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Ranking de los paises para el año 2012 del Gobierno Electronico según las Naciones Unidas

Ranking de los paises para el año 2012 del Gobierno Electronico según las Naciones Unidas

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  • 1. United NationsE-Government Survey 2012E-Government for the People
  • 2. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 ST/ESA/PAS/SER.E/150 Department of Economic and Social Affairs United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 E-Government for the People United Nations New York, 2012 i
  • 3. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012United Nations Departmentof Economic and Social AffairsThe United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is a vital interface betweenglobal policies in the economic, social and environmental spheres and national action. TheDepartment works in three main interlinked areas: (1) it compiles, generates and analyses awide range of economic, social and environmental data and information on which MemberStates of the United Nations draw to review common problems and to take stock of policyoptions; (2) it facilitates the negotiations of Member States in many intergovernmentalbodies on joint courses of action to address ongoing or emerging global challenges; and (3)it advises interested governments on the ways and means of translating policy frameworksdeveloped in United Nations conferences and summits into programmes at the countrylevel and, through technical assistance, helps build national capacities. –DisclaimersThe designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publica-tion do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of theSecretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, terri-tory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiersor boundaries. The term ‘country’ as used in the text of this publication also refers,as appropriate, to territories and areas.Since there is no established convention for the designation of ‘developed’ and‘developing’ countries or areas in the United Nations system, this distinction ismade for the purposes of statistical and analytical purposes only and does notnecessarily express a judgment about the stage reached by a particular countryor region in the development process.Mention of the name of any company, organization, product or website does notimply endorsement on the part of the United Nations.Copyright © United Nations, 2012All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored inretrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic,mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission.ST/ESA/PAD/SER.E/150ISBN: 978-92-1-123190-8e-ISBN: 978-92-1-055353-7Sales no E.12.II.H.2Printed at the United Nations, New Yorkii
  • 4. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Foreward Foreword Today, powerful new technologies can be used to advance sustainable development for all people across the world while including them in the process. In particular, e-government can be an engine of development for the people. In delivering e-government for the people, public services are designed to be responsive, citizen- centric and socially inclusive. Governments also engage citizens through participatory service delivery processes. The evidence base for the latter is strengthened by recent progress in e-government in a growing number of countries where citizens are both users and co-producers of public services. The increasing role of e-government in promot- and other innovations of this sort must be nurtured ing inclusive and participatory development has and supported and made available to all segments gone hand-in-hand with the growing demands for of society. transparency and accountability in all regions of the The steady diff usion of information and com- world. E-government has strongly shifted expecta- munication technologies and the bridging of the tions of what governments can and should do, using digital divide can help empower all stakeholders to modern information and communication technolo- translate commitments into action. I therefore en- gies, to strengthen public service and advance equi- courage policymakers and public administrators ev- table, people-centred development. erywhere to apply information and communication This report shows that with the right institu- technologies and e-government as important tools tional framework, policies and capacity-building in advancing sustainable development for all. – efforts, progress in enhancing the contributions of e-government to sustainable development is within reach. However, the report also explains that adequate funding is needed to enhance e-government. Furthermore, it shows that there are challenges to Sha Zukang reducing the digital-divide and increasing access to Under-Secretary-General for Economic public services by vulnerable populations and dis- and Social Affairs and Secretary-General tant communities. More than ever, mobile services, of the United Nations Conference crowd sourcing, cloud computing, e-service kiosks on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) iii
  • 5. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Acknowledgements Acknowledgements The 2012 edition of the United Nations e-Government Survey is the result of the efforts, contributions and support of many people from a number of organizations and thanks are extended to all who were involved directly or indirectly. In particular, the following people are acknowledged for their specific roles in its production. Preparation of the publication was undertaken Nicola Amoroso provided advice on the refi nement by a group of senior e-government researchers of the statistical methodology. and advisers at the United Nations Department Under a collaborative agreement between of Economic and Social Affairs, led directly by the United Nations and Cornell University in the Haiyan Qian, Director of the Division for Public United States, the collection of data on online Administration and Development Management. services was overseen by Vincenzo Aquaro and She was assisted in this task by Vincenzo Aquaro, Seema Hafeez, supported by Kim Andreasson, Chief of the E-Government Branch, who man- Keping Yao, and Thomas O’Toole of the Cornell aged the data collection effort, and John-Mary Institute of Public Affairs (CIPA). The CIPA team Kauzya, Chief of the Public Administration included: Samar Alam, Timur Baiserkeev, Hatice Capacity Branch, who helped guide the analyti- Bilici, Santiago Calderon, Viktor Englund, Hadi cal work. Fathallah, Nira Gautam, Adalsteinn Hakonarson, The core research team comprised DPADM Aleks Janjic, Sonia Javed, Rami Jawhar, Resya staff members Seema Hafeez who drafted Chapters Kania, Juliana Lima, Haiyue Luo, Margaret Lynch, 1 and 2, Michael Mimicopoulos and John-Mary Andreea Mascan, Grit Mathias, Ammar Naqvi, Kauzya who drafted Chapter 3, Deniz Susar Michail Panagopoulos, Weng Pong Woo, Vorapat who drafted Chapter 4, Peride Blind who drafted Praneeprachachon, Diego Rios Zertuche, Javad Chapter 5, and Seok-Ran Kim who drafted Chapter Rostami, Frantz Seide, Sarmad Shaikh, Aditya 6. Patrick Spearing contributed a background Shrinivas, Chamnan Sieng, Th itsar Th itsar, Ardak paper on information services in support of sus- Tukenova, Marc Uf berg, Kim Vallejo, Martina tainable development. Richard Kerby and Jonas Vanikova, Ana Vanjac and Yucheng Zheng. Rabinovitch provided case studies and field data. Comprehensive second stage data assessment Elida Reci conducted research related to the digital was conducted a group of United Nations interns divide and vulnerable groups. Patrick Spearing and coordinated by Seema Hafeez. The team included Wai Min Kwok acted as referees in reviews of the Alisher Djaborov, Aaron Gardner, Kateryna various manuscripts. Goychuk, Monica Hernandez, Sonia Javed, Rami The survey benefited from advice and guid- Jawhar, Loreta Juskaite, DuyiLi, Sine Soeberg, ance on e-government measurement provided Desislava Stefanova, AlexanderThomson, Quentin by a group of experts who met in New York in Tourancheau and Yucheng Zheng, in addition to December 2010. The group consisted of Abdulla a number of volunteer translators which included Al Hamid (Bahrain), Kim Andreasson (United Eran Goldshtein, Davaadorj Khulan, Tünde States), Roberto Bellott i (Italy), Rowena Bethel Lázár, Suela Lleku, Michaela Mackuliakova, Inge (Bahamas), David Eaves (Canada), Tanya Gupta Meesak, Stephan Nunner, Srinart Poputtachai, (World Bank), Morten Goodwin Olsen (Norway), Vorapat Praneeprachachon, Alfred Prevoo, Nadja Koon Tian Ooh (Singapore), Jeremy Millard Saveska, Artemis Seaford, Yaroslav Shiryaev, (Denmark), Rajkumar Prasad (India), Abir Qasam Gracia Sidabutar, Tomohiro Tsuden, Aura Ursu, (United States) Mikael Snaprud (Norway) and Vilde Vaeroyvik, Eva van Aalst, Stine Wind and Barbara Ubaldi (OECD). Roberto Bellott i and Benjamin Ziga. v
