Transform Issue 18 - Dubai Edition

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Online issue |





The methodology behind the service ethos of Dubai's public services


iESE's Dr Larner shares his experience of Dubai government awards judging panel



Four other judges share their thoughts on the Dubai Model Centre

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Page 2 Welcome letter from iESE’s Dr Andrew Larner

Page 3-4 The methodology behind Dubai’s public service ethos

Page 5-8 Four members of the 2019 judging panel for the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Programme for Government Services give their views


Dubai puts in place 50-year plan up to 2071 Dubai’s Government has shown its forwardthinking prowess with its launch of a 50-year plan known as The UAE Centennial 2071 project, the year which will be the nation’s 100th anniversary. It sets a clear map for long-term government work and aims to make the United Arab Emirates the best country in the world. The plan is based on four aspects: education, economy, government development and community cohesion. Launching the plan, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VicePresident and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said: “Today we launched the UAE Centennial 2071 project to put in place a vision that extends to five decades to prepare the nation for future generations. “The goal is for future generations to live a happier life in a better environment, with bigger opportunities and stronger communication with the world. UAE Centennial 2071 is based on four aspects: education, economy, government development, and community cohesion. The goal is for the UAE to be the best country in the world by 2071,” he added. Community development is an integral part of the UAE Centennial 2071. Some objectives in this regard include establishing a secure, tolerant, cohesive and ethical society that embraces happiness and a positive lifestyle and a high quality of life. This pillar also focuses on developing programmes to prepare future generations to serve as the UAE’s goodwill ambassadors, as well as promoting women's participation in all sectors.




International cross-collaboration could save years of learning Dr Andrew Larner, elcome to our first country-focused edition Chief Executive of Transform which looks at Dubai’s public sector. In 2019, I had the privilege of sitting on an @LaverdaJota international panel flown in to judge the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Programme for Government Services. The level of innovation I saw blew me away. From my deliberations with other judges I saw a huge opportunity to learn from each other and collectively skip through years of learning.


In Dubai, the public service model is driven by customer service. A central organisation called the Dubai Model Centre (DMC) works with local government organisations to help them meet unified standards. This central hub allows knowledge-sharing on a greater scale than we see in the UK and provides a level of consistency. Each year the DMC hold its Hamdan Hub and annual awards where it brings in an international judging panel to evaluate the entries. The initiatives being judged varied in resource and manpower, but even the very small teams held themselves to the same high standard as the largest teams. You can read more about the Dubai Model Centre on pages 3 and 4. The vigorous judging process I took part in took place over two days, including looking through detailed written submissions and going on site visits. Once the judges had created their overall shortlist these were presented to officials before going to a public vote. The overall winner holds the ‘Flag’ of the Hamdan bin Mohammed Programme for Government Services for the year until the programme runs again. Every submission showed a dedication, commitment and imagination which was Premier League. There were no boundaries in their thinking of what was possible around customer service or technology. We have plenty of fantastic leaders in the UK, but in Dubai the level of ambition for innovation was seen across everyone we met, it wasn’t reserved to a cadre of digital or innovation teams, it went right through the management of these organisations. Technology in Dubai is being used for the every day. Drones using Artificial Intelligence (AI) can identify pests and automatically notify the appropriate response team – the Internet of Pests! Residents can also identify a pest or its droppings via an app which sends an automatic notification to the authorities. One evening during my visit we saw a car cut into the queuing traffic. We asked our taxi driver why no-one was irate, and he showed us a police app into which he entered the registration number, informing me that the driver had now been fined. Freight does not have to be inspected because AI is used to verify what is in the containers. Through human-centred design the technology drops into the background. I regretted there had to be one 2019 winner but the one which did triumph - The Department of Economic Development (DED) Instant Licence - was an entry I thought was superb. The DED Instant Licence reduces the time taken to start a business from multiple days to five minutes, including bank account setup, establishing a tax account, and paying fees to up to 14 government entities. The way in which the DED looked at the whole customer journey, not just the element that they dealt with, was phenomenal. What we are starting to see in the UK is local authorities building vibrant communities that support themselves rather than look to public services for every solution. Dubai public service has started from a different point but is seeing the customer journey so holistically that it will start to move that way. By looking at how other countries address their public service challenges there is an opportunity to level up globally. While many of the projects I saw in Dubai would knock the UK ‘out of the park’ in terms of technology and whole public service design, we have plenty to share, and the progress made in our leading authorities is as good as the best anywhere. We hope you enjoy reading the issue. Please send any international views and news for future inclusion to

