E-Government United Nations

E-Government United Nations

We are living through a digital revolution that is changing the world with new technologies.

The explosion of new technology such as artificial intelligence; the emergence of big data; the growth of data science and robotics; these are all building on each other to impact our lives.

These emerging technologies are also impacting our public services. Digital government is bringing with it significant changes in how people live and interact with each other and their public services.

The United Nations conducts a survey on E-Government every two years. The benchmark survey was conducted in 2001.

In 2018, the survey results highlighted a “persistent positive global trend towards higher levels of e-government development.”The survey ranks countries on an E-Government Development Index (EGDI).  Denmark ranked first in 2018 in the study on e-government development.  The country has been implementing its Digital Strategy 2016-2020. The strategy is digitizing the public sector and its interactions with business and industry. Denmark also made digital government-citizen interactions mandatory. Public sector agencies at the local, regional and centralized levels are all moving to digitization.

E-Government United Nations

So how did Canada do?

Canada ranked 23 out of the 193 UN member states. It is still considered at the level of “Very High” EGDI. Nations are placed in subgroups of Very High, High, Middle, and Low.  In 2018, 40 countries scored very high, compared to only 10 in 2003, and 29 in 2016. So progress is being made.

E-Government in Action

The E-Government United Nations report provides some interesting examples.  The three most-used online services are:

  • paying for utilities – 140 countries
  • submitting income taxes – 139 countries
  • registering new businesses – 126 countries

The UN is tracking identity registration at birth as a United Nations-proclaimed human right. The number of countries where citizens can apply for birth registration online rose significantly in the four years between the 2014 survey and the 2018 survey. In fact, it almost doubled from 44 nations in 2016 to 86 in 2018.

The UN is also tracking trends in:

  • Open government data
  • Mobile service delivery
  • E-participation and public engagement, including E-information, E-decision making and E-consultation

The number of nations that provide online services using emails, mobile app, downloadable forms and SMS/RSS feed updates is increasing across all sectors.

There are many intriguing examples of e-government service delivery cited in the report:

  • Internet voting in Estonia.
  • E-participation activities in Brazil and Finland.
  • E-transform and E-Ghana projects in Ghana.
  • The move of Belarus into the “Very High” category through its e-government development project.

Final Thoughts

The E-Government United Nations study shows us that online service provision has been steadily improving in all UN nations. Even among those countries that have the lowest ranking in the Online Service Index, 74 per cent provide at least one kind of online service.  And efforts continue to focus service delivery on ensuring the most vulnerable citizens are not “left behind” in the digitization process.

Vivvo, as a leading digital government enabler, can help governments achieve their digital transformation goals. We focus on simplifying citizen access to online services and applications with a focus on usability, privacy and security. To schedule an in-depth discussion on your digital journey visit https://www.vivvo.com/contact/