Archive - November, 2012

Towards a sustainable future in public services

What is the future of public service? How can governments fulfill their promise to deliver sustainable, quality public services to their citizens efficiently and cost-effectively?

Accenture’s “Delivering Public Service for the Future: Navigating the Shifts”, a series of global reports on the future of public service, projected the total Government spending on public services through 2025 (with the use of Oxford Economics’ modelling) in 10 countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Singapore, the UK and the US, with an aim to inspire Government leaders to take a fresh look at the problems they face, to present paths to progress and to show how all of the pieces should fit together.


Expenditure gap

Demand-driven spending estimates were compared against the current trajectory of public sector spending to identify the ‘expenditure gap’ in each country by 2025, along with its percent of GDP.









Looking at the Southeast Asian countries as well as Australia:

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Seniors – more time on their hands but not volunteering

Agelessvoice asks Laurence Lien, CEO of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), about the low senior volunteerism numbers and what non-profit organisations can do about it: (The last biennial survey from NVPC shows a significant increase in the 55 to 64 age group, from eight percent in 2004 to 22 percent in 2010. For the 65 and above group, growth went up from four percent to 10 percent from 2004 to 2006, and hovered at around 10 percent in the following years.)

An RSVP senior guide at the Jalan Besar Heritage Trails in Singapore.

“I feel the biggest obstacle is the mindset of our seniors and of the rest of us towards seniors. First, I think some seniors may have a recipient mentality. They feel that they have worked hard all their lives and deserve a rest in their old age. I think this is the wrong concept of living. If we are part of the ageless generation, we should banish all talk about retirement. And it is certainly never too old to lend a helping hand or to volunteer in the community.

Specifically, when it comes to volunteering, seniors may think that giving is a sacrifice, it’s hardship. Anecdotally, we know that volunteers gain a lot more than they received. Studies have also show that the social motive is a social predictor of present volunteers and non-volunteers based on the motivation to increase social interactions, interpersonal relationships and friendships.

I think many seniors also come from a generation where volunteerism was not commonplace and they may not have had the experience of volunteering. We need to get them started in some way.

When seniors volunteer, they make terrific volunteers. Senior volunteers contribute more hours than the younger supporter. In Singapore, the median volunteer hours for all Singaporeans are 36 hours. The median hours contributed by seniors in Singapore was 104 hours!

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