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Mobile Age project: making senior citizens benefit from open government data

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28 June 2016

Three-year, EU co-funded project to develop accessible and inclusive online public services for senior citizens. 

On 1 February 2016, ten European partners launched the Mobile Age project. Aiming to develop inclusive mobile access to public services using open government data, Mobile Age targets a group of citizens that are usually marginalised when it comes to technical innovations but which is rapidly growing in number and expectations: European senior citizens.

While more and more public services are made available online only, older persons’ needs and wishes towards digital services are rarely understood and taken in account. This deficit is often exacerbated by their lower digital skills and poor access to the internet.

In order to cope with this, Mobile Age is based on the concept of cocreation: it will develop mobile open government services that are created together with senior citizens. To do so, Mobile Age will develop four pilots in collaboration with public authorities across Europe: South Lakeland (UK); Bremen (Germany); Region of Central Macedonia (Greece); and Zaragoza (Spain). There, older persons themselves will decide which services they want to access, which kind of applications they would like to use, and which requirements in terms of accessibility and mobility they opt for. Each pilot site will work on a specific theme: social inclusion in Bremen; extending independent living in South Lakeland; a safe and accessible city for seniors in Zaragoza, and personal health information in Central Macedonia.

Based on such decisions, the Mobile Age team will develop the requested applications and ask older persons to test them in real-life settings. Thanks to this coproduction approach, Mobile Age will help European public authorities ensure the inclusion of seniors in digital services, ease their administrative tasks thanks to user-friendly applications, and support their access to civic participation, active ageing and their involvement in their communities.

The project will also increase transparency and trust in public administration through sharing and reuse public information. The project will firstly produce digital applications to be used and scaled-up in local authorities throughout Europe. To do so, it will develop a technical innovative platform, the Open Senior Citizen Public Service Engagement Platform (OSCPSEP) to build the applications.

Mobile Age partners will make sure that the platform can easily be re-used in other contexts and by other public authorities. Moreover, Mobile Age will issue a Best Practice Guide for Co-Creation of Open Public Services and publish policy briefings targeting European, national, regional and local public authorities. Mobile Age will also publish a framework for impact assessment and evaluation for co-creation approaches in the field of open public services for older persons.