FSD3557 Digital Citizenship and Access to Services in Rural Areas: Public Authority Survey 2017

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Authors

  • Kivivirta, Ville (University of Lapland)
  • Selkälä, Arto (University of Lapland. Faculty of Social Sciences)
  • Suikkanen, Asko (University of Lapland)
  • Syväjärvi, Antti (University of Lapland)
  • Viinamäki, Leena (Lapland University of Applied Sciences)
  • Voutilainen, Olli (University of Vaasa. Levón Institute)

Keywords

countryside, information society, online services, public sector, public services, rural planning, technological literacy, telecommunications equipment

Abstract

The survey charted the views and experiences of public authorities providing services in the Lapland, Ostrobothnia and North Karelia regions on the functionality, accessibility and development of their digital services. The survey was conducted as part of the Digikansalaisuus ja palveluiden saavutettavuus maaseudulla (Digital Citizenship and Access to Services in Rural Areas) research project by the Universities of Lapland and Vaasa and the University of Applied Sciences of Lapland. The project was funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Development Fund for Agriculture and Forestry, MAKERA).

First, the respondents were asked to evaluate how much time they spent on digitalisation questions during their working hours and how many of their organisation's services were available digitally. The respondents were also asked to describe the functionality of their organisation's e-services and to evaluate how important various aspects of e-services were for their users (e.g. ease of use, saving money). Views on the organisation's digital service development were surveyed. Questions also examined whether the respondents agreed or disagreed with various statements regarding the usefulness and functionality of e-services from a citizen's point of view (e.g. whether public and private e-services fulfilled citizens' needs, whether it was important that those providing e-services take accessibility into account). Finally, the respondents were asked whether various aspects related to their organisation's services, such as the location of their service points and the digital literacy of their customers, supported vitality and equality in their region of operation as well as the improvement of the well-being of disadvantaged residents in the region. Questions also charted which age groups the respondents thought were most active in giving feedback on digitalisation-related questions and how the respondents thought their organisation would develop as a workplace due to digitalisation in the next five years.

Background variables included the respondent's organisation, position in the organisation, and main region of operation.

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