Creating public value through digital government

The Institute aims to address the complex problems faced by government through collaborative research projects. If you would like to know more about these projects, or would like to participate in the activities of the Institute, please contact us

Managing the challenges of leveraging artificial intelligence in government

The use of advanced technologies within government has much to offer but the ‘trust’ relationship between governments and their citizens requires a deep understanding on the implications of their use.

Collaborating with the University of Queensland, this project aims to investigate how government organisations can break down the barriers for artificial intelligence (AI) adoption and value creation. The initial focus is to identify AI challenges for government and develop a high-level framework of capabilities, capacities and processes that are needed to create value from AI for a range of stakeholders while minimising the risks. Subsequently the focus will shift to the areas of explainability, algorithmic agency, etc and conduct a deeper investigation in managing these challenges.

As these technologies are becoming more prevalent, we expect significant level of engagement on this topic. If you or your organisation is interested in joining our global network on AI adoption, please contact us.

Artificial Intelligence - Ethical principles and frameworks in government

Although every effort is made to design ethical principles that will stand the test of time, the evolution of technology is outpacing legislative change, resulting in legal frameworks, government regulations and even technology company guidelines which are struggling to keep pace with emerging technologies. In response, governments around the world are developing frameworks to guide stakeholders as they address the ethical issues raised by these technologies.  

Focussing on artificial intelligence and collaborating with the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, this research examines several aspects around the topic of AI ethics: review of the existing AI ethics principles and corporate AI ethics guidelines; examining the ethical frameworks and how existing ethical frameworks might apply, or be adapted, to emerging technologies; and making recommendations for applying existing ethical frameworks to emerging technologies.

Dynamic public policy outcomes through Real-Time Program Evaluation

Governments seek policy and program agility as they respond to rapid changes in economic and social conditions. Identifying how, when and where programs are performing against objectives needs to happen in real-time to optimise outcomes within the funding envelope. Digital technology provides the opportunity for a predictive lead indicator approach, including the analysis of data from government and public sources that is continuously updated as programs roll out. This continuous real-time evaluation approach enables policy changes to be made to maximise the benefits and to avoid cost blow-outs.

The Institute is gathering a consortium of interested parties to participate in this ground breaking research into Real-Time Program Evaluation.

The digital nudge in social security

The concept of nudge from the field of behavioral economics has sparked government initiatives that have yielded significant value. By introducing digital to the equation, nudges can become targeted to individual circumstances which potentially increases their effectiveness.

We are working with the Australian National University to explore the concept of digital nudges and their application in social security.

Digital shared services

Reducing the cost of service delivery is no longer enough, consumers rightly expect that government will be able to improve the experience associated with the service by delivering a rich user interface. They also expect the services to be dynamic, aware of their personal circumstances and proactive, providing support and information to a consumer before they have requested it.

In April 2016 the Institute held an event in the executive roundtable series, which explored the impact of digital technology on shared services in government. We are currently working on an updated discussion paper and will further explore this topic in an upcoming digital shared services roundtable to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Countering violent extremism

The movement from the Defence Industrial Complex as the predominant supplier of national security capability towards commercial providers is a fundamental shift; the implications of which, need to be understood and addressed by governments at a policy level to ensure enhancement to capability through contemporary technologies and innovation is not simultaneously degraded by the creation of unforeseen vulnerabilities.

The Institute initiated its research into countering violent extremism (CVE) in November 2015 with an executive roundtable in partnership with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, by examining the topic “The Technology Landscape in 2030 and its Implications for National Security.”

Service quality excellence

The Institute recognises the importance of service quality for improving performance and creating value in social security institutions. In June, we engaged with Caribbean social security organisations to workshop the International Social Security Association’s (ISSA) Service Quality Guidelines.

We are currently collaborating with our partner, the ISSA, as an external expert to develop the Recognition Workbook for Service Quality.

Intelligent communities

The concept of smart cities in the 21st century has been dominated by a technology centred agenda which can overlook the vital aspects of a community: people, employment opportunities and social capital. While advanced technology remains important in revolutionising the ways cities function, other political, economic, and social factors contribute to the liveability outcomes for these mass populations.

The Institute is partnering with stakeholders from industry, government and academia to examine intelligent communities in the context of regional-metropolitan supply chains, social capital development and public policy in a digital government environment.