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Automation of Income Support in the Public Social Services: A Case Study of an Innovation that is Still Struggling
Unit for Political Science, Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping university, Sweden.
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Law, Economics, Statistics and Politics. Unit for Political Science, Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping university, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9905-0942
2019 (English)In: Uddevalla Symposium 2019: : Unlocking the Potential of Regions Through Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Revised papers first presented at the 22nd Uddevalla Symposium 27-29 June, 2019, L'Aquila, Italy / [ed] Iréne Bernhard, Trollhättan: University West , 2019, p. 187-204Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Digitalization of public services has been high up on the political agenda in Sweden, with considerable efforts that accompany other initiatives to reform and modernize production of welfare services and their administration. Digital solutions are usedto build both technical and organizational innovations in public services, as well asin bureaucratic decision-making. The "Digital first principle" is guiding the European policies in the field and is also central in the Swedish digitalization strategy for public administration. This means that the contact between the citizens,the companies or other society actors, and the public sector authorities shall initially and to largest possible extent occur digitally.

A digital innovation that is currently spreading among Swedish municipalities is automatizing social assistance services mainly addressing income support for vulnerable citizens. In a context of nationally highly regulated income support schemes, the municipalities manage the digitalization of services highly differently, coping with inherent tensions in relation to their local autonomy. We have conducted a long-term case study following such an implementation case in amedium size Swedish municipality. Based on interviews, observations and workshops we can conclude that the implementation is hampered since it is not focusing on the core to coach for self-support and that it even made the system less transparent. This indicates that the principle 'digital first' has to be embedded into the core focus of the service and not address shallow interfaces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: University West , 2019. p. 187-204
Series
Reports University West, ISSN 2002-6188, E-ISSN 2002-6196
Keywords [en]
public innovations, public management, digitalization, social services
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-14843ISBN: 978-91-88847-40-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-14843DiVA, id: diva2:1384948
Conference
22nd Uddevalla Symposium,27–29 June, 2019, L’Aquila, Italy
Available from: 2020-01-13 Created: 2020-01-13 Last updated: 2020-01-29Bibliographically approved

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Wihlborg, Elin

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