LONDON; Sept. 30, 2009 – Leading governments are moving beyond traditional e-government initiatives to strengthen their relationships with citizens by using new technologies and modifying conventional models of service delivery in innovative new ways, according to a new Accenture report.
Entitled “From e-Government to e-Governance: Using new technologies to strengthen relationships with citizens,” the report explores the strategic intent driving many governments to leverage new technologies and identifies 10 e-governance strategies governments are adopting to strengthen the governance relationship.
“We found that governments are adopting new strategies and adapting old ones to better engage the public, deliver more effective public services and enable citizens to contribute to improving their own social and economic conditions,” said Greg Parston, director of Accenture’s Institute for Health & Public Service Value. “By adopting these strategies, organizations are transforming their relationships with people from one of dependency or even cynicism to one of shared responsibility. As this transformation progresses, governments are finding themselves better placed to deliver improved services that address peoples’ whole life needs. That, in turn, is building trust among citizens in the role that government can play in their lives.”
The report is structured around the findings from the Institute’s ongoing Global Cities Forum, which explores what citizens worldwide are demanding from their governments. The resulting Accenture Public Service Value Governance Framework based on the learning from discussions at the forums comprises four components of stronger governance:
· A focus on improved social and economic outcomes
· A balance of increased flexibility and choice in service with ensuring common public good
· Building on public engagement initiatives to educate citizens and enable them to contribute to improving the quality of life
· Greater transparency and accountability to the public
This current study investigated how governments recently have been using new technologies to address these four components. The report observes that high-performing government organizations are developing and implementing ten strategies to strengthen the governance relationship.
In relation to Outcomes:
· Focusing performance management on actual improvements in people’s social and economic conditions, using outcome-focused performance management to drive enterprise-wide cultural change and break down service silos.
· Continually improving the customer experience by soliciting service user and customer feedback, and interpreting and evaluating that feedback to drive high performance.
· Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public service provision, using new technologies to reduce the cost of back-office functions and improve service quality and enable cross-government collaboration.
In relation to Balance:
· Conducting customer segmentation analysis and using insight to target services appropriately and respond more specifically to individual user needs.
· Ensuring that more citizens can access and use digital media channels and providing support to those who cannot, often supported by networks of public and private organizations.
In relation to Engagement:
· Enabling citizens to engage one another through social networking technologies by soliciting feedback, distributing information and engaging traditionally hard-to-reach groups.
· Enabling citizens to participate in their governance through digital media, developing a deeper understanding of citizens’ priorities and proactively managing citizens’ expectations.
· Educating citizens and encouraging participation through online training and learning resources to provide citizens with greater knowledge which enables them to improve their own well-being.
In relation to Accountability:
· Increasing transparency and accountability by developing web-based tools to report on results achieved by public service organizations’ spending and performance.
· Enabling citizens to report problems and resolve complaints through online channels, enabling them to track the status of issues raised more easily.
According to Parston, there are several key enabling practices that public service organizations should consider adopting to drive, shape and manage their journey to e-governance. For example, they should develop a citizen-centric vision of governance that emphasizes responsive public services that meet the complex needs of all citizens. Like commercial sector organizations, governments should also tailor services and communications to meet individual needs and preferences. Parston also believes that governments should foster innovation amongst their workforces by creating a sense of ownership and encouraging employees to take greater responsibility for business processes and delivery channels. Finally, Parston says, public organizations need to create key performance indicators around improved service quality and increased citizen trust in government.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With approximately 177,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$23.39 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2008. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
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