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Four structural shifts can help governments deliver more effective, sustainable public service outcomes.
The unsettled nature of the political, societal and economic climate continues to be a pervasive reality for governments around the world. But what also endures is governments’ underlying promise to their citizens to deliver what they expect and deserve: flourishing societies, safe and secure nations, economic vitality—and to do it all with optimized efficiency.
This report, Delivering Public Service for the Future: Navigating the Shifts, describes four profound structural shifts and a corresponding framework of practical actions governments can undertake to deliver the public service outcomes citizens want at a cost that can be sustained. The goal of Accenture’s Delivering Public Service for the Future program is to inspire and support public service leaders to take a fresh look at the problems they face, to highlight innovative solutions to emulate, to present paths to progress they might not have considered, and to show how all of the pieces should fit together.
View Delivering Public Service for the Future: Unlocking Public Service Potential – Graphic which illustrates the four structural shifts that lead to positive public service outcomes.
The fundamental gaps between what governments want to achieve and what they can achieve with public service will galvanize government leaders to decisive actions. To test our thinking, Accenture undertook a far-reaching research program, surveying 5000 citizens worldwide and tapping into the knowledge of respected experts in 10 countries, to try and quantify the impact if governments continue public service provision as is.
In this report, Accenture describes four structural shifts (and a corresponding framework of integrated action) in public service design and delivery to help governments reshape their public service for the future:
Amid a tumultuous global political and economic landscape, governments across the world know that seismic economic and demographic shifts are reshaping public service outcomes for the future. Yet Accenture sees another thing for certain as well: despite the external pressures, the future of public service is far from a foregone conclusion.
We believe that governments now have the opportunity to make significant shifts of their own. Caught in an unsustainable position between the desire to deliver better public service outcomes and the unaffordability—and ineffectiveness—of doing it using today’s ways of working, forward-looking government leaders will shift their thinking about what really matters to deliver for citizens; their approaches for delivery; and, crucially, the balance between what they can accomplish for citizens and the costs to do it. It’s time to think radically, deploying a new generation of processes and tools to build the public service for the future.
Realizing the vision of public service for the future depends on interweaving the four structural shifts described in this report (from standardized services to personalized interventions; from reactive to insight-driven; from public management to public entrepreneurship; and from piecemeal efficiency to whole-of-government mission productivity). When these pieces are fitted together, a clear picture for the future of public service emerges: a flourishing society, a safe and secure nation, economic vitality and a transformed cost base for government.
Understanding the problem and identifying a framework of potential solutions are just the beginning of operationalizing transformational change. However, our global experience tells us that the techniques we have proposed will help governments negotiate a way forward to make public service sustainable over the long term. This is our starting point; future installments of our Delivering Public Service for the Future program will dive deeper into the questions of operationalizing.
October 22, 2012
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