At an awards ceremony attended by over 900 attendees organised to recognise individuals and agencies for achievements in fields such as service delivery, innovation and best practices, Minister-in charge of the Public Services, Mr Chan Chun Sing praised The Moments of Life (Families) app.
In praising this app, Chan said that this app showed that public servants were “putting themselves in the shoes of the people” they served.
The Moments of Life (Families) app facilitates parents in the performing of various functions relating to their children such as birth registrations, applications for the Baby Bonus scheme, searching for pre-schools and viewing a child’s immunisation records. While this certainly makes things much more streamlined and efficient, I wonder if it necessarily means that public servants are putting themselves in the shoes of the common folk?
Surely putting yourselves in the shoes of someone would mean understanding their struggles and not just making processes more user-friendly? The app may provide the hardware for ease of accessibility to public services but does it equate to the required mindset to truly understand the needs of the people they serve?
If the public servants administering this app do not widen their scope of thinking, I am not sure that the launch of a new app will suddenly revolutionise the quality of our public services?
It is not as if the scope of help or services is widening. It is simply that the process is streamlined? I am not sure that Chan understands what “putting themselves in the shoes of the people” really means?