EDITORIAL CONTACTS TRANSFORM IS PRODUCED BY iESE: | Tel: 08434 878 026 | Email: @iESELtd CREDITS: Editorial by: Vicki Arnstein | Designed by: SMK Design

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Views expressed within are those of the iESE editorial team. iESE publications are aimed at companies and individuals with an interest in reviewing, remodelling and reinventing public services. © Copyright iESE 2020

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How Dubai’s approach to customer-centric public services sets the ‘gold standard’ Excellent customer service in the public sector in Dubai is not accidental, it is striven for year-on-year by government entities, driven by The Dubai Model for Government Services (DMGS) – a system which underpins a continuous cycle of improvement. Dubai, excellent customer service in the public sector is viewed as the main driver for the Dubai Government’s other strategic pillars, with leading public services seen as the backbone of the economy. The DMGS sets out the public service criteria which government entities should strive to meet. Supporting this on the ground is the role of the Dubai Model Centre (DMC) of the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai. The DMC oversees and supports the annual cycle of continuous improvement in service delivery of Dubai’s public services and focuses on researching, documenting, and disseminating best practices in the field of public service competitiveness at local and international levels. It offers smart strategic tools and systems to research and document the reality of public service delivery in Dubai and improve it for the better. It aims to motivate government agencies to upgrade their services using its methodologies and encourages cooperation and exchange of


knowledge among different government agencies in this field. Now in the tenth cycle of applying the DMGS improvement criteria to customer service, many Dubai government entities are providing truly innovate cross-governmental and customer-centric solutions. Eman Al Suwaidi, Senior Director of the DMC, said: “The methodology of DMC is composed of two main pillars: increasing government services efficiency, and fulfilling customers’ needs and expectations; it ensures customers receive extraordinary experience that exceeds their expectations. This is achieved by developing innovative ideas and initiatives that enhance the quality of services and contribute to maintaining Dubai’s position as the best city in innovation in government services.” She added that since 2012, government entities have focused their efforts on a unified goal – the happiness of customers – and with the support of DMC more than 350 government services were improved by the end of 2019. “This commitment led to the inception of more than 1,000 innovative

initiatives that significantly contributed to improving the quality of government services. The adoption of DMC’s methodology by government entities resulted in the reduction of the average time of service delivery by more than 50 per cent and assisted in reducing customers' visits and touch points needed to receive the service by 40 per cent. By the year 2019, the accumulative financial savings were approximately 700 million Dirhams as a result of improving the efficiency of governmental services,” she said. The DMC celebrates the achievements of the government entities in striving towards these standards through its annual Hamdan Hub and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Programme for Government Services (see box on page 4 more information). A panel of international jurors sit on the awards panel. In 2019, iESE’s Chief Executive Dr Andrew Larner sat on the panel – you can read about his experience on page 2 and read what another four long-standing jurors think of the process on pages 5-8.

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About The Dubai Model for Government Services (DMGS) The four guiding principles of the DMGS are: innovation, reasoned spending, connected government and customer engagement. There are three main components that serve as an integrated system which government entities use on a continuous annual improvement cycle. These are: The Model Government Service Delivery Criteria, three unified assessment tools and the Government Services Improvement Methodology. More information on the three strands can be found below.

