Producing thought leadership in digital government
Leveraging Artificial Intelligence in Government

Artificial intelligence (AI) offers huge potential benefits for the public sector ‒ such as delivering enhanced citizen services, improving process efficiency, creating smart cities, and ensuring public security and safety. But there have been challenges in its adoption within government processes. We have collaborated with the University of Queensland to investigate how government organisations can break down the barriers for artificial intelligence adoption and value creation.

The first stage of the research identifies the AI challenges for government and develops a high-level framework of capabilities, capacities and processes that are needed to create value from AI while minimizing the risks.

The second stage of the research is now available and addresses the specific challenge of ‘explainability’ of the AI results with an emphasis on aligning AI operations with the stakeholder-specific perspectives and knowledge thus delivering the intended value of the use of the technology. 

Further stages of the research will be focused on 'Building AI Capability' and 'Redesigning Work for AI'.

If you or your organisation is interested in being involved in this research, please contact us as we are building a vibrant network of interested individuals across public sector agencies, academia and the private sector.

Stage 1 - Delivering AI Programs in the Public Sector - Guidelines for Government Leaders

Stage 2 -  Building Explainability into Public Sector Artificial Intelligence

A paper on The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence Adoption in the Public Sector

Society 5.0 – An Overview of Japan’s Initiative

As countries evolve, they face a variety of internal and external challenges. Governments need to address these challenges and also meet citizens’ expectations while, at the same time, balancing their budgets. In some cases, the degree of response required justifies a transformational approach and such is the situation in Japan. Society 5.0 is Japan’s initiative addressing its structural challenges.

The SIDG point-of-view document outlines the key aspects of Society 5.0 and examines what we can learn from Japan as they ready their society for the future.

Click here

The research paper co-written with Brede University, examines the initiative and its characteristics and ponders its applicability in other regions.

Click here

SAP Japan has authored a whitepaper discussing the concept and identifying Society 5.0 use cases.

Click here

The Digital Nudge in the Government Setting

The concept of nudge theory, from the fields of behavioural science, political theory and behavioural economics, has sparked government initiatives yielding significant public value. A nudge is a method for predictably altering behaviour without restricting consumer choice options or significantly changing incentives. Nudges work by leveraging default human behaviour such as the tendency to take the path of least resistance when exercising choice.

The article develops the concept of the digital nudge in social security administration. The digital nudge leverages predictive analytics technology within a digital government framework to support a social investment policy approach. Examples of innovation are examined within social security administration where nudges are contributing to better social outcomes. At the same time, concerns regarding ethics and privacy are identified as nudges are applied at the individual rather than the population level.

Click here 

We also revisit the landmark research and consider how digital technologies might enable governments around the world to nudge citizens towards cooperation and coordinated action in containing COVID-19.

Click here

Click here

A conceptual architecture is available below, describing the core capabilities required to deliver digital nudges that can support policymakers and service agencies, working with behavioral scientists and technology partners, to improve the effectiveness of traditional nudges.

Click Here

Instilling Trust Through Transparency in Public Services

Government agencies understand that data plays a critical role in the trust equation. Although citizens have become more comfortable in offering up their data to commercial organisations, many have an inherent distrust when it comes to data security generally, and how their personal information is gathered, stored and used by government.

This data can be highly sensitive, but it is also necessary to enable government to deliver innovative and personalised services and programs.

SAP commissioned this discussion in partnership with the SAP Institute for Digital Government and the Public Sector Network to explore the  opportunities, uncover the challenges, and provide best practice  recommendations on taking the next steps to instil “trust through transparency”.

Whitepaper - Instilling Trust though Transparency - Experience Management in Public Services

Article for the upcoming European Social Services Conference - What does it mean to be "responsive" in the new normal?

Real-Time, Data-Driven Government

As society grows more complex, government faces a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to deliver on its mission to provide, protect, and prosper in an increasingly multifaceted society where it is difficult to develop one-size-fits-all programs that meet the precise needs of citizens.

The opportunity is to deliver new, better, and more effective services to citizens by adopting a data-driven strategy that enables real-time insights and recommendations resulting in greater public confidence and higher engagement.

A Maturity Model for Data Driven Government

To be data-driven is to base one’s decisions on trusted data as opposed to intuition, personal experience or observation. It is a rigorous, science-based approach and in a government context leads to transparency, open-government, greater citizen engagement and enhanced policy impact. To support organisations on their data driven journeys, a maturity model, such as the example created by the ‘SAP Institute for Digital Government’ (SIDG), is a useful tool. Based on real-world experience gained from government projects, the model shows how capable an organization is in achieving this continuous improvement.

Emerging Technologies in Social Security

The last triennium has seen accelerating adoption of various emerging technologies by government, but none more so than Machine Learning. In our report to the ISSA we discuss not only the successes, but also how we’re working to overcome the remaining challenges to AI adoption in public services.

Link to ISSA Report

Link to SAP Blog

Social Investment in the Digital Era – Improving social outcomes through predictive analytics and managing the emerging moral hazard and ethical challenges

The SAP Institute for Digital Government continues to examine the use of advanced technologies within government and in this discussion paper the focus is around predictive analytics in the context of social investment.

The purpose of this discussion paper is to raise awareness, promote discussion and encourage research on the challenge of moral hazard and ethical issues from the use of predictive analytics in decision making in social protection policy making and administration.

While this discussion paper is focused on social protection, the challenges discussed are relevant across all areas of public administration. Social protection is where these challenges are likely to manifest more often as it is one of the highest touch points between a government and its citizens.

Intelligent Communities: Intersecting Economic Development, Social Capital and Technology

In this discussion paper, we propose an “intelligent community” narrative incorporating the technology aspects of a smart city, with parallel investment in social capital and liveability factors contributing to better outcomes through a virtuous circle effect.


Case Study: City of Antibes

The French town of Antibes puts the safety of its citizens first with secure IoT-based monitoring and control of the city’s water distribution system.

Video: Antibes – Smarter and Safer City

Article: How IoT Is Turning This Resort Town Into a Smart City

Research Paper: Toward End-to-End Data Protection in Low-Power Networks