copy the linklink copied!4. An analysis of service design and delivery in Chile


This final chapter applies the conceptual framework described in Chapter 2 to the situation in Chile.

After an initial analysis of the context for services in Chile the chapter explores the philosophy underpinning this area of government activity. It does this through a discussion of service design and delivery leadership; the challenge of setting out the vision for a new channel strategy; the behaviours of service design and delivery and finally an overview of how service design and delivery in manifesting amongst particular organisations in Chile. The final section of this chapter is devoted to exploring the enablers to support services in Chile. It looks at the role of the Digital Government Division; the approach to standards and guidelines; the use of assurance processes and procurement; digital inclusion; the channel strategy; common components and tools; the opportunities associated with a data-driven public sector; and finally, public sector talent and skills.


The previous chapter provided an overview of the origins of ChileAtiende and a descriptive overview of service design and delivery in Chile. This chapter will apply the OECD analytical framework presented and explored in Chapter 2 to the experience of Chile.

The analysis will initially centre on the contextual situation in Chile. The second part of the chapter will then look at the philosophy of service design and the approach to delivery before the chapter concludes with an analysis of the different enablers to support service design and delivery in Chile.

copy the linklink copied!Analysing the context for services in Chile

The ability for a country to respond to the opportunities of these approaches is heavily influenced by factors relating to society, technology, the functioning of government and existing legal frameworks.

There is high demand for face-to-face service delivery in Chile because of the demographics and geography of the country. Whilst user choice means up to 80% of interactions with FONASA take place in person there is a strong defence of face to face interactions as seen by the reaction when IPS proposed no longer paying the pension in cash to the 10% of recipients who prefer to receive it that way. The strength of reaction was such that the plans were abandoned.

For the team behind ChileAtiende and other service delivery initiatives the desire to achieve ‘channel shift’ onto digital and telephone channels is not simply down to the efficiency of the state, it is estimated that citizens spend 12m CLP annually on travelling to access face to face services. Face to face services are not only preferred by those who are digitally excluded through age and access to technology but more than one participant in the peer review indicated that literacy of the population was a barrier to providing online services. In this context the advent of voice assistants who cannot only understand spoken commands but return answers to questions become significant. There would be advantages to Chile considering how they might develop their services to reflect those possibilities.

However, lack of promotion and awareness of online services are also perceived as key barriers for the adoption of digital services. Indeed, digitalisation of services without adoption and literacy campaigns can end up increasing digital inequality and “empowering the already empowered”. This also reflects on the need for having a dedicated strategy for digital services rationalisation, who oversees not only the national services offer but also which specific mechanisms are needed to expand their coverage and use.

The need for a more strategic understanding of the services landscape in Chile benefits from the recent development of the national catalogue or register of services (Registro Nacional de Trámites). This catalogue can help in developing a strategic approach to the migration, rationalisation or consolidation of those services that share similar characteristics. In the past, DGD of MINSEGPRES has attempted to maintain a limited record for only a fraction of the services. Keeping it up to date has proven highly challenging while different definitions of services, transactions and processes throughout the public sector, plus the law introducing its own definitions, mean no two ‘services’ may be alike.

Consolidating the catalogue or register of services paves the way for the possibility for the simplification and rationalisation of government by bringing together the various parts involved in administering the end to end experience of a user. A citizen may find themselves needing to complete one transaction with department a before having to tackle a further interaction with department b and possibly then returning to department a. An index of services therefore provides a tool with which to understand and map user journeys. It is positive that the Digital Transformation of the State Law (MINSEGPRES, 2019[1]) and its related regulatory framework mandate public agencies to register all their services in this catalogue. However, further efforts and institutional capacities are needed to ensure the strategic use of this catalogue in the rationalisation of services and the overall expansion strategy of ChileAtiende.

However, there are no maps of the data flows from one service to another. As a result, there is a gap in terms of understanding how frequently a given service is delivered or accessed. Whilst there have been relatively successful efforts to develop a cross-government analytics solution that can demonstrate 80% of all journeys, these are only for web transactions1.

One of the most important aspects of transforming the experience of services is acknowledging and responding to the challenges of the long tail of government services. The original prioritisation criteria for ChileAtiende focused at one end on those services for which there was existing high levels of usage and at the other on those that belonged to smaller, less capable organisations. In general, those public sector organisations where services are high profile will have invested some effort in implementing a digital service of sorts but the tens or hundreds of low level paper transactions that may receive only a few hundred submissions a month collectively contribute significant overheads of time and energy for public servants and duplicated effort for citizens or businesses.

Procurement activity can also prove to be significantly constraining with one procurement cycle relating to the SRCeI contract for both identity systems and hardware for face-to-face locations being out of synchronisation with the procurement activity for digital design and delivery. This procurement exercise was a three or four year process and at the end of which a ten year contract is being considered. Such long-term and painstaking procurement is a significant blocker to embracing an agile, twenty first century approach to the delivery of public services. This has the result of locking into place a model of delivery for one of the several face-to-face delivery networks that cannot be addressed for several years.

Chile’s legalistic culture means that the focus and the priority is often on implementing legislation as the solution to a particular issue. As a result, the legal basis for a given service may prove to be overly prescriptive and require a political process to alter. Such a model is clearly a huge barrier to agile and iterative development of policy and services in response to a deeper understanding of the needs of a particular set of users.

This behaviour can be seen relatively clearly in respect of the approach to data sharing agreements within the Chilean public sector which are reported as taking a considerable length of time, potentially even to the point of abandoning the request and duplicating the data collection instead. In Chile, data sharing between agencies occurs through bilateral agreements given the required compliance to data protection regulation (MINSEGPRES, 1999[2]). While aiming at protecting citizens’ privacy, this framework acts as a barrier rather than an enabler for data sharing: legal terms for data sharing may be discussed between agencies for years before being signed. Efforts to facilitate data sharing while ensuring ethical and trustworthy use of data should be at the core of the new data protection regulation in discussion, for example, empowering citizens to give consent and monitor data usage between public agencies. The OECD’s concept of a data driven public sector recognises the importance of establishing a solid and effective data governance model to underpin and ensure a coherent and sensible approach to the role of data. One of the important aspects of this work is the mechanism that exists for one part of government to make use of the data held and controlled by another whether through technical solutions or the removal of any legal obstacles (OECD, 2019[3]).

The evolution of ChileAtiende over the course of its existence has also shaped the way in which other organisations relate to it and the stated ambition for creating a simple mechanism for citizens to access government services. Some public sector organisations view ChileAtiende as a no or low cost way of growing their own institutional coverage rather than an endorsement of ChileAtiende and a prelude to migrating from their own platforms. This exacerbates and perpetuates the duplication and fragmentation of channels.

Nevertheless, ChileAtiende remains an effective means for public sector organisations to reach more people through a highly regarded channel that is especially powerful in amplifying and catalysing the delivery of smaller organisations who probably do not enjoy the funding or capacity found in larger organisations. As such, the existing base of ChileAtiende provides an excellent opportunity to address the ‘long tail’ of government services (those that are low in volume and low in profile but which collectively cause overheads for both citizens and public organisations)

Moreover, there is clearly value in the ChileAtiende brand in terms of reputation amongst the public, and pride within its own staff. There is the potential for this brand to become a government-wide signifier of reliable, familiar and high quality services. However, any value in identifying this as a single brand is diminished by a proliferation of other channels with inconsistent design or delivery models mentioned earlier. This last point is one of the most pressing in the context of adopting an omni-channel service approach in Chile.

copy the linklink copied!Analysing the philosophy of services in Chile

As discussed in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, the philosophy of service design reflects an aspiration that is not the e-government approach of putting existing processes onto the internet but is a transformative approach to delivering public value that reflects the full experience of digital government.

