copy the linklink copied!Executive Summary

The promises of politicians, the goals of manifestos and the hopes of electorates set high expectations for our relationship with government. Where these abstract ideals are translated into public service delivery, the design of those exchanges determine our experience of government.

It is hard to imagine a world without the service layer of government administration. Historically, public sector organisations have handled those interactions manually, on paper, and with varying degrees of bureaucratic headache. These processes result from decisions about how government is to be consumed. Some are inevitable, given the structure of government, while others reflect economic, social, political or technological context; all contribute to a citizen’s experience in relation to the state.

OECD countries are increasingly acknowledging the importance of design in the quality of the services government delivers. The OECD’s Digital Government in Chile series reflects Chile’s ongoing commitment to deliver a government that maximises the opportunities of the digital age to reduce the burden and cost of interactions between citizen and state while increasing satisfaction, effectiveness and, especially, trust. Digital Government in Chile – A strategy for public service design and delivery focuses on the citizen experience of government and specifically the service delivery network ChileAtiende with a concern that digital progress and its benefits should not exclude those who rely on face-to-face interactions.

Although ChileAtiende is effectively branded, enjoys political backing and reports high satisfaction levels amongst the public, it provides access for only a fraction of overall transactions. Scaling the design and delivery of high-quality services throughout Chile will require greater delivery co-ordination and co-operation among public sector organisations as well as establishing and encouraging a service design culture supported by the necessary enablers.

This report considers the intersection of Chile’s digital, telephone and physical service channels, and identifies the importance of ensuring the same service experience for all users, in all contexts, through all channels. To make the physical, offline and digital elements of a service work together in meeting user needs, service design is critical. It provides the basis for service delivery and the resulting experience for the public by:

  • understanding a user’s journey from their first attempt at solving a problem, through to final resolution (from end to end),

  • addressing citizen-facing experiences and back-office processes as a single continuum rather than two separate models (from external to internal, and vice versa), and

  • creating consistency of access and experience across and among all channels (omni-channel).

The report draws on the experience of OECD member countries, the Working Party of Senior Digital Government Officials (E-Leaders) and its Thematic Group on Service Design and Delivery, and analysed through Digital Government Reviews of member and non-member countries. It establishes a three part conceptual framework for thinking about service design and delivery that underpins the analysis of Chile and ChileAtiende in order to enhance the design, and delivery, of public services:

  1. 1. The context that surrounds designing and delivering services in terms of legacy approaches and the nature of political support, amongst other factors.

  2. 2. The philosophy expressed through the leadership and vision for designing services that meet the needs of the public and in the behaviours of delivery that support that design.

  3. 3. The practical enablers that need to be built, enhanced and supported so teams can avoid the constraints and costs of transforming services one at a time, and instead design and deliver high-quality services at scale, from the most high profile and capable through to the least developed and equipped at every level, including local. This ‘Government as a Platform’ approach includes sharing best practices and guidelines; governance, spending and assurance; digital inclusion; common components and tools (such as digital identity, notifications and payments); data governance and its application for public value; and public sector talent and capabilities.

This report provides specific policy recommendations (summarised below and developed further in the Assessments & Recommendations chapter) to unlock the opportunity for rethinking cross-government service design and delivery beyond ChileAtiende in order to achieve the ambition of the 2019 Digital Transformation Law to digitalise 100% of public services by 2025.

copy the linklink copied!Key policy recommendations

  • Define a clear cross-government strategy and coherent action plan for the government of Chile to establish and nurture a design culture that places users at its heart, in order to respond to their needs across all channels and throughout the policy and delivery lifecycle.

  • Enable Chilean public sector organisations to understand the needs of the public in order to be proactive in finding solutions to the problems that cause the most pain and the highest costs.

  • Ensure a joined-up and simple-to-navigate experience of government with brand clarity for all interactions between government and its stakeholders, whether citizen, business or visitor.

  • Commit to an inclusive experience of government services that builds on Chile’s expertise in offline service provision to ensure those services are understood:

    • from when someone first attempts to solve a problem through to its resolution (from end to end)

    • on a continuum between citizen experience and back-office process (external to internal)

    • across any and all of the channels involved (omni-channel).

  • Secure cross-government political and administrative support for a holistic service design and delivery agenda ensuring ‘Government as a Platform’ enablers to scale transformation from the most high profile through to the ‘long tail’ of government services, including:

    • a clear data strategy

    • guiding principles and guidelines

    • the necessary human capital

    • technical and practical support to common components such as digital identity and payments

  • Establish clear organisational responsibilities to provide coherent governance and effective leadership between:

    • the Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency (Ministerio Secretaría General de la Presidencia, MINSEGPRES) and its Digital Government Division and LabGob (Laboratorio de Gobierno),

    • the Ministry of Finance (Ministerio de Hacienda) and its Modernisation Secretariat,

    • the Social Security Institute (Instituto de Previsión Social, IPS) and ChileAtiende, and

    • the Civil Service.


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Photo credits: Cover © Fundación Imagen de Chile.

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