Fitter, happier: A modern approach to civil service productivity

June 13, 2024
Digital & technology

Over the years, civil services around the world have pursued a wide range of efficiency agendas – but these have often had mixed results.

Now, digital technologies offer a host both of new opportunities to be more efficient in government, but also a number of novel pitfalls. At this session, a panel of civil service experts discussed the lessons from past government efficiency drives and explore the techniques and agendas most likely to produce big savings over the coming years.

Join this session to find out:

  • What productivity challenges are being faced in governments around the world – and what trends and commonalities can be identified.
  • What strategies are governments considering – and implementing – with the aim of improving productivity.
  • What role can technology and data play in improving productivity – and how can this be measured?


Daniel Dufour, Director General Innovation and Head of the Digital Accelerator, Department of Natural Resources Canada

Mr. Dufour is Director General Innovation at the Department of Natural Resources Canada. He is responsible to advance innovation in the natural resource sectors and provide policy guidance on the development and deployment of clean technologies. He leads the Clean Growth Hub, a whole-of-government focal point, composed of 18 departments and agencies, focused on providing front-line support to clean technology companies to navigate federal programming and clean tech regulations. Mr. Dufour is also responsible to develop international partnerships, and advance international collaboration in clean technology R&D and innovation. He leads the management of the department’s intellectual property portfolio and services. Finally, he leads the NRCan Digital Accelerator to advance the application of innovative digital technologies, such as AI and machine learning, and enhance the Department’s ability to provide evidence-based policy advice supported by advanced analytical techniques.

Claudia da Costa Martinelli Wehbe, Director for Government Innovation, Secretariat of Management and Innovation, Ministry of Management and Public Service Innovation, Brazil

As the Director for Government Innovation at the Ministry of Management and Public Services Innovation, she leads efforts to transform the Brazilian public sector with innovative, inclusive, and people-centered management frameworks. This includes the implementation of the Management and Performance Program, to create flexible working conditions for greater impact. She also oversees LA-BORA!gov, an innovation lab focused on improving public value through enhanced employee experience, and CINCO – a behavior insight unit. Additionally, she is involved in strategic career management, providing guidance and support for over 2,000 employees across three career groups. Recognized as one of Apolitical’s 2024 Top 35 Government Talent Trailblazers, a list that celebrates people trying to shape a better future for public services around the world

With 20 years of experience as a Public Policy and Government Management Specialist, she has held key roles in the Ministries of Finance, Economy, and Planning, Budget, and Management. Her expertise includes innovation, strategic management and policy implementation. She holds a degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Sustainable Development from the University of Brasília.

Jennifer Robinson, Global Public Sector Strategic Advisor, SAS

Working to help governments maximize the use of their data through data integration, data management, and analytics. Her career in software development is complemented by the opportunity to serve as a local elected leader for the last 24 years. Jennifer co-wrote the book A Practical Guide to Analytics for Government and is featured in the book Smart Cities, Smart Future. In addition to writing articles and blogs about data-driven governing, she speaks with government leaders about emerging technologies and how to strategically adopt them.

Webinar chair: Siobhan Benita, Facilitator, Global Government Forum

Siobhan Benita was a senior civil servant with over 15 years’ Whitehall experience. She worked in many of the major delivery departments, including Transport, Environment, Health and Local Government. She also had senior roles at the heart of Government in the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, including supporting the then Cabinet Secretary, Lord O’Donnell to lead work on Civil Service reform and strategy. Siobhan left the Civil Service to run as an independent candidate in the Mayor of London election. She subsequently joined her alma mater, Warwick University as Chief Strategy Officer of Warwick in London and Co-Director of the Warwick Policy Lab.