What is SoCaTel?
SoCaTel is a European project that is creating a new technological platform that will include users, professionals and public administrations in the design of services related to dependence. The main aim of this project is to co-create a platform to allow citizens to participate in designing services to improve the lives of people who are dependent on others. SoCaTel is working to provide a tool that enables better access to information related to long-term care, simplifies administrative procedures and makes it possible to generate and implement new services focused on people who depend on others and their families.
This project is focused on acquiring better knowledge about the needs and social environment of older people; promoting citizens’ participation in the design of public services; improving existing services to make them more efficient and cost-effective; and promoting a humanised digitalisation that will be useful to ordinary people.
Demographic forecasts state that in 2025, 25% of the European population will be over age 65. SoCaTel will be a tool for improving long-term care services through co-creation and digitalisation, bringing value by engaging citizens directly in these processes.
SoCaTel is financed by a 3.7 million euro grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme. The project is coordinated by Rovira i Virgili University (URV) and draws on 13 institutions and private enterprises from nine countries.
Team members use co-creation methods to involve all stakeholders in developing the platform. These include users of public services, family members, care providers, professionals and researchers. The ultimate goal of the platform is to become a digital co-creation tool for long-term care services in Europe.
The project’s first step was holding focus group sessions to identify needs related to long-term care. Within the first phase, 45 focus groups were held with a total of 233 participants in the four European countries that will offer the platform: Finland, Ireland, Spain/Catalonia and Hungary. These countries have different models for managing the welfare state and long-term care. Participants of the focus groups were stakeholders, including users, family members, care providers, local administrations and policymakers.
After drawing conclusions from the focus groups, team members held co-creation workshops to generate ideas for the design of the SoCaTel platform and to co-create initial prototypes.
Currently, the SoCaTel platform is being pilot tested at the four sites. The pilot sessions have included representatives from local public administrations, which have confirmed their interest in testing the platform and in incorporating it into their future practices.
The next step is to hold ‘hackathons’ at which web designers will compete to develop the digital services that have been co-created at the pilot sites. These digital services will be available on the Ozillo apps marketplace.
The SoCaTel Project Team
The SoCaTel platform is being designed and implemented by a multinational and multidisciplinary group managed by the Department of Anthropology and Social Work of the URV. This team is comprised of the following enterprises and institutions:
Further information about the project: