Aiming for smoothly running everyday life, in English too

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2019-06-11 16:24

Espoo is developing English-language services in order to offer a good customer experience to English-speaking Espoo citizens. The goal is to offer more opportunities in the future to people who have, for example, moved from abroad to Espoo to involve themselves in and be part of the community.

Access to services will be improved in services essential to customers, and the development of electronic services in particular is an important goal. The services will be described in plain language and easy-to-understand form taking into consideration the linguistic and cultural background of the customer as well as by ensuring uninterrupted service paths.

Another goal is to increase the city’s appeal and to attract international businesses to locate their operations in Espoo. English is not, however, an official language of the city and, unfortunately, it will not be possible to offer all services in English in the near future.

English as a service language project to support services development

Last year, the development needs of the city’s English-language services were mapped in a preliminary survey, where the user-oriented and inclusive methods of service design were utilised to collect understanding within the organisation, from different interest groups and end customers by combining qualitative research with quantitative material. Supported by the development project, the city’s profit centres will implement development measures for the English-language services as part of the planning and implementation of service operations during this council term.

Language training will be provided to the personnel with the aim of, among other things, facilitating the adoption of field-specific vocabulary. In addition, appropriate language skills will be taken into consideration in recruitment.

Espoo seeking new digital solutions for experiments

The City of Espoo will hold a digital experiment competition to find new innovative solutions for experimenting within the city services. The starting point is to develop citizen- and customer-oriented digital services that are available irrespective of time, place and language, and thus make everyday life run more smoothly. The experiments will be implemented between September 2019 and the end of 2020. Entries in the digital experiment competition can be submitted by citizens, companies, research, development and innovation actors and organisations. 

The ‘English as a service language’ development work will also involve the utilisation of new technology. For example, the city’s translation services will be developed with experiments together with Espoo’s Digital Agenda.

Entries for digital experiments can be submitted between 13 May and 15 June 2019.

Read more at: Espoo is seeking new solutions for digital experiments

Further information

English as a service language:
Tero Lohimäki, Project Manager at the City of Espoo,
Digital experiment competition:
Valia Wistuba, Development Manager at the City of Espoo,