Chile has demonstrated a commitment to unlocking the potential for digital government in transforming outcomes for citizens by establishing a sound governance framework, developing a sustainable ambition for the future and addressing the priority need for digital identity (OECD, 2016[4]; OECD, 2019[5]; OECD, 2019[6]). Combined, these provide the foundations for maintaining Chile’s position as a regional leader in digital government. They are also valuable in creating the suitable conditions for building a culture of proactive, digital by design, open by default, user-driven services that benefit from both Government as a Platform and Data-driven public sector thinking.

This section of the chapter will consider the ways in which the experience of Chile discussed in Chapter 3 can be seen to reflect the philosophy of service design and delivery in terms of the behaviours and cultures shaping the delivery outcomes in the country.


ChileAtiende is stated as one of the pillars of President Piñera’s strategy for the digital transformation of Chile. The key ambition of this agenda is to bring public services closer to citizens. In order to achieve this it is necessary to simplify interactions between citizen and state, embed service design in the operational activity of the public sector and to maximise digital tools and practices. Building on the visible strategic leadership from the President, making such activity real requires strong, clear, ongoing leadership and a vision for the future across all public sector organisations.

However, the lack of cross-sectoral support for ChileAtiende legislation in the Congress brings the need to work collaboratively in order to demonstrate, and anticipate, the benefits of adopting a service design and delivery approach such as ChileAtiende promises to deliver. More work is required to embed a service design and delivery agenda at the very highest levels of the government in order to support the Congress in moving away from creating laws that specify the establishment of new services, platforms, registers and systems. This also means that alternative approaches to institutionalise ChileAtiende need to be considered beyond the approval of this legislation. For example, by strengthening the institutional role of IPS – and not solely ChileAtiende – in service delivery standards. Additionally, increased coordination, collaboration and integration between key incumbents in digital transformation and service design (such as DGD, LabGob, IPS and Modernisation Secretariat) and public agencies is needed in order to embed cross-sectoral service design and delivery principles in the implementation of the Digital Transformation of the State Law (MINSEGPRES, 2019[1]).

ChileAtiende is currently into its third political administration and it is clear that the shifting political context has a bearing on the approach to service design and delivery in the country. Whilst the brand of ChileAtiende is strong and has high levels of awareness amongst the public this reflects a challenge because of how closely identified it is with President Piñera. During the administration of Bachelet this association appears to have resulted in the deprioritisation of cross-government service provision whilst President Piñera’s return to office has clearly seen a greater priority given to it once again.

It is unfortunate for this agenda to have become politicised, as there is value in having a clear and coherent strategy for delivering services in Chile, particularly in the context of several competing channels that are leading to confusion and overheads of time and energy for citizens and operational cost for the government. Nevertheless, there is an excellent opportunity to capitalise on two things. First, the fact that the President has the desire to provide significant political backing. Second, that ChileAtiende appears to be universally endorsed with everybody understanding that it is a good initiative. This should allow for an ambitious agenda of setting standards, showing leadership and creating momentum.

This is particularly true in helping embed the practice and culture of cross-government service delivery and reduce the reliance of this agenda on political will. The ambition to use legislation to set ChileAtiende on a more secure footing is a valid one. However, there is a tendency to look to the law as a solution that will automatically address the issues. Progressing with the legislation to bring ChileAtiende under the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance may well be transformative but there is no guarantee that this will succeed and so different approaches may be needed.

Therefore, creating the conditions to join-up efforts across institutions and create a sense of common contribution to, and ownership of, a common cross-government service agenda will be helpful in depoliticising such an important initiative. This is pivotal for raising awareness and recognition of the relevance of ChileAtiende for the State, not for a single government. There have already been some important steps that have been taken to support the institutionalisation of service design and delivery approaches in developing a platform approach to service design and delivery.

The creation of the Permanent Council for the Modernisation of the State is an important initiative in terms of bringing together key actors to discuss ongoing activities and address some of the continuity issues. It is particularly important that this Council has been created in a way that means it will persist into a subsequent administration and is therefore less susceptible to the shifting priorities of a different political leader. ChileAtiende is seen as an important element in the infrastructure of state to achieve modernisation and continuity of delivery, especially during periods of crisis. It is one of key initiatives under the pillar Better Services for Citizens (Mejores Servicios para las Personas) in the Modernisation Agenda of President Piñera. However, there was less evidence of an ambition for how it might underpin the transformation of the state through a comprehensive and coherent rationalisation of service provision in Chile.

Furthermore, the support to the Council by the Committee for the Modernisation of the State includes important representation from the Presidency, the Ministry of Finance (in terms of financing future development) and the DGD of MINSEGPRES (in terms of delivering the digital transformation agenda). However, this lacks the presence of IPS and the representation of cross-government service delivery at the highest level. It is essential that the service delivery agenda is able to receive the leadership and mandate for challenging some of the existing divergent behaviours.

Under the stewardship of IPS, ChileAtiende has become exceptional in delivering an operationally effective and highly satisfying experience for its users. However, their responsibility has not yet extended to setting the strategy or developing the vision for the future of cross-government service provision or the mandate to define what good looks like. Whether this change is brought about through legislation or not, a capability for leading the cross-government service agenda is necessary. As such, the ChileAtiende and IPS design and delivery leadership should be viewed as integral to the future of a government wide service design agenda. This is demonstrated by the Service Council that meets every month and which defines government services and sets their expectations on what good looks like.

There is certainly a need to increase the frequency, quality and effectiveness of service design and delivery related communication and collaborative decision making between public institutions and the government to support better outcomes and encourage collaboration and integration. This indicates that the multi-disciplinary nature of the team leading the service design agenda needs to include diplomatic influencers as much as those with visionary delivery skills.

In the event that such delivery cannot be centrally mandated, it will become even more important to set a clear and compelling vision for the role that ChileAtiende can play as a platform for service delivery. Collaborating with parts of government building strong networks that are mutually beneficial will become essential if the leadership is lacking to be able to compel the migration of services from bespoke, organisation channels into a genuinely shared single access point to government. In this context the existing roles of the Ministry of Finance in controlling spend and the DGD of MINSEGPRES in establishing the standards for digital delivery become important as levers to shape outcomes for service delivery.

The experience of the Directorate of Labour (Dirección del Trabajo, DT) is perhaps instructive in identifying how service design and delivery leadership can be implemented without resorting to laws and coercion. DT has demonstrated a strong focus on responding to the needs of citizens, not through introducing a new team or set of practices to the organisation but through top-level leadership committing to this agenda. The Ministry of Finance and MINSEGPRES could consider exploring similar approaches to create the momentum throughout the Chilean public sector. A network and culture of digital leadership helps propagate different ways of thinking and working and can draw out the potential of those across government and within an organisation from senior roles to the most junior.