  • 6. Acknowledgements United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Technical data management and support was International Telecommunication Union and the provided by Aaron Gardner, Rami Jawhar and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Quentin Tourancheau. Kim Andreasson provided Organization respectively. the data assessment platform and support to the Administrative assistance was provided by initial collection of data on online services. Data Rosanne Clarke, Wally Clarkson, Elvira Doyle, Nathan assessment on access to vulnerable groups was Henninger, Madeleine Losch, and Luis Prugue. conducted by Christian Rodli Amble, Morten Editorial review and coordination was under- Goodwin and Mikael H. Snaprud and peer review taken by Michelle Alves de Lima-Miller, supported by the University of the United Nations through by Silvia Schwarz. Tomasz Janoxski. Copyediting services were provided by Mary Telecommunication infrastructure and edu- Lynn Hanley. Creative design was directed and ex- cation data were generously contributed by the ecuted by Eliot Sela.–vi
  • 7. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Acronymes Acronyms C2G Citizen-to-government ITU International Telecommunication Union CIO Chief information officer LDC Least developed country EGDI E-government development index MEA Multilateral environmental agreement EU European Union NGO Non-governmental organization FAQ Frequently asked questions OECD Organization for Economic FOI Freedom of information Cooperation and Development G2C Government-to-citizen OSI Online service index G2G Government-to-government PDA Personal digital assistant GDP Gross domestic product PPP Public-private partnership GII Government information RSS Real simple syndication infrastructure SMS Short message service GNI Gross national income UNDESA United Nations Department HCI Human capital index of Economic and Social Affairs HDI Human Development Index WAI Web accessibility initiative HTML Hypertext markup language WAP Wireless application protocol ICT Information and WCAG Web content accessibility guidelines communication technology W3C World Wide Web Consortium IM Instant messaging WSSD World Summit on ISP Internet service providers Sustainable Development vii
  • 8. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Contents Contents Foreword iii Chapter 4: Supporting multichannel Acknowledgements v service delivery 73 Acronyms vii 4.1 Global and regional trends 74 4.2 Challenges and opportunities of multichannel service delivery 79 Executive summary 1 4.3 Conclusion and recommendations 83 Chapter 1: World e-government rankings 9 Chapter 5: Bridging the digital divide by reaching 1.1 Overview of national out to vulnerable populations 87 e-government development 10 5.1 Factors affecting e-government 1.2 Global leaders at a glance 10 access and use 88 1.3 Regional comparisons 14 5.2 Conclusions and policy recommendations 97 1.4 Least developed countries 34 1.5 Post-conflict countries 35 Chapter 6: 1.6 Conclusion 35 Expanding usage to realize the full benefits of e-government 101 6.1 E-service usage: The current landscape 102 Chapter 2: 6.2 Challenges, recent efforts and opportunities 103 Progress in online service delivery 37 6.3 Increasing e-service usage: 2.1 Online service rankings 38 Policy conclusions 112 2.2 Trends in e-service provision 39 2.3 Conclusion 53 Annexes: 117 Survey methodology 119 Chapter 3: Data tables 118 Taking a whole-of-government approach 55 Notes 126 3.1 E-government harmonization in practice 56 References 136 3.2 Challenges and opportunities of integrated e-service delivery 63 Regional groupings 143 3.3 Conclusions 69 ix
  • 9. Contents United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Boxes Boxes (cont.) 1.1 Seychelles leads in Eastern Africa 16 3.3 Germany chooses integrated services on multiple portlets 62 1.2 Tunisia national portal 17 3.4 Malaysia “no wrong door” policy 62 1.3 Mexico’s alternative approach 21 3.5 Cloud computing 68 1.4 Brazil: Expanding services 22 4.1 Malta MyAlerts: Notifications through 1.5 Integrated services in Kazakhstan 24 multiple delivery channels 77 1.6 World leader in e-government 4.2 Turkey: UYAP SMS information system 78 development 2012: Republic of Korea 24 4.3 Italy: Reti Amiche for multichannel 1.7 China: Enhancing transparency public service delivery 78 and openness 25 4.4 ServiceOntario of Canada 80 1.8 India looks to sustainable development by including all 25 5.1 Selected examples of e-government initiatives of education to bridge the 1.9 Pakistan in the forefront of e-passport 26 digital divide 91 1.10 Singapore in the vanguard of countries 26 5.2 Automated search for barriers to usage 93 1.11 Israel consolidates e-services 27 5.3 Selected examples of initiatives in support of access/use 97 1.12 Saudi Arabia offers innovative e-services 27 6.1 Benefit of e-tax payment: Convenience 1.13 Qatar’s Hukoomi: Working and ease of paying taxes 104 towards integration 28 6.2 311 Service: Trust, transparency and service 1.14 EU leads the way to innovative application request map of New York City 105 of ICT to sustainable development 30 6.3 United States: Fostering social inclusion 1.15 Denmark: Providing multiple choices 31 and increasing e-service usage through 2.1 Bahrain, a leader in Western Asia 38 social media 108 2.2 Russian Federation: Investments for 7.1 The four stages of online service delivery improvements 39 service development 123 2.3 Kazakhstan: A leader in e-participation 43 Figures 2.4 Colombia: E-participation 46 1.1 Emerging leaders in 2.5 Australia: E-participation 47 e-government development 12 2.6 Providing outcome on feedback received 1.2 India advancing in from citizens concerning the improvement e-government development 13 of their service 48 1.3 Impressive gains by China 13 2.7 Trinidad and Tobago: Wealth of information on environment 51 1.4 Regional averages in e-government development 14 2.8 Brazil: Special section on Rio +20 52 1.5 Advances in regional e-government 3.1 leads in integrated portals 60 development in the last decade 14 3.2 Mauritius, an A to Z thematic approach 61 1.6 Trends in e-government development in Africa 2008-2012 15x
  • 10. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 ContentsFigures (cont.) Figures (cont.)1.7 Limitations of infrastructure impeding 2.17 Online leadership promotion and e-government in Africa 18 accountability in environmental sustainability 511.8 Regional e-government in the Americas 19 2.18 Countries offering education or information on public policy concerns 511.9 E-government in Northern America 21 2.19 Reflection of public concerns on national1.10 Regional e-government in Asia 22 environmental websites 521.11 E-government in Norway and the 2.20 Citizen participation in environmental United Arab Emirates 23 affairs by region 531.12 Regional e-government in Europe 29 3.1 Countries with CIO or equivalent overseeing e-government 561.13 Regional e-government development: Oceania and the world 33 3.2 Countries offering a one-stop-shop 582.1 Progress in online service provision 3.3 Countries with government websites 2003-2012 in selected countries 38 linking to a national website or portal 592.2 E-services in Latvia and Belarus 39 3.4 Percentage of national sites or portals linking to government ministries 592.3 United Nations Member States’ online presence, 2003 – 2012 40 3.5 Policy information online 592.4 Online features availability 40 3.6 Institutional integration efforts in environment 602.5 Sectoral user services online 41 4.1 Overview of channels for public2.6 Extent of e-service delivery 41 service delivery 752.7 Geographic distribution of top performers 4.2 Breakdown of channels by region 75 in e-participation 44 4.3 Breakdown of channels by income level 752.8 Depth of e-participation 45 4.4 Selected mobile-based channels for2.9 E-consultation tools used by governments 46 multiservice delivery 762.10 Overall environmental e-service provision 48 4.5 Breakdown of mobile-based channels2.11 Africa sub-regional average scores by region 76 as percentage of regional average score 49 4.6 Breakdown of mobile-based channels2.12 Americas sub-regional average scores by income level 77 as percentage of regional average score 49 4.7 Availability of payment transactions2.13 Asia sub-regional average scores as in different channels 79 percentage of regional average score 49 5.1 Inclusion of at least one of the vulnerable2.14 Europe sub-regional average scores groups on the national website 89 as percentage of regional average score 49 5.2 Multilingual national portals 902.15 Relationship between e-environment 5.3 Multilingual European portals 90 performance and gross national income per capita 50 5.4 Multilingual Asian portals 902.16 Use of e-government to raise 5.5 Assisted sites 92 awareness of sustainable development 50 5.6 Female economic activity 94 xi