Strand one: Government Services Improvement Methodology



Strand three: Service assessment tools

• the government entity’s internal capabilities and available resources

Three service assessment tools benchmark government entities and assess progress against the improvement efforts.

2. A Unified Customer Experience Tool assesses the customer experience at all touch points with the government entity upon obtaining a service and measures their satisfaction with that service. This tool gathers operational indicators related to customers’ usage patterns, adoption rates, preferred channels - usually originated from internal systems. Perception indicators related to service quality or customer satisfaction are also generated from questionnaires, focus groups, interviews, customers’ council and suggestion and complaint systems in the form of quantitative or qualitative data. The main results are input into a tool log.

1. The Self-Assessment Tool enables selfassessment against the criteria set out in the six perspectives. It allows the entity to assess its internal capabilities and ability to deliver highquality services by showing the implementation degree of each one of the criteria between 100 per cent and zero per cent. The assessment frequency can be bi-annual or annual, depending on capabilities and needs. After assessment a future target is set according to several factors including: • the government’s vision and goals in service delivery

• local, regional, and international benchmarking.

3. The Efficiency Tool is used to measure and document the increase in service efficiency in government entities because of improvement efforts.

• the service centre’s performance in previous years

The DMGS Government Service Improvement Methodology provides a multi-phased structured approach to identify and measure the levels of improvement needed to make positive change in a scientific, disciplined manner. This multi-phased approach consists of five interrelated tiers that must be completed to ensure each entity has a clear understanding of its current core competencies, customer expectations, service improvement objectives, resource capabilities, and a strategic, actionable service transformation roadmap. The five phases are: • PHASE ONE: Current State Assessment Study the current performance of the services to be improved and customer expectations regarding these services. • PHASE TWO: Planning Service Improvement Determine how services will look after improvement and how to achieve that. • PHASE THREE: Implementation - Transform the plan for service improvement into reality with specific improvement initiatives. • PHASE FOUR: Monitoring and Follow-up Ensure the improvement plan implementation is proceeding in the right direction and as planned. • PHASE FIVE: Continuous Learning - Finalise the improvement initiatives implementation, facilitate collective learning within the government entity and ensure continuity of the improvement.

Strand two: Model Government Service Delivery Criteria There are six key perspectives for improving the quality of government services set out by the DMGS, each backed up by numerous criteria points they should strive to meet. The six perspectives are: Customer Insights, Service Charter, Service Realisation, Customer Experience, Service Delivery Stars and Service Improvement Culture.

Model Government Service Delivery Perspective

About the Hamdan Hub and annual awards The Hamdan Hub is an annual platform organised by the DMC which celebrates innovative teams and leaders and their dedicated efforts in improving government services and shares knowledge of best practice between government entities. The forum also honours candidates nominated in the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Programme for Government Services for their continuous efforts and quest to improve their government services through unprecedented levels of innovation. The entries to the programme are rigorously judged against the DMGS service criteria framework by a panel of expert judges from countries around the world. The judging panel evaluate the submissions against international standards, taking into consideration customer satisfaction and happiness, quality and speed of services, and sustainability measures using documentation and on-site visits. A shortlist of the most innovative initiatives provided by the 30 participating government entities then goes to a public vote, with the overall winner awarded the ‘Flag’ of Hamdan bin Mohammed Programme for Government Services. The flag is flown outside the main building of the winning government entity until the next year’s awards. The flag demonstrates the public’s confidence in the services of the winning government entity, is an expression of the government’s responsibility to continuously develop its services, protect people’s interests and achieve happiness for the public and symbolises the leadership goal to be number one.