It is imperative that a model is identified that can embed service design and delivery leadership throughout the Chilean public sector in order to avoid the potential for the agenda to be neglected following any change in political leadership. The service design and delivery agenda should not ebb and flow according to politics but maintain a relentless focus on meeting the needs of citizens at all times in pursuit of a more effective and efficient state.

One of the potential mechanisms for supporting this is the innovation leadership displayed by the LabGob (Box 4.1). The potential for joint working between IPS, LabGob and DGD can make an important contribution to leading and shaping the behaviour and delivery of public servants across Chile. It is critical that these two organisations identify ways to work with strategic alignment that contributes to the sustainable, embedded transformation of service design and delivery culture across the government.

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Box 4.1. Government Laboratory (Laboratorio de Gobierno, LabGob)

Founded in 2014 as the first Latin American Government Laboratory, LabGob is focused on articulating a new relationship between the State and its people. It represents a new approach for Chile in addressing public challenges by placing people at the centre of government activities to create and implement solutions that deliver value. It does this in two particular ways:

  • An agile and flexible consulting service that promotes the co-design of solutions that are tested and validated for a public problem through joint work of specific service teams and LabGob.

  • The Public Innovators Network: a movement of public officials, civil society organisations, members of the academy and students and anyone sharing the objective of improving the quality of services that the State provides.

LabGob’s value proposition of improving services provided to the public is built around five principles:

  1. 1. Focus on people: shifting the focus from “things” to one centred on people, in order to understand their needs, assets, motivations and capacities as agents of the innovation process.

  2. 2. Co-creation: to complement the focus on people, co-creation is the way LabGob understands active collaboration. It consists of opening spaces, delivering tools and motivating multiple actors to co-discover, co-define, co-devise and co-implement innovations that have impact.

  3. 3. Systemic approach: integrating multiple perspectives through a holistic look at problems and solutions. Inter and tran-sectoral coordination and the use of systemic thinking allow LabGob to break down disciplinary and management silos to govern complexity.

  4. 4. Experimentation: this is how LabGob develops its solutions and learns about its processes. By building prototypes and taking a “learn by doing” approach, practical knowledge is built that informs, improves and makes possible the solutions while discarding bad ideas and strengthening good ones.

  5. 5. Focus on the experience: LabGob proposes new ways of understanding and communicating, based on stories and visual thinking. It provides an experience of innovation from a space, identity and materiality that helps to make training in public innovation a tool of culture change.

Source: Laboratorio de Gobierno, (n.d.[7]), El lab

Setting a vision for a new omni-channel strategy

The ChileAtiende brand is strong, not only in terms of its name but in its visual identity and the sense of pride expressed by its staff. This is an important factor in supporting the original vision for ChileAtiende: it is valuable for governments to be focused on simplifying the ease with which citizens can access the state and to live up to ever increasing expectations through the agile, iterative development of services that places users at their heart and are driven by their needs. This will deliver not just more efficient government but higher quality services that take advantage of all the opportunities provided by digital government approaches.

The challenge for those interested in the future of ChileAtiende is to refresh that vision and the pitch for 2020 and beyond to focus on achieving an exciting ambition for the future that addresses some of the challenges facing the service design and delivery agenda in Chile, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and given the patchwork of service delivery. Whilst ChileAtiende may be a well-regarded and all-encompassing service delivery brand it is simply one of several brands relating to departmental and public sector organisation delivery with the result that there are a myriad of competing channels meaning duplicated effort for government and a fragmented and disorienting user experience for the public.

Any power in committing to ChileAtiende as the single brand is diminished when it acts as an index of things with signposts off to websites or physical locations owned and branded by others. Other public sector organisations in Chile view cooperation with ChileAtiende as a way of growing their own coverage and achieving their own ambitions rather than as an endorsement of ChileAtiende. The simplicity and minimal additional costs of including their services means that they experience no additional friction in maintaining their duplicate channel and do not view cooperation as a prelude to migrating away from it.

Therefore, at the centre of any future vision for ChileAtiende or services in Chile there must be a commitment to radically rationalise and consolidate existing service delivery channels through greater partnership working and a commitment to collaboration. ChileAtiende should be encouraged by the example of SERNAC and the Ministry of Social Development and Family who have developed effective partnerships with municipal and regional government and shown that there is potential for collocating services alongside multiple providers.

It is important that those with the authority have the vision for ChileAtiende to become the single visual brand under which Chileans complete their interactions with the state. This means that some existing attitudes may need to be revisited and incentives provided for them to change. For example, the government wants to see more services provided under the umbrella of ChileAtiende but at the same time calls on other existing channels to reflect the same level of quality experienced at ChileAtiende; these are confused and contradictory and perhaps reflect a reluctance to prioritise the necessary closure and consolidation of other channels. Instead, as well as securing the necessary capabilities to expand the services provided through ChileAtiende there needs to be budget, incentives and leadership to accelerate the migration from these fragmented channels to a single front door from the perspective of the user.

This is a critical point. ChileAtiende and IPS are at their best when focused on customer service, not in attempting to hold the responsibility for designing and delivering services for every organisation within the Chilean public sector. The delivery of those services in the first place is best handled by the organisations who are responsible for particular users and their needs. The brand of ChileAtiende will be most effectively supported by changing the underlying culture across the Chilean public sector so that the ‘single front door’ provides access to reliable, familiar, quality services that may look like they are delivered by a single entity but which continue to be the responsibility of each organisation. However, there is here an opportunity to bring together IPS (ChileAtiende), DGD and LabGob to define the end to end standards (customer service, strategic use of digital and service design respectively) that equip public agencies in implementing the law as well as to enable the provision of these transactional services through the ChileAtiende network. Bringing the 3 actors together would consolidate institutional understanding of their users needs, awareness of their preferences and the adoption of innovative approaches.

This needs to be approached from both the perspective of the large, self-sufficient organisations such as SII and SRCeI but it should also be considered from the perspective of those smaller organisations that have already shown that such an approach can work such as DT, the Ministry of Social Development and Family or SERNAC. Not every public sector organisation is going to be as receptive to the involvement of the Centre of Government. The bigger agencies will not want to lose the direct relationships with their users whilst the small ones are glad to take advantage of an existing network because it amplifies their work. ChileAtiende has the potential to be a powerful platform for the medium and small volume services that may otherwise be stuck with paper interactions.

Beyond the vision for offering a genuine single service delivery brand the vision for services themselves is similarly in need of a refresh. One of the important characteristics of service design is the idea of establishing an end to end view of the user’s experience and understanding how their journey moves between channels and potentially interacts with multiple organisations. Such an understanding requires a recognition of the importance of back office integration and the possibilities for transforming a service rather than simply digitising a process. At the moment, many organisations are content being part of a single point of access rather than pushing the boundaries of a broader transformation.