  • 11. Contents United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Figures (cont.) Tables (cont.) 5.7 Broadband (2012) and GDP per capita 1.9 Top ranked countries in the Americas 19 (2010 or the latest figure) 95 1.10 E-government development in the Caribbean 20 5.8 M-government and vulnerable groups 96 1.11 E-government development in Central America 20 5.9 Broadband, m-government, and vulnerable groups 96 1.12 E-government development in Northern America 21 6.1 E-government usage growth rate lagging behind e-government availability 1.13 E-government development in South America 21 growth rate (2005 – 2010) 103 1.14 E-government leaders in Asia 23 6.2 Transaction services: countries providing 1.15 E-government development in Central Asia 23 on-line payment facilities in different sectors 104 1.16 E-government development in Eastern Asia 25 6.3 Number of countries with privacy statement and security policy online 105 1.17 E-government development in Southern Asia 26 6.4 Governments’ efforts to garner 1.18 E-government development in and report on usage feedback 107 South-Eastern Asia 27 6.5 Relationship between broadband 1.19 E-government development in Western Asia 28 penetration and citizen uptake of e-government services (2008) 107 1.20 Top 10 in Europe 29 6.6 Government websites and social media 109 1.21 E-government development in Eastern Europe 30 6.7 Government websites providing a statement that promotes open 1.22 E-government development in government data initiative 110 Northern Europe 31 6.8 FOI laws in countries around the world: 1.23 E-government development in Global view 111 Southern Europe 32 6.9 Freedom of Information in different 1.24 E-government development in regions of the world 111 Western Europe 32 1.25 E-government development in Oceania 33 Tables 1.26 E-government development in least developed countries 34 1.1 World e-government development leaders 2012 11 1.27 E-government development in post-conflict countries 35 1.2 E-government development in largest population countries 13 2.1 Top 20 countries in online service delivery 38 1.3 Top ranked countries in Africa 15 2.2 Advanced features available on websites 40 1.4 E-government development in Eastern Africa 16 2.3 Transactional services online 41 1.5 E-government development in Middle Africa 17 2.4 Extent of service delivery in top performers, selected countries 42 1.6 E-government development in Northern Africa 17 2.5 E-services in selected developing countries 42 1.7 E-government development in Southern Africa 18 2.6 Top e-participation leaders 43 1.8 E-government development in Western Africa 18 2.7 Extent of e-participation 44xii
  • 12. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 ContentsTables (cont.) Maps2.8 Extent of government’s commitment 1.1 Sub-regions of Africa 15 to e-participation 45 1.2 Sub-regions of the Americas 192.9 Collecting citizen feedback 46 1.3 Sub-regions of Asia 232.10 Web 2.0 tools used in e-decision making 47 1.4 Sub-regions of Europe 292.11 E-decision making features 48 1.5 Sub-regions of Oceania 332.12 Top countries on environment survey 48 7.1 Regional groupings 1432.13 Selected environmental online features and content 502.14 Environment-related online citizen feedback 533.1 Chief information officer or equivalent by region 573.2 Interoperability and back-office integration 583.3 Whole-of-government top performers 613.4 Selected organizational changes needed in the pursuit of a whole-of- government approach 643.5 National portals clearly indicating a security feature 684.1 List of countries utilizing all channels 745.1 Components and subcomponents of the conceptual map of digital divide 895.2 National websites with accessibility features 925.3 Access of females versus males to social media 946.1 List of countries with government websites providing a statement ‘follow us on Facebook or Twitter’ 1096.2 List of countries providing chat rooms or an IM feature 1097.1 E-participation index 1267.2 Online service index and its components 1287.3 Telecommunication infrastructure index and its components 1307.4 Human capital index and its components 1327.5 E-participation index 1347.6 Environment Index 135 xiii
  • 13. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Executive summary Executive summary Progress in online service delivery continues in most countries around the world. The United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 fi nds that many have put in place e-government initiatives and information and communication technologies applications for the people to further enhance public sector efficiencies and streamline governance systems to support sustainable development. Among the e-government leaders, innovative technology solutions have gained special recognition as the means to revitalize lagging economic and social sectors. The overall conclusion that emerges from the 2012 Survey in today’s recessionary world climate is that while it is important to continue with service delivery, governments must increasingly begin to rethink in terms of e-government – and e-governance – placing greater emphasis on institutional linkages between and among the tiered government structures in a bid to create synergy for inclusive sustainable development. An important aspect of this approach is to widen the scope of e-government for a transformative role of the government towards cohesive, coordinated, and integrated processes and institutions through which such sustainable development takes place. 1
  • 14. Executive summary United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 In the current recessionary world climate, in can be met with a concerted and coordinated effort which the lives of people have become ever more that incorporates the environmental dimension into interconnected, governments have been harness- development planning at every stage. ing the power of information and communications Within this context, national governments technologies (ICT) for delivering much needed sus- need to understand the economic, social and en- tainability in social and economic services to their vironmental pathways must be adapted to develop citizens. As part of this shift towards e-government, or reform their strategic frameworks towards out- there has been an increasing recognition that ef- comes that promote sustainable development. The forts towards a holistic approach to governance for basic strategic approach needs to germinate fi rst and sustainable development require strategic national foremost in the acceptance of the importance of the planning to ensure efficacy, transparency, respon- inter-linkages among the economic, social and envi- siveness, participation and inclusion in the delivery ronmental aspects of development. of public services. These aims could not be achieved The role of the government is once again without the underlying notion of sustainable devel- being redefined to reform the governance sys- opment for the people. tems through which services are delivered in a The overall challenge then is to deliver improve- way that maximizes development and minimizes ments in the standards of living in such a manner natural resource degradation. A holistic approach that development today does not compromise de- to governance includes taking into account the ef- velopment tomorrow. Embedded in the concept ficiency and distributional aspects of sectoral poli- of sustainability is the viability of (i) national and cies and their outcomes, national development sub-national governance systems that are citizen- agendas, and international cooperation agree- centric, socially inclusive and participatory; and ments, so that resulting solutions are sustainable (ii) the associated government operations and in the future. services that affect development outcomes. In The message of the 2012 Survey is that all stake- paying attention to citizen needs, there is a critical holders need to recognize the key role that e-gov- need for governments to encompass modalities in ernment – and e-governance – can play in support working together with citizens in fulfi lling service of the establishment of effective institutional link- delivery. Therefore the theme of the United Nations ages necessary for sustainable development. E-Government Survey 2012 is E-Government for Evidence shows that it is possible to successfully the People. Areas deserving special emphasis in- utilize ICT based on governance frameworks that un- clude expanding usage of e-government services, derpin the effectiveness of public sector institutions. including through multiple channels, and a whole- E-government is at the core of building a stra- of-government approach in promoting equity and tegic sustainable development framework. One of bridging the digital-divide by