Governments need to make digital services more relevant: Accenture

SINGAPORE — Governments around the world face a new reality of citizen expectations and need to shift the ways they deliver public services, according to an Accenture survey.
“The more governments understand their citizens’ needs, preferences and intent, the more relevant their digital programmes will be,” said Peter Goh, who leads Accenture’s Health & Public Service business in Singapore.
He was quoting results from an Accenture online study that surveyed more than 1,400 citizens in seven countries, with about 200 each in Australia, France, Germany, India, Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom – to better understand the current digital interactions between citizens and government.
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One-third of the respondents said they are not aware of the ways to interact with the government digitally, which provides an opportunity for governments to better communicate the benefits of digital channels to citizens.
“Digital citizens are empowered in ways that previous generations could only imagine. They can initiate and dictate the dynamics of citizen-to-government relationships with a tweet, blog post or Facebook message sent to hundreds of people from their smart phone,” said Goh.

For Singapore, the government’s long standing efforts to set up digital online systems for citizens to use government-related services are bearing fruit.
The Accenture survey said that more than half the citizens surveyed in Singapore believe that interacting with their government is easy, and 80 percent find it easier to interact with government than private-sector companies,
One of the survey’s key findings determined that about 70 percent of Singaporeans surveyed would use social media to contact a government official to resolve a problem. But only 35 percent of respondents in Australia and 40 percent of respondents in the U.S. said they would use social media to contact a government official.
Singapore also has the highest likelihood to make use of digital services out of all countries; the most commonly used being electronic alerts for recurring transactions such as renewal of passports and payment of monthly bills.
(From MIS Asia)

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