Posted: 22 Apr. 2022 4 min.

Government Trends: How a decade of unprecedented events is shaping the future

Topic: Government & Public Services

Unprecedented seems to have become the word of our times – especially for anyone working with or in government. The budget deficits and sovereign debt issues of the last decade were unprecedented consequences of the global financial crisis. 

Brexit was an unprecedented and unanticipated disruption to the European Union. And the tragic COVID-19-pandemic required unprecedented economic, social and healthcare responses from governments around the world.

Deloitte’s latest Government Trends report identifies ten developments that we are witnessing in governments around the world, and it shows how these unprecedented disruptions are now shaping their future.

Three trends accelerated by the pandemic

Let me put a spotlight on three of those ten trends that have been accelerated by the pandemic.

  1. The first is reshoring or ‘friendshoring’ supply chains. The experience of COVID19 prompted governments to assess their nations’ supply chains, exposing fragilities and over-dependencies. As a result, many governments have been reshoring critical supply chains to boost their economic resilience. But total reshoring has its limits, generally for practical or financial reasons. As a result, some governments are exploring the potential of ‘friendshoring’ by rebuilding their supply chains around allied nations. It’s notable that policymakers no longer see supply chains in economic terms alone – they now also have significant national security implications.
  2. The second trend driven by the pandemic is around the public sector’s use of data. In the decade before COVID-19, many forward-thinking governments had tried to better harness their data to improve policy, decision-making and service delivery. Unfortunately, budget limitations, legislative barriers to data-sharing and difficulties in accessing the right skills often slowed progress. But when the pandemic landed, governments rapidly began to take charge of their data and sweep aside issues that held them back. We are now seeing more governments making data-sharing easier, and more public bodies creating or expanding the role of the Chief Data Officer. This is a hugely encouraging trend for the future of the public sector. Perhaps more than any other factor, better use of data will be the biggest gamechanger in how effectively the state uses taxpayers’ money, makes policy choices and delivers vital services.
  3. The third trend that I want to shine a light on is providing digital access for all. The pandemic showed the importance of being able to get online as doctor surgeries shifted to video appointments, testing regimes made full use of connectivity and classrooms became temporarily virtual. But while these developments were enormously helpful for some, they highlighted how many households do not have reliable internet connections and devices.

In addition, the extra strain on online government processes during the pandemic highlighted the design deficiencies in some. At their worst, so-called digital government services can be shaky online replicas of physical processes that are not designed with our most disadvantaged populations in mind.

As a result, many governments are now looking at their digital plans through an equity lens as well. They are aiming to improve digital infrastructure to support better access to connectivity and apply human-centred design approaches to both digital and in-person environments. Ultimately, that is how governments can build digital access for all.

In the Government Trends 2022 report, Deloitte features ten trends observed in multiple governments around the world. Read the full report here

Forfatter spotlight

Carsten Jørgensen

Carsten Jørgensen

Equity Partner

Specializes in the public sector, regulation and deregulation, reforms in the public sector and strategy. Carsten is managing partner for Government & Public Services in NSE (North South Europe). He has more than 20 years of experience as a consultant and advisor for the public sector, where he has led several highly complex analyses and larger transformation programs

$(document.head).append(''); $(document.head).append('