Governments around the globe are wrestling with how to transform the delivery of services to citizens in the digital age.
For the national general manager of government at Telstra, Dr Jack R Dan, the future of public service delivery is all about personalisation, underpinned by data-driven policy development. “Data enables the government to be a platform for everyone to build services in response to identified needs,” says Dr Dan.
Here are five places where the public sector is delivering smarter services, innovation and greater social inclusion:
Small e for Estonia
Estonia delivers world-class citizen engagement through its e-Estonia project, which has digitalised every facet of government service, from healthcare monitoring to business registration. Given Estonia has pioneered e-Residency and Data Embassies, it’s no wonder they are often regarded as the leaders in this space. “This is a country that is embracing digital innovation in a very substantial way, not only in response to public demand, but also in a visionary, future-driven way,” Dr Dan says.
“Data enables the government to become a platform for everyone to build services in response to identified needs.”-Dr Jack R Dan, national general manager, government, Telstra
Bridge beyond the Hudson
Another digital frontrunner, New York City, offers the NYC DataBridge: a city-wide data-sharing platform that handles feeds from a host of agencies and external organisations. Readily available data and new cross-agency comparisons will spur a deeper performance-management culture, promoting improvement, according to Accenture’s Digital at Depth report.
Singapore aspires to become the world’s first smart-service nation, enabled by its ubiquitous platform that all public agencies can access, enabling extensive data sharing. Services such as Social Service Net offer tailoring of government services, and a digital vault of citizens’ personal data makes the interaction with services easier and much more effective.
A vote for digital
Technology is also transforming the democratic process, and social inclusion rates with it, as countries such as Brazil and Estonia embrace online voting systems. “Technology gives people a voice,” says Dr Dan. “It enables people to engage across a range of processes, from e-voting to more direct consultation and deliberation processes that would otherwise be very difficult to conduct.”
As part of its quest to make government more transparent to the people it serves, Belgium has launched MyFile, a secure portal that enables citizens to access their information and, importantly, to see who else accessed their information and for what purpose. This strategy allows the government to provide the right services for the public, while improving the trust and accountability for its actions.
According to Dr Dan, transparency initiatives such as this “provide the necessary assurances of the role and integrity and performance of public institutions, while the open data enables the government to become a platform for everyone to build services in response to identified needs”.
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