What is e-government? Global e-government development in 2020

Lina Network

August 13, 2020

The emergence of information technology and especially the Internet has constantly changed the way people communicate, share and receive information. Therefore, developing e-government has become an inevitable trend to increase national competitiveness and the well-being of citizens. Furthermore, as the situation of COVID-19 is becoming more and more complicated, digital government appears to be the optimal solution for countries to overcome the serious consequences of the pandemic on economy and society.

In this article, Lina Network will introduce what e-government is, why it is advisable to develop e-government and the global e-government ranking according to the report of the United Nations in 2020.

What is e-government?

The definition of e-government was mention by World Bank as “government-owned or operated systems of information and communications technologies (ICTs) that transform relations with citizens, the private sector and/or other government agencies so as to promote citizen empowerment, improve service delivery, strengthen accountability, increase transparency, or improve government efficiency”

In simple words, the development of e-government is the transformation of data, processes and government itself, from paper-based systems to computer-based systems, thereby increasing the efficiency, reducing operating costs and satisfying the needs of its people.

Why should countries pursue e-government?

The ultimate goal of digital government is to increase the efficiency and transparency of governance, promote sustainable development of economies and improve the quality of people’s lives.

To be specific, the most significant benefit of e-government is the enhancement of paper-based systems, reducing operating costs and human resources. In addition, digital government is also the key to establish trust between governments and its people. Any authority wishes to develop the government’s credibility needs to make sure that every citizen is aware of the national development direction and the policies being drafted; at the same time ensure the transparency and accuracy of the two-way information flows between government and citizens.

In order to achieve desirable outcomes, it is necessary to apply innovative technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data Analysis, hence improving public service provision in each country.

One typical example of e-government is digital ID cards. The country of Estonia has implemented digital identity for its citizens since 2014. Up to now, 99% of Estonians have owned a personal ID card with a secure PIN, allowing them to easily access all of their information, from birth certificates, driver licenses to medical records, using electronic devices.

▶ How has Estonia applied Blockchain technology to the e-Government system?

Top 30 countries in global e-government ranking

According to a survey published by the United Nations in 2020, more countries and megacities are implementing digital transformation. Specifically, the EGDI (E-Government Development Index) of the world increased from 0.55 in 2018 to 0.61 in 2020. 65% of the countries participating in the survey now belong to the group of high or very high EGDI nations.

Regional distribution of countries by EGDI level in 2016, 2018 and 2020 (Source: UN DESA)

By region, the EGDI indicator of all five continents had a significant increase in 2020. Europe remains the highest e-government development region, followed by Asia, America, Oceania and Africa. Although Africa has been facing many difficulties in digital transformation, it has obtained many remarkable achievements, with only 7 countries still in the lowest EGDI group.

Below is the ranking of top 30 e-government countries in 2020, according to the United Nations survey. Vietnam has risen to the 86th position, up 2 places compared to the ranking in 2018. Since 2014, Vietnam has been on the momentum of e-government sustainable development.

2The Republic of Korea
7The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
8New Zealand
9The United States of America
21The United Arab Emirates

As the situation of the COVID-19 epidemic gets serious, authorities are looking at digital government as the adaptation solution to the “new normal” state of society and resolve the consequences. Lina Network is the pioneer in developing e-government solutions, namely the Lina eGovernment project. Furthermore, we are also the platinum sponsor of the Future Government event held in New Zealand on August 20th, 2020.

Catch up with the latest news about the Future Government event and update other e-government articles here.

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