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Innovations 2021

The planning committee has decided to support the following innovations in 2021:

Project CH+ Games for Democracy (Zurich University of the Arts)

A voting assistant which uses game mechanics to make political self-education more appealing is being developed in the CH+ project. Game designers, voters and politics experts are working together on this collaborative project, so that the CH+ voting assistant can support young voters with their voting decisions in a fun way. CH+ will be refined and tested at cantonal level from election to election, up to the 2023 federal elections. Each project stage contains a design phase, a development phase, a public testing phase and a final assessment with a research report. In terms of content, each project stage is unique and is tailored to the cantons involved.

The political data in the CH+ prototypes comes from smartvote (www.smartvote.ch). The CH+ concept is based on results from three online surveys of over 500 people during the 2019 federal elections. The first digital prototype was tested on 230 people in the canton of Uri in March 2020. More than 500 people signed up for the second project stage in Basel Stadt in October 2020. Now that the first prototypes have been tested for usability, the elections in Neuchâtel in April 2021 will be used to test the first mainly game-based concept. In November 2021, the canton of Fribourg will be used to explore how high the game content needs to be for the voting assistant to reach its target audience. CH+ uses a scalable, iterative approach and is based on interdisciplinary cooperation.

More information: projektchplus.ch

iciGov (city of Biel)

There is currently huge variation in the maturity of online counters. Few administrations, especially at commune level, have a virtual counter offering a full range of services. As a result, users often end up using physical counters anyway. Based on this finding, and on the fact that most users visiting physical counters also own a mobile phone, the project is designed to allow physical and virtual counters to be linked. People visiting the physical counter are provided with a link, in the form of a QR code, which they can easily scan and which gives them access to a static site.

This site, a dynamic platform at the heart of the project, links the physical counter simply and efficiently to the information and services that are available online, regardless of which platform is ultimately used. The funding will permit the development of this platform, which will offer access to information, forms and documents that are already available online, and will thus enable users to get information directly and save time when counters are busy. This platform could also provide access to frequently asked questions, to statistics on frequency and waiting times, or perhaps directly to a chatbot. Moreover, the staff at the physical locations could easily redirect users to online services.

RPA@SG | Pilot project on robotic process automation in the city administration (city of St Gallen)

Financial and staff resources are currently scarce and need to be used efficiently. The right tools can help people to work more efficiently and deploy staff to areas where they can generate real value added. A study by Kyocera has shown that people in office-based jobs spend two or more hours a day on purely administrative tasks, instead of being able to devote this time to clients.

Robotic process automation (RPA) targets exactly that area, relieving staff of dull and time-consuming routine tasks and thereby freeing up capacity for the actual activity of providing advice to clients. The city of St Gallen's aim is to automate selected tasks by using process robots: three processes are to be automated as part of a pilot operation:

(1) at the City Police, existing signal management data in hard copy and in the spatial information centre is to be migrated to a new software solution;

(2) initial interview process for social services should be optimised;

(3) at waste disposal facilities, the automated data management for the dispatch of reply cards should be optimised.

Digital literacy: using simulations to boost media skills (canton of Zurich)

Digitalisation and the accompanying digital transformation are forcing the staff at the cantonal administration to both rethink and acquire digital skills. This includes the secure and critical use of media and a reasoned approach to opinion-forming in the digital world (digital literacy). Against this background, there is a need to address the digital transformation in the political opinion-forming process. The aim of the innovation project is to create a tool for reflection on digital opinion-forming and media skills. A virtual debate is set up for the simulation participants, in which they can experience and discuss the influence of fake news, trolls and similar phenomena on the formation of their own opinions.

The project was launched in autumn 2020 with the development of a first simulation prototype. Successful first sessions took place within the cantonal administration on the subject of the e-ID Act. The financial support provided by eGovernment Switzerland will be used to develop the second prototype. This will focus on scaling for different content (e.g. current voting proposals) and automated information provision (bots). This will allow the tool to be used autonomously and based on its development. The simulation can be performed purely digitally as well as in the form of a hybrid event (virtual debate on devices, discussion and reflection offline).

Cyber administration of the canton of Zurich  (in german)