Powering the next age of government

By Maleka Momand

A Daring Plan to Upgrade the Government
The Problem

Government agencies are squarely stuck in 20th-century tech

The government is the largest employer in the United States, employing nearly 10x that of retail giant Wal-Mart. But these numbers are small in comparison to the United States’ quickly growing population, which adds nearly 3 million new citizens a year. As a result, the demand for more and better government services is steadily outpacing the availability of government resources.

68% of states

are hiring business and data analytics

22.3 million

people work for the U.S. government

Business intelligence and analytics is the second most-needed skill for state government employees.

While government executives and legislators often receive the most press and attention, it is administrative agencies and their respective policies that regularly touch the daily lives of citizens. 332 regulatory agencies exist at the federal level and an average of 17 agencies per state. Each agency has its own unique processes and metrics, and it would be naive to attempt to standardize such metrics for sake of organizational cleanliness. Despite these challenges, effective governance requires a common infrastructure that can capture and surface insights for policymakers, executives, and the general public.

Administrators are typically the face of the government for busy citizens or entrepreneurs, whether it be through professional licensing or regular inspections. They create and enforce regulations that profoundly shape how we live and work, and thus hold valuable knowledge on the effectiveness of such policies on businesses and consumers.

The true driver of dysfunction is the lack of industry-standard technology to meet uniquely complex government needs. Much of the front-line data needed to power policy change is buried in dated systems, PDFs, and other inaccessible tech processes. While top business industries enjoy turnkey software tools that can free up users’ time to focus on their most important work, governments have been left with decades-old systems, physical paper transmission, and a myriad of piecemeal solutions. To no fault of their own, government agencies are squarely stuck in 20th-century software due to a lack of technology in the space.

As a result, executive and legislative decision makers have limited access to quality data necessary to support policies and communicate with agencies. The available solutions are not intentionally built to power the internal processes of agencies, including complex government rule-making, rule analysis, and enforcement.

A Vision for Change

Bringing world-class technology to power dynamic public administration

While there is no shortage of apps and ways to reach elected representatives, there simply aren’t quality tools that empower government administrators to effectively collect and translate citizen feedback into dynamic and responsive regulation. Government agencies hold a wealth of data and institutional knowledge that could easily be deployed to upgrade regulatory processes, but dated technology infrastructures make it a daunting if not impossible feat.

Government administrators need a technology infrastructure that can drive dynamic and data-driven policies.

Public policy deeply influences how we work and live, but largely no technology has emerged to connect public policy to its outcomes. For Maleka Momand, this problem was too big not to address. Her answer is Esper, aimed squarely at challenging this paradigm with an infrastructure to connect policies to real-world impacts.

In order to foster constructive participation from all stakeholders in the rule-making process, administrators need a means to capture and convey their knowledge and key performance indicators. Legislators and executives are eager to understand the impacts and cost-benefit data associated with agency regulations so they can make the best decisions for their constituents. However, departmental silos and legacy software applications make such communication difficult, if not impossible. Without this critical data, all stakeholders suffer from information asymmetry that slows down effective and reliable decision-making.

Esper’s vision is to bring administrative efficiency through technology that increases knowledge sharing and internal accountability. The platform is designed to empower government with tools to effectively create, administer, and monitor public policy. Esper’s cloud-based platform makes scaling administrative processes possible, enabling governments to develop, track, manage, and analyze policies without the pitfalls of informational silos and knowledge gaps.

Esper enables governments to:

Provide a common framework for understanding: The most productive teams operate from a single source of truth. It’s important for everyone to have a shared understanding and context in order to confidently execute on administrative priorities.

Set and track goals: Effective large organizations systematically set and track individual, team, and organization level goals. Forecasting project successes and challenges is important to building a long-term plan for better policymaking. Governments should establish goals beyond the near-term and track their historical and current performance for internal review.

Encourage cross-functional collaboration: Actionable insights and expertise exist throughout our governments but identifying and tapping those resources for full project success is difficult. Governments should adopt tools that enable collaboration while providing mechanisms for accountability and high fidelity information exchange.

Embrace transparency: Some of the most important work in government never makes it to the public square. Whenever possible, government agencies should connect the public to information about the rulemaking process, like the state code, public meetings, policy goals, and year-end performance on the most important policy goals.

Celebrate wins (and recognize losses): Internal and external recognition of successes and losses fosters a culture of ownership and success in public administration. For meaningful work to scale, even the smallest wins should be acknowledged.

In the face of an ever-growing citizenry with unique technological demands, our governments deserve a platform to support effective public policymaking at scale.

Esper long-term vision is to provide a foundation for public policy that supports job creation, economic vitality, and social and environmental well-being for all.

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