From now and throughout the spring of 2022, Design for Government students will cooperate in two projects with the Finnish ministries and public services. The first project will address sustainability in nature recreation and the second will be focused in the orchestration of employment services in the current TE reform.

Sustainable nature recreation
Cooperation with Metsähallitus, Ministry of the Environment

Finland has 41 national parks, which are conservation areas. Visitor numbers of protected and recreational areas in Finland are growing, especially in national parks. In 2021, there were over 4 million visitors to national parks, which is 25% more than in 2019. However, visitor footprint and interactions with nature can hurt the environment and biodiversity. Citizens have a limited understanding of biodiversity and the impacts of recreation on wildlife and do not always realise the impact of their own, well-intended behaviour on nature. This project aims to promote sustainable use of protected and recreational areas, reduce visitor footprint, and support biodiversity targets by affecting attitudes and educating visitors and society at large. 

The main questions to address are: 

  • What kind of communications, guidance and support do visitors need to act sustainably?
  • How can the design of visitor experience promote sustainable nature recreation?
  • How can Metsähallitus strengthen visitors’ nature connectedness and guide them towards sustainable nature recreation?
Picture by Milla Keskipoikela ©

Employment services reform
Cooperation with Kela, Ministry of Finance

This project focuses on the current reform of employment services, moving the TE office (The Employment and Economic Development Office) to the municipal level during 2024. Such administration restructure means significant changes to the thousands of employees working in TE Office and municipalities working with employment matters, becoming a substantial part of what “new” reinvented cities take care of. This project aims to identify and solve the obstacles of the new employment services model with a focus on the Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa municipalities’ pilot offices. This project has two focus areas:

  1. The needs of public servants and working together with employees from municipalities, state (TE offices) and Kela to work together in a people-centred way.
  2. The jobseekers’ perspective to create smooth service journeys across the many public service providers involved. We will focus on the target group of jobseekers whose mother tongue is a language other than Finnish, Swedish, or Sami and the impact of the reform at the service delivery level.

The main questions to address are:

  • What do public administration workers need to ensure residents’ access to the right benefits and services?
  • How could lessons learned from different pilots be used to prepare for the change in 2024?
  • How could the renewal principles and people-centred ethos be used to guide the changes that public staff have to undergo – from training to learning new processes?
  • How are job seekers experiencing this shift?
  • How should the ideal service journeys be for the target group?
  • How shall Kela, TE and Municipalities orchestrate these services to improve employability?
Asiointi ulkomailla opiskeleville -
Kela, 2022 ©

If you want to find out more about the design process or the tools we use during the course, you can check previous course work and upcoming updates on our blog.

You are warmly welcomed to attend DfG’s Final Show, on the 23rd of May 2022! Register here to attend.