Human & Social Services: Moving up the public sector agenda

KPMG Human & Social Services brief

Providing basic economic and social security to citizens has long been acknowledged as a fundamental responsibility of government. Today, across a broad portfolio – from child welfare and income security to disability services and youth development – the need to adopt a business-like, results-oriented approach to the delivery of human and social services is quickly moving up the public sector agenda.

Paul Hencoski

US Lead Partner - Health and Human Services

KPMG in the U.S.

Grandfather and granddaughter playing marbles on

Action: Responding to global forces

As the pace of change quickens around the world, governments are increasingly feeling the pressure from a range of global forces and trends that add new complexities to the delivery of human and social services. One of the most significant challenge facing governments today relates to the pressure of delivering more and better services with fewer resources, that is “do more with less”. 

Aging populations and declining birth rates have resulted in a myriad of unique challenges for governments: pension schemes are being stretched, adequate seniors’ housing is in short supply and healthcare budgets are coming under pressure.

The developing world is particularly affected by the complexities associated with increasing urbanization.  Lack of housing, employment and social safety nets are just a few of the issues that have governments reconsidering their approach to programs and service delivery.

There has also been an increased demand for services that address the needs of individuals with disabilities. Governments are starting to recognize the benefits, both economic and social, of providing services to help the disabled to achieve greater participation within society.

The pace of technological change comes with its own set of opportunities and challenges for governments. Technology has allowed the public sector to find new efficiencies and enhance service delivery to clients while concerns relating to data security, privacy and technology integration must also be addressed.

Innovation: Taking a new approach

There is a growing awareness of the need to integrate human and social services in order to create more effective solutions to many of the challenges facing populations in need. Not only does integration allow governments to reduce their administrative costs but it also provides service users with more effective services as a result of a more holistic and client-centric approach.

Human and social service agencies can also gain cost efficiencies through the use of shared services models. Sharing administrative systems and processes can enable governments to better leverage their technology and service provider budgets. Governments are also looking to strengthen their financial and accounting systems in order to achieve greater effectiveness while also enhancing their ability to spot fraud and inefficiencies within the system.

A growing number of governments are analyzing the benefits that result from public-private partnerships (PPP), such as the ability for private sector organizations to apply and scale global best practices at a faster pace to deliver greater innovation within the service delivery model.

Service Excellence: About KPMG’s Human & Social Services practice

Through KPMG’s network of member firms in more than 150 countries, KPMG professionals work with a broad range of government agencies, private sector participants, civil society stakeholders and citizen groups to help create more efficient and effective human and social services.

As trusted advisors to government agencies around the world, KPMG professionals have developed practical and valuable approaches to service delivery that enable clients to achieve the highest levels of efficiency while providing increasingly effective programs.

KPMG professionals apply their deep functional knowledge and experience combined with relevant service offerings to help government agencies meet and exceed their objectives in service areas that are becoming increasingly important around the globe.

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