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2021 Government Trends

What are the most transformational trends in the public sector today?

The year 2020 brought a host of challenges for governments. How did they keep pace with COVID-19 as well as other economic and social disruptions? Nine trends illustrate the most sweeping transformations in governments worldwide. 

Governments globally have been dealing with a massive public health challenge along with major economic and social disruptions. As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, people looked to their governments to provide economic relief, contain the virus’ spread and provide a steady flow of information.

The Deloitte Centre for Government Insights’ Government Trends 2021 report captures nine of the most transformative trends in government worldwide. This report is informed by research surveys coupled with on-the-ground coverage of what is happening in the trenches right now.

The nine trends featured in this year’s report include:

  • Accelerated digital government – The COVID-19 pandemic made digital an imperative to the delivery of public services, with many large-scale digital innovations rolled out at an unprecedented speed – laying the foundation for future digital government.
  • Seamless service delivery: Personalised, frictionless, and anticipatory – There is a sizable gap between the seamless digital experience customers have come to expect and the experience traditionally provided by the public sector. The good news is that governments have been making big strides in this area.
  • Location liberation: Adaptive workplaces in government – Location liberation and the ability to work from anywhere are here now, and they’re altering most aspects of how we work, where we work, and what we need to work effectively and collaboratively.
  • Fluid data dynamics: Generating greater public value from data – As data becomes increasingly critical to problem-solving, governments are exploring ways to enhance data-sharing so that it can add greater value and save time, money and even lives.
  • Government as a cognitive system: Using hindsight, real-time data, and foresight to drive policy and decision-making – Governments worldwide are increasingly using a cognitive approach to decision-making, relying on past evidence, real-time data and future predictions to inform their policies.
  • Agile government: Building greater flexibility and adaptability in the public sector – In response to COVID-19, many governments have begun using agile methodologies to tackle a range of challenges.
  • Government’s broader role in cyber: How governments are adjusting to help secure cyber ecosystems – Governments have long recognised the necessity of cybersecurity in their networks – but now they may need to expand their focus to the entire cybersecurity ecosystem.
  • Inclusive and equity-centred government: Embedding greater inclusion, diversity and equity into the public sector – As inclusion, diversity and equity issues come to the forefront, many governments are beginning to question how policies are made, implemented, and assessed to address underlying systemic imbalances.
  • Sustaining public trust in government: Strengthening trust in government institutions, systems and processes – While the pandemic increased trust in government in many countries, others still have a long way to go in improving citizen trust – including tackling misinformation and communicating about data collection and usage.

Explore these trends in more detail in the full 2021 Government Trends report.

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