and communication technologies to facilitate the automation of repetitive tasks and increase productivity, and this means improving the quality and efficiency of internal and external business processes.

b. Organizational/sustainable innovation: the use of information and communication technologies in order to support, facilitate or supplement existing efforts and processes to improve organizational mechanisms in service delivery. This includes changes at organizational, managerial or governance/institutional levels, such as the creation of new organizational forms, the introduction of new management methods and techniques and new work methods, as well as partnerships or new business/financial models.
c. Disruptive/transformative innovation: using ICTs to initiate or improve new services or create new mechanisms to provide services that would otherwise be impossible (eg using ICTs for out-of-office/academic learning).
d. Transformative/transformational innovation: large-scale use of information and communication technologies that takes place outside established institutional settings and aims to radically change existing service delivery mechanisms. This can lead to conceptual innovation that changes the perception of specific problems and their solutions.
Elements of social innovation
The second dimension of the IESI conceptual framework, i.e. the elements of social innovation, builds on and expands previous literature and has so far focused on the investigation of inter-institutional relationships. This dimension divides social innovation into the following four categories:

a. Production based on need or purpose: This type of production is for the purpose that the results must permanently meet the needs of society or certain groups in society.
b. Hybrid Open Process/Collaborative Innovation Networks: End-users and other relevant entities participate in the development, implementation and adoption of these innovations.
c. Fundamental changes in inter-institutional communication: The ways in which institutions communicate, interact and collaborate with each other will fundamentally change. Social innovation may be seen as a “game changer” that breaks out of “path dependencies”.
d. Allocation and/or re-allocation of public value: In achieving these values, it is important to look beyond the assumed or achievable consequences of innovation in terms of efficiency or productivity. The public values pursued in social innovation also try to ensure that the innovation is appropriate, for example, because it adds to the value of democratic citizenship or truly meets the needs of citizens in the term.
Service integration governance levels
The third dimension of the analytical framework is related to the integration of social service delivery and it is considered that the integration of social service delivery needs to be considered in order to increase the coordination of operations in the social service system, improve efficiency and produce better results for the beneficiaries. Integration has advanced significantly over the past decade as governments seek ways to meet the needs of the electorate and manage increased burdens with diminishing resources. During this period, integration progressed through the implementation of initiatives based on traditional and emerging information and communication technologies, new financing models, and dynamic communication between governments, citizens, and service providers from the private and non-profit sectors.

However, while several different categories of integration can be found, a clear and precise definition of the concept of “service integration” has not emerged. Therefore, the definition of service integration chosen for the purpose of IESI research is related to various modes of social innovation enabled by information and communication technology and helps to improve the delivery of social services through integrated and coordinated approaches at the governance or functional level.

Therefore, the following levels were considered in service integration:

Separate: There has been no integration of services at the executive or strategic level with government operations.
Internal government integration. One level of government: including total case management, designing service delivery according to the needs of individuals rather than service providers; front-line integration to provide customers with a “one-stop shop”; Integrating support offices to provide the necessary support structures; and decentralized coordination of support office people, services, and functions.
Intergovernmental Integration: Cooperation across multiple levels of government. including database integration, coordinated case management, and collaborative measures.
Cross-sector integration: collaboration between government and service providers in the private or non-profit sector: including joint investment strategies, staff coordination and formal networks of service delivery organizations.
Broad: service integration beyond the traditional boundaries of executive/operational integration, substituting in a new working model where service providers and beneficiaries participate in generating innovative service delivery mechanisms and reallocating resources/roles to maximize public value creation.
Types of service integration
From an operational/organizational perspective, service integration promotes efficiency improvements in terms of better outcomes, efficiency and cost reduction. This increases capacity and added value at all points, improves strategic planning and system health, and reduces demand for critical services. In addition, from the users’ perspective, it provides easier access, comprehensive and customized support, faster response times, improved results and user experience. Therefore, in the IESI analytical framework, measures are classified according to the type of service integration:

Funding: pooling resources or advance investment at different levels.
Administrative: consolidation/centralization of responsibilities/functions; interdepartmental planning; chain assessment/allocation; Purchase or co-commissioning.
Organizational: service co-location; agreements and transfers; inter-institutional planning and/or budgeting; affiliation or service agreements; shared programs or services; strategic alliances or networks of care; Joint ownership or merger.
Providing services: centralized information, introduction and acceptance; case management/care; Multidisciplinary teamwork/measurement; joint training; 24 hour coverage.
last word
This article is based on research conducted by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC) as part of the project “Active Social Innovation with Information and Communication Technologies in Support of the Implementation of the Social Investment Package” (IESI). It is worth noting that the views and criticisms expressed in this article are entirely those of the authors and under no circumstances can be considered as an official position of the European Commission.

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