NEN is partner in het PROGRESSIVE project: Progressive Standards around ICT for Active and Healthy Ageing.
PROGRESSIVE is an EU-funded project focusing on the standardisation needs in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT) for active and healthy ageing (AHA). Project partners from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK are involved either in standardisation processes or in the inclusion of older adults.
The PROGRESSIVE Project will help make sure that standards take account of the voice of older people and contribute to the creation of environments where, as we age, we can all have better access to products and services. This includes:
• Encouraging scientists, product managers and manufacturers to work with older people when designing their products;
• Encouraging community planners and municipal leaders to promote age-friendliness in cities, towns and villages; and
• Encouraging older people to make sure that their needs are understood when accessing services or buying products.
In standardisation, inclusiveness – that is, the participation of a wide range of stakeholders – is important to improve the quality of standards and legitimise the outcome of the standardisation process. Users of products and services are a recognised stakeholder group in the European standardisation system and, at national level, standardisation initiatives invite users and their representatives to participate.
Despite all efforts to invite different user groups, the users are underrepresented. To support these efforts PROGRESSIVE project has developed a draft guide for reaching out to underrepresented users in standardization for products and services.
Co-production has history in the design world. For decades designers have been working increasingly closer with the future users of their designs. This approach has become increasingly popular in other fields too. The draft guide translates the approach to formal standardisation. User co-production provides several benefits to a standardisation effort, for example, it:
- brings fresh thinking and new value to the standardisation committee;
- proactively captures value from better understanding of future market needs and possibilities;
- helps identify and mitigate risks;
- taps into the collective creativity and intelligence of the technical committee;
- captures value from the collaboration with partners for user co-production;
- motivates member involvement in the committee and fosters teamwork and collaboration.
The Joint Initiative on Standardisation and the CEN publication Civil Society call for improved user representation in the standardisation work to improve the quality and legitimacy of the work. The Joint Initiative of Standardization is part of policy of the European Commission on standardization.
The guide provides guidance and practical tools on when and how to reach out to users and solicit users’ opinions on relevant questions. We recognize a standard user co-production process for standardisation does not exist; each committee should define a strategy and activities based on its needs and resources. The guide is targeted at the national standardisation committees. The guide draws on up-to-date practical methodologies of co-production and translates the methodologies to the formal standard development procedures of CEN/CENELEC. The guide provides practical recommendations for the use of methodologies such as focus group discussions, story board and customer journey in standardisation work.