E-POLI: access to public services made easy | Planet Smart City | Places that matter
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6/05/2020 E-POLI: access to public services made easy

Residents of Turin, Italy, will test our newly-developed E-POLI Planet App feature, helping them access essential public services available in their area.

Between May and June, 1,600 residents of Turin will be offered simplified information and guidance on local and national services, such as applications for vouchers, care allowances, enrolment in nurseries, and assistance for the elderly or disabled, through the E-POLI app feature. The all-round service will be rolled out for the month of June.

Created by our Digital Unit in collaboration with three community hubs in the region: San Salvario neighbourhood house, Public Baths of Via Agliè, and House in the Park in Mirafiori Sud, the new feature provides optimised information on essential services directly to beneficiaries, raising awareness and uptake of public support and services available to those most in need.

The feature has been specially designed to facilitate digital citizenship by making resources accessible to anyone, at any time, from any location, quickly and efficiently. It achieves this through improved management of large volumes of public services information, allowing applications and requests to be applied for through the digital feature. This should significantly reduce the time it takes for users to access important public services.

User-friendly information

In order to make the feature simple to use even for people who are not tech-savvy, up to date information is structured in the most user-friendly way possible. To help manage and organise information, a series of templates and video tutorials accessible via smartphone has been developed. 

For a better understanding of the services, documentation required to submit online applications can be easily found on the feature. Users are guided to verify their access requirements to opportunities offered by government, public and private bodies through simple questions with ‘yes’ or ‘no’  answers. 

Online uploads are supported by short and simple videos that accompany and guide users step by step in the activity. 

In Italy, 26% of the population aged between 16 and 74 has never surfed the web, according to 2019 estimates by the Organisation for Trade and Economic Development (OECD). Of the 74% of the adult population who have accessed the internet, only 24% have used it to access public services. 

At present, vulnerable members of society such as the elderly, immigrants with low levels of linguistic skills, the disabled, and those with limited education, are unable to use IT tools to easily access important resources and information.

To achieve digital citizenship among all citizens, the issue of digital inclusion must be considered and overcome. By breaking down technological barriers and digital illiteracy through effective collaborations with local organisations, digital technology and services can be made more citizen-friendly and accessible to everyone.