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Jury members share insights into Dubai’s public service model

Here, four of the 2019 international judging panel for the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Program for Government Services describe their experiences of being a member of the panel and share their thoughts on the DMC framework and innovation designed to meet the Dubai government’s goal of making customers happy. Louise Thomasen Ottosen (LTO) is an independent Danish consultant who has been working in the cross field of technology and society for more than 30 years. Her work has been in development, implementation, research, evaluation and analysis of ICTs and new ways of work. She has broad international experience working with public sector digital service issues both with governments and international organisations, such as the EU, UN and the World Bank. She has sat on the judging panel for six years.

Nannette Cutliff (NC) is a Senior Vice President/Chief Information Officer in the financial services and technology sector. She holds a MS in Business Continuity, Security, Risk Management, BS degrees in Marketing and Global Business Management and ISACA certifications. She is based in the USA and has been on the judging panel for five years.

Morten Meyerhoff Nielsen (MMN) is an EGOV Adviser at the United Nations University. EGOV is an international think tank working with the digital transformation of the public sector. He is an author and co-author of various publications, a reviewer for various journals, on multiple conference committees and a juror on several awards committees. He has been on the judging panel for five years.

Nick Scott (NS) leads transformational change in New Brunswick, Canada in his role as Executive Director of Open Government and Innovation. Nick launched the GovMaker Conference to explore the theory and practice of public innovation and open government and co-founded NouLAB - a public and social innovation lab facilitating collaborative problem-solving across sectors. He has been on the judging panel for three years.

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Q: What do you think of the DMC methodology and its objective in supporting the enhancement of government services in Dubai? LTO: “By using a consistent methodology, but still allowing it to be continuously adjusted from year to year, government entities have a list of concreate tangible priorities of what is important for Dubai – it sets clear goals. The methodology is also flexible enough to contain indicators for what is important for the specific government entity’s business and use this to measure improvements from year to year. I also believe that having the same methodology massively supports the creation of cross-government services.” NC: “My juror experience with the DMC has spanned five years and I continue to be impressed by its focus and commitment to the evolution, growth and transformation of government services from servicefocused delivery channels to high-performing, customer-centric service providers.” MMN: “The strength of the DMC method is its emphasis on both qualitative and quantitative results such as service quality, end-user and employee satisfaction, as well as productivity and cost efficiency. The short annual cycles are ambitious and aligned to national strategic objectives. The tools and advice provided by the DMC and its staff focuses on innovation and change management within the public sector and in Dubai as a whole. When combined, this has resulted in a proven record of facilitating the successful transformation Dubai, particularly for public service production and delivery within the Emirate.” NS: “As the Executive Director of Open Government and Innovation with the Executive Council Office in the Government of New Brunswick, it is part of my role to develop and integrate innovation capabilities throughout my government. To do so I have experimented with hosting an innovation challenge. The purpose of this has been to share an innovation framework, create space for experimentation with new tools, and build a network of innovators within the organisation. Therefore, the work of the DMC and the Hamdan Hub are familiar concepts to me. The challenge is crucial in two ways: it highlights the behaviours we want to see more of from our public sector colleagues and it allows others within the institution to learn from the experiments of others. Without this type of effort, visions for a more innovative government are simply fiction. “The DMC methodology is robust and comprehensive and provides rich experiential leaning opportunities to public servants striving to improve customer experience. Furthermore, the DMC’s commitment to learning from global benchmarks and ambition to pioneer government service improvements is inspiring and commendable.”

Q: What do you think of the evaluation process of the government entities’ initiatives? LTO: “As the DMC is working and supporting entities in their improvement efforts all year, we as a jury only see the top performers. The DMC evaluation process has been gradually fine-tuned over the years, and the focus on levelling the playing field for all participating entities through a set of common indicators is most helpful. The combination of the jury first looking at ‘the hard data’ and then interviewing entities is most helpful for the jury process. It adds reality checks to the process for the international jury. “Finally, as the DMC is working continuously with entities, the evaluation provides an incentive for

