Digital Government in 2020

digital technology for governments

Digital Government in 2020

What should governments prioritise for their digital government agenda in 2020? In a recent ‘wishlist’ in NS Tech, Tanya Filer and other leading experts set out their wishes for UK Government (and beyond) in 2020. At StateUp, we chose:

Deciding what digital ‘success’ looks like, and measuring and evaluating for it

Clear metrics can help to set ambitious whole-of-government strategy, and to tweak policy when things go awry. A starting point is to decide what digital “success” means. UK government often identifies government digitalisation as a driver of ‘efficiency’, which is vague. Global indices, which help to shape governance here and elsewhere, also focus on efficiency gains. Digitalisation can bolster productivity and reduce costs. But to ensure digital government improves relations between the state and citizens, in 2020 we should be more creative, evaluating and rewarding government digitalisation projects against a holistic range of objectives, including quality (of which efficiency is one part) and accountability.

More and better data on the lifecycle of GovTech start-ups and SMEs

As I described last year, good analysis of such data could help us to ensure that entrepreneurs in this space are being supported in the right ways, and at the right moments. Are GovTech start-ups becoming scale-ups? How many? How long does it take them? Under what conditions? Are they pivoting away from the public sector to solve private sector issues instead? How does the quality of services they deliver compare to large, incumbent providers? The Conservative Party manifesto promised an improved R&D budget. This data could help to work out how to direct enough of it, in sensible ways, towards innovation with public purpose

Other contributions focus on:

  • Transforming procurement of digital services
  • Becoming an exemplar for transparency in algorithmic decision making
  • Developing a standardised process for data sharing with suppliers

Read the full 2020 digital government wishes in the New Statesman here. Contact us to discuss your 2020 projects here.