Towards a New Generation of Digital Public Services Based on Co-Production
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is transforming social relations, work, and the economy into to a networked society without spatial-temporal constraints, which reinterprets social, economic and cultural relations and profoundly changes modes of producing, living and communicating. Citizens are now more aware of their rights, have better access to information on public services, and so expect better service. Both citizens and businesses expect better and more personalized public service, efficient and effective service delivery, less administrative burden, transparency, and participation.
Public sector organizations see a golden opportunity for openness and to make open government transformative based on collaboration, transparency, and participation. The vision is for citizens and businesses to engage in the co-production of digital public services made more user-friendly, effective and innovative, and so with enhanced value. Co-production means delivering public services in an equal and reciprocal relationship between the public sector and citizens making better use of each others' assets and resources to achieve better outcomes and improve efficiency thus contributing to the creation of public value. By opening up public sector procedures and information resources through ICT-based platforms, governments may become more networked, work in enhanced cooperation within government, and with external stakeholders, paving the way for co-production.
Research on the co-production of public services and preliminary public feedback show that social media and ubiquitous connectivity now allows for mass production and collaboration, especially for the “Generation-C” (C is for Connection, Creation, and Community), a demographic group where 65% is under 35, which is leading the way towards a "sharing society" with blurred boundaries between collaborative production and consumption that is likely to impact how public services are delivered.
Francisco Baltasar Garcia Moran is currently chief IT advisor at the European Commission and former director general of DIGIT, the Information Technology Directorate General that he helped to create. He is advising EU member states on e-government, digital policies and IT management and has been working the last two years with the Greek government to define the e-government strategy and the related action plan. He also helps non-EU countries like Moldova to define and execute their e-government strategy and delivery program.