Delivery in Uncertainty

Sir Michael Barber
Sir Michael Barber
Delivery Associates
Delivery Associates

Delivery in Uncertainty

The world is changing – from lack of public trust in institutions to shifting demographics and challenges with sustainability and technology – and the actions governments take now will have significant impacts on the future. Governments cannot continue operating in standard ways, but must instead dig deep and find ways to truly deliver for the people they serve.

Rebuilding trust

In an age of scepticism, governments must prioritise turning political promises into real results.

Fueled by social media, fake news and empty promises from politicians, citizens are rapidly losing trust in government institutions and elected officials – putting healthy democracy at stake. Adding to this challenge is the fact that demographics are shifting: more than half of the world’s population now lives in cities, global population rates are increasing and many countries are faced with supporting an aging population. Meeting the growing population’s basic needs such as food, shelter and energy production places greater strain on natural resources – and citizens expect their governments to lead the fight against climate change and other environmental issues. Finally, while advances in technology have the potential to improve lives around the world, increased technology use also generates concerns about privacy, security and workforce automation. Governments must find ways to use technology well while mitigating citizens’ concerns.

What would it take?

This report offers case studies and strategies for overcoming these challenges and describes the importance of grounding solutions in Deliverology. For example, in response to excessive litter in New South Wales’ ecosystems and waterways, the Premier set a specific and ambitious target of reducing litter volumes by 40% by 2020. Efforts included a program in which residents could return drink containers in exchange for 10 cents per container. From 2013-2014 to 2017-2018, litter volumes were already down by 37 per cent, leaving New South Wales in a position to reach their goal by 2020. 

Deliverology is key

The fundamental values of delivery – focusing on outcomes for citizens, planning for impact, and adjusting rapidly as the data comes in – remain universal even as the world changes.

Read this report to discover how countries and cities around the world are delivering for their people – improving literacy rates, reforming the public waste sector, eliminating corruption, increasing transparency, reducing crime, enhancing green spaces and motivating residents to adopt more environmentally friendly behaviors such as carpooling. By using principles of Deliverology, governments can do all this and more – even in the face of uncertainty.

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