Technology and public services: We can do so much better

Host: Romily Broad, Tech For Good

Guest: Andrea Danes, Global Human Services Leader, EY

Despite living in a technological golden age with advancements in AI, IoT, cloud computing, and more, public sector organisations face significant hurdles in leveraging these technologies effectively.

Our guest, Andrea Danes, a seasoned expert with 30 years of experience in public service delivery in the United States and currently the Global Human Services Leader at EY, shares her insights on the systemic, cultural, and technical barriers that continue to impede technological transformation in public services. Andrea’s unique perspective is enriched by her personal experiences as a foster mum and her own childhood interactions with public sector services.

As she says, if her own mother had had a cleaner, more efficient experience with public service delivery, perhaps Andrea herself would not have needed to attend three different schools just while in third grade.

Andrea emphasises the importance of aligning technology with human services to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. She highlights innovative examples, such as the use of generative AI for real-time quality reviews in casework and predictive analytics to prevent homelessness in Maidstone, UK. These examples illustrate the potential of technology to not only streamline processes but also to provide proactive services that can significantly improve outcomes for individuals and communities.

Andrea also addresses the challenges of outdated systems, tight budgets, and procurement processes that often slow down the adoption of new technologies. She advocates for a shift from program-centric to person-centric service delivery, which requires rethinking funding structures, policies, and the integration of services.

Ultimately, the mission is to empower the innovative thinkers within government agencies who push for change, and to find ways to continuously adapt and learn to truly transform public sector services.


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