Digital platform facilitates dialogue on environmental sustainability

Increasing environmental sustainability is on top of agendas around the world. Mohamed Sapraz has designed a digital platform to help citizens and government officials communicate around environmental sustainability.

Genre photo: Blue train on an old stone bridge, surrounded by green vegetation, in Sri Lanka.
Photo: Adam Vandermeer/Unsplash.

– In my home country, Sri Lanka, environmental issues are frequently discussed. I have developed a facilitating tool so that government and citizens can collaborate more, says Mohamed Sapraz who successfully defended his PhD thesis on March 30, 2023.


Designing from human values

The e-government literature does not include many pragmatic solutions to environmental sustainability problems through the design of artefacts, he explains. That’s why he decided to explore how a digital platform could be designed and used in a developing country like Sri Lanka.

– I’ve used design science research methodology as an overall study approach and value-sensitive design to identify and embed human values, like transparency, trust, autonomy and feedback, in the process. In total, 15 such values were identified. The identified values were later translated into design requirements and represented in the developed platform.

– The digital platform is now in a workable form. If a government decides to implement the platform, it can easily be put to use.


From citizens to government

Mohamed Sapraz is in touch with the ICT Agency (ICTA) in Sri Lanka and discussing possibilities of adopting the platform in Sri Lanka soon. It works similarly to social media, but is more formal.

– Citizens can report environmental complaints, propose new ideas, encourage others, and discover new knowledge that has to do with the environment. The messages will reach government officials who has a responsibility to answer, says Mohamed Sapraz.

Portrait photo of Mohamed Sapraz, DSV, Stockholm University.
Mohamed Sapraz. Photo: Åse Karlén.

This is not the end. The journey continues!

Having experienced the cold and snowy Stockholm in March, he will soon return to NSBM Green University in Sri Lanka. Mohamed Sapraz is a Senior Lecturer, teaching mostly programming, software engineering and systems design. He is also Head of the Department of information and systems sciences.

– I am very grateful that I got a scholarship and the opportunity to do my PhD at DSV. The support has been great, despite the huge distance between our countries. I am especially thankful to my main supervisor Shengnan Han, for her guidance through the process.


Moving forward

Mohamed Sapraz is looking forward to continue his research on e-government and information systems design. The next step for him will be to chair a local conference to which international researchers are invited. He is also looking forward to teaching research methodology as a subject with his new doctorate qualification and research publication experience.

– It’s like my opponent, Tomasz Janowski, said at the defence: This is not the end. The journey continues! He gave me many interesting perspectives and insights on how to move forward, says Mohamed Sapraz.


More information

Mohamed Sapraz defended his PhD thesis at the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV), Stockholm University, on March 30, 2023.

The title is “An E-Government Design Science Research in Sri Lanka. Facilitating Collaboration between the Government and Citizens for Environmental Sustainability”.

The PhD thesis comprises six papers. It can be downloaded from Diva

Tomasz Janowski, Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland was the opponent at the defence.

Contact information for Mohamed Sapraz

Visit the DSV website for more info on ongoing research

Text: Åse Karlén