Innovation and e-participation 2022
In 2022, Digital Public Services Switzerland will fund the following projects for the application of new technologies for the development of regional cooperation as well as for new, electronic channels for participation in politics and administration.
Applying natural language processing (NLP) to the non-financial reporting of Swiss companies
Natural language processing (NLP) is a technique that uses artificial intelligence to process natural language. NLP can thus enable computers to understand human language. In the sample application being promoted, the ETH Zurich is working with the Federal Office of Justice FOJ to use NLP to analyse non-financial company reports that are required by law in Switzerland since the start of 2022. Companies in Switzerland have to report on topics such as the environment, social concerns, employee concerns, human rights and anti-corruption efforts. Instead of a time-consuming manual review and examination of the corresponding reports on the five topics, NLP technology is used to evaluate the substance of the reports by machine. For this purpose, the ETH is creating a language model and verifying and evaluating the results with manually coded results from the reports.
Contact: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Center for Development and Cooperation NADEL, email@example.com
goVR (Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences)
Virtual reality (VR) is the term used to describe computer-generated realities, usually consumed through special glasses. After decades of basic research, VR technology is on the verge of making its breakthrough on the mass market. Similar to the emergence of the World Wide Web, the spread of VR technology will mean that numerous services will also increasingly be offered via this new channel. While the advantages of VR imagery for games, product presentations and online events are obvious, the impact on eGovernment services is currently unclear. The goVR project is researching, among other things, which eGovernment services are suitable for virtual reality, what opportunities and challenges exist for the creation of VR government services in the future, and how users react to such services.
Contact: IPM, OST – Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Science, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophia chatbot for victims of domestic violence (Spring ACT)
Spring ACT (Action. Compassion. Technology.) combines the latest technological capabilities with the concrete solution to the problem of providing victims of domestic violence with anonymous and safe access to help. Victims can use a platform-independent chatbot called Sophia. The chatbot will be available in over 25 languages and provides users with important information in an accessible way. For example, Sophia provides those affected with the names of nearby specialist services and makes important information available in simple chat form. Unlike a phone call or an email, the bot leaves no traces.
With the financial support of Digital Public Services Switzerland, the development of the chatbot will be driven forward, specifically with the development of a digital vault in which to store potential evidence. Efforts between the individual cantons, help centres and women's refuges will be coordinated as part of the project.
Piloting a shared operating model for open source participation platforms (Decidim Swiss Association)
The open source participation software Decidim has been tested in many small and large pilot projects in Switzerland over the last few years. For example, in Stadtidee in the city of Zurich and with Dialog Luzern in the city of Lucerne. More and more towns, cities, communes and regions are showing an interest in implementing their own projects in Switzerland using the Decidim software. Within the framework of the newly founded association decidim.swiss, the founders would like to establish an offering for shared operation of the open source software and thus reduce the costs for its use in the long term. With the financial support of Digital Public Services Switzerland, three interested towns, cities or communes are to test the potential of a shared operating environment. If the experience with shared operating environments is positive, the model can be scaled up at national level.
Contact: decidim.swiss Association, email@example.com
Citympact (municipality of St-Maurice)
In order for young people to continue to get involved in their communities in the future, modern opportunities are needed. The Citympact project, which was launched in 2021 as part of the Prototype Fund from Opendata.ch, provides young adults with a new communication channel to get in touch directly with the communal administration. Using a digital platform, users can comment on communal projects, sign or start a petition, and share their opinions with other members, for example. With the support of Digital Public Services Switzerland, a pilot project of this type is being conducted in St-Maurice, a commune in the canton of Valais.
Contact: Municipality of St-Maurice, firstname.lastname@example.org
WinLab co-creation platform: Digital matchmaking & ideation platform (City of Winterthur)
As a hybrid digital and analogue platform, WinLab is intended to bring together interested residents, researchers and the business community of the city of Winterthur. On the platform, solutions to everyday challenges in the context of the Smart City Winterthur are to be introduced, evaluated and implemented using design thinking principles. The matchmaking phase brings together citizens, administrative staff, researchers, investors, start-ups and companies. The stakeholders discuss ideas and develop pilot projects together. The platform will be made available to other towns, cities and communes at a later stage. The project funding provided by Digital Public Services Switzerland makes the conceptual work possible, including the design concept and the strategy document.
Contact: City of Winterthur, Marisa.Kappeler@win.ch
e-participation as demonstrated by the user-oriented design of the uster.ch website (City of Uster)
The town of Uster in the canton of Zurich is developing a new website as part of its digital strategy. It is involving its stakeholders in the design and development of its online services at an early stage in order to maximise the benefits and ensure broad acceptance. In addition to analogue ways of getting involved, the public is to be included primarily through digital participation opportunities. Uster is also looking more closely at how to combine analogue and digital forms of participation in the best possible way. The findings will be made available to other towns, cities, communes and cantons at a later stage. In this way, a best-practice process for e-participation projects and the user-oriented design of digital channels will be developed.
Contact: City of Uster, email@example.com
e-collecting for cantonal signature collections
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, the collection of physical signatures for referendums and initiatives has become more difficult.
e-collecting is seen as another step in the digital transformation of administrations and their processes. The project «e-collecting for cantonal signature collections» will initially examine, within the framework of a study, which preconditions must be created to enable e-collecting in the canton. Among other things, the focus is on electronic identification, for which the use of SwissID is to be examined. In addition to the technical analysis, the organisational and legal preconditions for the use of e-collecting will also be examined in the study. The study is intended to create a basis for how e-collecting can be used in the canton of Basel Landschaft, as well as in other cantons.
Contact: Canton of Basel Landschaft, firstname.lastname@example.org