Shifting Government Spend on Consulting from Policy to Third Sector Digital Transformation

Structured as a case study, of The Government of Ontario, this research study examines the evidence both supporting and refuting the hypothesis:

If the Government of Ontario shift’s spending from consulting services in policy and program-design at the ministerial level, toward a greater proportion of spend, allocated toward management consulting services focused on digital transformation of service-delivery, at the agency and point-of-service level, it will yield a positive social return on investment.

A Literature Review is conducted triangulating the viewpoints of the three main stakeholder groups: the broader-public-sector’s writing’s on “government transformation;” consulting firms’ writing’s on “digital transformation of government;” and lastly, the “Third Sector’s” writings on the “digital skills gap” of service delivery organizations. The findings from the literature are then triangulated to the empirical, data-driven evidence, gathered from research conducted with respondents from the three main aforementioned stakeholder groups. Two primary research questions are utilized:

What are the market factors that encourage or discourage, non-profit actors and intermediaries to, or not to, pursue digital transformation?

What are the market factors that encourage and discourage, for-profit management consulting firms to provide, or not, digital capacity building services, to “community and developmental” service-delivery organizations in Ontario?

The research questions then serve as the core of the research methodology of this work. The questions were presented to two samples of respondents; one from the Third Sector and one grouping “the Big Four” consulting firms in Canada. The intention is that by understanding these “factors” at the organization-level and firm-level respectively, a set of “factors” around third sector digital transformation (mutually beneficial), may be identified and applied as evidence toward evaluating of the hypothesis. The findings of the research are analyzed, the hypothesis evaluated into scenarios, and recommendations are presented in the finished report.

#digitaltransformation #government #socialinnovation #socialimpact #corporateresponsibility #sustainability