Digital welfare: designing for more nuanced forms of access

Lizzie Coles-Kemp, Debi Ashenden, Amelia Morris, Jeremy Yuille

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewpeer-review


The aim of many forms of digitalized welfare is to offer a person-alized, holistic service that is affordable, sustainable, efficient,encouraging and leaves room for voluntary action. We argue thatfor these goals to be achieved, consideration has to be givenboth to the design of the system delivered by the welfare pro-vider and to the ecosystem that further shapes the experience ofthe system. In such an ecosystem not only should state-providedwelfare be considered but so too should community support, aswell as alternative methods of accounting for societal contribu-tion. In this paper, we use theoretical perspectives on access andsecurity to ideate sketches that invoke new user experiences ofwelfare. These sketches reflect the importance of both designingfor and understanding the ecosystem in which welfare systemsare accessed, in order to articulate a different welfare ethos thatcan encompass both complementary and conflicting perspectives.Using the ideas of Buchanan (1992,2001a) our synthesis of theo-ries related to security with the practical implementation of digitalwelfare aims to shape the placement (Buchanan1992) of digitalwelfare by embedding access points of different types furtherinto the welfare ecosystem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalPolicy Design and Practice
Early online date7 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 May 2020

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