Award winners for the 2019 Hamdan Bin Mohammed Program for Government Services Awards

entities, as well as a cross-government measure of ‘how well are we doing’, and what is up and coming. The evaluation process is a good way of spreading knowledge throughout society of how government can work with new technologies and new ideas.” NC: “The DMC service improvement framework provides a multi-phased structured approach to identify, baseline and measure the levels of improvement needed to make positive change in a scientific, disciplined manner. This approach, which started as a manual tabulation of service delivery systems, people and customer experiences, has continued to improve and evolve over the years to a more automated data collection process with calculated outcomes available for jurors to evaluate and apply to the initiatives being reviewed. And as their data collection process transitions to an automated ingest engine, this resource savings will allow more time for each entity to focus on creativity, agility and adaptability in their quest for service delivery excellence. “The DMC framework provides the structural consistency needed to support the evaluation process of government entity initiatives. Without this framework and DMC team to support this effort, Dubai’s vision of service delivery excellence would not have seen the exponential improvements within their public and private sectors. I believe that as this framework continues to evolve, and in conjunction with their whole of government approach, this service delivery model is on track to become the global gold standard.” NS: “The evaluation process of government entities is rigorous and well balanced. I especially appreciate that the criteria balances efficiency with effectiveness and approach with scope of impact. The use of quantitative data, baseline metrics, customer experience data and site visits support a comprehensive evaluation framework.”

Q: What is the level of innovation in the evaluated initiatives and how has your experience been in dealing with Dubai government entities? LTO: “Dubai society and government are overall very willing to innovate and to use new technologies. Every year the jury has witnessed a top tier of projects willing to try something new. The willingness to take risks when innovating is very impressive, but it does not stand alone. It is also appreciated and rewarded, and the resources for

piloting innovation is there in Dubai. That is often not the case in other countries where government tends to be much more risk adverse.” NC: “The increased levels of innovation and integration across government entities as well as private partnerships, and improved contextualization in each of these initiatives, reflects the guidance and framework provided by the DMC team and their commitment to Dubai’s service excellence vision. My experience with innovative redesigns and transformational change demonstrated within the government entities and the initiatives I was privy to observe and evaluate continue to delight and challenge my vision of what is possible when a country has a singular goal of service excellence. “Having evaluated several very innovative initiatives made this year’s award programme particularly difficult to rank and recommend a winner. My two standouts were: The Department of Economic Development (DED) Instant License [the eventual winner] and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Nol Plus initiative. “The DED Instant License combines historically disparate services into a single service, integrating both public and private sector entities and significantly reducing processing time from multiple days to five minutes to start a business in Dubai, including bank account setup, establishing a VAT account, and paying fees to up to 14 government entities as needed. Born out of the broadest view of the customer journey and considering all the touch points of the customer within every organisation in the company-creation journey, this solution is highly customer-centric and has led to increased efficiencies with other agencies, and should establish a global benchmark. “The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Nol Plus initiative extends the specific-use public transit payment card to a micro-payment cash and loyalty card, encouraging people to use public transportation in support of climate change considerations, building local businesses affinity relationships, stimulate participation in other public services (museums and cultural sites), as well as working to empower and tap into the economic strength of the ‘unbanked’ population. The innovation in this initiative is its simplistic approach to influence and change the behaviour of Dubai residents with the potential of solving other societal challenges.” MMN: “Over the years, I have witnessed an increase in real transformation. Initially the majority of initiatives focused on service innovation, that is the low hanging fruits of more traditional digital transformation of



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user is presented with a more whole-of-government experience. Now electricity and water subscription are automatically transferred and settled when people move. A service only made possible by partnering with local real estate agents and the Dubai Land Department which registers all address changes in the Emirate. The resulting ‘no touch’ service experience is based on a real change to service design, regulation and public sector ecosystem - a change facilitated in part by technology but also the innovative culture the DMC model and the Hamdan Hub have fermented locally.”

