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Multifunctional transformative e-submission and cooperation platform
City/Region : Liepaja , Latvia

We have created a multi-functional platform that transforms the way how every citizen of Liepaja can access and take part in opportunities such as participation in different events, subbmit projects for fininacial support, civic participation in public decision making and apply for services  offered by the municipality.

Since the implementation of platform resources have been saved - time and paper, and as resident does not have to go to the city centre by car, it reduces the load on the streets and air pollution. It's easier for people with reduced mobility to access services and for anyone working full-time.

Agendas addressed
Greenfield land and natural spaceClimate changePublic space
Social inclusion and integration
Pathways followed
  • Ensure equal access to municipal services
  • Involve citizens through participatory implementation
  • Encourage local private and civic engagement
  • Promote social innovation supporting inclusion
  • Capitalise on local economy and production
  • Create and close local value chains
  • Wisely select and apply smart technologies
  • Guarantee equal access to information & digital services
  • Prepare policies for socio-cultural changes due to innovation
Context
LIKTA award Platinum Mouse

In Latvia most services in municipalities are the same, there are no centralized procedures for the provision, and therefore the degree of digitalization. Each municipality does it at its best discretion. Since Liepaja is the third biggest city in Latvia we want to set an example of inovative and transformative solutions for other cities:

  • applying for municipality services and other opportunities online; example: https://www.liepaja.lv/juras-zales/
  • digitize services;
  • improving joint decision-making in society;
  • reducing paper and toner usage;
  • improving digital document circulation;
  • sustainability - less cars in the city, less carbon emissions;
  • facilitate the submission of documents to all members of the public;
  • improve the image of the city through innovation and digital skills and access to services.

This platform has already been appreciated nationally by Latvian Information and communications technology association (LIKTA) with award “Platinum Mouse” - that identifies the most successful digital solutions created in Latvia.

In Action
After

In two years city has organized more than 70 projects through multifunctional transformative platform pieteikumi.liepaja.lv and there are approximately 2000 users, who use system to submit projects for financial support, applications for municipal services, civic cooperation and other opportunities. Our transformation goal is to develop new sections of pieteikumi.liepaja.lv with all possible services of municipality. Specialists from Environment department, Sports Department, Cultural administration and Municipality administration are working with this system and it helps redesign processes to save resources. 

 

“The implementation of the system allows saving resources by working much simpler, faster and more efficiently, without creating waste mountains” says Brigita Dreiže, Liepaja City Municipality Administration Specialist of public administration.

 

“Liepaja's electronic application system has become an essential part of the day-to-day work of the Environment department, which facilitates communication in daily work, there is no need to do repetitive actions, as it was before. Feedback is provided to the address requester when the service is completed. It is easy to prepare reports. The system is easy to work with, easy to fill in and understand.” Rita Emsiņa, Environment, Health and Public Participation Department Environmental Management Consultant.

 

Agate Ambulte, Board member of Digital Innovation Park says “It is a great tool that serves as basis for further developement of digital trasformation in Liepaja municipality. I am sure that it will be great example for other cities how to implement simple but in the same time innovative solutions for sustainibility, civic cooperation and service availability.”

 

Initially, the system was created for main purpose - to submit projects, but the demand for it from employees and citizens was unexpectedly high, which made it clear that such an opportunity is not only appreciated by the population, but also a great tool for employees. Together with specialists from various fields from municipal institutions, new goals and requirements were set for the system in order to improve it.

Results

- Designing projects, managing applications and evaluation process takes atleast 4 times less time

- The project applicant does not have to come in-person to the municipality (before the solution it took 1-6 visit times)

- 30% more responses are recieved in decision making

- 75 new data sets are generated from electronically submitted applications that are useful for predicting participation

- Established “Sterilize and Release” project cooperation process between residents, municipality, animal shelter and veterinarians, 851 cats have been sterilized and 93 euthanised

- During the Covid pandemic 100% of services and aplications on the platform were covid safe for  project managers and  applicants (in case of risk groups it is important to hold remote consultations)

- Encourages people to use unified authorization and digital authentication tools (smart id, e-signature, mobile e-signature)

- Reminders, notifications, and the ability to send a calendar file help applicants organize their work

- 68% of respondents are satisfied with the management of the municipality and the provision of e-services in Liepaja 

- 86 projects (100%) were submitted electronically by the NGO project competition

- 61 applications (100%) were received in the project competition to support the cultural sector

- 39 projects (100%) have been applied for project co-financing tenders for small and medium-sized commercial companies

- 322 city residents participated in the questionnaire on the opening of the gaming hall in Liepāja

- A public tree felling survey has already been organized 22 times (90% in platform)

- More than 3000 applications have been submitted since secure authentication was introduced.

- This system has given new ideas and encouraged to change the entrenched processes in the municipality, as well as the municipal management sees an opportunity to double available aplications for services in this platform.

Impact

We expect that there will be Impact on Greenfield land and natural space  -  sicnce services are more accessible with an emphasis on the most environmentally friendly services. We can meassure this by increase of applications in meaningful and innovative submissions for environment services.

We expect impact on Climate change   with less air pollution and emissions in the city center and also with waste reduction of resources like paper, tonner and energy. We can measure it by counting how many times less applicants should not come in person to municipality. We can measure paper reduction by counting applications. Each application can sav 1-100 pages of paper.

We expect impact on Public space more and more citizens will be involved in expressing their views and making decisions. We can measure this by counting increase of surveys from different municipality institutions, applications and reached reactions in Liepaja facebook page which has 34,146 followers.

We expect impact on Social inclusion and integration since services are more accessible to all groups of society, including for people with mobility problems and with a tight work schedule. There is transparency of processes and equal conditions for all aplicants. We can measure this with a repeated survey of residents about municipal e-services in Liepaja.

Challenges and lessons learned

The biggest lesson in creating this system was that we did not anticipate or expect it to have such a large target audience. As the number of users and the variety of projects increased, it initiated several change requests to adapt not only projects, but also surveys and applications for services. 

As applications.liepaja.lv became so widely used, more serious attention had to be paid to the visual identity of the system.

We gained knowledge in every process while transforming in-person/paper application into an electronic platform. This solution promoted new digital skills and we are ready to share our experience.

e-submission platform
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Contact

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
European Secretariat

Leopoldring 3
79098 Freiburg
Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 0
Fax: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 19

E-mail: info@sustainablecities.eu
Website: www.sustainablecities.eu

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