Minister of State with special responsibility for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, Patrick O’Donovan T.D., today presented the prizes to the winning groups in a TCD Business School Digital Marketing competition.

As part of their MSc programme, the students were tasked with reviewing citizens’ experiences of online government services. They investigated a number of key events in citizens’ lives such as starting work and registering to vote, identifying challenges with these digital services and making recommendations as to how they could be improved. As part of this exercise, the students engaged with citizens to understand what they like about digital government services, what they feel the government could do better, ideas for new online government services, and concerns and potential barriers.

In total, 20 research projects were presented. The projects covered a diverse range of government services, from paying tax in your first job, to applying for a driving licence and getting married. The five best projects were presented to a team of judges at today’s competition final. The judging panel was comprised of Barry Lowry, Government Chief Information Officer, Mary O’Donohue, OGCIO Director, along with Frank O’Donnell, Head of Public Sector, and Kieran McCorry, National Technology Officer, both from Microsoft Ireland.

These projects will form part of a broader research programme that aims to improve digital government services by capturing the concerns and experiences of people interacting with online services at different stages in their lives. Initiatives such as this will allow citizens to directly input into matters which affect them and their communities, and this in turn helps the Minister to deliver on his commitment in the eGovernment Strategy 2017-2020: to explore ideas and suggestions from citizens to help ensure Ireland remains a leader for eGovernment.

Minister O’Donovan said: “We were very impressed with the Trinity MSc students’ research projects and the level of detail presented on citizen life event journeys. It was interesting to see how the citizen experience in Ireland compares to that in other countries. It is essential that the Public Service continues to develop digital services to meet the needs and expectations of our people; in other words our services should be consistently easy and convenient to use. If we are going to claim that our digital government services are user-centred then it is essential to ask the citizens themselves and let them input into our future plans and designs. This research on our citizens’ experiences of using digital services is a key step to improving our delivery of Government services.”

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