using technology to do things faster, cheaper and better. The proportion of initiatives addressing product, service and organisational transformation have increased with each cycle of the DMC method and the Awards. “While traditional service innovation will always be relevant and have real impact, real transformation is in the complete rethinking of service types, their design and the way they are produced and delivered. I have observed that authorities have become both more comfortable with continues service improvement and change management and more ambitious. For instance, entities such as the courts, police, and customs, which globally are often seen as very traditional, have started to transform. Local courts not only allow the virtual presence of judges in court rooms, but even the different parties. Evolving organically within the courts, regulatory barriers have been removed while adapting procedures to ensure both privacy and security when it comes to identity management, even the risk of coercion in virtual proceedings. “Similarly, internal labs and innovation teams experimenting with technology have become the norm in Dubai. Local pioneers like the Road Traffic Authority and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) have proactively reach out to other authorities to break down silos which often put a break on real transformation. For instance, DEWA started moving to digital by default at an early stage in Dubai, and quickly offered to share its billing infrastructure with other authorities to provide local businesses, citizens and residents unified billing and single payment options. Utilising existing infrastructure and partnering with authorities and local banks means costs have reduced and the end

NS: “I am struck by their imagination, sophistication, creativity, dedication and inspiration. In conducting site visits I observed several very encouraging and refreshing themes. The DMC has demonstrated that it has imbedded innovation capabilities in many of the government entities I visited. Furthermore, I observed that many were actively applying the Dubai Model. “I have seen that the vast majority of the entities were engaged in collaborative and strategic partnerships that allowed them to combine resources, assemble components of existing initiatives and connect many diverse perspectives, skills and knowledge to better understand problems and explore unfamiliar territory to come up with truly novel solutions. Many government entities demonstrate a prototyping mindset where they are unafraid to try something new, learn from it, and make changes. This was observed especially in Dubai Customs where one staff person built a successful prototype and now holds five patents and at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority where existing technologies were assembled to work around the language limitations of their solution. In Dubai Health Authority a ‘gym for surgeons’ was created using low-cost commercially-available technology to train surgeons in a minimally invasive procedure called ‘The Dubai Stitch’. The Roads and Transport Authority has successfully leveraged behavioral science to encourage greater uptake of the Nol card through a loyalty programme.”

Q: Which has been your favourite winner from previous years and what is the reason of this selection? LTO: “My favourite winner was from one from 2015. Cross-government collaboration is always hard, irrespective of where in the world you are. Seeing four entities normally working within their own silo cooperating and creating a solution that benefitted all was very impressive. But there are also others from later years. As a jury member I have never left Dubai thinking that Dubai Government is at a standstill and that year presented nothing new.”

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MMN: “This is a hard, if not impossible, question. The enthusiasm of the individual teams and civil servants is what I have personally enjoyed the most. As a juror I have had the chance to observe young professionals who with their sheer enthusiasm and optimism have been as instrumental in driving internal change as directors with decades of experience. The consumer protection team in Dubai Municipality is an example of how the creative combination of an app with bar codes, blockchain, and databases has enabled the local consumer to check health, beauty and cleaning products are not fake. It has even enabled consumers to become inspectors by providing key image and location data on products found to be fakes so the Dubai Municipality can follow-up directly with the retailer, importer or manufacturer – and often in partnership with the customs authority and local chamber of commerce.” NS: “This is difficult to determine. My favourite winner would be the most recent winner: the Department of Economic Development for the Instant License because it was a smart application of existing digital technology to make a set of government processes easier and nearly instant for the end user, which required collaboration across multiple entities as well as the private sector to execute.”

