Description of the collaboration
The PoWalCo (Plateform wallonne de coordination des chantiers) online platform is a digital tool that aims at facilitating collaborations among actors such as utility companies and public authorities who work on roads and waterways in the Walloon Region in Belgium. Through the online platform, actors can exchange information about the planning, coordination, and authorization of the worksites on the Walloon roads and waterways. In this way, repeated public works on the same stretch of road by different utility companies and public authorities within a short time span can be avoided.
Impact of ICT on collaboration
ICT is at the core of the collaboration between the actors as a multitude of ICT tools have been used to facilitate collaboration including document transfer management tools, online collaboration tools, data management tools, data analysis tools, and data visualisation tools. The online platform also facilitates the exchange of information between the different actors. For instance, once a new worksite has been registered in the online platform, the online platform automatically identifies the actors who are present or who wish to be notified of future works.
ICT therefore played a major role in fostering collaboration among the different actors by facilitating the exchange of information with regards to the planning, coordination, and authorization of the worksites in the Walloon Region. Without the online platform, collaboration among the actors would have been more problematic and sometimes even impossible. Moreover, PoWalCo regularly consults its members and users to improve the online platform with regards to the implementation of some amendments.
Impact of collaboration on efficiency
The online platform has increased efficiency in two main ways. First, collaboration among the actors, through the online platform, has substantially decreased the number of worksites on the same road or waterway, improving the lives of the citizens who sometimes had their roads opened several times within short periods. Thanks to the online platform, the actors coordinate their actions before starting work on a road or waterway. To participate on a worksite, actors are informed of others who also wish to work in this area. The collaboration between the actors who wish to work on the same worksite has therefore substantially improved the lives of the residents as a road is only opened once to carry out the necessary work.
Second, the online platform has led to some important efficiency gains with regards to worksite management. It has also substantially reduced the amount of paper-based documents used by the actors. Previously, actors had to draft and mail letters, now everything is managed by the online platform that sends notifications to all the actors involved in the collaboration. The efficiency gained through the enhanced collaboration among the actors could already be noticed one year after the actors were formally obliged to employ the online platform in 2018.
Impact of collaboration on red tape
The online platform has succeeded in diminishing, and sometimes completely eliminating, red tape as it manages all the notifications linked with the worksite. It has also considerably reduced the workload of users without adding administrative burdens.
Yet, red tape has not been fully eliminated by the implementation of the online platform and could be further reduced by including additional authorizations such as police authorization or other applications within the online platform, allowing users to have a single online platform.
Implications and lessons learned
The collaboration is happening through an online platform that has revolutionized the way information about the planning, coordination, and authorization of the worksites on the Walloon roads and waterways is exchanged among a multitude of actors. Three main observations can be highlighted. First, ICT is at the core of the collaboration between the different actors, and the collaboration could not have been possible without it. Second, the study also shows that collaboration has increased efficiency by coordinating the actors’ actions before the start of a worksite on a road or waterway. Finally, the collaboration setting has substantially reduced red tape by diminishing the paper-based documents employed by the users and the sending of mails. Yet, the findings need to be nuanced here as the collaboration setting has not fully eliminated red tape.
You can read the full case study here.
To read more about this research, see D9.1 – A Review of Efficiency and Red Tape in Public Sector Collaborations report.
|Title of the source||Original title in French (date)||Availability|
Official Website PoWalCo
|Report on the changes brought by the decree||
Gestion des impétrants. Décret du 30 avril 2009. Information, coordination et organisation des chantiers sous, sur et au-dessus des voiries ou des cours d’eau (September 2018)
Décret relatif à l’information, la coordination et l’organisation
des chantiers, sous, sur ou au-dessus des voiries ou des cours d’eau (30th of April 2009)
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