Supported by the UK-Based FutureGov, Sofia Municipality is to Design Life Event Based e-Services as part of the Digital Innovation Initiative

6 August, 2020

Our team has started the regular consultations with experts from FutureGov – a UK-based change agency that provides Sofia with technical assistance as part of the city’s participation in the Digital Innovation Initiative. The Initiative aims to help European cities deliver high-impact digital services, and share lessons learned with cities around the rest of the world. 

Innovative Sofia and Green Sofia facilitate Sofia’s participation in the project, and we are working with FutureGov to deliver a service transformation focused on Life Events. We are also coordinating the progress on the project with internal departments of the Sofia Municipality to secure the validation of the ideas and to promote the need for a new way of designing and delivering services to the citizens and the business. These meetings ensure timely feedback on the focus areas where we want to re-engineer the processes related to the provision of municipal services by the city administration. 


Life Event – Based Services 

The term ‘life event-based services’ stands for a series of administrative services started up by a particular event in a citizen’s life. This can be the birth of a child, buying a property, marriage or divorce, change of citizenship, etc. Such a major event usually causes a series of occasions for citizens to seek services from the city or the state administration. 

After internal consultations, we have decided to focus on the “Moving to/within Sofia” life event. In this use case, we are taking into account the variety of reasons to move – finding a job, starting a business, education, marriage. There is also a difference in whether a person is a Bulgarian or an EU/third country resident, or moves from one district of Sofia to another. 

For citizens, these occasions mean several logically arising administrative services that they need. Our next step will be to identify the groups of services relevant to each individual occasion to move to or within the city and redesign the service delivery process so that Sofia Municipality could support the citizens in settling down in the city even further. 

We aim at applying a “need-driven,” holistic, and “one-stop-shop” approach. We are to work on the initial prototyping of new products and their way of reaching the citizens. After testing our hypothesis related to the “moving to / within Sofia” life event, we will further explore whether it applies to other groups of services based on other significant life events. 

Such an approach to delivering e-services to citizens needs a broad consensus and coordination among the different stakeholders involved in the delivery of electronic services – Sofia Municipality, the regional administrations, the Ministry of Interior Affairs, the State eGovernment Agency (SEGA), among others. Thus, one of our next steps is to create a map of the stakeholders involved in the reengineering of the processes and services. 

Our decision to work on the design of administrative services based on life events within the Digital Innovation Initiative is not accidental. It is also a goal set in the National Strategy for the Development of Electronic Governance in the Republic of Bulgaria 2019-2023. 

During the project, we apply the Agile methodology including a process of continuous rethinking, redesign, and validation. The regular Show&Tell meetings with the other cities participating in the project and the internal sessions with experts from the Sofia Municipality are also a part of this Agile approach. 


More About FutureGov Within the Digital Innovation Initiative 

FutureGov is headquartered in London and has offices in the UK and Germany. It has worked with more than 100 local, national and health authorities and holds a strong track record, supporting public organisations to deliver the highest quality, citizen-centred services that have a lasting impact for all through innovative design, technology and organisation development approaches. 

Seven more European cities receive expert technical support by London’s FutureGov – Dublin, Tallinn, Helsinki, Prague, Bratislava, Vilnius, and Budapest. They work on projects such as redesigning the way citizens get access to healthcare, a more effective and personalised employment service that reaches a great number of the unemployed, and redesigning the urban planning process to ensure residents are engaged in planning decisions at key points of the process.