Q: What has been your overall experience working with the DMC team? LTO: “It has been delightful. It is a very passionate and professional team. I believe that the phrase ‘Addicted to improvement’ is applicable to the whole of the DMC team and it shows. I have always been impressed with how willing the team has been to ‘take its own medicine’ and never become complacent.” NC: “The time spent in Dubai working with the DMC is always a highly deliberative, collaborative and fun process, filled with new perspectives, exploring new ways to rethink existing paradigms, collaborating on project improvement principles and challenging service delivery norms in pursuit of better outcomes. The DMC team provides a disciplined, professional yet very personal experience. The team is knowledgeable, personable, engaging and always intellectually generous. They provide consistent guidance and engagement to ensure the quality of the jury’s participation reflects the high standards placed on their public entities. The DMC’s global perspective and focus on world dominance in service delivery for Dubai on all levels of society provides an alternate world view, substantially different from that of our government structures in the U.S.A, nationally and locally. This more entrepreneurial approach on how government entities deliver services inspires streamlined, creative and innovative thinking to solving customer service challenges. “The onsite visits with the government entities was by far the best part of this process. Watching each team present their ‘passion’ for their project was great and, in most cases, provided additional perspective to their application. I also enjoy collaborating with a diverse group of knowledgeable, creative professionals from all over the world, which creates an opportunity to exchange different perspectives and build long-term relationships.” MMN: “Working with the DMC team can be summed up in three words: professional, engaged and enthusiastic. It is an enriching experience to be a member of the Hamdan Hub jury and a pleasure to work with an insightful and motivated team. It is

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always an engaging and interesting opportunity to share local and global insights and lessons learned.” NS: “I love working with the DMC team and wish I could spend more time learning from them. What I admire most about the DMC team is their curiosity. They are so committed to learning and using their knowledge to improve government services. They are kind, hospitable and professional. I greatly appreciate what they have built, and their passion, and I am eager to see what they create next.”

Q: What is the impact of the Hamdan Hub on the government from your perspective? LTO: “It has provided government entities with an improvement and innovation framework. It sets a level playing field for government entities as it transparently displays and measures innovation results, and it does so in a continuous process. It is never a one off or just once a year. That, coupled with another initiative called the City Maker Framework, has given Dubai the tool for tackling one of the hardest nuts to crack in government – cross-entity collaboration. Mapping the Customer Service Journey, introduced last year, was a real eye-opening innovation.” NC: “When I began this journey to Dubai to participate as a juror five years ago for service delivery excellence, I questioned whether Dubai would maintain its resolve to become a best-ofbreed, best-in-the-world service provider. After many years of participation with Hamdan Hub and the Dubai Model Centre team I realise that this national vision is embraced in all levels of Dubai’s society and is fully supported from the top. Dubai’s investment in continuous process improvement is evidenced by its resource commitment – financial and human - to ensure achievement of their vision of whole of government service delivery excellence. This is no small thing, especially for a nation. I am particularly impressed with the consistent commitment and funding by the national leadership, remaining focused on improving customer service delivery to the nation and expanding access equity for all. This is a standard I would love to see embraced in the United States as we struggle with socio-economic disparities in education, healthcare, public service access and other government entity provided services. Such a model, when applied rigorously from the top, could make a huge difference for so many who are disadvantaged and disenfranchised in our society.” MMN: “The combined impact of the Hamdan Hub and the DMC method should not be underestimated. The Hamdan Hub and DMC method are essentially two sides of the proverbial coin. While the Hamdan Hub is the front, the DMC method is one of the key tools with which Dubai is transforming its public sector from within. The high-level support of the Hamdan Hub and the DMC is essential. The sponsorship of the Hamdan Hub by the Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum ensures visibility, prestige, and authority to the transformation process at the macro and strategic level. Embedding the DMC in the Executive Council of the Dubai Government provides the




mandate at the both the micro and operational level. “This, combined with the user-centric, whole of government approach, with key strategic success criteria and operational performance indicators is what, in my opinion, makes for the winning formula of Dubai’s transformation.” NS: “The DMC has measurable and immeasurable impact on the government. Firstly, the work the DMC does to facilitate and support improvement initiatives and build the capacity of public servants is critical. Secondly, the way the DMC fosters connections across the Government among innovators is a key to spreading innovation. Thirdly, the work to recognise and celebrate leaders in public service helps to sustain innovation and inspire their colleagues as well as governments around the world.”

