Toward Sustainable ICT-Supported Neighborhood Development—A Maturity Model
2.1. Community Development
2.2. Digital Tools for Community Collaboration
- communication (e.g., audio/video conference systems, file transfer, email, instant messaging),
- cooperation (e.g., weblog, wiki) and
- coordination (e.g., social tagging, voting tool, application sharing tool, bulletin board) .
2.3. Implementation and Evaluation of Technology for Neighborhood Development
3. Materials and Methods
3.1. Design/Populate Phase
3.2. Test Phase–Validation and Adaptation in Case Studies
4.1. Transferability of the B3-MM to the Neighborhood Context
4.2. Adaptations to the Model
4.3. Dimensions for ICT-supported Neighborhood Development
4.3.1. Neighborhood Activities
- Degree of Networking (Degree of Integration) in the Neighborhood:A community is comprised of a wide variety of actors from different sectors including civil society, health and social services. As cooperation and exchange between actors become more formalized and more actors from different sectors participate, a broader network is formed. A long-term goal of neighborhood development is promoting systematic cooperation and exchange among all actors in a neighborhood, with the ultimate goal of achieving comprehensive community-based cooperation among the population.
- Competence Development to Foster (Volunteers’) Capacity Building:In the context of neighborhood development, volunteers tend to play a crucial role. The acquisition, improvement, and maintenance of relevant skills is an important but complex task, largely due to the heterogeneity of this group. Volunteers often lack specific knowledge, including knowledge related to administrative necessities. The development of competence among citizens will increase the capacity for neighborhood development.
- Community Orientation and Integration of Disadvantaged Groups:The aim of community orientation is to improve the living conditions of all actors at local and regional levels through, with, and for local people. Often, disadvantaged people can only participate in social life to a limited extent and do not fully benefit from existing support systems. Neighborhood development projects can contribute to improving the quality of life for people in vulnerable groups and promoting their inclusion in the community. The fostering of participation and inclusion of these groups will then, as a by-product, maintain their individual health.
- Citizen Empowerment and Participation in Neighborhood Work:Neighborhood work is about the resources in the neighborhood, the strengthening of self-management and processes of self-organization, and networking and cooperation among local institutions and actors. This dimension is concerned with enabling participation of citizens as co-designers of change processes. To address this dimension, the population must be provided with easy-to-use tools that promote their involvement in neighborhood development, such as technical solutions that allow people to express their opinions.
4.3.2. Management and Organization
- Managing Ideas and new Projects:Many of the best ideas are likely to come from committed neighborhood residents or professionals who understand where improvements can be made to existing processes. These innovations need to be recognized, assessed and, where possible, scaled up to provide benefits across the neighborhood. The focus of this dimension is not on the technological or material but on social innovations (e.g., using ICT for neighborhood development).
- Readiness to Change to Community-based Development:Change in existing systems is often accompanied by the creation of new roles, processes and working practices. Such change requires a broad-based motivation for change and a strategy and vision of how neighborhood cooperation should be shaped in the future.
- Regulation of Responsibilities and Organizational Structure:The structuring of neighborhood work and higher-level governance is not a guarantee of success. In the context of neighborhood development, control at the regional or local level is preferable. Structure is seen as a service provided by the municipality to the citizens. This service can be used on a voluntary basis for project development but is not mandatory to use.
- Digital Transformation:A lively neighborhood relies on communication, exchange and community. Transparency and communication between citizens and local professional actors and institutions are an important basis for effective neighborhood work. In contrast to integrated care, digital information and communication services are used to support community work and interaction in a neighborhood. These services should support the efficient cooperation of community actors and enable citizens and multipliers to interact and participate in the neighborhood development. Digital services are ideally based on existing offerings and structures. Digital interaction possibilities should also be based on and extend existing networks.
- Funding:Successful and sustainable community development requires an initial investment at both organizational and technical levels, as well as continued financial support until new structures and services are fully operational. Ensuring the financing of initial and running costs is therefore an essential measure.
4.3.4. Implementation and Evaluation
- Evaluation Methods:The evaluation of interventions for digitally supported neighborhood development is often a prerequisite for funding and official recognition. Evaluation is also a tool for standardizing procedures and thus facilitates the exchange and transfer of best practices.
- Standardization and Simplification:Standardization of procedures and implementation strategies for ICT can simplify collaboration among all involved actors. Furthermore, the exchange of guidelines and best practices between projects and neighborhoods could be desirable.
- Overcoming Barriers:Good technologies alone do not guarantee successful neighborhood development. User-friendly and self-explanatory technology may be subject to other barriers, including a lack of political support or insufficient marketing, which may prevent the spread of the technology. The “removal of inhibitors” may not always be possible in neighborhood development; therefore, this dimension must focus on how to manage these barriers.
5.1. Application of the Model
- Self-AssessmentThe MMND can be used as a self-assessment tool with which a neighborhood developer or a team of neighborhood developers can evaluate the current state of a project. The results of the self-assessment could also be communicated to existing or potential funders if required or desired.
- Tool for consensus buildingThe MMND could be the basis for a consensus process between diverging neighborhood stakeholders. In this case, each stakeholder or stakeholder group would conduct a self-assessment prior to a consensus-building workshop. In the workshop, the self-assessment results would be compared and discussed to reach consensus about what strategy to adopt and how to proceed in the future.
- Planning ToolThe model can also serve as a basis for comprehensive project planning. In this case, the tool could be used for orientation at the beginning of a project. A planning workshop should consist of three steps: First, the status quo of the neighborhood should be assessed for each dimension. Second, a maturity target for each dimension should be determined. Finally, the necessary steps to achieve the target must be defined.
- Benchmarking/Exchange of Best PracticesOn the basis of prior self-assessments, it could be desirable to compare and exchange experiences between neighborhoods. The eight case studies demonstrate that accompanying materials and procedures would need to be standardized and made easily accessible to achieve this exchange of ideas.
- MonitoringThe maturity model could be used to monitor the achievement of milestones and project progress at regular intervals. The majority of practitioners felt that, if the model was used repeatedly over an extended period of time, progress would be made visible.
5.2. Target Users of the Model
5.3. Defining the Object of Investigation and Maturity Level
5.4. An Excurus: The Impact of the Coronavirus
5.5. Limitations and Future Work
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Renyi, M.; Hegedüs, A.; Maier, E.; Teuteberg, F.; Kunze, C. Toward Sustainable ICT-Supported Neighborhood Development—A Maturity Model. Sustainability 2020, 12, 9319. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229319
Renyi M, Hegedüs A, Maier E, Teuteberg F, Kunze C. Toward Sustainable ICT-Supported Neighborhood Development—A Maturity Model. Sustainability. 2020; 12(22):9319. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229319Chicago/Turabian Style
Renyi, Madeleine, Anna Hegedüs, Edith Maier, Frank Teuteberg, and Christophe Kunze. 2020. "Toward Sustainable ICT-Supported Neighborhood Development—A Maturity Model" Sustainability 12, no. 22: 9319. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229319