The growing complexity and interconnectedness of present sustainable development challenges require holistic responses that are based on coherent policies and collaborative decision-making processes, which in turn call for a transformation of public administration through the adoption of whole-of-government approaches and collaborative governance.
Whole-of-government can be defined as а policy concept where agencies are working across portfolio boundaries to jointly achieve integrated responses to the issues of policy development, program management and service delivery, whereas collaborative governance refers to a process of governing based on collaboration between government and non-government stakeholders (United Nations, e-Government Survey 2014).
LIBRe Foundation works towards implementing integrated approaches to sustainable development through whole-of-government approaches and collaborative governance; enhancing opportunities and resolving challenges of designing and implementing a whole-of-government approach to service delivery; and enabling factors and strategies of transforming the government through a whole-of-government approach, including operational interoperability and information security.
Multichannel service delivery is the provision of public services through various means in an integrated and coordinated way. Channels extend from traditional citizen touch-points like counter and voice services, to online means like Internet access through personal computers, mobile phones and tablets and to emerging media like mobile applications and social media. A channel can change a user’s perception and confidence of a public service. For instance, in the context of value proposition of a public service, a channel can add value with a positive user experience, and in the same vein, it can subtract value through a negative user experience. Therefore, it is extremely important to select the right channel for the right service targeting the specific audience. At the same time, channel selection is a deciding factor to effectively reach out to specific groups of citizens, for example, rural population with limited ICT access. (United Nations, e-Government Survey 2014).
LIBRe Foundation’s Team has extensive experience working on development of public services integrating information technologies and multichannel service delivery. We believe that while digital channels, with both their diversity and spread, are increasingly embraced, counter (face-to-face service) and telephone (voice) services, have continued to serve as fundamental channels as preferred by some citizen groups. Therefore, through strategic and optimised mixed use of channels, we are helping the government to provide ubiquitous 24 x 7 access to information and services to different user groups.
LIBRe Foundation examines various e-government service channels (including mobile and social media), service channel mix and management in a multichannel world, exploring effective channel management strategies (with good opportunities) to increase e-service uptake. We also look at selected issues related to e-government service usage in critical areas which can generate high returns for sustainable development, along with good practices; and provide concluding observations, with some policy suggestions on increasing e-service uptake.
Many public services such as personal documents, tax claims, company registration or VAT are available online but this is not always the case across borders. Just like digital services in the private sector, cross-border digital public services are building blocks to a real digital single market.
e-Participation expands a government’s toolbox for reaching out to and engaging with its people. It does not replace traditional forms of public participation, whether through face-to-face meetings, paper-based communications, telephone calls, physical bulletin boards, among other offline modalities.
The use of electronic tools in public procurement offers a range of important benefits such as significant savings for all parties, simplified and shortened processes, reductions in red-tape and administrative burdens, increased transparency, greater innovation, and new business opportunities by improving the access of enterprises, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to public procurement markets.
One of the tools used to increase transparency and participation is open government data, which can be defined as government information proactively disclosed and made available online for everyone’s access, reuse and redistribution without restriction. It introduces a new approach to publishing government data and helps bridge the gap between government and citizens. It also represents the ability of the stakeholders to have full and free access to public data and opens up the opportunity for people to evaluate the performance of various administrative institutions.
The utility, quality and accessibility of information depend on the format used for data publishing. Processing and analysing data through software programs requires open standards and open file formats exploring, sorting, filtering and recombining data. Technical data standards allow policy makers to compare datasets and generate the creation of relevant data. When data becomes more accessible, more people can engage in and benefit from data analysis which, in turn, can contribute to better policymaking.