You may not be very familiar with Lithuania other than it was once part of the Soviet Union. But Lithuania’s story is important for showing what it takes for public sector reform initiatives to take hold and create any number of positive outcomes. First, there must be a clear desire for and interest in change by a country’s people and leadership. Second, they must come together around a shared vision of the end goal. Finally, conditions to achieve that goal must be clearly defined and understood by all stakeholders.
It’s something we take for granted in advanced societies like Canada. Our mail gets delivered regularly. Our trains run pretty much on time. We know the policies that our government officials are developing on matters that affect us, like the environment and health care and welfare programs. And if we don’t like what is being done in our public sector, we have an established system to try to elect new people to make decisions we like better.
Digital technology is considered a critical enabler of public sector reform – or the drive to bring about changes in the structures and processes in governments and their agencies, so that they run more efficiently and cost effectively.
But the rise of a tech-driven public sector, characterized as smart cities and e-bureaucracies, also raises questions about the same security and privacy risks that the private sector is grappling with. It’s made the need to achieve a balance between the benefits and risks an issue on experts’ minds. Everyone’s looking for solutions.
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