Government services touch our lives daily in countless ways. In an effort to improve those interactions and increase public trust, governments around the world are working to reimagine how they provide services in a digital age. However, most governments are not equipped for this new way of working. The Digital Service Collaborative, in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation, is working to provide expert support on delivering better results for society at scale.
Early leaders in this work are already providing measurable outcomes, demonstrating cost savings and efficiencies. There is little documentation of the approaches that work, however, and individuals seeking to connect and learn from one another don’t necessarily know how to find each other.
How can examples of what has worked — and what hasn’t — in government digital transformation be better captured and shared among a community of practitioners? And how can we increase channels for knowledge sharing and collaboration?
As government teams increasingly approach their missions in this new, service-delivery model, how can we support more adoption of digital service tools and approaches that put users at the forefront, and scale successful practices to increase impact and set the public up for participation in government with confidence that their rights and values are protected?
Digital Innovation in Latin America: Argentina’s Digital Drivers License
This case study describes how the Undersecretariat for Digital Government of Argentina developed and launched the world’s first digital driver’s license and the key lessons they learned. From its inception, the digital license created a pathway for the digitization of all vital documents and improved the lives of the citizens. In the process, the digital services team overcame myriad challenges by always keeping the end-user in mind and building up the capacity of its internal teams. The digital driver’s license was created and launched in an almost unheard of 65 days and, in its aftermath, opened the door for digital vehicle registrations, insurance policies and ultimately, national identification cards.
Digital Innovation in Latin America: Mexico’s Online Birth Certificate
Mexico’s online birth certificate project aimed to turn the issuance of the most-used document of the national government into a digital asset that could be accessed anytime and anywhere. This effort to democratize access through digital tools represented a huge effort to coordinate policies and procedures from all levels of government and a multitude of actors across the technical and policy-making parts of government. The project began in 2015 and took more than three years to launch, including several rounds of research and negotiations. It also pioneered an approach that became the model for other digital services of the federal government. This case study describes the different political and technical processes of digitizing the birth certificate in Mexico, launching it as a central part of the digital efforts of the federal government and the most sought out service in the GOB.MX portal.
Setting the Stage For Transformation: Frontline Reflections on Technology in American Government
Digital tools and strategies have a tremendous potential to transform government: improving services, boosting efficiency, and strengthening ties to the public. The last decade has seen several important milestones as data and technology have been leveraged to solve specific challenges across the vast scope of government in the United States. Despite the best efforts of technologists, visionaries, and institutional champions, the full potential of these tools has been slow to materialize at scale.
How to Get Started in Public Interest Tech
Much like the popularization of “ public interest law ” in the 1960s and ’70s, the possibility of a career in “public interest technology” is rapidly winning over the hearts and minds of university students seeking to make an impact in their professional lives, both here at Georgetown University and around the country.
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