Behaviours of service design and delivery

Having established the necessary leadership for service delivery and a vision for the outcome in question, the behaviours and culture of service design and delivery are critical. Service provision by Chilean public sector organisations is currently most often experienced and delivered through a paper-based and siloed model with most interactions between Chileans and the State requiring the exchange of documents and certificates. The pivotal role of paper is in part due to public sector organisations having been mandated by law to create dossiers for providing and processing public services (MINSEGPRES, 2003[8]). However, the Digital Transformation of the State Law (MINSEGPRES, 2019[1]) requires public sector organisations to transition to the provision of electronic dossiers and document management systems. Whilst the ambition for no queues and paperless government is to be welcomed, this mandate risks simply digitising existing bureaucracy rather than rethinking whether existing services, practices, procedures and culture meet the needs of users or exploring opportunities to work across government.

The modernisation process is not simply about having services on the internet that better meet the need of citizens and other stakeholders; it is also about transforming the underlying way in which government responds to the needs of citizens. This is well demonstrated by the design of ChileAtiende locations to be as inclusive as possible with sign language interpretation available and special spaces for breastfeeding mothers. The institution of ChileAtiende prides itself on coming as close to the user as possible and this is borne out by the high levels of satisfaction that the face-to-face service receives.

Perhaps the greatest asset that ChileAtiende has is its staff. The men and women who provide the face-to-face care understand how important their role is in triaging the issue somebody is facing, understanding how to support them and providing them with the necessary care. The atmosphere within the ChileAtiende locations is welcoming and friendly which puts people at ease and allows them to engage in a positive fashion, regardless of how upset or agitated they might be. It would be relevant to identify the specific attributes of face-to-face service delivery in order to embed them as foundational values and principles for the entire network.

As a result, there is a priority in Chile for retaining the physical environment for providing services. Around the world, several countries have pursued efficiencies by closing and reducing the face-to-face infrastructure only to find that their attempts to establish a “digital by default” environment has caused distress to their stakeholders and simply created greater demand through other, more expensive channels.

This strong commitment to customer service and the experience of users in the built environment can now provide the basis for Chile to consider transforming the experience across the public sector of what is currently quite a fragmented and disjointed user experience. The ambition for ChileAtiende was to provide a common front door through which to access government services. Whilst the experience of some services through ChileAtiende are seamless, the challenges with digital identity for validating users over the telephone or online limits the extent to which people can get their issues resolved as quickly as they might like. Whilst the fact only 6% of government services can be accessed through ChileAtiende mean it is highly likely that citizens will end up needing to access a service provided elsewhere in government. As a result, the transformation of service delivery in Chile will not occur if data are not valued and a clear and coherent strategy developed (OECD, 2019[3]).

Nevertheless, there are opportunities for ChileAtiende, IPS and the other service delivery organisations in Chile to do more in the context of bringing citizens into the discussions about the design and delivery of services. The conversations held during the research visit to Santiago in January 2019 did not surface many references to participatory forms of need analysis or user research. The first and second principles of the Recommendation of the Council on Digital Government Strategies (OECD, 2014[9]) underline the importance of engaging citizens, businesses and civil society through crowdsourcing and collecting their input in the design of digital government strategies and their related policies. The ChileAtiende network provides an excellent resource for hosting user research sessions but also for working with other local providers to develop a cross-government understanding of the experiences citizens have. A partnership between ChileAtiende, and DGD would likely prove valuable in exploring this possibility and help develop cross-government ownership for the needs of the public. In addition to this, ChileAtiende would benefit from exploring similar arrangements for studying customer experience as well as incorporating the work LabGob carries out in public service design.

Whilst the physical network of ChileAtiende locations provides a suitable venue and opportunity for collaboration there are other opportunities that a truly transformed approach to designing and delivery government services might unlock. One of these is the fact every government department has a complaints and suggestion officer; these individuals have insight into where government services are going wrong, and where they’re going well but they do not currently work together to coordinate across channels and understand the interactions between different parts of government.

The human opportunity for joining up professions across government provides the basis for developing service communities of policymakers, service designers, software engineers, and operational staff to break out of organisational siloes and understand how to better meet the needs of users. An interesting example in this direction is “Clase Media Protegida” from the Ministry of Social Development and Family, which comprises several services from different public agencies under the concept of providing security networks to middle class families. This project has required increased coordination between different agencies in order to provide a consistent and coherent user experience and offers a model for what cross-government delivery might look like. However, it has created another network and a further brand around service delivery that perpetuates some of the confusion about channels which will be discussed later. Moreover, there remain technical challenges for Chile in the integration challenges when it comes to existing back office systems.

In the effort to continue improving services one of the most important behaviours of service design and delivery is measuring the impact of what’s delivered and learning from how a service is being used. These efforts to understand performance should move away from simplistic measurements towards a more comprehensive and standardised model for gathering insight. The Modernisation Secretariat (former Modernisation of the Public Sector Programme) has been working since 2016 in defining a cross-sectoral and standardised methodology for measuring citizens’ satisfaction, as described in Box 4.2.

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Box 4.2. Citizen satisfaction survey

Since 2015, the Modernisation Secretariat of the Ministry of Finance has focused on increasing the efficiency and efficacy of public institutions as well as citizen satisfaction with public service delivery in Chile. The Secretariat (formerly the Modernisation of the Public Sector Programme) has collaborated with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to fund modernisation projects for key Chilean public institutions, setting specific KPIs in citizen satisfaction to measure the degree of impact and success of the initial ten projects.

In order to assess these projects as well as to facilitate comparative analysis, the Secretariat developed a standardised yet adaptable methodology and survey to capture how satisfied citizens are with the products and services these institutions deliver. Along with providing net and gross satisfaction rates, the survey characterises types of users, channels and products and services. It also determines which specific institutional and/or service delivery attributes have a significant impact on citizens’ experience with public services, serving as a powerful tool for high-level officials and policy makers in addressing to what extent service delivery is truly responding to citizens’ needs in Chile.

While each Chilean public agency conducts its own citizen satisfaction measurement, a common methodology has been agreed to facilitate comparative and longitudinal analysis while providing strategic insights for service delivery policy making. As of today, and with the endorsement of the Budget Office, the survey has increased its scope, comprising 29 public institutions and covering around 80% of total demand for service delivery in the country (not including health and education services). Institutions are measured every second year, reaching a total of 81.500 surveys conducted to date to capture citizens’ perception with face-to-face, digital and/or telephone channels. The methodology, related studies and results in both data visualisations and open data are available at

Source: Own elaboration based on Ministerio de Hacienda, (n.d.[10]), Portal Satisfacción de Servicios Públicos,

How particular organisations are demonstrating service design and delivery

Different parts of the Chilean public sector are making greater progress in terms of the involvement of the public, the adoption of user-centred design approaches or the iteration of services in response to performance insights. This section of the chapter will conclude with a brief description of the philosophy of service design and delivery in a selection of organisations.

Service of Civil Registration and Identity (Servicio de Registro Civil e Identificación, SRCeI)

The SRCeI handles the process by which births are registered. This team are considering the opportunities for service design in two ways. First, by locating SRCeI offices in 1% of hospitals to allow parents to complete the registration shortly after a baby has been delivered. Second, by exploring a pilot for a digital birth certificate.

Internal Revenue Service (Servicio de Impuestos Internos, SII)

SII has a team of over 800 people working on delivering services and independently considering the experience and journeys of its users. These teams are focused on changing the perception of taxpayers towards SII and that means these teams are not exploring cross-government service provision or deeper integration with ChileAtiende. They are focused on four discrete activities:

  1. 1. Experience management: developing an understanding of taxpayers in order to develop new technologies and services to meet their needs. The organisation previously had assumed it knew what taxpayers wanted but now a user-centred design methodology has revealed that they did not. This team works with development teams to carry out research and test new services.

