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Digital outcasts: innovation for equal service to citizens (Excluídos Digitais)

Empathy Map

The General Ombudsman Office/CISET/SG/PR (OUVPR) is considered, by part of the population, the highest instance of support for solving problems of access to public services. Among the different social profiles that seek assistance, a large portion of "digitally excluded" stands out; according to IBGE (2018) they represent 25.3% of the Brazilian population. The innovation was due to the unprecedented automation of the process, enabling isonomic treatment of the demands of the "digitally excluded".

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

"The innovation solves the problem of unequal and non-isonomic treatment of handwritten manifestations coming from digitally excluded citizens, since it serves a wide audience, diverse subjects and transversal issues, coming from letters, e-mails and other means. In this context, OUVPR has the challenge of fulfilling the requirement of manually inserting all manifestations received through other channels in the Integrated Ombudsman and Information Access Platform (Fala.BR). It receives, registers, analyzes and distinguishes the different issues addressed in the same letter, identifies the responsible body to direct each typified content, and then offers feedback. This sequence of operational and repetitive tasks used to be done manually. The result was a lengthy process, with expired deadlines and subject to human error.

The challenge of this process was intensified with the need to comply with art. 13, § 4, of CGU Directive No. 581, March 9, 2021, to use Fala.BR: "The user's prior authorization is required for the creation of a record or for the linking of a manifestation to an existing record.
The process needed improvement to ensure the access of these citizens to the rights provided in Law No. 13,460/2017 (code of defense of the rights of the user of public services).
With a revolution in the approach to the problem, immersing in Service Design methodologies, different action fronts can be cited as the innovations implemented:

  • Normative interpretation and procedural innovation - Expanding and connecting normative frameworks, it was possible to mature the legal interpretation to enable the launch of demands originating from letters in Fala.BR without the need for prior authorization for registration, from the premises provided in art. 7, item III, and art. 11, item II, item b, both of Law No. 13,709, of August 14, 2018. Thus, the decision was made to insert handwritten letters in the ""registration without authorization"" functionality, associated with articulated information management mechanisms internal to the Presidency of the Republic with traceability solution, maintaining the confidentiality of personal information. The action allowed the treatment of the demands of the "digitally excluded", ensuring compliance with the legislation. The decision also made it possible to launch the content in Fala.BR received in digital media, using a form for prior authorization for the use of personal data, giving legal security to the forwarding of manifestations.
  • Automations - Sustaining the articulated management mechanisms would only be viable with the implementation of automations. Thus, CISET/PR, through the integrated work of the General Coordination of Continuous Auditing and the General Ombudsman Office of the Presidency of the Republic, designed the technological solution. The mapping of work patterns was carried out to define tags and classifications that led to the first phase of automation in the process, content screening, and the consequent development of the first automated solution. The ARA robot automatically fills in, registers, and launches the manifestation on the Fala.BR platform, generating the protocol number and the access code that will be made available to the citizen by means of a letter. This information is automatically filled in by the robot in OUVPR's control spreadsheets to allow the follow-up of each one of the demands. The ARA has made it possible for the "digitally excluded" to access the rights set forth in Law 13,460/2017. With the success of the experience, a second solution was developed - POLO robot - to handle the manifestations coming from other digital means. The solution allows protesters to receive, directly, in their emails, the protocol number and the access code for follow-up.

The robots were named ARA and POLO, after the Tupi-Guarani language, in which ARA means time and POLO is the wind god.

Process integration - This combination of actions made possible, beyond digitalization, the "digitization" of the process.

Data mining - Automation has allowed the visualization of potentially useful patterns for the control and public policy monitoring sectors.

The main objective is to guarantee equal and isonomic treatment for digitally excluded citizens. The beneficiaries are all digitally excluded citizens who have limitations in using the Internet. The innovation is envisioned for the future with the extension of the solution to federal, state and municipal ombudsman offices that receive manifestations by handwritten or digital forms. The innovation is already institutionalized in OUVPR and is part of the options offered to partners who have a protocol of intent with the Secretariat of Internal Control, and can be replicated on a large scale only with the expression of interest of partner ombudsmen to have the solution, being provided free of charge the two robots (ARA and POLO)."

Innovation Description

What Makes Your Project Innovative?

The initiative is innovative from process to result, with stimulus to creativity and decision-making for the construction of an unprecedented technology in the treatment of handwritten communications of citizens. The diagnosis innovated by understanding the reasons for the accumulation of demands and identifying the causes of ineffective treatment of the demands of the "digitally excluded". The approach innovated by applying systemic analysis techniques for understanding multiple events and transformation opportunities; the storyboard of the journeys and empathy maps for awareness and solution vision. The development of the ARA and POLO robots resulted in the innovative technological model, with high impact on procedural speed and delivery of measurable results.

