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Innovations and e-participation projects in 2020


The planning committee has decided to support the following innovations in 2020:

Automated mail processing with AI (canton of Aargau)

The Aargau social security fund SVA receives hundreds of thousands of emails annually; of these, tens of thousands are questions about premium reductions. There are long waiting times before questions, especially simple ones, are answered. The introduction of the Maxi chatbot alleviated the problem to some extent, reducing mail enquiries by around 30%.

The chatbot can answer general enquiries that do not contain sensitive data. From now on, all other emails should be subject to automated and intelligent (learning) triage and further processing. For this purpose, enquiries containing personal data need to be correctly triaged by the chatbot and directly prompt a process in the specialist application, depending on the type of question.

Following successful project completion, a potential expansion to other social security funds within the Aargau SVA should be examined, and the chatbot should be made available to other solution providers, where appropriate.

More on the Maxi chatbot (in German only):

Chatbot Maxi
Information about Chatbot Maxi

Study on access architecture for citizens and businesses (canton of St Gallen)

At present, citizens and businesses cannot use a single login to access services of different specialist domains. Identity and access management (IAM) should make this possible. At both the organisational and the technical level, IAM is the interaction of roles, rules and processes.

The planned study will look into access to services with IAM from the perspective of citizens and businesses (user-centric approach). The elements "citizen ID" and, in particular, "citizen access" to services such as taxes or road transport are key in this regard. The study will yield IAM-specific guidelines as a basis for future implementation. This includes insights on roles, processes and organisational and technical content. These are very important for future online services for citizens and businesses. The content will be developed to be as non-cantonally specific as possible in order to allow scalability of the access architecture for citizens and businesses.

An environmentally friendly private blockchain for digital confidence in Switzerland (canton of Jura)

Citizens of the canton of Jura now have access to a "client environment", which can be used to exchange personal documents with the authorities. This system currently relies on public confidence in the security and integrity of state IT systems.

As part of the "digital confidence vision", the project's first objective is to propose innovative solutions that enable citizens to have full sovereignty over their data and their digital interactions with the authorities. Likewise, the state will be able at all times to demonstrate the integrity of the data for which it is responsible or which is held by it, and to enable the public to use a number of services to check this data independently of the state.

The project's second objective is to ensure the integrity and origin of the certificates issued by the state, even if the certificate is printed out by a citizen.

The data is neither shared nor published. This approach thus ensures full protection of citizens' privacy. The KSI (keyless signature infrastructure) blockchain is environmentally friendly, as it is not based on proof-of-work consensus algorithms. There is thus no elevated energy consumption (unlike bitcoin).

White Paper Blockchain, canton JU, 2021 (in French)
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Conclusion White Paper, canton JU (in English)
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E-participation projects

The planning committee has decided to support the following e-participation projects in 2020:

Geneva platform for citizen participation (canton of Geneva)

The canton of Geneva has had positive experience with involving the public in political decision-making in the form of online surveys and workshops. Encouraged by the positive feedback, the canton decided to expand a tried and tested platform to accommodate its needs while taking account of personal privacy issues, thereby supporting participatory approaches. These platforms should be offered to all authorities in Geneva (canton, communes, semi-governmental organisations). The project is already under way and is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

Platform participer.ge.ch

Total revision of local planning in Goldach (commune of Goldach)

In the canton of St Gallen, public involvement in adopting and modifying structure and land use plans is prescribed by the new cantonal planning and construction legislation. According to this legislation, the authorities must ensure appropriate involvement of the public. Many communes in St Gallen will be revising their local planning over the next few years. Goldach intends to ensure compliance with the legislation by means of an e-participation portal. In addition, the citizens of Goldach can use various channels to communicate their views on local planning to the authorities.

website e-participation Goldach (in German)

Digital community platform for promoting participation and interaction in the district and with the city authorities (city of Winterthur)

In order to take a further step towards becoming a smart city, the city of Winterthur is developing a digital community platform at district level. This is aimed at expanding and further encouraging digital participation and interaction in the city's districts, as well as two-way communication between districts and the city. The tool offers various functionalities with which the inhabitants of a district can voice and exchange their views on different topics and needs, as well as seek or offer assistance. For instance, it encourages exchange and participation as regards the design of the area, by providing a user-friendly way for the district's inhabitants to propose and discuss ideas for the design of parks, leisure facilities and events, and receive support from the city in implementing them. As part of this project, an implementation concept for designing the structure and process flow of a scalable digital district platform is being drawn up. The financial assistance is intended to support the evaluation and optimisation of the platform.

«District idea» – participatory idea and budget process in the Zurich district of Wipkingen (city of Zurich)

In a pilot project, the Zurich district of Wipkingen will test its first participatory budget in 2020. The district's inhabitants will be able to submit ideas for the area and then participate in sharing out the budget between the most popular ideas. The entire process runs via an online platform, but in conjunction with offline formats. The support of eGovernment Switzerland means that the digital platform's design and content can be aligned with the requirements of a Swiss commune, and the offline components, such as the involvement of other stakeholders and additional communication methods can be supported.

«Quartieridee» testet ein partizipatives Budget in Wipkingen (in German)
Platform quartieridee.ch

Cross-communal geo-portal for the use of public areas (city of Yverdon-les-Bains)

The city of Yverdon-les-Bains is responsible for the operation and development of the regional geo-portal (mapnv.ch) for the Nord Vaudois district. It plans to launch an open source and geo-management project in order to give all the region's stakeholders (citizens, engineering firms, companies, etc.) the opportunity to submit their applications for using public areas via a single cross-communal portal. Applications can be processed by any authority that is a member of the platform. Whether it is a construction permit under cantonal jurisdiction, excavation permits or cultural or sporting events – this solution provides the authorities with a spatial and temporal overview of the planned use of public areas.

Solution Geocity