IGF 2023 WS #239 How to build trust in user-centric digital public services

Organizer 1: Christopher Newman, GIZ
Organizer 2: Tina Papenfuss, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Organizer 3: Celine Becker, GIZ
Organizer 4: Rudolf Gridl, Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport of Germany

Speaker 1: Rudolf Gridl, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Valeriya Ionan, Government, Eastern European Group
Speaker 3: Luanna Roncaratti, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 4: Israel Bimpe, Private Sector, African Group
Speaker 5: Thelma QUAYE, Intergovernmental Organization, African Group


Tina Papenfuss, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Celine Becker, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Christopher Newman, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1. What makes digital public services trustworthy for users? What are challenges and concerns regarding the trustworthiness of services and what is the role of data governance?
2. How can we create a new “framework for trust” in digital public services? What are principles for user-centric digital public services and mechanisms to ensure these principles are applied? How can users and civil society organisations be empowered and citizens' feedback taken into account?
3. What are good practices of user-centric digital public services and what lessons can be learned?

What will participants gain from attending this session? • Participants will gain a better understanding of user-centric digital public services and what role data governance can play to enhance trust in these services.
• Participants will learn from the experiences and insights of experts and practitioners from different countries who have been involved in developing trustworthy digital public services.
• Participants can identify key challenges and opportunities of different approaches for implementing trustworthy and user-centric digital public services.


Digital public services have the potential to improve service delivery and outcomes, enhance citizen experience and engagement, and foster innovation and collaboration.

In today’s digital era, citizens expect public services to be user-centric, meaning that people’s needs and convenience are at the centre of attention in design and delivery of the services. To effectively and efficiently address citizens’ needs, these services should be accessible across channels, devices and platforms and continuously improve based on users’ feedback for a personalised experience. At the same time, they should contribute to public confidence in government and allow for citizens’ control and consent over their data. Adherence to ethical principles is essential for a user-centric digital government.

Trust is a critical aspect that underpins the success of user-centric digital public services. Citizens need to feel confident that their personal data is handled responsibly and that digital public services are reliable and secure. Therefore, data governance plays a pivotal role. By collecting and leveraging citizens' personal data, governments can gain valuable insights to enhance service delivery and address specific needs. However, to provide such services in a trustworthy manner, governments need to establish robust data governance frameworks that ensure the secure storage, proper governance, and responsible use of citizens' personal data.

By drawing on the experiences and perspectives of different stakeholders from different countries and sectors, this session will explore the role of data governance for trustworthy and user-centric digital public services. The diverse perspectives will enable participants to identify good practices and can help to develop effective policies for user-centric digital public services.

Expected Outcomes

• The shared lessons on building trust in user-centric digital public services and the “framework for trust” can be used by participants for shaping digital public services in their countries.
• Results will be taken up within the International Digital Dialogues for further discussion. The Digital Dialogues are a multi-stakeholder initiative for direct exchange and collaboration between policy makers, businesses, academia and civil society.
• Learnings from the session may feed into further discussions on trustworthy digital public services in international cooperation fora (such as G7, G20, Digital Nations, future IGF sessions).

Hybrid Format: The on-site moderator will engage both the on-site and online speakers by asking questions and inviting all attendees to contribute to the discussion. The designated online moderator will monitor and moderate the chat and will be in direct contact with the on-site moderator to guarantee that the discussion and Q&A involves both on-site and virtual attendees in a balanced manner. An online polling tool such as Wisembly or Mentimeter will be used to gather input for the session, allowing participants to contribute their perspectives in real time. During the discussion and Q&A, questions from the online audience posted in the chat will be seamlessly incorporated into the exchange.