The greatest legacy was the construction of a technology, of almost zero cost, replicable to other ombudsman offices, in the agile and inclusive treatment of claims sent by "digitally excluded", ensuring this group the gains of the digital environment.

What is the current status of your innovation?

The innovation is currently under implementation.

Innovation Development

Collaborations & Partnerships

Secretary of Internal Control of the SG/PR: Edson Leonardo Dalescio Sa Teles
General Ombudsman: Eveline Martins Brito

Elaboration and Development Team
Server: Eveline Martins Brito
Carla Aparecida Magalhães Carsten Braga de Miranda
Server: Marcelo Dias Campos
Server: Solange Matos Pinheiro
Server: Eliton Rezende do Carmo

General Coordinator of Continuous Auditing: Eduardo Jose Costa Mello
Server: Roberta Silva Martins

Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

Citizens considered digitally excluded.

Federal, state and municipal ombudsmen

Innovation Reflections

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

Timely attendance of 100% of the digitally excluded citizen's plea, previously only 18,6% that proceeded to treatment; synchronism between the receipt of the manifestation, the registration within 48 hours and the treatment of 100% of the demands, previously it was done in more than 20 days; savings of 75% in mailing issuance to the digitally excluded; saving of 293 days of work of a server per year; production of organized data potentially useful for the sectors of control and monitoring of public policies indicating profile and subjects with disaggregated variants; information about "digitally excluded" are statistically measurable; definition of channel with institutions that did not adhere to Fala. BR with resolubility of these demands; availability of a low-cost technological model to be shared with other ombudsmen. The measurement was done by indicators of FALA.BR. In the future, the improvement of indicators of time and quality of service to the digitally excluded will be improved.

Challenges and Failures

The main challenge was to unite the efforts of internal organizational units to solve the problem with zero cost, the regulatory barriers, and the inefficient process of serving the digitally excluded. In the ideation phase, solutions emerged to clear the process path by removing impeding elements. First, the normative interpretations were validated. After, the necessary technological solution to ensure the accessibility to the "digitally excluded", it was pointed out the need for a new logic: to consider the servers also as central stakeholders, evolving to a Service Design. The new phase of researching patterns and classifications and work typology for prototyping the automation solutions and developing the robots. The implementation of the solution in everyday life, along with the training of servers, provided systemic gains of effectiveness for users and citizens.

Conditions for Success

  • Infrastructure and support services: the entire solution was developed with equipment, structure and services of the Presidency of the Republic;
  • Policy and norms: adherence to the policy and norms of the Ombudsman System of the Federal Executive Branch, with normative interpretations that made innovation possible;
  • Leadership and guidance: sponsorship and commitment from top management, with guidance and continuous training of employees;
  • Human and financial resources: human resources from the Secretariat for Internal Control and zero cost;
  • Personal values: ethics, equality, empathy, timeliness, transparency; citizen service; inclusion.
  • Motivation: to seek isonomic and equal service to digitally excluded citizens with excellence."


The project strengthens the social control mechanisms in the Presidency of the Republic and ombudsman units, ensuring timely responses, especially for the "digitally excluded", the most challenging group to serve in an increasingly digital world.

The actions were adapted to the current legislation, including the legal provisions on the subject, including the Access to Information Act, the Code of Defense of the Rights of Users of Public Services, and the General Personal Data Protection Act.

Fala.BR has become the only channel for the processing of information, inserting the contents of the "digitally excluded", received through correspondence. The action created isonomy among citizens, without creating a preferential line of demands forwarded by the Presidency of the Republic, and provided them with a direct follow-up on their claims. The innovation may be replicated by federal, state and municipal ombudsman offices that receive handwritten manifestations and that adhere to FALA.BR.

Lessons Learned

This multifaceted scenario imposed on OUVPR the challenge of finding innovative solutions to overcome difficulties in handling correspondence from the "digitally excluded", considering that approximately 86.7% of the demands from this group were not being met. Among the project's learnings, the perception that the public administration is increasingly dedicated to providing services mostly through the Government's Single Portal stands out. The project presents solutions to better serve this large portion of the population who are the "digitally excluded" and who have great difficulty in inserting themselves in the digital world.
OUVPR fulfills its social and inclusion role in a timely manner, with 100% of the demands of this public being met. The solution is scalable, and can contribute to the ombudsman offices of states and municipalities that have a similar challenge: reception of cross-cutting issues, high number of demands from "digitally excluded" and the popular expectation of being heard by the directly elected leadership.


  • Implementation - making the innovation happen

Innovation provided by:


Date Published:

4 November 2022

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