Volume 18, No.11 - November 2014

Trends and analysis

Indicators to track violence against women

UN DESA’s Statistics Division is organizing the 8th Meeting of the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics (IAEG-GS) in Aguascalientes, Mexico on 2 November.

The meeting will bring together representatives from national statistics offices, international agencies, Regional Commissions and other experts to discuss specific gender statistics initiatives and issues.

It will cover the International Classification of Activities for Time Use Statistics (ICATUS), proposed headline indicators on violence against women, the Evidence and Data for Gender Equality (EDGE) initiative, and an update on the work of the Advisory Group on Emerging Issues.

For more information:

Calendar of Events of UN DESA’s Statistics Division


Monitoring equality and women’s empowerment

UN DESA’s Statistics Division and the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico (INEGI) are organising the 5th Global Forum on Gender Statistics under the Global Gender Statistics Programme and the guidance of the Interagency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics (IAEG-GS).

The Forum will be held in Aguascalientes, Mexico on 3-5 November, and will serve as a platform to review methods and data (including innovative approaches/initiatives) to measure and monitor gender equality and women’s empowerment in the following thematic “pillars”: women and the economy; violence against women; time use; political participation; the environment; and women in armed conflicts. The Forum will also cover recent initiatives focused on how to fill in gender data gaps.

For more information:

5th Global Forum on Gender Statistics 


Call for inputs to Global Sustainable Development Report

GSDR ImageScientists, researchers and UN staff members have the opportunity to provide inputs for the 2015 edition of the Global Sustainable Development Report. They are invited to submit briefs that highlight research findings or solutions relating to sustainable development, for the attention of policy makers. One chapter of the 2015 Report will be dedicated to these contributions.

“The Report aims to make the findings of a wide range of scientific assessments available to the deliberations of the new High-level Political Forum and beyond. It does not ask participating scientists to make normative policy recommendations, but aims to make the evidence-base provided by science available to decision-makers,” said UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo at the presentation of the prototype Global Sustainable Development Report at the second session of the High Level Political Forum in 2014.

The Global Sustainable Development Report is a United Nations publication that seeks to bring together the range of existing assessments of sustainable development and review global progress and future pathways in an integrated way, taking into account the perspectives of scientific communities across the globe. “The Report is envisaged as one instrument of the newly created High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development that can help strengthen the science-policy interface,” said Mr Wu.

Going forward, more extensive inputs will be sought from the UN system, including the Regional Commissions, government officials and stakeholders at all levels, including representatives of academies of sciences, of key international assessments, and relevant UN expert groups. The 2015 edition of the report will be submitted to the third session of the High-level Political Forum in June 2015.

For more information:

Global Sustainable Development Report


Recommendations for technology cooperation

At Rio+20, Member States highlighted that technological facilitation is crucial for sustainable development. The General Assembly subsequently held four one-day structured dialogues to consider possible arrangements for a facilitation mechanism to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies.

The General Assembly President convened the four dialogues on 29 and 30 April, 4 June and 23 July in New York. During the preceding year, the GA also held four workshops to discuss options for technology facilitation in support of sustainable development.

“Developing and disseminating clean and environmentally sound technologies are central to the success of the post-2015 development agenda,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the opening of this year’s first dialogue. “All countries will need appropriate technologies and know-how to support inclusive economic growth while moving away from unsustainable consumption and production,” he said, while also noting that “the scale of efforts is yet to match the scale of the challenge.”

Among other things, the dialogues resulted in recommendations on the possible modalities and organization of a technology facilitation mechanism. These were presented by the two co-moderators of the dialogues, Ambassador Paul Seger, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN, and Ambassador Guilherme de Aguiar Patriota, Deputy Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN, in a report circulated by the President of the 68th session of the General Assembly, Ambassador John Ashe in August.

Based on the four dialogues, the co-moderators make a number of suggestions for the way forward. They recommend developing an online platform to undertake a thorough mapping of existing technology facilitation mechanisms, frameworks and processes for clean and environmentally sound technologies.

They also propose improving the coordination within the UN system on these issues. Better use could be made of existing UN infrastructures through increased coherence and synergies among technology transfer initiatives, programmes and mechanisms already operating within the UN system and under Rio Conventions.

An analysis of technology needs and gaps in addressing them is also advised, as are continuing discussions regarding a number of other issues raised in the dialogues, which are outlined in the report.

Next steps

The summary and recommendations from the four dialogues have been submitted to the General Assembly for consideration and appropriate action and the Secretary-General has been requested to consider them in his Synthesis Report. The outcome of these structured Dialogues is intended to inform the General Assembly on options for a technology facilitation mechanism in the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda.

For more information:

General Assembly Structured Dialogues


Enhancing capacities to promote e-governance

Over 1,000 participants from 79 countries took part in the 2014 Global E-Government Forum, which was held in Astana, Kazakhstan from 6 to 8 October.

