Innovations in Public Service Delivery: Issue No. 5: Improving Service Delivery through Information Integration: Building a Single View of the Citizen

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Mar 2017
So much of our daily business can be done with a swipe or a mouse click. Citizens have come to expect and rely on a certain amount of convenience in their daily lives as technology evolves to suit real-time individualized experiences of the marketplace. Those same expectations of ease of use and customized experience transfer to the citizen experience of government. In general, government is not moving as quickly as the private sector to embrace technology trends. Yet, there are promising examples of digital government where the citizen is at the center of the process. Embracing these emerging technologies helps us move toward a more digital government, forging a new relationship between government and citizen. This paper describes the successes and challenges of governments in organizing systems around citizen needs, with the goal of achieving a "single view of the citizen." It focuses on public-facing systems and those that handle transactions in the service of citizen needs, rather than internal sharing of information for transactional purposes. Implementation recommendations draw on successful case examples. While there is much room for improvement, this paper makes the case that creating citizen-oriented systems in government is a worthwhile and achievable aspiration.