How can digital government connect citizens without leaving the disconnected behind?


There is a broad appetite among citizens for more digitally enabled public services and many want to have more of a say in how they should be delivered.

But a large minority of citizens lack the skills or means to access digital services.

The challenge for government is to harness data and technology to become more efficient and effective, without disadvantaged groups being left further behind.

Driven by advances in communications technology and a growing appreciation of our interdependence, the world has become far more connected. At the same time, technological changes, demographic shifts, the climate emergency, rising inequality and rapidly changing values have contributed to a much more complex and uncertain environment for governments. Just as they were adapting to these challenges, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic delivered a huge shock and brought further instability to individuals, communities and economies.

In the midst of crisis, people have looked to government to protect lives and livelihoods. This has left public policy and service delivery under unprecedented pressure.

Balancing the fiscal, economic and social pressures facing governments, in ways that lead to better outcomes for citizens, requires a deep understanding of how the upheaval of recent years has shaped the views of citizens. How do they view their lives? What do they think of the services they receive from government? Are they ready for government to use more data and technology in the delivery of public services? How do the responses differ across socioeconomic groups?

EY has embarked on a major new research program — Connected Citizens — to better understand how people’s lives are changing in the connected world. The study explores what people value, what concerns them most and how they feel about the technological advances that are shaping our lives. A key goal is to examine their expectations of the role of government and public services, and the nature of the relationship between those who govern and those who are governed.

Read more about this on their website.