extending service de- its key functions has been to provide an integrated livery to all, particularly vulnerable groups. framework of policies, laws and regulations and de- velop institutions and processes that allow the pri- The nexus of e-government, vate sector to provide – and the people to partake institutional linkages and of – the benefits of newer technologies. sustainable development The underlying principle of e-government, sup- E-government has an important role to play, now and ported by an effective e-governance institutional in the future. As the world moves towards 2015, the framework, is to improve the internal workings of date set for reaching the Millennium Development the public sector by reducing fi nancial costs and Goals, the unmet targets of poverty reduction and transaction times so as to better integrate work flows other social and economic development goals are and processes and enable effective resource utiliza- being revisited within the ambit of climate change tion across the various public sector agencies aiming and natural resource conservation. Inherent in this for sustainable solutions. It seeks to establish ‘bet- paradigm is a focus on pivotal linkages among pub- ter processes and systems’ aimed at more efficiency, lic institutions, such that development challenges effectiveness, inclusion and sustainability. As a key2
  • 15. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Executive summarydriver of efficiency and coordination, e-governance The entry point for economic sustainabilityencompasses institutions, mechanisms and pro- is how e-government supports efficiency and ef-cesses for planning, organizing, coordination and fectiveness in government for greater growth andimplementation of successful socio-economic de- development by employing whole-of-governmentvelopment programmes. approaches. Hierarchical and bureaucratic struc- Utilizing e-government can be the key to the tures need to be transformed into horizontalachievement of the integration of economic, social integrated systems, which facilitate customer ori-and environment goals for development planning. entation and increase levels of transparency andIn this context, national governments need to: accountability in a move towards public service de-• Recognize the opportunity for synergy among livery solutions that are sustainable. institutions that e-government offers; At the same time, social equity and inclusion• Re-engineer the enabling environment for are possible only if institutional barriers to citizen e-governance to enable institutional inter- link- inclusion are removed and opportunities for their ages within the government; and participation through ICTs are equitably distrib-• Promote coordination and connectivity be- uted. The reach of innovative inclusive solutions tween ecosystems and development outcomes. to support citizen decision-making processes is As the public sector continues to reform struc- just as important as the nature of the participa-tural processes and institutions for greater efficiency tory process itself. For social sustainability, theand better service delivery; provide a climate con- role of e-government requires a shift from that ofducive for businesses; and offer greater participation a controller of information and services to that offor citizens, e-government will increasingly become a facilitator, whereby information and services arethe key enabler of sustainable development. From geared towards addressing the needs and concernsputt ing in place policies and programmes to the de- of the citizenry, especially the vulnerable, and tosign of laws and regulation for ICT access and citi- promoting user uptake.zen participation, e-government and e-governance Finally, e-government can support environ-will expand their reach in affecting the living condi- mental institutional integration by bringing envi-tions of peoples in all countries of the world in gen- ronment agencies online and linking them witheral, and in ameliorating the adverse impact of the governance structures responsible for developmentdigital divide in particular. planning so that coordinated solutions can be found One of the key challenges in building the frame- that are efficient, effective and of sustainable development is how to employ The United Nations E-Government Surveymodern technologies to ensure inter-institutional 2012: E-Government for the People addresses thecoordination and the effectiveness of development conceptual and analytical issues related to how theoutcomes while safeguarding natural resource Member States are utilizing ICTs to support citizenconservation. Lessons of experience in a few of the centric service delivery and citizen participation invanguard countries indicate that by deploying inno- service delivery to ensure sustainable development.vative ITC solutions e-governance endeavours canoptimize solutions to hither-to-fore intransigent de- Global trends invelopment challenges. e-government development There is a growing recognition that e-gover- The United Nations E-Government Survey 2012nance can support development by improving explores the inter-linkages between e-governmentinter-organizational linkages and consolidation of and sustainable development efforts. While present-government systems. Th is emerging e-government ing the United Nations e-government developmentparadigm, allied to the twin objectives of efficacy in rankings for 2012 it analyses how governments ofgovernment functioning and achieving improve- the world are employing e-government policies andments in service delivery, is bringing about new programmes to support efficiency, effectiveness, andperceptions of the inter-linkages between e-govern- inclusiveness as the parameters of sustainable devel-ment and the sustainability of systems. opment efforts worldwide. 3
  • 16. Executive summary United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 It addresses conceptual and analytical issues disparity in the use of information technologies. In related to an effective e-governance institutional this way it contributes to a better understanding of framework as the key enabler for the organizational the need for e-government to be deployed in order and regulatory environment that is the necessary to create the required synergy and integration across ingredient for such development to take place. institutions and processes that will support Member Building on lessons learnt and best practices iden- States’ efforts towards sustainable development that tified through previous UNDESA work on e-gov- includes all. ernment, the 2012 Survey highlights the ‘silo’ or sector-by-sector approach often common to both Key fi ndings from the 2012 Survey e-government and environment in development According to the 2012 United Nations planning. It brings together concepts and best E-government Survey rankings, the Republic of practices such as whole-of-government; effective- Korea is the world leader (0.9283) followed by ness of multichannel service delivery; increasing the Netherlands (0.9125), the United Kingdom access to Internet and mobile use around the world (0.8960) and Denmark (0.8889), with the United in bridging the digital divide; the importance of States, Canada, France, Norway, Singapore and e-service to vulnerable groups; and challenges in Sweden close behind. user uptake. It thereby alerts policy makers to the The steady improvement in all the indicators current need for a holistic vision to sustainable de- of the e-government development index has led to velopment that emphasizes synergies among vari- a world average of 0.4877 as compared to 0.4406 ous sectors and approaches that will help advance in 2010. Th is reflects that countries in general have economic sustainability and social equity. improved their online service delivery to cater to A special focus of this year’s Survey is on envi- citizens’ needs. On a regional level, Europe (0.7188) ronment-related services. It assesses the provision of and Eastern Asia (0.6344) lead, followed by environment and resource conservation information Northern America (0.8559), South Asia (0.3464) and services to the citizen and presents the fi rst data and Africa (0.2762). set on United Nations e-environment indicators. Despite progress, there remains an imbalance The message of the 2012 Survey builds upon the in the digital divide between developed and the fi ndings of the previous United Nations Surveys developing countries, especially in Africa. The lat- and sets the importance of e-government fi rmly ter region had a mean e-government development within the current global developmental debate. index of about 30 per cent of Northern America First, underscoring the importance of technologi- and about half of the world average. The digital di- cal advancements and the role of the government vide is rooted in the lack of