The delivery of next-generation services for citizens has been on the agenda for government agencies, the pandemic has pushed this imperative higher in their priority list. Navigating a post-pandemic world requires governments to consider balancing recovery with addressing latent challenges for the future. That means rethinking not only what those services are, but at a fundamental level, how they are delivered to citizens.
Service delivery is more than creating efficiencies – it's about being human-centric and designing services through an experience lens to meet citizens where and when they need/want it. In my previous blog, I looked at how agencies must collaborate to deliver services around the needs of the citizen. In this blog, I’m going to explore how the delivery of citizen services and experiences need to transform.
The pandemic has accelerated digitalisation across all industries. This will create new opportunities and pressures on the labour market making new skilling and reskilling essential. Citizens’ employability becomes an increasingly important responsibility for both governments and the private sector. The key to achieving this is lifelong learning, with training opportunities designed to support all citizens, at all stages of their lives. Digital channels will be essential to make learning opportunities personalised, relevant and easy to access.
Establishing new ways of working
Another shift created by the pandemic is the move to hybrid ways of working which looks set to persist long after COVID-19 has subsided. As people split their time working from home and from offices, rethinking the delivery of citizen-centric services to accommodate these new patterns will become a key task for the government.
Developing ‘everyday apps’
In Singapore, where there is a high penetration of smart devices, the development of ‘everyday apps’ is one route for citizens to access services anytime anywhere we are already seeing moves in that direction with SingPass Mobile. This already enables citizens to do more than just access governments services. It’s been extended to include a number of new experiences, for example the ability to verify personal information at a glance, receive notifications from government agencies and digitally approve transactions. But there’s plenty of potential to do more.
Moving healthcare out of the hospital
Singapore’s ageing population will see one in four citizens over the age of 65 by 2030. Meeting the health needs of that demographic requires a shift in care from hospital to home. Of course, hospitals will always be the place for critical and acute care. But for other forms of care, technology and human ingenuity need to come together to deliver in new ways.
Certain sectors of the ageing population live alone and have limited means. That makes them more vulnerable. Designing services that meet their needs requires understanding on how technology can help them. For example, patient navigators using remote monitoring could look after a group of vulnerable people virtually, communicate with them and make interventions of the right sort, at the right time. Complementing this is to encourage seniors in digitalisation drive instead of forcing tech adoption on them.
Supporting the green agenda
What about the sustainability agenda? Climate change is of course a pressing issue, and Singapore’s no exception. Does operating in a post-pandemic world make the achievement of carbon net-zero more likely? Delivering services in a new way could both reduce their environmental impact and help encourage sustainable new behaviours. Using data to drive better sense-making across the carbon emissions ecosystem can help to better achieve that.
For example, smart metering provides a convenient way to keep customers informed about their energy consumption, in real-time. This enables them to reduce their climate impact and save energy, while also relaying their energy usage back to the energy supplier. Another example is the use of analytics and thought leadership to identify trends shaping sustainable businesses – these insights fuel circular innovation at speed and scale, involving the broader industries and ecosystems.
Building service resilience
Another lesson from COVID-19 has been the need for service resilience. The pandemic’s impact on offshore centres or onsite handling of critical citizen services has prompted the need to rethink service delivery models for a new world.
One example, widely implemented, is enabling offshore workers that have traditionally used on-premise offices exclusively to move to home-working – a dynamic that must be made as seamless and secure as possible. It’s another example of how service delivery must change to address the challenges of a post-COVID-19 world to ensure that adaptability and flexibility are built-in from the start.
As we start to emerge from the pandemic, meeting new citizen priorities and delivering human-centred services that meet their needs – via a location-agnostic dynamic – is more important than ever. The time for next-generation service delivery is emphatically now. And for government agencies, ecosystem partnerships will play a key role in making it happen.
Read more about transforming your citizen experience here.
Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be used in place of consultation with our professional advisors.
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