In order to rebuild the relationship between the administration and its stakeholders, the Chamber of Commerce of the Italian city of Cosenza has initiated project #OpenCameraCosenza. To achieve this objective, #OpenCameraConsenza rearranged the organizational and communication structures and together with the legal representative, the communications team used different tools to reach the administration's stakeholders: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Aurasma app, Qr-codes and the website.
#OpenCameraConsenza insists on “openness”: an administration ready to engage with and listen to its stakeholders. The final goal of #OpenCameraCosenza is to reach the majority of stakeholders with useful information through informal channels (social networks, apps, etc.). In this way, the Chamber of Commerce of Cosenza becomes closer to users' needs, involving them in a virtuous circle of improvement of both the services and functions of the administration.
Organizational restructuring was necessary to foster change in units’ daily work, to accommodate units’ priorities, initiate new programs, enhance organizational effectiveness, and address budget reductions. After the reorganization and the job rotation in 2016, the workload has now been redistributed, and each employee is able to carry on duties aligned with his/her skills. Employees particularly interested in new media, who followed specific training, are now responsible for the communication of the Chamber.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
#OpenCameraCosenza is an innovation because:
1. The project has resulted in a reduction in the cost of communication
2. Each member of the Chamber's staff has a higher level of accountability thanks to the reorganization of offices. This decreases the response time of employees.
3. It has been possible to reach a great portion of stakeholders, involving them in the decision-making process of the Chamber.
What is the current status of your innovation?
As of this date of submission in 2018, the innovation has been fully implemented. The Chamber of Commerce of Cosenza has been developing new projects around #OpenCameraCosenza.
In this first phase, the reorganization of the staff was conducted entirely by the management and the employees themselves.
To make the change happen, the Chamber’s staff undertook training and the management revised the Performance Measurement.
The staff in charge of communication developed the plan to raise the engagement of the stakeholders using social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Yelp), Augmented Reality and QR-Codes. The use of social networks reduced the amount of printed material with economic and ecological impacts.
Through the use of video tutorials on Youtube, the employees of the Chamber explain both the role of the institutions and how to access its services.
In 2018 the Chamber began using a web-based, free platform to keep track of staff proposals, new performance measurement, and anti-corruption.
Collaborations & Partnerships
The Chamber of Commerce of Cosenza has developed numerous partnership with different institutions in the spirit of "openess".
The Chamber has signed over 24 MoUs with different organizations. Those listed are the more significant: Ufficio Scolastico Regionale (Regional Education Offices), National Library, Community of the Universities of the Mediterranean, University of Calabria and Liaison Office, municipalities of Cosenza.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
The Chamber has been consistently evaluating users' and employees’ satisfaction through customer care and reporting.
Open.ImpreseCosenza gives public access to open dataset from Cosenza and Italy.
Webinars help stakeholders and employees to stay up-to-date on numerous subjects.
The Chamber of Commerce of Cosenza is also part of Open Government Partnership, an international platform for domestic reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
In 2015 and 2016, to test the efficiency of such a significant change, the Chamber of Commerce of Cosenza developed a system of feedback and reporting.
For each event (call for proposal, training opportunity for employees and stakeholders, discussion forum, etc.) the Chamber has listened to the opinion of stakeholders.
62,43% of the Chamber’s employees are now related to “real” services to stakeholders. The job rotation involved 55% of the employees, the majority of whom had remained in the same position for several years – (in some cases up to 30 years).
In 2016, a new performance measurement of the Public Administration was introduced.
In 2017, the Chamber of Commerce established a Corporate Social Responsibility Think Tank for the purpose of openness of #OpenCameraCosenza.
Pursuing the objectives of transparency and openness, the Chamber produced its first Social Balance Sheet in 2016.
Challenges and Failures
The management of the Chamber of Commerce of Cosenza faced three major challenges developing the #OpenCameraCosenza:
- Transparency problem: the Chamber adopted AGEF platform. Through an automatic tracking system, the platform guarantees the proper conduct of both the Institution and the applicant.
- Natural resistance to change: training programs and bottom-up decision-making processes were the solutions to this problem. Staff training is fundamental to realigning competences to a role, and this is why in 2016, 100% of employees followed at least 30 hours of classes.
- Skepticism: the networking activity of the Chamber of Commerce won over skepticism from other institutions and stakeholders.
Conditions for Success
To make the change happen the Chamber’s staff undertook training activities.
The staff in charge of communication developed a plan to raise the engagement of the stakeholders using social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Yelp), Augmented Reality and QR-Codes.
Through video tutorials on Youtube, the employees speak directly to stakeholders.
In 2018 the Chamber began using a web-based free platform to keep track of staff proposals.
This solution could be replicated by other institutions.
It is s model that is usable for a variety of projects, with a focus on transparency, communication and new media.
Job rotation and reorganization based on an increase in accountability produces more engaged employees.
New technologies should be considered a solid partner for public administration.
Numerous institutions acknowledge the success of #OpenCameraCosenza. In particular, the President of Italy’s National Anti-Corruption Authority, Raffaele Cantone, recorded a video for the Anticorruption Day 2017 of the Chamber of Commerce in which he highlighted the keys to the success of #OpenCameraCosenza:
- The ability to combine inner digital transformation with transparency/integrity system.
Finally The Chamber’s Corporate Social Responsibility Think Thank was presented with success during the annual CSR Conference held in Milan in October 2017.