Standards for Articulating Digitalisation Benefits
While the costs of digitalisation are beginning to receive some attention, the positive side of the equation—the supposed benefits of digitalisation to people, organisations, the government and society as a whole—have not yet received rigorous attention. Developing standards that would allow entities to clearly articulate the benefits and intended use-cases of a large digital application is of crucial importance to public affairs.
There is a strong current of reflection today about the costs to fairness, autonomy and efficiency of the digitalisation of public life. But the other side of the equation—the theory of benefits—is not very well articulated either.
We have strong intuitions about the benefits of digitisation of public-services.
🧾 It can promote superior accounting and record keeping.
📈 It can help identify large-scale correlations in populations across different indicators like education, income, health.
♿ It can make the state and the private sector more accessible than they were before.
🎯 It can enable more effective and targeted intervention.
These can improve transparency, help create early warning systems and can allow for better design and implementation of social policy. But through what channels and how effectively can they help us do this?
We need to develop a better understanding of the channels through which these systems create impact.
Use-case modelling and analysis is a particularly important exercise in rigorously expressing how the deployment of a public-service digital application will lead to impact.