In today’s society, citizens expect the same level of service and responsiveness from corporate and government agencies alike. Because of this, there is much more pressure for government institutions to react quickly and change for the better so they are able to efficiently provide the services tax payers are paying for.
Reforming the public sector has emerged in many countries in recent years, primarily by the aspirations of citizens around the world who are placing new demands on governments. The success of government leaders is increasingly being measured by the benefits they are creating for their constituents, namely the private sector, citizens and communities. These ‘clients’ of government demand top performance and efficiency, proper accountability and public trust and a renewed focus on delivering better service and results.
The most urgent challenge for national governments, agencies and policy makers is to help their citizens and employees adapt to the changes that promote a sustainable economic and social environment. Economic globalization offers opportunities to improve living conditions for citizens across the globe but it also implies that the public sector can substantially transform and restructure to meet the social demands.
If population and economic growth is dynamic with increasing demands both from population increases and GDP growth, the pressure on government to satisfy unmet social needs will become burdensome unless government adapts mentally and structurally.
With that said, return on citizenship (ROC) can best be described as a measurement of success similar to return on investment or (ROI). In essence, this is the measurement of social value creation which is the mission that provides citizens and their communities with the increased return. When all is said and done, citizens pay income taxes, FICA, sales taxes and all sorts of local taxes that go to support all public services so the return on this money is the benefits it provides citizens.
Government entrepreneurship and social innovation is part of the solution that allows government to properly serve its citizens. The amount and quality of services that are received in exchange for tax dollars can be referred to as a citizen’s ROC. Citizens have come to expect the same high levels of service and responsiveness from the government that they do from private entities. When citizens do not feel that their ROC is high enough, they may elect new officials, pass referendums and, in some extreme cases, leave their tax district for another. This shift in power has put the obligation on government institutions not only to be more proactive than reactive, but to create effective dialogue with constituents and increase responsiveness.
Government transformation is driven by two forces: the needs of society for better services and the demanding citizen who is now expecting more of government than ever before – that will truly be the catalyst for government to change. The social pressure will then drive accountability and transparency because the public does not want to see their money being wasted. Decreasing costs and increasing citizens’ return on citizenship (ROC) will be the key drivers of change.