Lunch seminar: Dr. Sarah Giest on Digital Access, Data-Driven Policymaking and Public Service Delivery (The Hague)

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Wijnhaven, The Hague, 4.78

Dr. Sarah Giest will present her paper on Digital Access, Data-Driven Policymaking and Public Service Delivery during a research feedback seminar. 

As our society is rapidly digitalizing, which poses participation barriers to significant groups of citizens the Dutch government's use of digital means for communicating with citizens has increased significantly. Dutch citizens have about 390 million contacts with government every year. More than half of these contacts take place via a digital channel. However, with increasingly limited options to access government services offline, citizens with low (digital) literacy skills face significant barriers to access such services. To address this problem, the Dutch government developed IDOs (Digital Support Desks/Informatiepunt Digitale Overheid) in 2018. These are help desks in libraries throughout the country where citizens can ask for offline assistance with accessing digital government services.

Dr. Sarah Giest's research on libraries and these helpdesks, which was done in close contact with the Royal Dutch Library (KB) and expert interviews from governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, found that although libraries as primary sites for helping with digital government services may pose the disadvantage of being more difficult to reach for low-literate citizens, advantages are their organizational structure at the local level as well as their currently changing role to include a growing range of services, including (digital) skills courses. Based on this research, Dr. Giest saw that libraries – and the IDOs in them – are one piece of a larger social infrastructure puzzle that enables citizens to gain access to and feel included by digital service offerings. Social infrastructure can be physical places and/or organizations that shape the way people interact, including libraries, community centers or parks. In this context, Dr. Giest aims to raise future questions on how local, social infrastructures facilitate digital inclusion and participation in diverse Dutch neighborhoods.

All are welcome to attend the seminar at 13:00-14:00 in room 4.78. Free lunch will be provided if you email your attendance to  

If you want to join this session via Zoom, you can use this link: