Service Design Within the Public Sector in the Northern Region of Colombia: Governance and Community Challenges
de Castro Abello, Marisabella
There are two official ways in which poverty is measured in Colombia: the Multidimensional Poverty Index (IPM) that evaluates five different dimensions in which Colombian homes may be in a state of deprivation; and the monetary income, which evaluates the acquisition capacity of homes related to a basic shopping basket. According to the National Statistics Department, in 2016, the IPM showed that 17.8% of the population of Colombia was poor. Additionally, the monetary income indicated that 28% of Colombians were monetary poor with 8.5% of them living under extreme poverty conditions (DANE, 2017). Even though both indexes have seen reductions over the last ten years, the figures still show that many Colombians still require assistance both from government and non-government organizations in order to cope with their situation. Specifically, this research has focused on the Caribbean Region of Colombia, in which the situation if worse than that of the national average. In 2016, 26.4% of the inhabitants of the Region were living in conditions of poverty. This is the second poorest Region of the country, only exceeded by the Pacific Region with a 33.2% (DANE, 2017). Taking these circumstances into account, this project has focused on how public services aimed at people living under these conditions could be enhanced in order to meet their requirements and be efficient and effective from the provider´s perspective. Owing to the situation described above, the Colombian National government through its local administrations provide services in order to care for its inhabitants necessities, and a special effort has been made into those aimed at people living under deprived conditions. However, delivering public services to underprivileged areas poses a challenge for national and local administrators. The aim of this on-going research is to identify those specific challenges and to propose a method by which the first part of the service design process could be improved in order to conceptualize, develop and evaluate services within the public sector in Colombia.