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2024 Key Trends in welfare

Jan 25, 2024

Welfare services in 2024 will be simpler, more intuitive and more data-driven. And they’re starting to play a key role in today’s skills economy. 

Welfare solutions are about social stability, which is harder in times of crisis. Around the world, agencies responsible for employment, social security and pensions are positioning their programs to prevent emergencies and provide the right entitlements and support while simultaneously preparing for when the next emergency hits. 

Public welfare organizations have shown remarkable resilience in recent years. Through a pandemic, political uncertainties, refugee crises and wars, they have adapted. They’ve begun modernizing their IT infrastructures, rolling out digital welfare services, and continuously provided services amidst the unknown. Now many welfare organizations are going one step further. By using lessons learned over the past few years, and adopting new technologies, they are building new capabilities – reacting to the needs of the day, while preparing themselves and the citizens they serve for whatever comes down the road. 

Prevention programs can take many forms, such as early child education, job training, affordable healthcare, childcare, and mental health counselling. Effective implementation of such preventive programs, married with income support programs, impact millions of lives positively, helping them lead productive lives. More and more, welfare agencies are turning their focus to this model of thinking: aiming to prevent hardship wherever possible. 

Here are three concrete ways welfare providers are preparing for the future, and helping their citizens do the same. 


Life events – putting citizens at the center of welfare solutions

Just because a welfare service is available, doesn’t mean citizens will avail themselves of it. Some may simply not need it. Some may rely on family or community instead. But there are also citizens who could benefit immensely from help, but don’t. And the longer their situation goes unmanaged, the more serious it can become. One thing governments can do is make the process of finding services easier, especially if you have to apply for several support schemes together. That’s the goal of the life events approach. 

Simply defined, the life events approach organizes welfare services around crucial moments in the lives of citizens (birth of a child, new job), rather than around areas of the government. The goal is simplicity – and it’s working. To take one example, in Estonia new parents used to average ten interactions with their government. The life events approach cut that to just four. Citizens interact with the government through digital welfare platforms in one simple engagement (OOC – Only Once Communication), report the life event, and find a list of services made possible by multiple governmental departments. 

This approach saves time, effort and money as it reduces the challenge of having multiple citizen-facing systems for every department. Governments in Singapore, Australia, the UK, and the United Arab Emirates have embraced this service delivery methodology, and continue to modernize their services through unified portals and mobile apps. Other governments such as the city of Abu Dhabi are looking at life events to better their citizen experience. 

Digital welfare services – bringing data to life 

Which welfare programs are working? Are they working equally for everyone?  Which regions need more assistance? And what can we learn from the steps we’ve already taken?  

For each of these questions, the answers are in the data. 

Government agencies are sitting on a treasure trove. Unfortunately, their data is typically siloed in IT systems across various governmental departments, and even in the databases of partners in the NGO and business worlds. To reap the benefits of data, it must be shared. Simultaneously, the security of data must be maintained, as regulated by HIPAA, GDPR and other local regulations. 

Hyperscalers and other platform providers are bringing new technologies such as differential privacy, federated learning, and data exchange systems, making this an opportune time to activate dormant data and facilitate its free flow. Not far from now, we’re going to see data create great value for welfare organizations, governments and related entities – it will help in evidence-based policy making, disaster risk management, citizen-centric service delivery, fraud detection, outcome management and more. 

Skills for the modern age – a new welfare challenge 

Governments are increasingly seeking new ways to help their citizens gain the skills they need to succeed in a fast-changing world. 

Economies are changing, and many people are finding that the skills which brought them to where they are today are inadequate for tomorrow. The most obvious example is factory work, which has declined in many countries. But it doesn’t stop there. Employment is also affected by technological advances such as automation. Soon, self-driving trucks will replace truck driving. And with GenAI, all bets are off. However, that does not mean that the total number of jobs is declining – far from it. Jobs are changing. Welfare agencies have a large role to play in helping citizens adapt. 

Presumably, most students would like to learn skills which will benefit them in the workplace – but with workplace skills changing at lightning speed, educational organizations are struggling to keep pace. This is one place where new welfare solutions make a profound difference. By partnering with job platforms such as LinkedIn, governments are learning about the job market and the skills which employers are looking for. Even more data may be gleaned by working with employers directly. And with advancements in data techniques, skill deficits can be identified proactively. This information is priceless for educational institutions and individuals. It also informs welfare agencies’ decisions about what training to provide. And today, that information can be translated into personalized training courses, available to a diverse population via mobile devices. India’s Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship provides an example of the power of technology to develop new age skills.  

Moving welfare forward 

Navigating welfare provisioning is a nuanced challenge, and governments acknowledge the necessity of streamlined services. Global disruptions can abruptly thrust thousands into needing immediate assistance. The solution lies in data-informed decision making, equipping citizens with essential skills, and redefining services to be citizen-centric and easily accessible. Around the world, this is the direction welfare agencies are choosing – ensuring that when they’re needed most, support systems will be ready.  

This blog was co-authored by Sivaraj Sethunamasivayam, Helena Vilcans, Félix Lopes, Harm Erbé, Vanshika Bhat and Marc Reinhardt.

Further reading

For information about Capgemini’s welfare services, visit here.


Helena Vilcans

Account Executive, Public Sector and Welfare
“Welfare is rapidly adapting to the new normal. Agencies are changing their ways of working and support systems to better serve citizens. Innovation allows for more accurate services adapted to these new needs. We also see a larger focus on digital services, and a growing need to share data among agencies securely and responsibly, all while assuring inclusion and accessibility.”

Sivaraj Sethunamasivayam

Senior Director, Global Public Welfare Expert, Industry Platforms
“We are proud to partner with public welfare agencies across the world in improving access to social programs, in increasing quality of care and in delivering better outcomes for citizens. As a company, we have the industry, technology and programme management expertise to help governments deal with changing demographics and budgetary constraints by enabling them to deliver large-scale transformations in an integrated yet incremental manner.”

Félix Lopes

Head of Public Sector
“Digital transformation is a crucial ambition of every public sector organization. Through this transformation, the sector can better respond to citizens’ needs quickly, responsively and sustainably. My main goal is to improve the sector’s digitization in a fully integrated and sustainable manner, empowering the Portuguese government to meet the European targets for 2030, ensuring that key public services are 100% available online.”

Harm Erbé

Director Digital Government, Capgemini Netherlands

Marc Reinhardt

Executive Vice President, Public Sector Global Industry Leader
“We are proud to be a leading partner to public sector organizations globally, supporting mission-critical systems that touch the lives of millions of citizens and users every day. While developing the next generation of citizen-centric, inclusive public services, we are also enabling organizations to transform to tackle the most important challenges our societies face. As we look to the 2030 targets of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, it’s clear that technology is a tool for achieving better outcomes, and that societal purpose should be a driving force behind the sector’s use of digital to perform and transform.”

Vanshikha Bhat

Senior Manager, Global Public sector / Industry platform 
” We at Capgemini public sector help governments organizations across the globe in driving initiatives that address the diverse needs of vulnerable populations. Our involvement also aids in navigating complex processes, optimizing resource, and fostering innovation. We thrive towards enhances the impact and sustainability of government programs, positively affecting the lives of those in need.”