Two main driving forces helped the creation of the Integrated Action Plan of Debrecen within the Interactive Cities URBACT III project. On one hand, the Strategy for Developing Digital Literacy in Debrecen was set up in 2017 and identified 3 fields of digitalization that should be developed. Two of them is aiming to improve the digital presence of both businesses and public authorities and to give a boost to digital communication for all stakeholders. On the other hand, the Municipality delegated the tasks of developing SME sector to EDC Debrecen, which is a non-profit organization for urban and business development owned by the Municipality and the University of Debrecen. One field of this development is the communication in both offline and online forms.
The logic of the IAP is that everything must be achieved with the available resources of EDC Debrecen, since this is the development agency of Debrecen, that has its own budget and involved in international projects dealing with these topics. Although, as our previous experiences prove that whenever EDC Debrecen provides a good practice, the Municipality will take over and adopt it.
Based on comments and remarks by the ULSG members, we defined five basic problems as “root problems”: lack of data, lack of knowledge, lack of trust, lack of communication skills, deficient city branding.
The main goal of the IAP is to improve the communication between the stakeholders of Debrecen and the Municipality, which defines 3 areas:
- development of communicational skills
- creating and maintaining cooperational platforms
- improving online presence of local stakeholders
The time horizon of IAP is generally 1-3 years, but there are some activities, that has their effects in the long-run as well.
List of planned actions
The following list contains the main actions to challenge some or all root problems:
- Prize for online presence: citizens can vote on the best micro, best small enterprises, etc.
- Gathering open data about online presence of local enterprises: developing this open database
- Introducing online communication forms to SME enterprises: launching a volunteer program about teaching the basics of emailing, posting, etc.
- Developing Debrecen App:providing actual, useful and exciting content via this application
- Digitalization of some administrative processes within municipality:let entrepreneurs fill forms digitally and send them online (for example in PDF)
- Using Facebook and Twitter profile in SME communication:posting regularly on Facebook and Twitter profile for citizens, SMEs and large investors
- Organizing social media workshops
Municipality of Debrecen