FLEXPUB: New Generation of flexible public services – the geospatial case

Research Context

​​The public administrations have a great need to innovate in the field of the services that they offer. On the one hand, these administrations face complex challenges and it is expected from them to foresee more and more tailor-made public services. On the other hand, the public organisations are limited by their resources and their knowledge. Therefore, it has become crucial to develop efficient and creative e-services which, moreover, are capable of adapting in a flexible way to the changing needs.


In the context of this multidisciplinary research, two universities (KU Leuven and UNamur) and a federal institution (the National Geographic Institute) collaborate and study how the public (e-)services can be developed and how the federal government can stimulate and support them. For practical purposes, the research is limited to e-services presenting a geographical orientation in the implementation of a public policy (for example the prevention of wildfires, the management of addresses, the fight against fraud, etc.).



The main objective of FLEXPUB is twofold: 1) to develop a global federal strategy for the implementation of flexible geographical public e-services; 2) to establish a federal blueprint for enabling flexibility and innovation in the public sector also beyond the field of geographical e-services. This main objectives encompasses the following sub-objectives: to provide an overview of the current situation in the field of geospatial public e-services, to identify the future needs of the users and to define the possible options which could be used to provide an answer to the changing needs.



Through the means of a baseline measurement, an analysis of the stakeholder’s requirements, relevant case studies and impact assessments, the current situation of the Belgian public services will be studied in order to identify the future needs and the way through which the federal administrations can develop, manage and stimulate the use of these services. The results of the research will thus form a basis to identify the implementation conditions for the creation of sustainable e-services.


In order to achieve the main objectives, an interdisciplinary approach is necessary. The various partners will share their expertise by analysing the research project with their own disciplinary point of view. The research will then integrate these various perspectives (technological, legal, organisational, managerial) in a single coherent approach.


Excpected outcomes

A major social impact is expected from this research project given that many stakeholders of various sectors (not only within but also outside of the public sector) and of various administrative levels can be involved, such as: the providers of public services but also the citizens and the e-service developers which have an interest in fields such as physical space planning, environment, security, transports, health and employment. Often, these e-services are also used to adopt important public policy decisions. From a scientific point of view, the interdisciplinary, systematic and empirical approach of the research provides a great added value. It is expected that the results of this research will inspire others researches.


As indicated above, the strategy aiming at developing a flexible geographical public e-service and the development of a blueprint for an innovative and adaptive administration will be the more visible results of the research. The research will also provide other results, notably: a baseline measurement in the field of Belgian public e-services, a list of the stakeholders’ needs, reports on the case studies, public policy options, etc. The most important results will be published in scientific and/or professional journals. To further valorise the research, a consultation of the relevant policy-makers in the field of public e-services will be organised through the means of several workshops. Finally, a handbook of measures and a toolkit will be part of the research’s deliverables.

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