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Article August 31st, 2023

by Nortal

How proactive public services can contribute to a more socially just and equitable society

Proactive public services have the potential to transform societies. Examples of what a PPS-enabled future can look like include tax declarations that take seconds, a new driver’s license dropped into your mailbox when an expiration date gets close, or social benefits that get automatically deposited into your bank account. What’s more, PPS has the power to help the most vulnerable citizens while freeing up resources for governments to tackle society’s most pressing challenges.

People standing in subway, train passing

How PPS can drive efficiency to focus on what matters most

With minimal user interaction required, PPS are at the cutting-edge of service design. But their potential to increase the effectiveness of the policies powering these public services is even more remarkable. Redesigning public services into PPS extends their reach by making it unnecessary for potential users to even be aware of them, let alone needing to apply for eligibility or access.

This can especially benefit the most socially disadvantaged groups in society, who often have the hardest journey when it comes to obtaining government services. Wide-scale introduction of PPS can contribute to a more socially just and equitable society.

Take childbirth as an example. Starting a family is already an ordeal of itself for many new parents. There is a lot to learn and prepare for, and the last thing families want is to spend effort on dealing with government agencies in order to get the support they need. With PPS, the government is automatically informed of the birth of a child, the information is then forwarded to the finance ministry to automatically verify the eligibility of benefits, afterwhich the parents start receiving the allowance directly on their bank account. This makes the experience of starting a family significantly easier, regardless of socioeconomic background and the resources a new family has to deal with government agencies.

User-friendly government services

At the same time, PPS can help push the boundaries of automation in the delivery of public services. Governments are facing mounting pressure to harness digitization to improve service delivery efficiency. PPS can help governments fulfill citizens’ increasing expectations that digital public services be provided with the same user friendliness as private sector digital services.

Implementing PPS also has the potential to reduce costs and required personnel, freeing up public funds to tackle the most pressing challenges of our time (think climate change and the number of other growing challenges we face). PPS can also help mitigate the impact of increasing labor shortages in the public sector, a challenge many developed countries in particular are grappling with.

Children playing outside

Proactive public services – the new standard for digital governments

Proactive public services aim to automate public services to minimize user and service provider interaction, providing frictionless access to government services. This approach not only enhances user-friendliness but also has the potential to increase policy effectiveness and promote social equity.

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