The following is a summary of an article published on GX.ae, a global government services excellence portal launched by the UAE Prime Minister’s Office.
Government 2.0 uses collaborative technology to solve collective problems. It encourages thinking like a creator and consumer to create shareable information. Governments can adopt the thrifting app model to offer social services and work with NGOs and social service providers to allow users to offer or accept services.
This article discusses a user-centric approach to Government 2.0 through the creation of an online platform that hosts affordable housing units provided by both government and private landlords. The platform is a collaborative effort across government, non-profit, and private sectors and aims to reduce silos and make support more accessible to constituents.
The article also emphasizes the importance of easily searchable options on a user-centric government platform, specifically in the context of a housing search. The platform should offer filters that allow prospective renters to search for housing based on their income, with options for local or national searches. Creators should also thoroughly investigate the eligibility requirements for all services to simplify the search process for users.
To create a successful customer-centric Gov 2.0 initiative, creators must consider what users are looking for on the platform. Users want easily searchable options, a customized experience, and a service-first model. For instance, in the example of a housing search, users would want an income range search if the platform is locally based or an option to search based on Average Median Income (AMI) if it is national. Customization would involve asking users for their characteristics, such as gender, age, income, and disability status. Users would also input their areas of need, such as housing, food, rent, etc., and the platform would only show them services that are accessible to them. This approach would be more efficient and personalized from a user's perspective. Creators should aim to boil down only what is important to clients, as users do not care about agency websites or funding sources. These tips can be applied to any government initiative.
Trust from a Client Perspective
In some political climates, citizens may trust government officials more than private companies, but in others, a cross-sector partnership approach may be more effective. Consulting companies may be seen as motivated by profits rather than the public good, leading to reduced participation or veiled answers. A study of UAE technological government efforts suggests that prior to digitizing government services, trust between the government and the public, as well as between government officials, is crucial to success. To gain user buy-in, customers must understand the purpose of the app and trust that their data will be kept confidential and used efficiently. The article also emphasizes the importance of efficiency and cost-effectiveness over fancy user interfaces and technological features in building trust with customers.
Trauma-Informed Customer Experience
Understanding the past traumas that customers may have experienced is an important part of creating a successful Government 2.0 transformation. Childhood trauma can put individuals more at risk of poor social and health outcomes, and interactions with government officials during vulnerable times can retraumatize citizens. To avoid this, it is important to simplify the process and only ask individuals to tell their stories once. A centralized and technologically integrated approach can help with this by allowing different programs to share information about clients' backgrounds. Thinking like the customer and providing a simplified and tailored experience are crucial for success. These principles can be applied to any technologically driven government service delivery.