e-infrastructure, which and sustainable development, it highlights the im- has hindered information-use and knowledge-cre- portance of e-government and ICT as integral to ation. The tremendous difference of broadband sustainable development. width and subscriptions between the developing Second, expanding the concept of e-governance and the developed world proves that there are yet it points to the need to place it at the centre of de- many milestones to be reached in order to close velopment thinking for a coherent, coordinated and the gap of the digital divide. synergistic approach to public sector solutions. Finally, it draws attention to state-of-the art e- Whole-of-government approaches government approaches that are being deployed in lead the way in vanguard countries vanguard countries as case studies for a whole-of- Employing e-government to improve efficiency government framework and inclusion of the disad- and effectiveness of public service delivery in vantaged in the circle of development. government structures is one facet of economic Thus, it presents the progress made in e-govern- sustainability. The 2012 Survey finds that many ment development around the world since the last Member States are moving from a decentral- Survey (2010) while cautioning against the digi- ized single-purpose organization model, to an tal divide that stems from the current worldwide integrated unified whole-of-government model4
  • 17. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Executive summarycontributing to efficiency and effectiveness. The Much more needs to be done to include vul-model aims at centralizing the entry point of ser- nerable groups in the benefits of technology. Withvice delivery to a single portal where citizens can a focus on social sustainability, the underlying ap-access all government-supplied services, regardless proach of the top performers in 2012 is inclusion forof which government authority provides them. In all, which has led to the expansion of informationsome countries, the whole-of-government ap- and services to vulnerable groups, people who liveproach helps build a transparent government in isolated rural areas and the disabled. Further, insystem with interconnected departments and di- pursuit of greater efficiency, more and more govern-visions, feeding into the funnel of greater govern- ments are paying closer attention to citizens’ use ofment efficiency and effectiveness. online services. The levels still remain low with only around a quarter – or 47 countries – providing in-Member States are paying formation on how citizens use services.closer attention to multichannelservice delivery Developing countries make progressThe increasing power of ICT has also provided in e-participationgovernments with the f lexibility of providing Many developing countries have adopted citizenservices and information to citizens through inclusion as key in providing “customer”-orientedmultichannels. Citizens have diverse needs and services. While the Republic of Korea and thedemands for services; therefore it is no longer sus- Netherlands are the world leaders, Singapore andtainable for governments to utilize one preferred Kazakhstan are close behind. Europe has the largestway of service provision over the other. It is now share of the top e-participation countries. Despiteever more essential that governments exploit all progress the gains are not spread evenly, both acrosspossible delivery channels in order to reach out to and within countries, with the majority still offeringas many people as possible, no matter how poor, il- low levels of engagement possibilities.literate or isolated. The 2012 Survey shows that 71Member States partner with third party organiza- Citizens demand more servicestions such as those in the civil society or the private While the primary focus of Member States has beensector to provide e-services. the provision of services from a supplier perspective, Progress on the digital divide is far from satisfac- recently there has been a shift towards a more con-tory though rapid dispersion of mobile technology sumer demand driven policy and greater emphasisgives hope for improvement. on citizen usage. Nevertheless the level of citizen Th is year’s Survey also indicates that global in- up-take currently remains at low levels. Usage di-frastructure access has improved, with the global vides across and within countries is one of the manyaverage ICT index value reflecting an increase in challenges hindering high levels of citizen penetration – the global average number According to the 2012 Survey, only 24 countriesof mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants is now openly promote free access to e-government ser-88.5. Broadband penetration, however, remains very vices through free wifi or kiosks. Leveraging sociallow, with a global average of only 8.7 fi xed broad- media for the benefit of e-service uptake is anotherband connections per 100 inhabitants. Mobile- area where a greater effort can make a differencebased technologies have become the most rapidly since currently only 40 per cent of Member Statesadapted technologies to provide e-services, playing are using a social networking site.a pivotal role, especially in developing countries.Rural areas with very litt le access to telephony can A good beginning but e-environmentnow benefit from mobile and broadband services to initiatives have a long way to goaccess services. According to the 2012 Survey, 25 With the worldwide focus on sustainable develop-countries have developed separate m-government ment this year the 2012 United Nations e-Govern-websites, and 24 countries provide the option of ment Survey devoted a special section to examiningmaking payments via mobile phones. the effort made by Member States in provision of 5
  • 18. Executive summary United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 environment-related online information and ser- The way forward vices. In keeping with institutional development As the way forward the fi rst imperative is to recog- identified as one of the two main themes for Rio nize the role of national governments in tapping +20, the 2012 Survey assessed Member States’ on- into the transformative nature of e-government for line offerings in three areas cited in the Secretary- sustainable development as it relates to whole-of- General’s Report to the Preparatory Committee government approaches and multichannel service for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable delivery. In this regard countries must at a minimum Development: 1) dissemination of information; 2) establish a persistent online presence with at least institutional integration with respect to environ- basic services in order to build trust in government. mental matters; and 3) opportunities for citizen Second, shifting from a structurally disinte- engagement on environmental issues. With respect grated government to one that is a more intercon- to information dissemination services, Chapter nected single-purpose whole-of-government will 2 looks particularly at four policy areas related to require collaboration and streamlining not only environmental degradation and natural resources along the whole spectrum of governance but also management: clean air, clean water, energy, and re- with private sector and civil societies. Prerequisites source conservation. Given the importance placed for achieving this shift include long-term vision on empowering citizens – particularly marginal- and leadership commitment, a strategic frame- ized groups – with respect to environmental policy work, an IT management programme aligned with making, it also assesses how e-participation tools the overall strategy, and technical integration of IT are deployed in the environmental domain, at the systems. Whole-of-government practices will not same time, focusing on the importance of institu- only boost efficiency of government agencies but tional integration at all levels for sustainable de- also utilization of public services if properly ad- velopment. Chapter 3 assesses how e-government ministered in accordance with a clear strategy and offerings support both sub-national and interna- motivated leadership. tional integration. Among the top-scoring coun- Th ird, it needs to be reiterated that the digital tries on the environment, four provide considerable divide is still an obstacle we face. With all the cut- environment related information and services to ting-edge technologies and development of social their citizens – Germany, the Republic of Korea, media and networking tools, which have re-shaped Singapore, and the United States. As in the case of parts of our modern world, it is becoming more e-government development rankings, developed challenging to diminish the digital divide. Not countries dominate the e-environment service only is the non-availability