With the nationwide plan to merge many Norwegian local authorities, some are anticipating that change and taking the opportunity to start collaborating. They want to make services as user-friendly and efficient as possible for residents and for staff – but within tighter budgets. Four municipalities in mid-Norway asked us to work with them to develop a vision for the future – and design a roadmap to guide the changes needed.
We gathered evidence for what people wanted from their local authority through interviews with residents and front-line staff as well as analysing data. In a series of workshops with management teams from the four authorities, this evidence helped them set out their ambitions. We worked with them to establish a detailed vision – in terms of the type of services to offer, their priorities, how to organise themselves and how IT could support their plans.
They wanted to make it easier for people to use services online – from applying for schools to requesting planning permission. So, for example, their vision included a ‘digital door’ – a central log-in so people wouldn’t need to keep re-entering details depending on which service they wanted to use. It included plans for more use of telecare to support older people at home, greater use of technology in schools and more automation in planning decisions.
Having established these priorities, we created a comprehensive roadmap of future projects to achieve them. It included recommendations for re-organisation so they could provide services cost-efficiently. This work has helped the authorities move forward together, rather than just in parallel. They’re now in the right place to deliver modern, efficient public services.