New global survey shows e-government emerging as a powerful tool for achieving the SDGs
More governments are embracing e-government to deliver services and to engage people in decision-making processes in all regions of the world, according to the 2016 UN E-Government Survey launched by UN DESA. It provides new evidence that e-government has the potential to help advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Survey highlights how opening up government data can promote effective, accountable and transparent institutions; how e-participation can strengthen participatory decision making and service delivery; and reports on progress made in the provision of electronic and mobile services focusing on the importance of bridging divides.
According to the Survey, e-government advancement has become one of development indicators and an aspiration in and of itself. However, it needs to be accompanied by the adequate policies to render more accountable and responsive services to meet people’s needs.
The evolution of integrated one-stop platforms allowing access to a range of public services was also highlighted in the Survey. In 2003, only 45 of the 192 UN Member States, offered “one-stop-shop” portals; only 33 countries provided online transactions.
Fast forward to 2016, 90 countries offer such single-entry portals for public information and/or online services; 148 countries now provide at least one form of online transactional services. Many governments across the globe are opening up their data for public information.
E-participation is expanding, enabling countries to ensure that their policy decisions are more participatory. However, much effort is required to increase access to the Internet and ultimately provide universal and affordable access to those from the least developed countries as called for by SDG 9. This needs to be in parallel with other advances in an integrated way to realize the 17 SDGs not to leave no one behind.
Top national and regional performers
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ranked first in global e-government for its continued development on e-government innovation.
Australia and the Republic of Korea ranked second and third respectively. Both countries have established robust telecommunications infrastructure, invested in their human resources, expanded usage of e-government facilities and extended service delivery.
At the regional level, Europe was led by the United Kingdom. Oceania was led by Australia. Republic of Korea topped the list in Asia. The United States led countries in the Americas, and ranked twelfth overall. Mauritius was the top performer in Africa, and ranked 58th worldwide.
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