of infrastructure such delivery, with 36 per cent of countries providing as broadband the main reason behind this divide, less than one third of the information and services but differences in skills and lack of means to ac- assessed; another one third providing 34 to 66 per cess information also play a major role. Therefore cent; and 56 countries providing 67 to 100 per cent it is vital for governments to learn from global best of the e-environment services assessed. practices and collaborate internationally to develop A majority of countries provide online infor- a harmonized framework with indigenous ICT mation or education to citizens regarding clean content. An effective approach must address both water (111 countries), clean air (105 countries), access to infrastructure as well as well as barriers and resource conservation (104 countries). Nearly to using online services that may persist even when half of countries, 86, provide information pertain- such access is available. ing to energy. However few countries provide Fourth, there is a need to reach out to all citi- features designed to proactively notify citizens of zens, particularly the disadvantaged and vulnerable environmental issues or permit citizens to focus groups, in order to bridge the gap and maximize online searches specifically on the environment. the utilization of online service delivery. However, Similarly, citizen engagement on environment is- governance processes for the effectiveness and ben- sues is in its infancy. While Europe takes the lead, efit of all cannot be realized without a well-estab- other regions are slow to follow. lished coordination framework encompassing the6
  • 19. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Executive summaryinvolvement of all national and international stake- have created opportunities for greater participationholders, including third party organizations, which and social inclusiveness. By bringing technologycan play a pivotal role in the process. Th is is par- to the people instead of making the people cometicularly important in the context of multichannel to technology hubs, and by creating opportuni-service delivery, where it is important to follow an ties for online service delivery, e-government hasevolutionary rather than a revolutionary approach contributed to coordinated efforts for increasedto developing new channels. In other words, service e-government among public sector officials, publicdelivery via new channels should not come at the institutions and citizens.expense of service delivery via established channels. As the collective global effort, led by the United Fift h, low usage and user uptake indicates that Nations, gains momentum towards a greater ac-e-services up-take has untapped potential for the ceptance of the institutional linkages among theimprovement of service delivery in line with citi- economic, social and environmental pillars of sus-zen demand. tainable development, there is a need to be cogni- Finally, the 2012 Survey assessment points zant of the importance of e-government that is forto horizontal and vertical e-government linkages the people, in achieving higher standards of livingamong various institutions and nodal points that for future generations. – 7
  • 20. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1 Chapter 1 World e-government Eliot Sela rankingsChapter 1 Progress in online service delivery continues in most countriesWorld e-government rankings around the world. The United Nations E-Government Survey1.1 Overview of national e-government development 10 2012 fi nds that many have put in place e-government initiatives1.2 Global leaders at a glance 10 and information and communication technologies applications 1.2.1 Countries with a large population 12 for the people to further enhance public sector efficiencies1.3 Regional comparisons 14 and streamline governance systems to support sustainable 1.3.1 E-government in Africa 15 development. Among the e-government leaders, innovative 1.3.2 E-government in the Americas 19 technology solutions have gained special recognition as the 1.3.3 E-government in Asia 22 means to revitalize lagging economic and social sectors. 1.3.4 E-government in Europe 29 The overall conclusion that emerges from the 2012 Survey in 1.3.5 E-government in Oceania 33 today’s recessionary world climate is that while it is important to1.4 Least developed countries 34 continue with service delivery, governments must increasingly1.5 Post-conflict countries 35 begin to rethink in terms of e-government – and e-governance1.6 Conclusion 35 – placing greater emphasis on institutional linkages between and among the tiered government structures in a bid to create synergy for inclusive sustainable development. An important aspect of this approach is to widen the scope of e-government for a transformative role of the government towards cohesive, coordinated, and integrated processes and institutions through which such sustainable development takes place. 9
  • 21. Chapter One1 World e-government rankings United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 e-agriculture, e-trade and other fields. Accessing these 1.1 Overview of national new technologies for development is being recog- e-government development nized as one of the key sources of economic growth. Of particular importance is the effect of cellular tech- The United Nations Survey 2012 assessment of prog- nologies. Where national governments have taken a ress indicates that e-government is increasingly being lead, rapid mobile technology proliferation has con- viewed among countries in the vanguard as going tributed as much as a one per cent annual increase in beyond service delivery towards a framework for a economic growth over the last few years.1 smart, inclusive and sustainable growth for future gen- Notwithstanding these trends, progress re- erations. In countries that follow that trend, a focus on mains uneven. In the current recessionary climate institutional integration coupled with online citizen some countries have been better able to continue to orientation in public service continues to be dominant. invest in ICT infrastructure and service improve- Both in terms of information and services, the citizen ment. Others are evaluating the marginal utilityE-government is increasingly viewed as ‘an active customer of public of such investment, especially taking into account services’ with borrowed private sector concepts being low user uptake of existing services, and reassess-innovation and applied to improve public sector governance systems. ing service portfolios where demand for onlinedevelopment can A key driver for this approach is the need to services is low. Many countries with low levels of achieve efficiency in government at the same time that infrastructure and human capital remain at lowerposition the public services are being expanded. Advances in technology, levels of e-government development with serioussector as a driver of which allow data sharing and efficient streamlining issues of digital divide. of cross-agency governance systems are forming the In all cases, e-government take a prominent roledemand for ICT back end of integrated portals where citizens fi nd a in shaping development making it more in tune withinfrastructure and myriad of relevant information arranged by theme, people’s needs and driving the whole process based life cycle or other preferred use. The trend towards on their participation.applications in the personalization of services has gained momentumbroader economy. with more countries tailoring substance and presenta- tion in accord with varied preferences. Multichannel service delivery features were found on several portals 1.2 Global leaders at a glance in 2012 through which the government conducted business with citizens. Citizen inclusion is also ex- Building upon the transformative nature of ICT and panding both horizontally and vertically with more maintaining their focus on e-government develop- governments around the world in 2012 accepting and ment, all of the top 20 countries in 2012 were high- promoting the need to inform – and involve – the citi- income developed economies. 2 All have values that zen in the public decision making process. range from 164 to 190 per cent of the world average. E-government innovation and development can Of the 20, 14 are in Northern America and Europe; position the public sector as a driver of demand for 3 in East Asia (Republic of Korea, Singapore and ICT infrastructure and applications in the broader Japan); 2 in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand); economy. The effect will be more pronounced in and 1 in Western Asia (Israel). cases where government programmes constitute a While the Republic of Korea (0.9283) maintains significant proportion of a country’s GDP and where its position as achieving the greatest e-government the regulatory environment is conducive to expansion development, in 2012 it is followed by three European of ICT manufacturing, soft ware and related services. countries, with the Netherlands (0.9125) advancing E-government programmes can be a catalyst in by three and the United Kingdom of Great Britain boosting productivity, thereby speeding up the ben- and Northern Ireland (0.8960) by one to become the efits of newer technologies to the people. In the last 2nd and 3rd leading e-ready governments in the world. few years many countries have employed ICT in areas Denmark (0.8889), the United States of America such as entrepreneurship, innovation, research and (0.8687), France (0.8635) and Sweden (0.8599) fol- development, promoting distance learning, e-health, low close behind among the global leaders.10
