What outcome for EIG challenges?

20 May 2019 / by Soizic Pénicaud, pour l'équipe EIG

Sustainability is one of the main challenges of the Public Interest Entrepreneurs program. How can we ensure that EIG challenges continue beyond the 10 months of the program, both in terms of the solutions developed and the communities trained? How can the digital transformation impetus provided by EIGs be put on a permanent footing? And what is the role of the mentors in this sustainability?

Four months after the start of the promotion 3 challenges, we explored this issue with the challenge mentors during a coaching session on 18 April 2019. This provided an opportunity to learn from the lessons of promotions 1 and 2 and to identify the actions to be taken to put promotion 3 challenges on a permanent footing.

What is meant by “put on a permanent footing”?

In May 2018, we discussed the subject with EIGs and mentors of promotion 2, in cooperation with the information systems departments of the host administrations.

On this occasion, we identified 3 areas to be considered to succeed in putting their challenge on a permanent footing from the standpoint of tools and knowledge : the production of deliverables, the transmission of knowledge to host administrations, and the reliability of tools and processes to ensure their resilience.

On 18 April 2019, we renewed the experience with the EIG 3 mentors, choosing a new approach, made possible by the experience we have accumulated. We looked at the various ways in which the promotion 1 and 2 challenges were put on a permanent footing. Through this, we have identified the steps to be taken by promotion 3 mentors to mobilize the stakeholders required for the production, transmission and reliability actions mentioned above.

Un groupe d'adultes installés dans des chaises à roulettes et tablettes. Ils sont tournés vers une jeune femme blonde devant une présentation projetée au mur. Promotion 3 mentors discover the avenues of sustainability opened up by the challenges of previous promotions

The outcomes of promotion 1 and 2 challenges: from consolidation to acceleration

At the end of the 10 months, EIG challenges are often at various stages due to the diverse contexts in which they are addressed.
The term “sustainability” thus covers several non-exclusive cases:

  • Make sure that the deliverables developed during the challenge will be maintained,, such as for Prédisauvetage (EIG 2) or b@liseNAV (EIG 2).
  • Continue to develop tools already in production and used during the challenge.. This is the case for the cartAV (EIG 1) and Archifiltre (EIG 2), challenges included in the Ministry of Social Affairs incubator in March 2019, and the Social Connect (EIG 2) challenge.
  • Putting deliverables into production after the challenge is over. The beta version of the MN/Lab platform, developed as part of the Gobelins challenge to put Mobilier National’s collections online, was launched in April 2019, i.e. six months after the challenge is over. This will continue to be developed in the coming months.
  • Going beyond the initial challenge, by leveraging the potential for reuse of deliverables by other administrations or upgrading them. These include the matchID database cross-referencing tool (EIG 1), which has become a shared tool between ministries, through in particular the backing of Etalab and DINSIC. The Tell-tell signs chellenge (EIG 2), developed in Burgundy-Franche-Comté, went national in April 2019, under the impetus of the challenge’s mentor, Stéphanie Schaer.

the “fixed duration” of the promotions is thus useful in providing impetus for rapid development and iterations with users. However, it calls for the anticipating of longer-term actions that will be needed for anchoring deliverables and skills over time.

What are the mid-term sustainability issues for the challenges of promotion 3?

During the mentoring session on 18 April 2019, the EIG 3 mentors worked in challenge pairs to identify their allies and develop various sustainability scenarios for the challenges.

The important steps required to ensure the outcome of challenges include:

  • Continuing to communicate with stakeholders (administrations, users, specialized ecosystem) to ensure that the tools are known, used and recognized as useful. This communication may take several forms: “demos” of tools, presentations, articles, etc. For the ACOSS Plateforme and DataReg, the challenge is to enable the tools to be put into production within their information systems departments. Open Chronic has to respond to the challenge of structuring and coordinating a community of users of the National Health Data System, for example through the organization of meetups. CibNAV will focus on user tests, to highlight the usefulness of the targeting tool developed and to support its implementation in production.

  • Identify and document the technical and human resources needed to put the tools on a permanent footing. The IA Flash mentors have already identified that the APIs developed for the challenge will be taken over by the service provider developing the control tool. For the Karfu’R challenge, the aim is to find an appropriate form of governance for the sustainability of the Agi’R platform, which brings together various institutional and associative actors backing the integration of refugees in France.

  • Initiate actions that require time and coordination : recruitment, partnerships, etc. The CartoBio challenge mentors are already anticipating that the tool will not be completely finished in November: they therefore need to find a way to continue working with EIGs in the home straight. This is also the case for Explocode, as the launching of the digital labour code is scheduled for 1 January 2020. Mentors should therefore already be thinking about whether or not to extend data scientist positions within the team after the EIG program is over.

Une matrice présente deux scénarios de pérennisation, en précisant les besoins ou difficultés liés à chaque scénario ainsi que les actions à mettre en oeuvre pour réaliser chaque scénario. Scenarios for putting on a permanent footing the ExploCode challenge which has already identified invaluable allies: DSI, DGT, Etalab and DINSIC.

Priority action has been identified for most of the challenges: ensure that deliverables continue to benefit from developers and data scientists after the program. Many mentors have also expressed a willingness to continue working with EIGs.

While EIGs provide impetus for the digital transformation, mentors help to put it on a permanent footing. They have the ability and therefore the responsibility to align stakeholders to make sustainability possible. This cooperation between sector actors, strategic actors and technical profiles is essential to the EIG method. Indeed, it is the surest way we have found to ensure the success of digital transformation projects within the State.

As the program coordination team, we are committed to putting EIG challenges on a permanent footing. As part of a program assessment project, we are currently collecting more precise data on the outcomes of the projects and the means used to achieve them. We’ll let you know about the results soon!