Wednesday, August 24, 2016
How do you define and measure the “value” of Citizen Engagement – both to the citizen and to the government agency providing the service?

Mark Fisk is the lead author for this article.  Mark is a Partner within IBM's Global Business Services division.

Citizen Engagement #CitizenCentricGov

I recently attended the Center for The Business of Government's CIO Leadership Forum and found myself coming out of the session trying to reconcile several different points of view presented on Citizen Engagement.

There were two very different perspectives from participants in the forum that really impacted the discussion on value and measurement of successful Citizen interaction.

Perspective 1: Establish value to share/opt-in without reverting to the least common denominator.

  • For this perspective, value is defined by the citizen who will determine what information should be shared and provide it – if and only if the agency can define the value and “come through” with providing it. And that value needs to be tied to specific user populations (e.g. segments) so that there is a personalized view – it cannot be value that is defined for the “masses” or only for specific citizen segments (Least Common Denominator). It must provide value for all Citizen Segments to be viable.

Perspective 2:  The biggest issues facing citizens is trust in government services. Providing a trusted, secure service that does not put at risk valuable PII/HIPAA information drives value.

  •  For this perspective, value is defined by the agency – who will focus on the key mission as well as verifying that only absolutely necessary information and data is requested, stored, and shared. And the value will be in the improved trust with the citizen to increase digital transactions with the agency and reduce the chance of a major data breach in the future.

These two perspectives continued to reinforce what I mentioned in my last blog – that there are initial pain points that must be addressed to provide a valuable citizen experience. And that measuring the results from addressing these pain points are driving points of view on Citizen Engagement. Three examples of these are as follows:

1)     Improving overall citizen lifecycle experience with the next best action – for a lifecycle of experience. This should include the next best action being provided throughout the lifecycle – whether in the attract, registration, application, enrollment, or continued engagement phase.  

2)     A cognitive assistant – a vital key to positive citizen experience when an agency provides multiple, complex benefits. A cognitive assistant that is armed with “about you” information, agency historical information, and situational awareness information can help you make the best decision about what benefits may apply to you.

3)     Securely providing the opt-in registration and data sharing experience – secure registration and data sharing will help optimize the citizen experience, minimize the amount of PII/HIPAA information that needs to be provided again and again in the lifecycle, and that complex relationships (like parent/child proxy) can be supported throughout the process. Blockchain is a great technology to start to building these “trust chains” – especially when it comes to public entities outside of government but inside of the Citizen ecosystem.

When the citizen ecosystem starts to turn these areas of concern from citizen pain points to aspirations – and includes the right citizen-focused metrics that measure success of these initiatives – then we will truly be on the way to a #CitizenCentricGov.

For more on the CIO Leadership forum itself, see Dan Chenok’s blog post.