Welfare Organizations across the world are facing key challenges. A sustained economic downturn has limited their roles, capacities, and sources of funding. Yet, they are expected to expand their coverage and improve service standard. As a result, they are under increasing pressure to do more with less and achieve a state of administrative excellence. The European Union accords priority to the implementation of digital technology (Digital Agenda) in order to overcome these challenges with regard to cost pressures, skills shortage, and demographic change.
With 12,000 experts in its Public Sector practice and experience in transforming Tax & Welfare organizations, Capgemini is a renowned thought leader in Digital Welfare. Together with Karsten Bunk, responsible for the Digital Agenda at the German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit), Capgemini envisaged the idea of an international workshop, where executives and experts of welfare organizations could exchange ideas around the vision and implementation of a digital agenda. Building further on the idea, Capgemini organized the first “European
Executive Panel – Digital Welfare (EEP-DW)” with the title “Modern Welfare in a Digital World.” From 19 May to 20 May 2014, decision makers of ten welfare organizations from Austria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, and Australia attended the Accelerated Solution Environment (ASE) Workshop in Berlin.
Capgemini modeled the EEP-DW on its ASE approach, which enables people from diverse functions and backgrounds to exchange ideas and innovations in a dynamic, technology powered session.
During the two-day EEP-DW workshop, the participants shared ideas and challenges from their organizational experience. In groups, they identified the need for several new digital services.
Three of these identified services were selected for further development:
- A concept for a live scenario planning tool, which helps citizens make the right decision based on a holistic view of their current situation, was developed
- The participants designed a comprehensive welfare portal (“Portal of Portals”), where information on various public authorities can be combined. The citizens can then access the services of the public authorities through a single account
- A platform was designed to establish local networks of job seekers, employers, professional schools, and employment agencies to reduce unemployment. The platform is based on established social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
The detailed results of the discussions can be used to shape the digital strategies of the participant organizations. The feedback from the workshop was very positive, and the participants have decided to repeat the event the following year. A LinkedIn group-“Digital Welfare”-was instituted to facilitate ongoing interaction between the participant organizations.
How participants and Capgemini worked together
Capgemini’s ASE workshops are designed to bring people together in a way that unleashes group-genius to yield breakthrough solutions. The EEP-DW was conducted at its dedicated Berlin ASE facility. Karsten Bunk, patron of the EEP-DW, welcomed the participants with a video presenting BA’s digital vision and its upcoming online solutions. Dr. Sven Roth from Capgemini then introduced the “Citizen Lifecycle,” highlighting the contact points between welfare agencies and citizens. The participants introduced themselves and located their implemented and planned solutions as well as current challenges to the life events within the Citizen Lifecycle.
To demonstrate multiple perspectives on the requirements of modern welfare organizations, three speakers were invited:
- Phillipp Riederle: As a 19-year old Digital Native, he described how hisgeneration uses digital media and their expectations of public agencies
- Christina Kampmann: As a German MP and a member of the Bundestag Committee on Digital Agenda, she highlighted the concerns of senior citizens, who run the risk of getting isolated in the Digital age
- Marc Reinhardt: As the head of Public Sector at Capgemini Germany, he introduced the drivers for change in the social security sector, demonstrating different models for controlling the usage of digital services in Europe and the associated benefits
The participants then learned more about innovative digital initiatives from the other organizations. Five initiatives were presented:
- A Career navigator
- A platform to promote innovation in the healthcare sector
- A solution for handling benefit applications online
- A solution to efficiently answer customer questions over multiple online channels
- A use-case of social media in the city of Ulm
All solutions were good examples of digital services, and their successful implementation requires several factors to be taken into consideration. Lars Santesson, Chief Architect, Business Technology, Public Sector, Capgemini introduced a framework that described the capabilities required to successfully implement digital services. Within the context of the framework, successful
implementation was defined by several factors such as citizens’ awareness of the services and their ability to use them effectively.
Each participant developed their vision of modern digital welfare in the future and presented it to the participants in smaller groups. The groups then worked together on ideas for future digital services. From the multitude of services, three were selected by the participants and further detailed in group work.