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A third of citizens unaware of digital government services

More than half of citizens in a multi-country survey said trust in government would increase if the benefits of e-government services were better communicated.

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The survey reveals that citizens want more personalisation of services
The survey reveals that citizens want more personalisation of services

More than three-fifths of citizens (61 per cent) who use digital government services are satisfied with their experiences, a study finds.

 

However, one-third of citizens surveyed (31 per cent) said they don’t use or know how to access any government digital service.

 

Citizen engagement levels

 

The goal of the multi-country survey from Accenture was to determine current levels of citizen engagement with digital government services and the current state of such service offerings. It also sought to assess the level of citizen support for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other innovative technologies to deliver government services.

 

Some 5,000 citizens in Australia, Germany, Singapore, the UK and the US were quizzed for the report.

 

Half (51 per cent) of respondents said they would increase their use of digital government services if they could access multiple government services from an online portal. Additionally, almost three-fifths (56 per cent) said their trust in government would increase if the government better communicated how the technology innovations they were deploying would improve the lives of citizens.

 

“One of the first steps governments can take to create a better public perception is to simply bring services online and to promote the services currently available on a digital platform,” said Mark Lyons, who leads Accenture’s public service business.

 

“By informing citizens of their service offerings and digital innovations, government will build citizen trust and increase citizen uptake of online services.”

 

The survey found that as citizens become increasingly mobile and tech-savvy, they expect government websites and digital capabilities to provide functionality and benefits comparable to those available from the private sector. For instance, two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents identified ease of interaction as being most important when accessing government services online.

“By informing citizens of their service offerings and digital innovations, government will build citizen trust and increase citizen uptake of online services”

The survey also found that as citizens increasingly access more user-friendly AI-driven solutions in their daily lives, they expect the same type of innovation to make it easier to access government services.

 

More than half (55 per cent) of respondents said they would increase their use of digital government services if artificial intelligence AI were used to help deliver the services online around-the-clock.

 

Country comparisons:

  • more than half (55 per cent) of survey respondents from the US do not use or do not know about any government digital services – compared with just 8 per cent of respondents from Singapore
  • only one-fifth (22 per cent) of UK survey respondents said they access government digital services several times a year – compared with nearly three-fifths (56 per cent) of respondents from Australia
  • the majority (57 per cent) of respondents from Singapore believe government should make greater use of innovative AI technologies – compared with almost two-fifths (37 per cent) of UK respondents.

The research also indicated strong demand for digital government services that are more personalised – such as by addressing an individual citizen’s preferences, age, demographics or location – with nearly three-fifths (56 per cent) of respondents favouring proactive content from government applications.

 

Options for customisation

 

A similar number of respondents (54 per cent) want government digital services to include more options for citizens to customise their user experiences, and half (49 per cent) want to be able to make payments to government agencies online through a preferred payment method.

 

“Governments have the opportunity to drive true public service transformation through digital technologies,” added Lyons.

 

“More than just a way to keep up with savvy citizens or streamline processes, digital is a transformational tool that can be used to radically improve the delivery of more-personalised government services that are truly human and enhance people’s lives.”

 

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