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Digital transformation can address complex social issues and challenges, and social innovation is critical to this process. Social innovation can take several forms, including innovation within public services, innovation in the nonprofit sector and innovation in the private sector.

e-Government is a term that emerged in late 2005 in the bi-annual e-Government survey launched by The United Nations Public Administration Network. It refers to “the utilization of Information Technology (IT), Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and other web-based telecommunication technologies to improve and other web-based telecommunication technologies to improve and/or enhance on the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery in the public sector.”

In essence, the effective deployment of technology allows governments to deliver better services to its citizens and allows for citizens to directly access services and information. While the private sector is driven by profits, the public sector does not experience the same type of pressure – until recently.

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It is now, more than ever, necessary to radically transform government in order to improve the delivery of public services. Such transformation can only take place by government reform and creating new policies that remove inefficient processes and procedures. The most effective way is by moving away from silo-based delivery and toward an integrated platform that allows government, as a collective whole, to deliver services to citizens and businesses where they need it most.

The benefits achieved are government operations that can become less costly to its citizens and capital that is able to be re-deployed to areas where government is lacking in social services instead of increasing their budgets and, in many cases, their national debt. During the last two decades, governments around the globe have invested in e-Government platforms with an aim to decrease the cost of public services while increasing the services and quality of life for their citizens.

Social networks based on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are also gaining importance both as social innovation in themselves and as producers of social change (De Biase, 2009). These networks should no longer be neglected. The increased use of ICT by social enterprises and civil society is strengthening the links between technological innovation and social innovation. This will widen the impact that social innovation can have at a global level.

You must think about connected governance with a holistic view toward the reengineering of technology, processes, skills and mindsets of public officials in government. The consolidation of government systems is important as we move toward a more connected government and provide integrated enterprise solutions.

Several countries around the world are attempting to revitalize their public administration to make it more proactive, efficient, transparent and more service-oriented. To accomplish this transformation, governments are introducing innovations in their organizational structure, practices, capacities and in the ways they mobilize, deploy and utilize the human capital and information, technological and financial resources for service delivery to citizens. In this context, the appropriate use of ICT plays a crucial role in advancing the goals of the public sector and in contributing to an environment of social and economic growth.

Written by Vanessa Giacoman, Managing Partner at Panorama Government Solutions. 

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