Charlotte Alldritt of the 2020 Public Services Trust, based at the RSA – has been looking at the future of public service reform. 2020 PST has two vehicles: a seminar program and a commission, made up of 20 academics, politicians and business and third sector leaders. They are currently looking at ‘public technology’ as one of their 8 work-streams. The big questions are:
– How can information be presented so it is accessible and comprehendible.
– How can information flow to public service users.
– How can information flow from public service users (feedback systems).
– What information should flow to/from providers and users.
– How should that be managed, including issues of:
– Data security
There are a rag tag of issues and agendas being thrown into the public technology debate: Citizen empowerment, accountability, choice, personalisation, co-production, public value. It might feel like buzz word bingo, but it is centred on the thorny issue of centralised versus distributed storage of data. How is access to that data managed, and what aggregated and anonymized data is published to support accountability, without compromising privacy. It a short session it wasn’t possible to do more than scratch the surface. I’ll be looking out for their report next summer – with the digital economy debate starting to rage, this will be a big theme in the coming months.