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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2021

Co-creating Digital Public Services for an Ageing Society

Evidence for User-centric Design

  • Provides a critical review of co-creation of digital public services in different fields of origin

  • Presents in-depth comparative case studies of three co-creation projects with older adults in two European cities

  • Identifies key challenges to civic participation in digital societies

  • Introduces proposals for more inclusive design of socio-technical innovation

Part of the book series: Public Administration and Information Technology (PAIT, volume 6)

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 74.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xviii
  2. Introduction

    • Juliane Jarke
    Pages 1-4Open Access
  3. Ageing Societies and Technological Innovation

    • Juliane Jarke
    Pages 5-13Open Access
  4. Co-Creating Digital Public Services

    • Juliane Jarke
    Pages 15-52Open Access
  5. Learning from Co-creation Practice

    • Juliane Jarke
    Pages 179-201Open Access
  6. Conclusion: Co-creating Inclusive Digital Futures

    • Juliane Jarke
    Pages 203-211Open Access
  7. Back Matter

    Pages 213-228

About this book

This open access book attends to the co-creation of digital public services for ageing societies. Increasingly public services are provided in digital form; their uptake however remains well below expectations. In particular, amongst older adults the need for public services is high, while at the same time the uptake of digital services is lower than the population average. One of the reasons is that many digital public services (or e-services) do not respond well to the life worlds, use contexts and use practices of its target audiences. This book argues that when older adults are involved in the process of identifying, conceptualising, and designing digital public services, these services become more relevant and meaningful.

The book describes and compares three co-creation projects that were conducted in two European cities, Bremen and Zaragoza, as part of a larger EU-funded innovation project. The first part of the book traces the origins of co-creation to three distinct domains, in which co-creation has become an equally important approach with different understandings of what it is and entails: (1) the co-production of public services, (2) the co-design of information systems and (3) the civic use of open data. The second part of the book analyses how decisions about a co-creation project’s governance structure, its scope of action, its choice of methods, its alignment with strategic policies and its embedding in existing public information infrastructures impact on the process and its results. The final part of the book identifies key challenges to co-creation and provides a more general assessment of what co-creation may achieve, where the most promising areas of application may be and where it probably does not match with the contingent requirements of digital public services. Contributing to current discourses on digital citizenship in ageing societies and user-centric design, this book is useful for researchers and practitioners interested in co-creation, public sector innovation, open government, ageing and digital technologies, citizen engagement and civic participation in socio-technical innovation.


  • Co-creation
  • Civic engagement
  • Open data
  • Digital public service
  • Geron-technology
  • Digital innovation
  • MobileAge
  • Open Access


“This book is for those who have just begun research in the field of design, ageing and technology and look for a good companion to navigate the state of art and to study examples of well-tailored co-design projects. … Similarly, this book is a precious resource also for senior researchers and codesign practitioners … offer in-depth details of the design processes that STS researchers, designers, stakeholders, computer scientists, can find informative and inspiring.” (Linda Tonolli, TECNOSCIENZA, Vol. 12 (1), 2021)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Institute for Information Management Bremen (ifib) & Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI), University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

    Juliane Jarke

About the author

Dr. Juliane Jarke is a senior researcher at the Institute for Information Management Bremen (ifib) and Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI) at the University of Bremen. Prior to Bremen, she worked as a research associate at the Centre for the Study of Technology and Organisation (CSTO) at Lancaster University. Her research focuses on public sector innovation, digital (in)equalities, user-centric design and civic engagement. Juliane Jarke has co-edited The Datafication of Education (with Andreas Breiter, Routledge, 2019) and Probes as Participatory Design Practice (with Susanne Maaß, i-com, 2018). She serves as an independent expert to the European Commission on research and innovation projects covering Public Sector Innovation, eInfrastructures and Digital Science. 

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 74.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)