  • 22. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1 The top 20 countries have marginal differ- government-to-government (G2G), government-ences among them in the level of e-government to-citizen, and citizen-to-government (C2G) inter- Table 1.1 World e-govern-development. All have invested, consolidated and actions in the last stage. 3 ment developmentaggregated their e-government development offer- The United Nations Survey 2012 fi nds that mod- leaders 2012ings in the last two years. Israel, Liechtenstein and els of an integrated portal differ across countries E-government Rank Country development indexLuxembourg, among the high-income countries, and regions. While a few countries are progressing 1 Republic of Korea 0.9283joined the group of world leaders in 2012. towards one national integrated portal, others have 2 Netherlands 0.9125 In 2012, the United Nations e-government developed their e-government offerings with a view 3 United Kingdom 0.8960assessment focused on the concept of integrated to more than one portal, with thematic and/or func- 4 Denmark 0.8889services that exploit inter-linkages among different tional services integrated in a manner that fi nds e-in- 5 United States 0.8687public services on a functionally and/or themati- formation separate from e-services or e-participation. 6 France 0.8635cally similar one-stop-shop portal, thereby improv- Though each of these have integrated services 7 Sweden 0.8599ing and facilitating citizen experience, allowing for across various departments on the thematic or func- 8 Norway 0.8593back-office integration across governmental de- tional portal, they nevertheless make less convenient 9 Finland 0.8505partments and strengthening institutional arrange- the user search for government information, services 10 Singapore 0.8474ments. Single sign-on integrated services on portals and participation in one place. The United Nations 11 Canada 0.8430can organizationally transform public service de- E-Government Survey 2012 differentiates these as 12 Australia 0.8390livery at both the front and the back end. They can ‘integrated services’ from a single ‘integrated portal.’ 13 New Zealand 0.8381increase functional productivity in governments by In 2012 no country had a true single-sign-on 14 Liechtenstein 0.8264identifying and improving governance processes integrated portal. The United States, Republic of 15 Switzerland 0.8134and mechanisms across several departments, lead- Korea, Israel, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Bahrain, 16 Israel 0.8100ing to greater efficiency and effectiveness of services Qatar, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand are 17 Germany 0.8079along with needed cost savings. With a focus on among the few that come close to a pure one-stop- 18 Japan 0.8019governance solutions that enhance service delivery shop portal with information, services and partici- 19 Luxembourg 0.8014and streamline public sector efficiency, the United pation services integrated on one site. 20 Estonia 0.7987Nations e-government rankings in 2012 reflect an Most countries from the European Union (EU)assessment of which countries are undertaking follow the approach of separate portals for their in-their e-government development with a view to in- formation, service and participation offerings. Integrated, user-centric public service delivery. several European countries e-government services The 2012 Survey assesses web portals with a focus on the nationally organized one-stop channelview to the provision of e-information, e-services, for the provision of 20 basic e-services essential towhich range from interactive to transactional to net- their citizens while the government-provided in-worked services, e-participation, and features that formation forms a separate portal with informationare the conduit for service flow from government services integrated on it from across all citizen and consequently a reflection of attention Lessons of experience from the assessment into governance processes. Indicators grouped along 2012 indicate that more services have been integratedthe four stages of the model (emerging, enhanced, across sectors and agencies. While this trend is likelytransactional and connected) range from static in- to continue it seems that increasingly complex publicformation such as links to ministries/departments, sector services in the future will be ‘cloud-based’ witharchived information, and regional/local govern- service providers able to address innovation and pro-ment services; to unidirectional government-to- ductivity upgrades without costly investments by thecitizen (G2C) information flows such as online government. Cloud service equips governments withpolicies, laws and regulation, reports, newsletters, greater efficiency by helping them scale up their ser-and downloadable databases, among other things; vices, including storage capacity, as it evolves. Amongto two-way fi nancial and non-fi nancial transac- the main challenges for large-scale adoption of cloud-tional services and advanced technical features based government services are the integrity of service,such as mobile apps; and to integrated and partici- data security and privacy, and regulatory environmentpatory services characterized by an integration of in most countries around the world, which will need 11
  • 23. Chapter One1 World e-government rankings United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 It is somewhat noteworthy that the emerging Figure 1.1 Emerging leaders leaders group includes some developing countries in e-government development that have begun to catch up with higher-income countries, such as Kazakhstan (0.6844); Chile Austria 0.7840 (0.6769), Malaysia (0.6703), Colombia (0.6572), Iceland 0.7835 Barbados (0.6566) and Cyprus (0.6508). Spain 0.7770 Many of these countries have invested consider- Belgium 0.7718 able resources in e-government in the last few years. Slovenia 0.7492 They have expanded infrastructure and human Monaco 0.7468 skills on which to build further advances in service Russian Federation 0.7345 delivery and employ the full potential of informa- United Arab Emirates 0.7344 tion technologies for long-term sustainable develop- Lithuania 0.7333 ment. Some of the developing countries have found Croatia 0.7328 ways to leapfrog traditional development cycles by Hungary 0.7201 deploying mobile technology for bridging the digital Italy 0.7190 divide. They have reoriented their public sector gov- Portugal 0.7165 ernance systems towards user-centric approachesThe 2012 Survey Ireland 0.7149 visible on their websites through multichannel ser- Malta 0.7131 vice delivery features.extends a special Bahrain 0.6946 As in the case of the world leaders, countriesrecognition to those Greece 0.6872 in the emerging leaders group have e-government Kazakhstan 0.6844 development values close to each other, rangingcountries with a Chile 0.6769 from 0.6508 to 0.7840. Most of them are provid-population of over Malaysia 0.6703 ing similar levels of e-services such as in the case of Saudi Arabia 0.6658 Cyprus, which though ranked lowest for this group,100 million, which Latvia 0.6604 has achieved around 83 per cent of the level of e-gov-have made the Colombia 0.6572 ernment development of Austria, the group leader. Barbados 0.6566tremendous effort Cyprus 0.6508to provide e-govern- 1.2.1 Countries with 0.55 0.60 0.65 0.70 0.75 0.80 a large populationment services to their EGDIpeople despite the The raison d’être of the United Nations E-Gov- continued reform in governance systems and a con- ernment Survey is to assess whether countries arechallenges they face. tinued focus on strengthening institutional linkages. deploying e-government for inclusion-for-all. Close behind the top world leaders are the 25 Since each country faces a different set of factors emerging leaders as given in figure 1.1. Among these, that can help or hinder its overall progress towards 16 are in Europe, 6 in Asia and 3 in the Americas. e-government development, this year the United With close proximity in the e-government develop- Nations Survey is extending special recognition to ment index value, the leaders among this group are those countries which, with a population of over 100 Austria (0.7840), Iceland (0.7835), Spain (0.7770) and million, have made a tremendous effort to provide Belgium (0.7718). Substantial effort was made by some e-government services to their people, despite the countries, which is reflected in their advancement this challenges they face. year. Notable among these are the Russian Federation Table 1.2 presents e-government development (0.7345), the United Arab Emirates (0.7344), and in countries with populations larger than 100 mil- Saudi Arabia (0.6658), all three of which joined the lion that have made a special effort to improve ser- emerging leaders group. Progress was also noted in the vice delivery to large swathes of their populations. case of Italy (0.7190) and Portugal (0.7165). It should be kept in mind that the E-Government12
