The future of social security in the Caribbean

With the pandemic bringing disruption to all areas of the public sector, organisations will have to evolve to meet the growing needs of citizens

The future of social security in the Caribbean
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Last year was a turning point for many Caribbean organisations, particularly within the public sector. There are no shortages of case studies and data analyses exploring the effects of the pandemic. Forrester’s Predictions 2021 report, for example, has outlined core traits that organisations need to establish such as resiliency, creativity, and adaptability. In other words, business continuity needs to be proactive, not reactive. When it comes to the accelerated adoption of new technologies, artificial intelligence, automation and the public cloud are taking centre stage. And just as the private sector must shift their thinking, public sector entities must also evolve to meet the growing needs of their respective citizenry. 

The disruptive nature of the pandemic was not limited to one area of the public sector. From healthcare to education to social welfare, there were, and continue to be, widespread challenges demanding creative and innovative solutions. The Davyn Social Security Platform was developed to provide a single, 360-degree view of each citizen in a fully integrated and centralised system. Our work with social security boards in Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Turks and Caicos Islands shows how critical technology is in modernising these types of services, especially in times of crises. 

Here are a few key learnings we’ve noted as a social security implementation partner. 

Ask the right questions 
Where am I? Where do I want to go? How do I get there? Knowing your organisation’s weaknesses and using that data to build anew will benefit your future operations. The Belize Social Security Board conducted an Enterprise Architecture Assessment as an initial step towards creating their strategic plan, one that would achieve specific goals such as the elimination of siloed processes, improved customer service, and reduced manual and paper-based transactions. This is a great benchmark for developing public sector organisations in a sustainable and scalable way. 

Technology is not a replacement 
Don’t worry – the machines are not taking over. What they are doing is providing automated and intelligent day-to-day support to workers through a combination of customisable and cost-effective technologies. Our platform, for example, uses Microsoft’s Managed Cloud Services and Azure Self-Managed Cloud. This frees internal resources to communicate and collaborate on other projects, stimulating productivity and innovation. 

Listen to your users 
The self-service options that this technology offers end-users improves information availability and accessibility. Evolving services like social security means understanding where your users are and tailoring the experience to meet their changing habits and behaviours. Internet usage and mobile penetration in the region has increased year-over-year. Public sector organisations need to be more cognizant of such changes and create clear, sustainable paths for digital transformation. 

Derrick Villeneuve is director of strategy at Davyn 

This article was originally published in the Spring 2021 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.

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