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From us to us – the citizen as a customer of public administration

A number of projects carried out within Sitra’s Public Leadership and Management Programme have offered people the opportunity to participate in service development as both users and developers. While many projects are still in progress, much has already been achieved and made available for refining and sharing. Practical experiences from these projects have been collected in the brand-new web publication.

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A number of projects carried out within Sitra’s Public Leadership and Management Programme have offered people the opportunity to participate in service development as both users and developers. While many projects are still in progress, much has already been achieved and made available for refining and sharing. Practical experiences from these projects have been collected in the brand-new Web publication: Meiltä meille – ihminen julkishallinnon asiakkaana (PDF in Finnish)

Participation, involvement, user innovation, customer focus, human focus – these concepts have been frequently used in the recent debate on public service development. There are several goals behind the debate, such as improving services and how well they respond to the diverging needs of people, creating new business, increasing productivity and reinforcing the legitimacy of the welfare state.

Various development methods have been piloted in different parts of the country. In the city of Hämeenlinna in southern Finland, the approach includes a specially appointed contact person for residents who moves among the people, learning about everyday life in the city. Her task is to identify what kinds of services people need at different stages of their lives. In addition, low-budget mini-pilots carried out by the residents themselves have also sparked ideas for services which the people themselves find important. This improves the impact of services and helps prevents resources from being wasted on services that are not in demand.

A project launched by the Pirkanmaa Hospital District is concerned with developing an operating and leadership model for specialised care in the field of musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diseases. The treatment processes of specialised care have been improved by giving more in-depth consideration to the patient’s treatment experience. Patient experiences have been modelled into a care path, which allows the personnel to better focus on the customer. Cooperation with patients has also resulted in new methods, such as a personalised booklet which allows patients to collect all of the information they receive in one place.

A reform of public administration is associated with a wide range of challenges, which must be solved. The common elements in the reform are opening the service development and empowering customers.
“Whether it is a question of nursing, elderly services or children and youth activities, there is no single operating model that would fit everyone – people and places differ from one another in so many ways,” says Riitta Nieminen-Sundell, the author of the publication.

“We wanted to test new operating methods with local administrations as they are responsible for the majority of services directed at citizens,” says Director Juha Kostiainen from the Public Leadership and Management Programme. He continues: ”As partners in this work, we have found municipalities and federations of municipalities with an active will to carry out reforms, as well as enthusiastic and inspiring individuals to lead the development.”

The goal of the Public Leadership and Management Programme is to expand well-being by increasing the citizen’s power of influence and freedom of choice. As users of public services, people have ideas and insights about how services could better meet their needs and how they should be developed.

The themes of the publication were presented to a large audience at an event targeted at specialists. The presentation material can be downloaded from Sitra’s website »

Further information

Marja Pirttivaara, Leading Specialist, Public Leadership and Management Programme, Sitra
Tel. +358 9 6189 9260, firstname.lastname@sitra.fi

Juha Kostiainen, Director, Public Leadership and Management Programme, Sitra Tel. +358 400 721 475, firstname.lastname@sitra.fi

Riitta Nieminen-Sundell, independent researcher, Sundell Insight Foresight riitta@sundellinsightforesight.com

Publication details

Riitta Nieminen-Sundell
Meiltä meille – ihminen julkishallinnon asiakkaana
ISBN 978-951-563-788-8 (URL:http://www.sitra.fi) Sitra, Helsinki 2011 The publication (in Finnish) may be freely downloaded as a PDF file from Sitra’s website »

Web publication:

“From us to us – the individual as a customer of public administration”.

Meiltä meille – ihminen julkishallinnon asiakkaana (PDF in Finnish) »

Published