Industrial PhD from ITU wins award at eGovernment conference
Christian Østergaard Madsen, Industrial PhD student at the IT University, has won ‘Outstanding Paper’ at the EGOV 2015 conference about digital public administration. The winning paper is about citizens’ choice of forms of contact with public authorities.
How can government organisations influence citizens to use digital channels instead of picking up the phone? This is the central question of Christian Østergaard Madsen’s Industrial PhD, which he will hand in at ITU in September. The paper Channel Choice: A Literature Review
, which describes gaps in the existing research on digitization of government organisations, has just won the award for ''The most compelling, critical research reflection'
at the EGOV 2015 conference
"One of the areas that have not been examined is how the citizens' choice of form of contact with the authorities is also a social process in which people give each other tips and advice," says Christian Østergaard Madsen.
In his PhD thesis 'Why do they keep calling', he examines the social aspect of citizen contact with public authorities.
"The Danish government's strategy is aimed at citizens finding their own way through the system. We have very high self-service rates in this country - around 98-99% in some of the areas I’m looking at. The problem is that citizens keep calling. The phone supplements the internet, and this is what I examine in my thesis: How can we make the digital solutions so good that there is no need to call for help?"
Beneficial collaboration with ATP
The Industrial PhD has been written in a collaboration with the Danish pension provider ATP, where Christian has collected his research material, and this has proved beneficial to all parties. ATP has gained useful knowledge about how to optimize digital solutions.
"ATP has gained a lot of knowledge about how people actually use the digital channels and what problems people have, which lead to the calls," says Christian Østergaard Madsen. "They also get an understanding of what channels people use – not just the official ones. Citizens also use each other, online banking and Google."
Watch a video about how ATP has benefitted from Christian Østergaard Madsen’s Industrial PhD:
Hear Christian talk about his Industrial PhD and the collaboration with ATP:
Read more about the Industrial PhD programme at ITU here.