Portuguese initiative seeks new solutions to improve public services
Invited by the Minister of the Presidency and Administrative Modernization, Maria Manuel de Lemos Leitão Marques, the professor from FGV’s Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (EBAPE), Alketa Peci, and USP professor, Paula Andrea Forgioni, visited the Experimentation Lab for Public Administration (LABX). The purpose of this new initiative is to test new solutions to improve public services and better the daily life of citizens and businesses.
LABX works with public service users and civil servants, public administrators, and the scientific and business communities, building a collaborative network to promote innovation in public administration. With a close-knit interdisciplinary team, including engineers, sociologists and designers, the lab is guided by three operating pillars: research – surveying and analyzing data from the users, their experiences and the inner workings of public services; conceive – devising solutions to improve the relationship between public services and its users, ultimately boosting the efficiency of such services; and experiment – efficient and iterative testing of new solutions for public services in a controlled environment.
Portugal has made strides in digital government processes, simplifying and updating administrative proceedings to improve the quality of services rendered to citizens. The country is currently a global reference in initiatives such as Lojas do Cidadão (which originally came from Brazil, as constantly pointed out by the Minister), and Simplex+, among others. Above all, the country’s experience shows that administrative modernization does not require and is not a byproduct of back-to-back legal transformations and reform documents, and not always requires substantial human or financial resources”, said professor Alketa Peci.
According to Peci, modernization is a constant and gradual process, build upon positive leadership to leverage collaboration, systematic and continuous efforts to share common values, and efficient resources for collaborative networks of institutions and people focused on more ambitious goals.