With the support of CityLAB Berlin and numerous cooperation partners, including the Pankow District Office and the Senate Department for Integration, Labor and Social Affairs, students at HTW Berlin (Berlin University of Applied Sciences for Engineering and Economics) spent a semester researching why only 10% of eligible applicants in Berlin (and 30% of eligible applicants in Germany) actually access the services made available to them via the the education and participation package (BuT).
Project participants analyzed the application process from the perspective of the citizens, conducted interviews, tested out different types of information sources, and in the end they identified some exciting findings. Based on these findings, the students then developed ideas on how the services provided under the BuT program can reach more eligible people. A temporary exhibition hosted by the CityLAB presented interactive approaches for how to remove stigmatization associated with using BuT services, increase access to said services, and rethink how language is used in the context of the program overall. The exhibition also provided insights into what a cooperation between the city administration and a design school (in this case, HTW) could look like.
The exhibition launch in September 2020 also laid the groundwork for a later interactive workshop with city employees responsible for the BuT program to explore how to improve the program in a user-centred way.