Organized by UN DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) in partnership with the Agency for Communication and Information of Kazakhstan, the Forum focused on “Smart Governance for Sustainable Development: New Opportunities for Partnerships in the Networked Society”.

The ultimate goal was to enhance government capacity in promoting e-governance, particularly in developing countries, through presentations, discussions, and peer-to-peer learning. The Forum was composed of plenary sessions and four parallel workshops, as well as a Ministerial Round Table, and Study Tours. Seventy speakers from over 25 countries shared their knowledge throughout the various sessions of the Forum.

Innovation and smart governance as key enablers of sustainable development

The Forum was opened by the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Mr. Karim Massimov, and the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Wu Hongbo. “As we continue our journey to a post-2015 era, we recognize the tremendous potential of e‑government as a key enabler of sustainable development,” Mr. Wu stated in his opening remarks. “At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, a global consensus was reached that to achieve sustainable development we need institutions at all levels that are effective, transparent, accountable and democratic. E‑government contributes to sustainable development by increasing the efficiency of public service delivery, by enabling broader stakeholder involvement, and by transforming the public sector with more information sharing and open government,” Mr. Wu said.

The Forum addressed emerging issues and trends, such as Smart Governance, Networked Society, Open Government, Open Data and Social Media. Participants highlighted that the concept of Smart Governance is leading to a paradigm shift in the relationship between governments, the private sector and citizens since greater transparency, openness, access to information, which is enhanced by the use of ICTs, provide citizens with more power and thus a greater voice in the development of e-services, e-content, e-participation and open government.

Building capacity of Member States in the area of e-government development

The Forum helped raise government officials’ awareness of new e-government trends and issues, including cutting-edge technologies and innovative practices to address complex governance challenges. Government representatives and experts from around the world shared their insights and lessons learned on how to promote smart governance.

A Ministerial Round Table, which was held on 7 October, provided an opportunity for high-level representatives to share and discuss their views on how to promote smart governance for sustainable development. During the discussions the Ministers from different regions highlighted the importance of expanding the role of e-government to deliver better services, engage citizens and become more transparent and accountable.

Four parallel capacity development workshops provided a platform for the exchange of ideas and practices as follows: Capacity-building Workshop on “Smart Governance for Sustainable Development: New Partnerships in a Networked Society” organized by EGB/DPADM; Capacity-building workshop organized by the Government of Kazakhstan on Smart Governance for Sustainable Development: New Possibilities of Partnership in a Networked Society; International Scientific-Practical Conference “Smart Government: Science and Technology” organized by Scientific Academia; National Capacity Building Workshop on “Developing Capacity for e-Participation: Engaging Citizens in Development Policy and Decision-making Processes through Information Communication Technologies (ICTs)” organized by DMB/DPADM.

Recognizing Excellence in E-Government Development: 2014 United Nations E-Government Survey Special Awards

During the second day of the Forum, the 2014 United Nations E-Government Survey Special Awards Ceremony was held in recognition of the contribution of winning countries to e-government development. The United Nations E-Government Survey Special Award is given to countries that have proven leadership in the field of E-Government based on the Survey’s E‑Government Development Index.

The top three best global performers based on the 2014 E-Government Development Index are Republic of Korea, who has retained the top spot with its continued leadership and focus on e-government innovation followed by Australia (2nd) and Singapore (3rd) who have both increased considerably over their 2012 global rankings. Bahrain, Japan and Spain have achieved outstanding progress in e-government among the top 20 (by alphabetical order).

In terms of regional rankings, Europe, led by France, continues to portray the highest regional E-Government Development Index. In the Americas, the United States of America has the highest regional E-Government Development Ranking; in Asia the top country is the Republic of Korea; in Oceania the top country is Australia and in Africa Tunisia has achieved the highest ranking.

The Republic of Korea and the Netherlands have demonstrated the highest ranking in the E-Participation Index followed by Uruguay. With regard to the highest e-government ranking in special country groups, Kazakhstan has achieved the highest ranking in the E-Government Development Index among the Land-locked Developing Countries; Singapore among the Small Island Developing States and Rwanda among the Least Developed Countries.

About the UN E-Government Survey

DPADM publishes the United Nations E-Government Survey every two years. It is the only report in the world that assesses the e-government readiness of the 193 Member States of the United Nations according to the E-Government Development Index (EGDI), which is a quantitative composite index of e-readiness based on website assessment, telecommunication infrastructure, and human resource endowment.

The Survey serves as a tool for decision-makers to identify their areas of strength and challenges. By studying broad patterns of e-government around the world, the report identifies leading countries in e-government development. It also includes innovative practices and policy options for those that have yet to take advantage of the transformative power of e-government. The 2014 UN e-Government Survey entitled “E‑Government for the Future We Want” is available on the United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN).

For more information:

2014 Global E-Government Forum