Making Government Better: New Online Tool

A team of researchers from the LSE Public Policy Group and the OII have developed an online tool to help government organisations improve their communication with customers. The team was led by Patrick Dunleavy (LSE) and Helen Margetts (OII), and Tobias Escher (OII) developed and programmed the online checklist.

More information, access to online tool and report downloads:

Paper forms, online applications and call centre scripts are the ‘face of government’ for most citizens. Earlier research by the team found that often forms were long, with confusing numbering. Some forms asked for the same information more than once and also requested information from customers that the government body already held. Our research found that this leaves customers frustrated, wastes the time of both customers and government staff, and often leads to inaccurate information where questions are badly designed.

The checklists were designed following work undertaken by the same research team for the UK National Audit Office on the Department for Work and Pensions. They allow government department staff to work through current forms (whether paper based, online or phone based) and identify aspects that are most difficult for customers to follow. They cover the language used, how customers prove their identity, how well help and guidance is provided for customers completing the form and the documentation customers are required to provide.

The online tool was launched last week at a seminar addressed by Sir Leigh Lewis, Permanent Secretary of the Department for Work and Pensions, hosted by the Institute for Government.



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