From Safety Net to Life Coach: Human Services

A Digital Human Services Vision
From Safety Net to Life Coach:
Human Services Reimagined
Imagine a new vision for human services where digital totally
reinvents the mission. With digital, human services agencies can
become more proactive and citizen-centered—shifting from solving
problems to unleashing human potential to transform personal and
economic capacity. It’s a powerful swing from catching people when
they fall to lifting them as they rise. Explore what delivering public
service for the future looks like when human services meets the
latest digital technology trends.
4 Digital Trends to Transform the Human Services Mission
Deliver services for me, by me, to me.
The one-on-one experience of standing in line at the human
services office has come full circle. Mass personalization fueled
by analytics and contextual services can get people the personal
touch for the digital age—tailored benefits in their home or
on the go. From tablets and smartphones, and ultimately, to
wearable technology, digital enables whole new possibilities for
personalized human services wherever people need it.
Wearable technology ownership is projected to
double year over year by 2016. By 2019, nearly
two-thirds of consumers intend to purchase a
connected home device.1
Stretch the boundaries.
Digital ecosystems are the future of integrated service
delivery. They are powered by digital platforms that bring new
collaboration, smashing silos and powering convergence of
social services, education, employment and healthcare for a
revolution in whole-person care. Platforms are already poised to
reshape healthcare delivery as developers collaborate, building
applications to enhance how doctors and patients connect.2
The German National Employment Agency provides
a Web-based, self-service platform for job seekers,
employers and other stakeholders that has helped
to reduce the extent and duration of long-term
Recommend instead of rescue.
With predictive analytics and intelligent software that learns,
human services agencies can move from managing crisis to
building confidence. Data patterns predict people’s needs
and trigger proactive services just like online retail and
entertainment recommendation engines do today. Proactive skills
training or family services address vulnerabilities and identify
opportunities early on to help deliver better outcomes.
Streaming media pioneer Netflix uses algorithms
that connect past viewing experiences to future
preferences to serve relevant content to more than
30 million subscribers.3
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Mark Jennings
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Automate the human touch.
The human touch does not have to come from humans.
Fast-learning digital human services assistants can provide
one-on-one services, whole-person care and intelligent
recommendations effectively—at scale. A human-machine
workforce can mean less human services dependency for
people and a greater likelihood that they can pursue education
and training or employment that contributes to personal and
economic growth.
The Dutch Tax Agency developed a predictive
analytics model that improves the speed and success
rate of cases handled by employees. The model
monitors debtors’ earnings and capital position and
signals staff if there is a change that will affect the
ability to pay, which helps them focus on reducing
non-compliant taxpayers.
About Delivering Public Service for the Future
What does it take to deliver public service for the future? Public
service leaders must embrace four structural shifts—advancing
toward personalized services, insight-driven operations, a public
entrepreneurship mindset and a cross-agency commitment to
mission productivity. By making these shifts, leaders can support
flourishing societies, safe, secure nations and economic vitality for
citizens in a digital world — delivering public service for the future.
”The Internet of Things: The Future of Consumer Adoption”, Acquity Group, 2014.
Accenture Technology Vision 2015: Digital Business Era: Stretch Your
Boundaries, 2015.
“Big Data at Netflix Drives Business Decisions,” InfoQ, December 12, 2013.
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