Service Design for the Environment and Planning Act
Ministerie IenM

Environment and Planning ACT - IenM

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, together with the Rijkswaterstaat plan to revise and implement the ‘Environment and Planning Act’ in 2018. In order for it to be a success, civil servants should not only know about the legal changes and the relevant knowledge to put these changes in practice , but that also, their behaviour should be in line with the spirit of the law. The target behaviour of this law is to facilitate, inspire trust and take responsibility. And last but not least, the new ACT aims at making the permit procedures more efficient and effective.

Design Innovation Group was given an assignment to develop a prototype using service design thinking that give rise to such behaviour among civil servants. To develop the right kind of interventions, civil servants were interviewed and their behaviour and environment were observed. This provided a good application of the process and brought to the surface the areas of problem and improvements.

Through an initial investigation DIG concluded along with the client that we could be most efficient while aiming at the target behaviour. This was achieved through investigating the way of working and procedures that take place between civil servants and citizens. The research showed that citizens in need of a permit had difficulties in understanding procedures applicable and foreseeing the costs. After the official handing, the procedure felt like a black box. The current civil servants had difficulties keeping an overview of the applications that are being prepared, were not satisfied by applications that were incomplete and felt that their expertise was not being used to the fullest.

Based on the interviews, DIG investigated scenarios where they could make impact and the interviews helped them realise what sort of incentives could be given to make these procedures for applicants clear and more user-friendly DIG found patterns and themes that gave insight into what procedures and what kind of interventions might change the work for the civil servants for the better . The original framework was therefore reframed in a way, where the administrators were provided with a tool kit, with processes and with adaptations to the working environment, so that they – as an expert – can help their clients to hand in complete applications, make the procedures more efficient and at the same time provide the services as foreseen in the change of the Act.