GX Conversations on Service Continuity: Expert Takes In The Times Of Crisis - Pete Peterson
How can governments maintain continuity of services they provide to citizens, residents and businesses in these times of crisis? Listen from service pioneers, policy experts, government leaders, innovators and thinkers from across the globe.
In the last few days, our world has completely changed. In such times, it is imperative that we reach out to our experts and leaders and guides, and use their wisdom to educate and inform our people to enable them to make some sense of today and tomorrow in our areas of common interest. For government services, the first objective for any government today is to maintain the continuity of services to their citizens, residents and businesses. Most governments are responding to this in their own ways.
GX reached out to some global leaders and asked them about their opinion on service continuity and requested them to address key questions like the following:
- How do you think that governments can maintain continuity of services they provide to citizens, residents and businesses in these times of crisis, and make sure that vital services are still accessible and available? Can you outline some key actions that they could take?
- What are the key factors that governments should consider when figuring out the continuity for such services? Can you outline some key factors that will/shall drive the decision-making process here?
The responses from these leaders and experts shall be presented in this series over the next few days. In this part, we present the views of: Pete Peterson, Dean, Braun Family Dean's Chair, Senior Fellow at Davenport Institute, School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University, USA (Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pete-peterson-a353683/)
Here's what Pete has to say:
How do you think that governments can maintain continuity of services they provide to citizens, residents and businesses in these times of crisis, and make sure that vital services are still accessible and available? Can you outline some key actions that they could take.
- The first step is for municipal governments to analyze what systems/services can be moved to the cloud, and/or moved online. This transition from in-person government transactions to online has been happening for years, but the pandemic will encourage governments to put more services online.
- The next step will be to communicate to citizens, residents and business that these services have been moved online. This will demand that governments use all communications channels at their disposal - from social media to email listservs and "old-fashioned" networking.
- Gathering service stakeholders like business associations and civic groups online to survey them regarding what "essential services" need to be moved online could be another important way to prioritize which services need to move online first.
- Related to #3, if new online platforms are put into place offering services to residents, finding a way to survey a small group of them as the platform is developed to make sure the UI/UX is understandable and intuitive will be an important way to insure the platform will be used.
What are the key factors that governments should consider when figuring out the continuity for such services? Can you outline some key factors that will/shall drive the decision making process here?
- A first set of factors regarding the continuity of services is the impact of these services on: a.) Public Safety b.) Economic Viability c.) Level of usage of the service
- A second set of factors for governments to consider will pertain to the ease with which certain services can be transitioned to online. It may very well be the case that certain services may demand greater time and resources to move online due to their complexity, their regulation, and/or the history of providing that service.
- A third set of factors relates to the “target audiences” for these services, and whether shifting them online in a crisis will be acceptable to those audiences. In times of crisis, it is often the most vulnerable groups – the elderly and the poor – who suffer the most, but also have the lowest access to technology. Making sure that these groups will be able to access online services will be an important consideration.
- Finally, and related to “#2” above will be the level of technological expertise/capacity of the particular service areas where you are looking to transition online. It’s entirely possible that an important service that must be moved online happens to be in a department area where the technological support staff is not up to a skill level necessary for the task. Making sure these departments get the internal support they need will be important.