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Agenda 2024

The Digital Summit addresses some of the biggest challenges facing public sector heads of digital around the world

October 21st

All times provided are local (Ottawa, EST)

Monday October 21st

18:00 – 19:00

Reception

Co-hosted by the Government of Canada and Global Government Forum

Monday October 21st

19:00 – 19:30

Welcome and introductions

Stephen Burt, Chief Data Officer of Canada

 

Monday October 21st

19:30 – 21:30

 

How digital transformation can help unlock a modern, effective public service

Governments around the world have faced unprecedented pressure in recent years, and the demands public services face are only set to increase, as nations deal with the impact of climate change and the transition to net zero, changing demographics, shifting geopolitics and a momentous technological revolution in the form of artificial intelligence.

The volume and urgency of these challenges requires a recalibration in thinking about what public and civil service leaders need to deliver, and Global Government Forum has spoken to 12 top public servants to identify the top features of a modern, effective public service that delivers for users.

The ‘Making government work’ report sets out five key features for a modern public services, and the keys to delivering each one. This session will set out the findings of the research – and, in particular, looking at how digital services can contribute to an agile, resilient and risk-taking public service culture focused on delivery, embracing the use of artificial intelligence to improve delivery, and building better services across key life events.

Presentations, followed by group discussion

Tuesday October 22nd

All times provided are local (Ottawa, EST)

Tuesday October 22nd

09:00 – 10:30

Is artificial intelligence working for government?

Governments around the exploring the use of artificial intelligence programs to help improve their services and deliver more effectively for users. For example, researchers have found that the Canadian federal government has used artificial intelligence in nearly 300 projects and initiatives, while the UK’s National Audit Office has said that 74 AI use cases have been deployed in the UK government.

In order to make the most of the use of AI, it is important that governments analyse what works – and what doesn’t. This session will share insight from digital leaders around the world on where AI is being most effectively used in government, where there is unexamined potential, and where it’s use has not been effective.

Including presentations and discussion

Session followed by refreshment break

Tuesday October 22nd

11:00 – 12:30

Making technology investment an enabler of transformation, not a cost

Providing modern digital systems is key to government delivery, but too many politicians still view digital investments as a cost to be controlled, not a catalyst of better services that should be invested in.

This approach leaves digital investments vulnerable to cuts at a time when budgets are tight in many governments, but investment is vital to ensure that services and systems are robust and up-to-date.

This session will discuss the approaches that governments are taking to make sure that funding can match up to providing the funding that government needs, and how government budgeting processes can be reformed to make sure that money can follow agile project management techniques, and does not force government into over-specified and inflexible projects and procurements.

Including presentations and discussion

Session followed by networking lunch

Tuesday October 22nd

13:45 – 15:15

Renewing policymaking for the digital age

Digital technology has fundamentally changed how individuals live nearly every minute if their waking lives – from how they work, how they consume information, how they communicate with friends and family, and how they organise their social life and free time.

However, in many ways the way that government develops policy has not fully matched this transformation.

As Gina Gill, chief digital and information officer at the UK’s Ministry of Justice has put it, government needs to become “deliberate in designing policy for the digital age’, asking: “Are we trying to be government with digital services to deliver productivity, or actually do we want to be digital government? Because those are two different things, and I think they drive different behaviours in terms of joining up services, in terms of what that end user experience feels like, and in terms of sharing data. One means you’re focused on your own products and services in your own world, and the other means that we have got to join up more across government.”
This session will discuss how government can be rewired to become truly digital. It will look at how governments can develop policy and legislation that is “digital-ready” and programmed for the future. This approach – as set out by the Danish government’s Agency for Digital Government – is intended to focus on implementation from start to finish, with a mandatory assessment of whether legislation is digital-ready and ensuring that policy uses terms and concepts that have a clear definition. This session will look at how this approach can be implemented across the world.

Including presentations and discussion

Session followed by refreshment break

Tuesday October 22nd

15:30 – 17:00

Why is data sharing so hard in government?

Public servants around the world agree that better sharing of data – both within and across organizations – is vital to delivering better services. However, despite many policies that seek to improve the sharing of information, governments often struggle to make it happen in a way that can inform policy and delivery.

The Canadian government, for example, has set an expectation that federal organizations should work to identify the specific barriers that are limiting the ability to share data, as well as implementing common data standards across government.

This session will discuss the challenges that government faces in making data-sharing happen, discussing both why these issues prove so persistent and best practice in helping to overcome them – across areas including technology, standards, culture and legislation.

Including presentations and discussion

Tuesday October 22nd

17:00-17:20

Summary and thanks

Summit concludes 17:20