  2. 1. Long distance assistance: this team is exploring new ways of meeting the needs of users who access services online including the testing of a chatbot. This team is responsible for the web content.

  3. 2. More complex information: this team is working to help taxpayers understand information. They do this through training programmes and providing responsive social media support in the channels where people are asking questions

  4. 3. Operations department: a technical team addressing some of the internal challenges with SII systems in order to help understand the full end to end lifecycle of a taxpayer’s journey including the back office steps.

National Health Fund (Fondo Nacional de Salud, FONASA)

Whilst FONASA has implemented a business intelligence department to increase the capacity of the organisation to measure its impact and understand its value the approach towards service design and delivery was quite traditional. The organisation has an internal development capability but development takes place in a closed environment with the service only being opened up for users to access when the moment comes to implement the enhancement. FONASA would benefit from exploring agile ways of developing services that could allow them to rethink the way in which FONASA services operate, particularly in their exchange of information with healthcare providers as well as in the overall user experience.

Superintendence of Social Security (Superintendencia de Seguridad Social, SUSESO)

SUSESO are responsible for auditing and regulating social security. They also manage public funds and are responsible for distributing information about social benefits. The administrative system for SUSESO is electronic from end to end. When people make a complaint it is filed electronically, the fil is analysed electronically and then the process is completed using the advanced electronic signature. Companies and people are informed electronically. Their model contains four elements:

  • A predictive model that’s used to identify who’s coming to make a claim

  • An integrated data model

  • Connected to 20 different systems and 600 other services

  • Connected to 60 other institutions so they can collect information from them

Directorate of Labour (Dirección del Trabajo, DT)

DT has adopted a very progressive attitude towards service design and delivery with an approach that sees digitalisation as the inevitable consequence of a focus on the user, a commitment to integration and simplification of processes. This is exemplified by their commitment to an “omni-channel” approach. In understanding their users’ access to technology they recognised that there is no point in putting a service online if it misses the intended audience.

As a result, they have developed some valuable examples:

  • The channel by which a user chooses to access a service does not matter. If they only get part way through it they will be able to use any other channel to pick the transaction up again.

  • Online services can be access through a face-to-face interaction with a customer service agent providing training and building the confidence of the user to access the service themselves.

  • Their data integrations with 600 institutions allows them to automatically pay an allowance to families with low incomes without their having to apply.

copy the linklink copied!Analysing the enablers to support services in Chile

Creating the conditions in which reliable and high quality services can be designed and delivered is the combination of three separate areas of focus. First, as discussed at the start of this chapter, the context in which services are being developed. Second, the philosophy that has been adopted by a country towards the delivery of services. Third, and finally, the enablers to support services.

This report is considering the experience of service design and delivery in the context of Chile, informed by the experiences of other OECD member and non-member countries around the world. Chile has an opportunity to take advantage of the country’s strong track record in providing multi-channel services to use the ChileAtiende network to establish a single service brand that might create a more coherent and cohesive experience for citizens and government. This is not to say there should be a single entity called ChileAtiende tasked with designing and delivering every single service in Chile but that there is a possibility to develop a consistency of design, a simplicity of messaging and a confidence of usability that follows from the existing ChileAtiende approach. Unifying the service experience of citizens in Chile could deliver a step-change in simplifying the relationship between citizen and state and meeting the needs of citizens more effectively.

For such an approach to work, services developed to fall within the experience of ChileAtiende will require the provision of enablers that support coherent service delivery. This support for services can come in various forms as discussed in more detail in Chapter 2 under a Government as a Platform approach that equips public servants to deliver services. These enablers meet the needs of service teams in the work of researching, designing and implementing a given approach but also speak to the challenges of adoption and ensuring that the public experience the benefits as fully as possible.

First, this section will discuss the role of the Digital Government Division (DGD) within the Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency (Ministerio Secretaría General de la Presidencia, MINSEGPRES) and its influence as Chile’s Digital Government Unit and lead contributor to developing the enablers that underpin the design and delivery of transformed services.

The role of the Digital Government Division

As discussed previously it is important for the government to be clear about its vision for ChileAtiende. If the decision is to pursue a single brand with a clear expectation for creating a consistent user experience then this requires establishing clear assurance mechanisms and the necessary support for teams across government to adopt a new way of working. In taking this agenda forward, the team at ChileAtiende has the right attitude towards delivery that puts citizens at the heart and can spread that enthusiasm for meeting needs. However, in order for ChileAtiende to be successful, it requires the underlying services to go through a similar transformation and in this respect, the DGD of MINSEGPRES becomes increasingly important.

The creation of the DGD within MINSEGPRES was indicative of the higher political standing and additional resources being provided to the digital government agenda following the publication of Digital Government in Chile (OECD, 2016[4]). The influence of DGD has further benefited from the participation of the Head of the DGD in the Committee for the Modernisation of the State ensuring visibility of the development of digital government efforts across Chile. As discussed previously in this chapter, it may prove valuable for IPS and ChileAtiende to be represented in that Committee in order to give the necessary priority and attention to cross-government multi-channel service design and delivery.

DGD has been delivering strongly against the digital government agenda in Chile and has been instrumental in bringing about the three recent pieces of documentation that underpin the digital transformation, and service design and delivery, agendas. The Presidential Instructive on the Digital Transformation of the State Administration (Presidente de la República, 2019[11]), the recently passed Digital Transformation of the State Law (MINSEGPRES, 2019[1]) and a renewed Digital Transformation Strategy for the Government (MINSEGPRES, 2019[12]) collectively reinforce the mandate of the DGD. That mandate provides for DGD to set standards for delivery, deliver tools, provide resources, offer consultancy and monitor the progress and compliance of the Digital Transformation Plans throughout government. In addition to those assurance and governance functions, the documents set out the priority for developing the “Zero Queues” (“Cero Filas”) approach for simplifying processes, the “Paperless Policy” (“Cero Papel”) for removing paper, the importance of ClaveÚnica for digital identity and a focus on establishing base registers.

Standards and guidelines

One of the important coordinating roles that the DGD plays is in defining standards and providing guidelines. Indeed, amongst the more ambitious for the service design and delivery agenda public sector organisations in Chile, there was an appetite and desire for DGD to be more exacting in the expectations placed on the quality of delivery and the mandate for particular behaviours to be enforced. With the Digital Transformation of the State Law passed at the Congress this is even more important, as DGD is mandated to define technical standards, guidelines and cross-cutting services which will equip public services to implement the law. The implementation of the law would benefit by embedding cross-sectoral standards for service design and delivery as part of the core principles for public agencies to transform their services.

The centre of government is well suited to the role of setting standards in having a clear view of cross-government priorities. The role of DGD in the Committee for the Modernisation of the State and the ongoing focus on the transformation of the government ensures that any standards are not based on assumptions but rooted in the shared priorities of the government. ChileAtiende is not the right vehicle to police the implementation of standards but alongside other delivery agencies, should form part of the collaborative process in identifying those service design and delivery standards and refining the assurance mechanism for encouraging a sustainable shift in the way that services are designed and delivered.

