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Connectoo Training

Connectoo Training aims to reduce the digital divide in Belgium by training public officials to better take into account citizens on the digital fringe. Accessible free of charge and 100% online, connectoo trains and certifies public agents in the challenges of digital inclusion and in the reflexes to adopt to help the most vulnerable citizens with online administrative procedures. Together, we are reconnecting digital public services to citizens. In 2022, the digital divide remains more than ever a reality in Belgium, where nearly one adult in two is in a situation of digital vulnerability.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

In 2022, the digital divide remains more than ever a reality in Belgium, where almost one adult in two is in a situation of digital vulnerability (non-user or with low digital skills). In particular, 49% of the country's adult population still has no digital contact with public services and every day, many citizens feel lost when faced with the digitalisation of administrative procedures. The Connectoo Training course aims to reduce the digital divide by training the country's public servants in the challenges of digital inclusion and in assisting citizens with their online administrative procedures. Inspired by the "first aid certificate", its aim is to train as many public officials as possible in the first aid of digital administration.

Connectoo is a free online training course that is accessible to anyone working in a federal, regional or municipal administration, regardless of their job. Our goal is to train and certify 10,000 public employees in Belgium by 2030. The training is aimed downstream at agents in direct contact with citizens (e.g. call centre agents, counter agents) but also upstream at agents involved in the design of digital public services (e.g. communication managers, service managers).

The training is structured around 5 modules combining theory, practical exercises and interaction with other participants:

  • The challenges of digital inclusion
  • The problems linked to digital uses
  • Guiding users towards digital public services
  • Facilitating access to digital services
  • Designing inclusive services and supports

In addition, the training offers "applifocus", tutorials dedicated to essential digital services of the federal administration (pensions, finance, health. .) so that the agents in direct contact with the public can always be up to date with the latest functionalities offered.

To achieve our objectives, numerous partnerships have been developed with the country's various administrative entities, but also with civil society actors already involved in the fight against the digital divide. These different actors have contributed to co-create the programme and are involved in its dissemination today. To give an example o the results, the training course that went online in the summer of 2022 had already attracted nearly 1,000 participants in just a few months before the official communication was launched.

Innovation Description

What Makes Your Project Innovative?

  • To date, there is no equivalent to this training. Many initiatives are already in place at the level of regional and municipal institutions, but most of them aim at training mainly "frontline" staff.
  • The Connectoo Training allows to act on two levels: Downstream, by giving tools to the agents closest to the citizens in order to help them to go through the process of online public services, and upstream, by also raising awareness among second-line public agents of the importance of designing more inclusive digital public services "by design".
  • Moreover, Connectoo is a 100% online training course and completely free of charge, which allows it to reach a large audience that can learn easily and at its own pace.
  • It does not require any pre-requisites and promotes the exchange of good practices between public officials from different institutions through interactive activities.


Innovation Development

Collaborations & Partnerships

Preliminary research with digitally excluded citizens was conducted by the BOSA FPS to understand the issues on the ground. The training needs of the different administrations (federal, regional and local) were then collected to propose a programme with real added value. Experts from the associative and academic world then contributed their knowledge of the subject to design the programme with the SPF BOSA staff.

Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

Our main beneficiaries are public officials at all levels in Belgium, who are given the keys to help the most disadvantaged citizens with digital public services. Citizens are indirectly affected by this programme through the positive effects it has on the practices of public agents in terms of digital inclusion. Finally, the training is also available to associations, companies and individuals wishing to learn about the subject.

Innovation Reflections

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

The course went online in early summer 2022 on the federal government's e-learning platform. Nearly 1,000 people from more than 150 different institutions have already registered for the course, and by the beginning of September more than 100 public servants had already received their certificates. The satisfaction feedbacks we receive are very encouraging as regards the concrete applications in the field by the learners. Various public institutions are currently contacting us to train their employees on a large scale: the postal service, the pension service, the social security system, etc. We plan to launch a first qualitative impact analysis in early 2023. We hope to issue 10,000 connectoo patents by 2030.

Challenges and Failures

The main problem of the training was to find a relevant positioning, bringing real added value among the existing initiatives. There was a significant risk that regional and communal bodies would become interested in Connectoo as a project driven by a federal administration disconnected from the field. To mitigate this problem, the project adopted an iterative and co-creative approach from the outset. Citizens experiencing difficulties with the digital administration were interviewed, and meetings with experts from the academic and associative worlds helped lay the foundations for our thinking. In addition, numerous meetings with actors from federal, regional and municipal administrations were organised to understand their training needs and to gather their ideas. An expert committee was formed to enable us to improve our approach in an iterative way as we designed the programme.

Conditions for Success

The success of a programme like Connectoo lies first and foremost in the political will to promote such a large-scale initiative. In the case of Connectoo, it was the Secretary of State for Digitalisation, Mr Mathieu Michel, who supported the project from the outset and thus made it possible to unlock a sizeable budget for its implementation, but also gave the project a high profile.

The co-creative approach, based on the active involvement of the various stakeholders and beneficiaries of the project, is also a key success factor for a project like this. In this respect, the choice of partner for the design of the programme - here via a public contract - was also crucial. In parallel to the administration creating the link at the institutional level, our partner was in charge of creating the link with the associative world and the field actors involved in the theme.


Although we designed Connectoo to meet the needs of public servants in Belgium, all OECD countries are concerned in some way with the issue of the digital divide and could benefit from what is offered by the Training by replicating this initiative in their context. Moreover, the training was designed from the outset to be accessible to as many people as possible free of charge. Although our main target group is public officials, the training has recently been opened up to anyone wishing to learn about the subject in Belgium (associations, companies, individuals). To do so, they just need to connect to the federal administration's training platform with their identity card or resident card.

Lessons Learned

The programme has just been launched, so it is still early to draw overall lessons from the experience. However, we can already share a lot of learning from our experience, from managing stakeholders in the co-creative approach to the difficulty of transcribing content into a smooth e-learning format for the user. As with application development, it is the iterative approach that works best in this type of e-learning project and allows us to manage expectations by progressively delivering content that is increasingly relevant and aligned with the needs of our targets.

Project Pitch

Year: 2020
Level of Government: National/Federal government


  • Implementation - making the innovation happen

Innovation provided by:

Date Published:

4 January 2023

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