Governments around the world are faced with new demands, new expectations and a fast-growing array of new technologies and tools. A current example is the Middle East, where ayouth revolution built on the global technology revolution is demanding immediate reform. Thechallenges faced by governments increasingly span national borders and require resourcesand expertise to be mobilized on a scale that far exceeds those of governments.
To be efficient and effective in today’s complex, interlinked and fast
-changing environment,governments need to redesign their structures and processes to capitalize on a new set ofactors and tools.In this context, the Forum is pleased to present
The Future of Government: Lessons Learned from around the World,
a report elaborated by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda
Council on the Future of Government. The Council consists of 15 of the most innovativeexperts and leading practitioners from some of the most advanced governments andinternational organizations.The report provides a summary of the discussions that have taken place within the frameworkof Forum activities on how the strategies, structures and practices of governments mustchange in the coming years, and how new networks and technologies can be leveraged totransform government capacity. It includes a series of policy briefs, which distils some of themost current and vital information for government modernization available, and concludeswith case studies from around the world.Governments of the future will need to adapt and continuously evolve to create value. Theyneed to stay releva
nt by being responsive to rapidly changing conditions and citizens’
expectations, and build capacity to operate effectively in complex, interdependent networks oforganizations and systems across the public, private and non-profit sectors to co-producepublic value. As recommended in this report, what is needed today is flatter, agile,streamlined and tech-enabled (FAST) government.
In most countries, the civil service systems of today’s governments require considerable
modernization. The report suggests a number of measures to align civil service systems tothe requirements of FAST governments. Furthermore, governments in the 21st century will bemarked in many countries by reductions in the size of the civil service.The report emphasizes the importance of carefully planned workforce reductions coupled withthe significant organizational, technological and workforce advances inherent in FASTgovernments to build slim and streamlined organizations that can thrive in the new worldorder. Adaptive governments that share labour, services and resources through networkedapproaches and Gov 2.0 strategies can remain slim while delivering on their mission ineffective and innovative ways.The report also explores the powerful but, in some cases, controversial concepts of opengovernment
and open data, giving examples of how governments are using the power of theInternet and the Web, including social media, to transform governance, empower citizens andrebuild the social contract between political leaders and citizens.The report shares experience on citizen engagement tools designed to incorporate theperspectives and ideas of citizens in decision-making and reflects on how networkedrelationships can be built between the public and private sectors to solve challengingproblems that cannot be addressed by either sector working alone.Open government represents an emergent movement worldwide, although nationalgovernments will continue to differ with respect to the definition and implementation of theseideas. Clearly, sharing best practices and lessons that work as experience accumulates willbe crucial.