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Amsterdam integration counter (Amsterdam Integrates)

Published on: 05/08/2008 Document Archived
The Amsterdam Integration Counter is a web based application where inhabitants of Amsterdam, The Netherlands can find their way through all services and products provided by the municipality. We translate legislation, rules and regulations into simple text and present it through a very simple live event based menu. The information is presented through text, pictogramms and audio (voice over) in order to make the site, and thus the information accessible for functionally illiterates, immigrants, elderly and disabled people and anyone who finds communication with official organizations and institutions a very straining occupation.

Policy Context

We operate in the national policies regarding integration, healthcare an poverty reduction.

Description of target users and groups

Our target users are social servants and citizens. Citizens we can devide into immigrants, disabled people, elderly people and functionally illiterates. Nearly 20% of the Dutch population is of immigrant origin, 15% of the population has some kind of handicap, 25% is over 55 years of age and almost 15% is functionally illiterate.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

Implementation was completed in April 2004. Since then the application has been updated continuously. Getting the website in the air is only one part of the project. Making sure the information is always up to date is part of our core business. We provide full service to the municipalities we partner with so our work is on-going.

Technology solution

Technology choice: Mainly (or only) open standards, Open source software

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Lessons learnt

Lesson 1 - Internet is accessible for everyone as long as it is used in the proper manner. Always focus on the target groups before building a website. Start by researching their needs and abilities first. Lesson 2 - Good and clear government information is essential for all inhabitants in order to benefit from all services and products provided by the government and / or municipality. Lesson 3 - Improve products continuously because possibilities and needs are always changing. Scope: National