Across the UK political spectrum there is a consensus that communities need to play a greater role in local government, both in the decisions made that affect people’s everyday lives, and in the design and delivery of services provided by local government to communities. With the enormous public uptake of digital technologies including broadband internet, mobile phones, laptop and tablet computers, there are opportunities to create more representative and sustainable forms of local democracy and service provision.
Digital Civics is the endeavour of developing theories, technologies, design approaches and evaluation methods for digital technologies that support local communities, local service provision, and local democracy. However, this area poses new challenges for researchers across a range of disciplines. It requires researchers that are not only experts in local government and the services they provide (such as education, public health and social care), but also researchers that can: (i) understand the limitations of existing technologies and approaches to design and use; (ii) innovate in the design, delivery and evaluation of services; (iii) produce underpinning technologies that meet the real-world requirements of local service provision and local democracy. The primary goal of this Centre for Doctoral Training is therefore to train the next generation of researchers that can meet these challenges.
Funding: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council – Centres for Doctoral Training
Collaborators: Patrick Olivier (Newcastle University, Principal Investigator), Peter Wright (Newcastle University)
Timescales: September 2014 to August 2023