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Achieving Public Sector Agility at Times of Fiscal Consolidation

image of Achieving Public Sector Agility at Times of Fiscal Consolidation

Agility is a tool that can help governments to not only maintain but even improve public services in a time of fiscal consolidation. Financial uncertainty is not the only challenge governments face today. Changing demographics, globalisation, climate change, risk of potential large-scale disasters are among the many others. Agility can help governments meet these challenges as well. It's also not enough to be "agile". Governments must be quick and responsive in a strategic way. This means being aware of emerging opportunities, being able to make tough collective decisions and stick to them, and mobilising appropriate financial and human resources rapidly and efficiently to where/when they are needed most. This publication is supports reforms towards greater strategic agility in the public sector including the use of budgeting policy levers, human resource management strategies and ICTs. It presents, in a sense, a toolkit for reform, together with a broader framework for action, taking into account the enabling factors and potential risks that may occur. This report is also an attempt to show that the public sector has the capacity to reinvent itself during difficult times and that large public sector organisations are able to take on the challenge.

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Achieving public sector agility through information and communication technologies

Information and communication technologies (ICT) have the potential to help government foster resource flexibility and strategic realignment throughout the public sector. They can help the government adjust to changing demands and pressures, and even inspire new approaches to government functions or services -- through the use of cloud computing, mobile-based services and social media, for example. ICTs can also make it easier to adjust back-office operations to create more agile, citizen-centred structures. Online services can improve accessibility and convenience for users. Technology can help increase collaboration both within government and with external partners to improve results. Finally, ICTs in used in conjunction with open government data can help government become more open, agile and connected – which should lead, ultimately, to better overall public sector outcomes. This chapter describes current practices in countries as well as the challenges that need to be overcome to realise the huge potential offered by new technologies.

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