Skip to main content

Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

Andrew Bennett

Chris Yiu

2019

Reference:

https://institute.global/policy/transforming-government-21st-century

Accelerating technological progress radically changed how billions of people across the globe communicate, learn, organise and transact. But one arena in particular has been resistant to change: government. Ossified institutions and approaches designed for the offline world are a poor fit for dealing with an operating environment that is now defined by the Internet and new
technologies.

Governments should embrace technology-enabled experimentation and decentralisation to deal with increased complexity. Too often, citizens experience public services that feel like they belong in the past.

Crucially, this revolution must cover how governments support both the wider economy and the citizens they interact with directly, with changes to governance, infrastructure and institutions.

This paper reveals how the following suggestions would lead governments into the 21st century: Governments should use their unique position to set the agenda for the nation and update policy levers to set the tempo for everyone working to support it. Governments should provide software and data infrastructure necessary for companies, non-profits and the public sector to
respond to the opportunities and challenges of the modern era. Governments should reset their structures to break through silos, reduce interdependencies and enable more effective and quicker delivery of policy and services.

Political leaders must therefore grasp these possibilities and translate them into improving the lives of citizens.