Transformation, digitisation & happiness: Public opinion on government services in Saudi Arabia

In this ground-breaking new report, the Serco Institute outlines its research into what Saudi Arabian citizens and residents think of the government services they use and how they want them to develop in future.

Covid-19 and a depression in oil revenues – which pre-dated the pandemic – alongside demographic changes, and the increasing expectations of citizens and residents have been driving change in how government services are delivered in Saudi Arabia.

Alongside these more immediate factors, for almost two decades, the Saudi Arabian Government has been in the process of increasing digital access to services. This process of moving access to government services online is accelerating thanks to initiatives relating to the Government’s flagship strategic reform programme, Vision 2030. But are these changes satisfying service users? And how do the people that use them want to see these services transform further?

Our ground-breaking survey of Saudi Arabian residents and citizens looks at these questions and more as we establish how the Government’s transformation programme is going in the eyes of those that use the services, and whether they are on the right track going forward. It’s clear from our research that citizens and residents are generally happy with the delivery of government services, but also note a few areas for improvement. In particular, service users want simpler, faster and more personalised experiences – issues which may well be solved by creating greater digital access.

We also find that the relationship between the happiness of citizens and residents, as well as their trust in services, is exceptionally fragile. Just a single poor experience could see service users lose trust in the programme of transformation and impact their ‘happiness’ more broadly. This only goes to underline the importance of ensuring the careful and effective management of the process of transformation.

The ambition for service transformation is clear in Saudi Arabia, and this research shows the appetite for change exists in equal measure. Whether it can be done is another question. But led by service user insights and a significant financial commitment, there is no reason why Saudi Arabia can’t succeed in delivering world-leading government services, regardless of whether they are accessed online or in-person.

Read the full report here:



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