However, whilst there are currently no common standards or principles for the way in which services are designed and delivered there are several important resources under development by DGD. These include a software development guide for the State, an IT procurement guide, directives related to the use of cloud computing and a cloud technical guide, an open data guide and perhaps critically, the Digital Services Manual.

Moreover, there are some other central guidelines under the proviso of the “Zero Queues” (“Cero Filas”) approach for simplifying processes and the “Paperless Policy” (“Cero Papel”) for removing paper from government services. There are sector specific initiatives such as with the SII who have implemented the standardised documentation of processes in order to identify opportunities for improvement but this is not a service design methodology.

Assurance processes and procurement

Key Recommendation no. 9 of the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Digital Government Strategies (OECD, 2014[9]) underlines the importance of using business cases to reinforce the digital policy of the public sector, contribute to improved planning, development, management and monitoring of investments in digital technologies. Paired with controls on spending above a particular threshold, these mechanisms can prove useful in coordinating public spending, avoiding duplicated (or wasted) effort and providing scrutiny to increase accountability and trust in government. In Chile, spend is not currently analysed at a national level or within each department and the spend controls process is an advisory exercise that is carried out on request rather than being a strategic and all-seeing exercise in coordinating spend.

Although the Ministry of Finance and DGD have done some analysis of what has been bought and what has been spent in terms of software licences and outsourcing procurement remains an area where there are opportunities to introduce greater scrutiny of digital and service related spending.

Although Chile has developed an online purchasing marketplace, ChileCompra, the vision for transforming procurement as an enabler for designing and delivering services is somewhat limited. Chile could learn from some of the examples discussed in Chapter 2 in terms of how governments have rethought and transformed procurement activities to open up the market to new suppliers, simplify and optimise the contracting process and focus on outcomes rather than on hourly rates whilst making contract data openly available as Open Government Data. With the increasing needs for the implementation of the Digital Transformation of the State Law (MINSEGPRES, 2019[1]), which implies redesigning and digitalising public service delivery in the country, developing a healthy supplier base for the agile design and delivery of services is particularly important given some of the skills constraints discussed earlier in this chapter. It is highly unlikely that the Chilean public sector will be able to recruit and train in sufficient quantities to meet demand and so the role of the private sector will be critical in achieving the country’s digital government ambitions.

Currently procurement activity can block service transformation with issues relating to long-term contracts having expensive change control processes and little in the way of a framework model to derive best value for the Chilean taxpayer. Digital Government in Chile - Making the Digital Transformation Sustainable and Long-lasting (OECD, 2019[5]) made several recommendations to the Chilean government in terms of transforming procurement, and particularly the purchase and commissioning of digital and ICT services.

Digital Inclusion

The focus of this report is multi-channel service delivery in the recognition that for significant quantities of the Chilean population the face-to-face channel is preferable. Whilst Chile continues to explore how they might deliver high quality services through face-to-face channels there is nevertheless a desire to simplify, transform and digitise the interactions between citizen and state according to the principles of the digital government approach. The question of digital inclusion is has relevance to this discussion and can take the form of enhanced connectivity, increased digital literacy and questions of accessibility.

The principles of the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Digital Government Strategies (OECD, 2014[9])highlight the importance of establishing the digital skills and competencies throughout all segments of a population. The provision of government services through multiple channels, including face-to-face, rather than embracing a digital by default approach that could create potential digital divides is therefore an approach for which Chile should be praised.

Chile has relatively low levels of citizens using digital channels to engage with government services. Chile’s National Survey of Socioeconomic Characterisation (Encuesta de Caracterización Socioeconómica Nacional, CASEN) found that 30.1% of the population used the internet to complete a government procedure over the last year (MIDESO, 2017[13]). This is despite Chile enjoying above Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and OECD averages in terms of the population share using the internet and having a mobile subscription per 100 people (see Figure 4.1). In the context of Chile’s geography, these figures are quite an achievement and, combined with the data in Figure 4.2, indicate that perhaps Chilean society is skipping the fixed internet connectivity state to move more towards mobile access.

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Figure 4.1. Proportion of internet users and mobile subscriptions in Chile compared with OECD and LAC countries, 2016
Figure 4.1. Proportion of internet users and mobile subscriptions in Chile compared with OECD and LAC countries, 2016

Source: World Bank (2016) World Development Indicators,

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Figure 4.2. OECD fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, by technology, Dec 2017
Figure 4.2. OECD fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, by technology, Dec 2017

Notes: Australia: Data reported for December 2018 and onwards is being collected by a new entity using a different methodology. Figures reported from December 2018 comprise a series break and are incomparable with previous data for any broadband measures Australia reports to the OECD. The OECD definition of fibre differs substantially from fibre classifications commonly used in Australian reporting. These figures treat connections known in Australia as 'Fibre-to-the-Node' and 'Fibre-to-the-Curb' as DSL connections, while ‘Fibre-to-the-Premises’ and ‘Fibre-to-the-Basement’ are treated as Fibre connections. Data on technology type prior to Q2-2016 should be treated as indicative until further notice. Canada: Fixed wireless includes Satellite. France: Cable data includes VDSL2 and fixed 4G solutions. Israel: Data are OECD estimates (information on data for Israel: Italy: Terrestrial fixed wireless data includes WiMax lines; Other includes vDSL services. Mexico: Access points are reported since operators cannot provide information of subscriptions by technology. Data for Switzerland and United States are preliminary.

Source: OECD, Broadband Portal,

In terms of explicit digital literacy activities, several of the service delivery networks, as well as ChileAtiende provide assistance to those who choose to access services face-to-face in terms of supporting them to learn and understand how they might use the internet to access government services. Elsewhere, the government has partnered with BancoEstado and Servipag to use the ChileAtiende network for providing financial education. With the physical ChileAtiende locations meeting the needs of the most vulnerable populations there are many possible opportunities to work with policymakers and other agencies to use the face-to-face setting as a valuable element in end to end service transformation in this way.

In 2019 Chile hosted several Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) meetings with one of the action points from that meeting for Chile to carry out a “Gap Assessment on Digital Literacy” to ensure continued progress on addressing the digital divide which prevents women from fully participating in trade. Such research could provide some important insights for how the service design and delivery agenda advances.

Channel strategy

In the context of ChileAtiende, the Government as a Platform ecosystem includes the website, call centre and face-to-face locations with their self-service kiosks. These enablers provide the support to the other relying partners in the Chilean public sector to put their services in front of the public and meet their needs. Currently the different channels under the ChileAtiende brand are not working together to deliver the same service as there are bespoke solutions being developed on a channel by channel basis. The website does not have the same architecture as the information available in the call centre, which in turn is not the same as what agents are using in the face-to-face locations or what is running on the kiosks. One of the priorities for ChileAtiende to have a coherent and unified user experience is that platforms themselves need to be designed according to the same principles as public facing services; the experience of public servants is important in maximising the transformative potential of service design and delivery.