Q: What is the future of public service delivery in Dubai from your perspective? LTO: “Frankly, I simply do not know. The COVID-19 pandemic will affect all societies differently, both economically and socially. Dubai may need to run its public sector even more efficiently, cost effectively and with less manpower in the future. Some of the building blocks for doing this have been put in place in recent years and may enable Dubai to make that transition more smoothly than elsewhere. However, the transition to being much more cost focused can be hard, especially for government entities who have had a relative abundance of resources in the past. This may mean becoming more risk adverse, but it could also mean applying innovation and technology at an even faster pace.” NC: “The future of Public Service delivery in Dubai is bright and full of great achievements yet to come. The Dubai public service sector is filled with dedicated people in search of a better way to deliver their products and services to the public at large. They are resourceful, creative and imaginative in ways that break through structured, rigid conventions to new pathways of exchange and engagement with other like-minded entities in search of a better way. Tearing down silos, collaborating with private sector companies, automatically exchanging data to enable fulfilment, and meeting the new customer ‘where they are,’ instead of where they should be. “I see a very bright future for Public Service Delivery in Dubai as they continue to promote and support their goal of service delivery excellence throughout the community and world.”

MMN: “I believe the next stage of Dubai’s transformation journey lies in a whole of government approach and using government as a platform to drive this. The first steps have already been taken with both tested and emerging technologies being mixed with changes to service design, processes, and regulation. I would like to see the continued strengthening of a public sector innovation and transformation culture. A culture mixing disciplines. A culture which puts the strategic objectives, the users and sustainable value creation at the centre. Not only at the centre of the public sector ecosystem for service delivery but of the transformation of Dubai as a city and society. “Still, Dubai, like other front-runners needs to increasingly look at breaking down organisational silos further. To continue the development of its data collection, interoperability and analytical capacities across service areas, and in partnership with society, the public and private sectors. A whole of government ecosystem for service production and delivery is already emerging. The cornerstones are in place, including for cross-governmental collaboration, data protection and identity management. But to continue the pace of transformation seen in the last decade, Dubai must increasingly look at digitisation and technology, agnostic legal and regulatory frameworks. Based on the assessments results and my observations I see this an essential next step.” NS: “The future of the Dubai Public Service is without a doubt one that sees the Dubai government pioneering unprecedented collaboration across its entities in a human-centred way. Based on my experience, and the ambitions of the DMC, I believe Dubai will be the pioneer for end-to-end public service design.”

Q: What lessons from your experience would you like to share with others? NC: “Innovation has no limits except imagination. Often I have felt bound to the limitations of funding, human capital, operational controls, vertical connections. My participation with the Dubai Model Centre and Hamdan Hub has awakened my understanding of what is possible when filters and preconceived notions of functionality and limitations are removed, allowing the ability to rethink, reimagine a different path to an even better result. Innovative thinking creates the space to get from Point A to Point D, without stopping at the other points in between. The business-as-usual activities that fuel today’s results hold us hostage to legacy thinking and process design, thus blinding us to new possibilities. Working with the DMC team and government entities focused on innovation has awakened my need to see things differently and remove the barriers that stand in the way of changing, evolving… transforming. My engagements in Dubai continue to inspire my growth as I interact and collaborate with international experts in public innovation and digital government from around the world.”

CareCubed brings £510k of savings and cost avoidance for Essex County Council. This could be you too. • A structured and consistent approach to the pricing of care placements. • The approach has opened dialogue on rates with providers and improved relationships. • The tool ensures fair rates for packages of care and delivers maximum value to residents.

Read the full case study at Sharing Best Practice | Benchmarking Performance | Excellence Awards

NS: “I have published some testimonials about the DMC.” You can read these here: tlE0xD4YC6

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