Local governments need different specialists on a day-to-day basis to be able to solve various field-
specific problems while cooperating with other departmental units. One focus area of the BETTER
project was developing crucial skills of supporting staff to initiate projects and resolve local issues, thereby fostering regional innovation. In Tartu, this expertise has usually been purchased as an external service rather than training an internal group of motivated people to provide it. However, this project has given the Estonian city the opportunity to observe and learn from the HR skill development practices of Gävle (specifically, its digitization unit) and Birmingham (through DIPS).
In the wake of several Thematic Events, Study Visits and Import Workshops, Tartu has implemented its first public service design training programme during the first half of Phase 2, involving 12 people from the city government. The programme contained 7 days of theory, mixed with practical tasks based on real problems and needs relating to local public services. Most of these tasks were carried out by 4-member groups to imitate real life where there is always a need to work and communicate with different people with various backgrounds and skills. The project team hopes that this programme will ensure the generation of new initiatives within the city, serving regional growth and raising public satisfaction.