When it comes to new services joining the ChileAtiende platform there should be an investment in time to simplify the onboarding of new services. The ChileAtiende and IPS teams should be committed to understanding the friction experienced by partner organisations choosing to start using the ChileAtiende platform. These teams should be resourced to ask themselves how to make it as simple, and effective, as possible to add a new service and to find ways of avoiding training and integration overheads. If every service that wants to use ChileAtiende channels needs experts at the ChileAtiende side then the model will be unsustainable. Instead, ChileAtiende needs to be developed in such a way that new services are made available without much fanfare and can be iterated and improved as easily as possible.

The value of the single government branding and a single place for content can prove incredibly powerful in transforming internal cultures and coordinating service delivery. Indexing different services that hand off to another website that duplicates some of the infrastructure or the administrative overhead is not as effective as developing a co-publishing model where responsibility for setting priorities, enforcing standards and managing some content is held at the centre but teams of editors are distributed throughout government with ownership of their particular subject area. Currently there are five individuals within ChileAtiende tasked with managing a vast amount of content whilst on the service provider side the people tasked with this activity are doing it on the margins on their job. The pressures on editorial staff are particularly pronounced if content continues to be housed in multiple websites.

Committing to a single service delivery brand also necessitates developing a single government domain to become the front door of content for many services. As a result, it is essential to resource content properly in order to recognise this aspect of the design of services as equally important to the technicalities of how the service works. With the implementation of the Digital Transformation of the State Law (MINSEGPRES, 2019[1]), this becomes critical as services should be designed and developed in order to be embedded and offered through ChileAtiende channels, strengthening a single and coherent service delivery policy in Chile. This is particularly true in a society such as Chile where low levels of literacy mean it is critical to find the simplest way of communicating as possible.

Common components and tools

The final area of analysis for the enablers to support service design and delivery in Chile are the technical platforms provided by the DGD for use and re-use by teams throughout the Chilean public sector. There are currently five relevant platforms with the DGD team continually investigating whether they might develop any more. One of the enabling resources that is currently lacking is related to taking payments. ChileAtiende does collect money from users wishing to pay for their FONASA fees but this is not possible over the telephone or for any services accessed via the Mobile ChileAtiende. In the absence of an integrated payment system, ChileAtiende will not be able to offer paid services from other public agencies such as FONASA. It would be relevant to see IPS, DGD and the Ministry of Finance coordinating the adoption of cross-sectoral payment standards to integrate these specific services.


A business process mapping and process management tool for helping public institutions automate and digitise procedures and processes in a friendly, quick and easy way. Simple puts tools for designing services into the hands of public servants and reducing some of the time and resource constraints on bringing new services online. Simple also provides process tracking to allow citizens to stay informed about the status of their enquiries. Simple represents a swift mechanism for making an existing process digital, and offering some scope for streamlining and rationalising it.

ClaveÚnica (Chile’s Digital Identity)

Chile is at a transition in terms of its approach to DI. Having built on the existing model of demonstrating identity with a physical card, the country launched ClaveÚnica in 2012. This mechanism for proving that someone is who they claim to be when accessing online services is now moving into a further development to extend its functionality and utility with the ambition that it becomes the default mechanism for people to access, and grant permission for access, to their records across the public and private sector. The functionality of ClaveÚnica is intended to allow for:

  1. 1. Data authentication: the mechanism by which citizens will be identified to access state services and other private organisations

  2. 2. Data wallet: A store of personal data for citizens derived from automatic sharing of data among agencies, which will allow interoperation with institutions on the basis of the access and re-use permissions which a citizen grants on their information.

  3. 3. Advanced electronic signature: Users of ClaveÚnica will be able to sign electronic documents issued by public bodies

  4. 4. Citizen mailbox: A means by which the state will notify citizens of important information and progress on their interactions with the state

  5. 5. Web portal eID: a website where citizens can manage access to their data, grant and revoke permissions and update their personal data

Chile is currently exploring how ClaveÚnica might develop in future to support the next phase of the digital transformation of government. They recently worked with the OECD to produce a 13 country comparative study of digital identity (OECD, 2019[6]) which contained several recommendations about how to proceed.

Digital identity is a foundational enabler to the design and delivery of modern, twenty-first century services. Currently, ChileAtiende is only able to carry out transactional services with those who attend a face-to-face location as the reliability of identity is not sufficient for many online and every telephone based request that might be made. Its importance is demonstrated by the fact that multiple digital identity solutions are in place. In Chile, 40% of the nation’s 3 542 procedures can be carried out online. Of those, 989 require an authentication mechanism. 122 use ClaveÚnica, 145 use ClaveÚnica alongside their own authentication system, and 722 use their own authentication system (OECD, 2019[6]).

In line with the recommendations of Digital Government in Chile – Digital Identity (OECD, 2019[6]), Chile still needs to strengthen ClaveÚnica if expectations are to transition to digital and paperless interactions between citizens and public sector organisations. This requires addressing existing governance discrepancies between DGD and SRCeI, as well as to equip ClaveÚnica with the right security and scalability mechanisms (such as incorporating a second authentication factor). The absence of a coherent and strategic approach towards DI may put in risk existing efforts and implementation process for the Digital Transformation of the State Law (MINSEGPRES, 2019[1]).

The implementation of Digital Identity is critical as its absence is a barrier to basic channel shift and more advanced transformation efforts. However, the new vision for ClaveUnica is about more than just identity and imagines a critical component of transforming services, not just digitising processes. This extends to the opportunities for putting citizens in control of the access to, use, and re-use of their data through the data wallet; this mechanism reflects the importance increasingly being placed on the way in which handling data influences the trust of citizens in government (OECD, 2019[3]).


The Advanced Electronic Signature is a set of technological tools available for institutions to self-manage the issuance and management of certificates for their own authorities or officials authorized by Ministers of Faith of each institution. Under the existing strategy for digital identity, ClaveUnica will replace FirmaGob by providing cloud-based advanced electronic signature (MINSEGPRES, 2019[12]).

Chile’s Open Government Data website where the Chilean public sector publishes datasets to stimulate possible innovation in society or support citizens in scrutinising the government.


This allows any government institution to process documents that require a digital signature by authorities for either internal or external processes. It makes an integral contribution to the efforts associated with the “Paperless Policy” (“Cero Papel”) for removing paper from government services.

Data-driven public sector

The OECD’s Data-driven public sector model, discussed in Chapter 2, identifies the importance of establishing a coherent and comprehensive data governance model, focusing the application of data for public value, and thinking about the role data can play in building, and damaging, trust in society.

Data governance

Data across each of these categories is an important consideration in the context of designing and delivering services. It is positive to see that the Digital Transformation Strategy for the Government (MINSEGPRES, 2019[12]) places an emphasis on being a “Government based on data” and committing to addressing some of the challenges which were identified in the analysis of Chile’s approach to service design and delivery. One of the options that Chile could consider is establishing the role of Government Chief Data Officer (or a similar position with sufficient political and administrative influence) to take the lead responsibility for leading and stewarding the development of a national data strategy. Such a role could provide the Chilean public sector, and the public at large, with clarity about how Chile is approaching the topics of ethics, interoperability, access, availability, governance, analytics and others.

There have been efforts are efforts to establish something like the once only principle to prevent government from re-requesting information from users that it already holds. For certain services IPS doesn’t re-request information and the complexity of some certificates has been reduced in order to allow for them to printed with a resulting reduction in the need for face to face interactions. In general, the impression that was given about data sharing access was that it did not flow smoothly or easily and there was almost no mention of Open Government Data (aside from some publicly available dashboards). Overall, public agencies did not want to share data and they had no incentives, nor mandates to do so.

The OECD’s concept of a data driven public sector recognises the importance of establishing a solid and effective data governance model to underpin and ensure a coherent and sensible approach to the role of data. One of the important aspects of this work is the mechanism that exists for one part of government to make use of the data held and controlled by another whether through technical solutions or the removal of any legal and regulatory obstacles where appropriate. However, with a couple of notable examples, the level of integration across the Chilean public sector is still less effective than it might be with challenges in terms of identifying available data and significant barriers to the easy access or sharing of the data in terms of the process for coming to an agreement between two parties.

The recently passed Digital Transformation of the State Law (MINSEGPRES, 2019[1]) should help disrupt this scenario. The law and its associated regulatory frameworks should address the current issues in governing and sharing data across Chilean public agencies. However, evidence in Chile suggests that a law may not be sufficient to avoid requesting data to citizens that public agencies hold: the Law for Administrative Procedures (MINSEGPRES, 2003[8]) mandated this to public agencies since 16 years ago. In order to increase the effectiveness and ownership of this regulation, guidelines and standards should be developed under a collaborative and participatory approach, involving public agencies in their drafting and development.

Application for public value

There were some good examples of organisations that were creating public value through their use of data in delivering services:

  • FONASA showed some data exchange was taking place. The health insurance service relies on the SRCeI and uses the National ID card. Eligibility for health coverage is based on being checked against a database that is made available on a local basis according to catchment area.

  • SUSESO had pursued data integrations with 600 institutions, including the SRCeI. For a service dealing with time off from work due to medical reasons. SUSESO enters the name of the individual with part of their identifying credentials and get the information back. The process used to take 120 days to provide a solution to a problem but it is now 30. However, this integration highlights one of the broader challenges of developing ChileAtiende as a unifying service delivery platform as SUSESO faces the prospect of losing some of this integration in order to connect into ChileAtiende. ChileAtiende is causing their potential clients to carry out integration work rather than those efforts being on the ChileAtiende side.

  • The Ministry of Social Development and Family is responsible for the calculation and targeting of welfare benefits. To do this they access data from the Social Register of Homes as well as 18 other databases in order to design and deliver policy. Whilst getting access to the data is possible, it was quite a challenging process.

Another way in which data can be applied to generate public value is through the evaluation and monitoring of government activity, policies and services. Within ChileAtiende’s services, there are challenges of tracing the journey of a user from the ChileAtiende website on to one of the service providing websites and beyond. However, in the face-to-face channel, the use of the National ID card creates a situation where customer service agents have access to the history of the individual and can establish what services have been accessed and the status of those requests.


The ability for government to access the trace of your requests and their status can introduce concerns about the appropriateness of how your data are used and the question of consent. Legislation is currently being developed in Chile that would enhance the ownership people have in terms of their data and the ability to grant, or deny, permissions for it to be used. The intent of the law is to empower users in giving them control. This is related to the future vision and ambition for ClaveÚnica in the context of providing a digital identity solution. As the OECD recommends, data should be treated under ethical and trust principles to foster data-driven public sectors (OECD, 2019[3]). Chile would benefit if DGD implements the right mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of personal data for public service delivery, for example by making data interactions available in a personal citizen folder – as it is expected to deliver through ClaveÚnica wallet.

These efforts should also contemplate the development of soft law and agile instruments addressing the ethical side of data access, sharing and use within the public sector. This, as a means to influence public officials’ self-regulation, and promote a risk-based data culture that places trust and the generation of value for citizens at the core of the public sector ethos, in line with digital rights.

Public sector talent and skills

There is not currently a culture of service design and delivery skills in the Chilean public sector but there are signs of efforts to improve that and encouraging examples on an organisation-by-organisation basis. In addition, as highlighted previously, there is in general a lack of involvement from stakeholders, whether citizens or public agencies with some public servants speaking of the need to “educate users” to ensure they could successfully negotiate a government transaction.

In order to establish a service design and delivery culture it is important to have the necessary skills in both service design and technical delivery roles. However, various organisations in Chile reported that this is not the case. It was encouraging to hear from DT about their plans to not only invest in the skills of the public but to focus on developing internal skills too.

In general, annual employment plans from departments have a focus on the attitude of workers towards users. This approach is echoed by further education providers where the Diploma in Public Management focuses on giving tools to public managers to think of citizens as customers. These are important and valuable customer service activities but they lack the technical dimension of considering the needs for service design and delivery.

Chile faces a significant digital and design skills shortage and efforts are needed to recruit new, and train existing, talent across the public sector. One helpful development is the creation of the Digital Transformation Coordinators network. Under the mandate of DGD, this body congregates institutional delegates for monitoring the implementation of the Digital Transformation of the State Law (MINSEGPRES, 2019[1]), and may serve as a fruitful school for digital champions in Chilean public administration as well as a route to engage key stakeholders in what should be understood and owned as a cross-government agenda.

More substantively, the Civil Service and DGD have partnered to increase digital awareness among Chilean civil servants. The Digital Academy (Academia Digital) has been established to provide a general introduction to those who want to understand how new technologies can be adopted and used in public service delivery. However, these efforts are in their infancy with further development of the curriculum and sophistication of its modules required not only to increase awareness but to equip teams with the right digital skills. This is particularly critical given the timeline for implementation of the Digital Transformation of the State Law (MINSEGPRES, 2019[1]) and the expectations to move to a paperless administration in a timeframe of 5 years.


[7] Laboratorio de Gobierno (n.d.), El lab,

[13] MIDESO (2017), Encuesta de Caracterización Socioeconómica Nacional, Ministerio de Desarrollo Social de Chile.

[10] Ministerio de Hacienda (n.d.), Portal Satisfacción de Servicios Públicos,

[12] MINSEGPRES (2019), Estrategia de Transformación Digital del Estado, Ministerio Secretaría General de la Presidencia.

[1] MINSEGPRES (2019), Ley 21.180 de Transformación Digital del Estado, (accessed on 12 December 2019).

[8] MINSEGPRES (2003), Ley 19.880 que establece bases de los Procedimiento Administrativos que rigen los actos de los órganos de la Administración del Estado, (accessed on 12 December 2019).

[2] MINSEGPRES (1999), Ley 19.628 sobre Protección de la Vida Privada, (accessed on 12 December 2019).

[5] OECD (2019), Digital Government in Chile – A Strategy to Enable Digital Transformation, OECD Digital Government Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[6] OECD (2019), Digital Government in Chile – Digital Identity, OECD Digital Government Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[3] OECD (2019), The Path to Becoming a Data-Driven Public Sector, OECD Digital Government Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[4] OECD (2016), Digital Government in Chile: Strengthening the Institutional and Governance Framework, OECD Digital Government Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[9] OECD (2014), Recommendation of the Council on Digital Government Strategies, OECD/LEGAL/0406, OECD, Paris,

[11] Presidente de la República (2019), Instructivo Presidencial sobre la Transformación Digital de los Órganos de la Administración del Estado, Presidente de la República de Chile.


← 1. Evidence provided during the OECD mission to Chile in January 2019.

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