  • 24. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1 more miles of fibre-optic cable than a small countryTable 1.2 E-government development to provide broadband connectivity to its largest population countries Similarly, a country with a very large population World e-gov. must provide many more online access points – E-gov. development index development ranking Population via kiosks, mobile phones, or other means – to itsCountry 2012 2010 2012 2010 (in millions) citizens than a country with a small population.China 0.5359 0.4700 78 72 1,341 Conversely, a country with a high income has moreIndia 0.3829 0.3567 125 119 1,225 resources to apply to e-government developmentUnited States 0.8687 0.8510 5 2 310 than a country with a low income.Indonesia 0.4949 0.4026 97 109 240Brazil 0.6167 0.5006 59 61 195Pakistan 0.2823 0.2755 156 146 174 Figure 1.2 India advancing inNigeria 0.2676 0.2687 162 150 158 e-government developmentBangladesh 0.2991 0.3028 150 134 149RussianFederation 0.7345 0.5136 27 59 143 EGDI 0.38Japan 0.8019 0.7152 18 17 127 0.39Mexico 0.6240 0.5150 55 56 113 OSI 0.54 0.40 ICT 0.11 India 0.16 BelizeDevelopment Index (EGDI) is constructed on a HCI 0.50comparative basis that rates each country relative to 0.62all other Member States. 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 Lack of access to both ICT and education infra- Indicesstructure in the developing countries is a major con-straint on e-government development. Income percapita imposes another limiting factor, with lower For example, India has about 4000 times theincome countries having a higher marginal cost for a population and about 130 times the area of Belize.dollar spent on ICT. With the economic downturn, on- Moreover, it has only about one quarter of the Grossline services are at a disadvantage in the competition for National Income of Belize. As such, the effort re-resources with safe water, rural health and basic educa- quired by India to provide e-government services istion services. This becomes especially acute if the coun- far greater than that of Belize.try has a large population and/or a large land area sincee-inclusion demands that online service access andinfrastructure be available to all. Large areas require Figure 1.3 Impressive gains by Chinagreater investments in providing telecommunicationinfrastructure. Even with cellular technology on the EGDI 0.5359 0.5217move, connectivity remains a major challenge for far OSI 0.5294flung rural areas. Including a population of 200 people 0.4248living in the Sahara desert denotes a high marginal cost ICT 0.3039 China 0.3969 Viet Namfor the government. Large populations also require HCI 0.7745greater investments in schools and functional literacy. 0.7434Many developing countries continue to feel the drag 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8of a low level of educational achievement, which pulls Indicesdown the United Nations E-Government rankings. Implicit in the concept of inclusion-for-all is thatlarge, low income countries must exert far more ef- The same is the case of China, which has about 15fort to achieve a given level of e-government devel- times the population of Viet Nam, around 30 timesopment than small, high income countries. A large the area, and some 30 per cent the income per by land area, for example, must lay many Th is implies that China has a lower availability of 13
  • 25. Chapter One1 World e-government rankings United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 resources, skill levels and connectivity, at the margin, to devote to e-government development compared Figure 1.4 Regional averages to Viet Nam, and that it must put forth a greater effort in e-government development to achieve a similar level of e-government develop- ment. Despite these challenges the effort made by Africa 0.2780 China has translated into a higher EGDI, at 0.5359. Americas 0.5403 The converse is true too. Countries endowed Asia 0.4992 with a high income per capita, a small population, Europe 0.7188 and high levels of connectivity face fewer challenges. Oceania 0.4240 It is to be expected that with fewer constraints, their World average 0.4882 e-government development efforts will be more 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 developed so that e-services are available to all, and EGDI that high-income developed economies will go the extra mile to deploy ICT for transformation of soci- eties for sustainable development. as a whole remain far ahead of the rest of the world Th is brings into sharp focus two aspects of e- regions. Asia, which is home to around three-fifths government for development. Countries with a of the world citizens, has nevertheless only around high per capita income, an established ICT infra- 70 per cent of the level of e-government in Europe structure, and high levels of human capital can easily while the level of services in Africa barely squares utilize these advantages to leverage the opportunity off at 40 per cent of those in Europe. Within any afforded by ICT and support sustained socio-eco- region, countries at the lower percentile of e-devel- nomic development. However, in some cases, they opment do not fare well either. This is especially may not be doing so fully. Others with lower levels true of the lower income countries in both Asia shown by key indicators no doubt need a greater ef- and Africa. The 10 least e-ready countries in Asia fort, but also have an opportunity to leapfrog long have barely 37 per cent of the level of e-govern- gestation developmental cycles by adroit utilization ment in Europe while in Africa the figure is little of ICT for development. more than 20 per cent. What is encouraging is the worldwide trend during the last decade. Since 2003 all regions of the world have steadily improved their e-government 1.3 Regional comparisons Sustained integration, expansion and consolida- Figure 1.5 Advances in regional tion of government online offerings led to more e-government development in the than a 10 per cent increase in the world average of last decade4 e-government development compared to two years ago. The region of Europe (0.7188) shows the high- 0.8 est e-government development followed by the Europe Americas (0.5403). 0.7 Figure 1.4 highlights that despite considerable 0.6 strides towards bridging the digital divide, infra- Americas structure and human capital limitations in sev- 0.5 Asia World eral parts of the world impinge upon the ability of average Oceania governments to spread – and the citizens to par- 0.4 take of – the benefits of information technology 0.3 in the delivery of services. With a history of high Africa levels of functional education and widespread te- 0.2 2003 2004 2005 2008 2010 2012 lephony infrastructure, Europe and the Americas14
  • 26. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1development offerings with European countries vis- for government ministries and agencies. Table 1.3ibly taking off in the last two years (see figure 1.5). shows that Seychelles (0.5192) climbed severalWhile some countries have advanced considerably points to number one in the region in 2012 followedover others, Asia as a whole progressed at a leaner by Mauritius (0.5066) and South Africa (0.4869).rate till 2010 – almost in line with the advances in It is notable that all of the African leaders increasedthe world average – and then took off . With an al- their e-government development index value inmost flat curve for the period 2003-2012, e-govern- 2012 but lost in comparative performance aroundment offerings in Africa advanced minimally, with the world, except for Kenya and Morocco, whichthe region as a whole still remaining least e-ready. gained in the world rankings from 124 to 119 and The key challenge for from 126 to 120 respectively. Tunisia (0.4833) and Egypt (0.4611) declined in rank substantially as did the e-government1.3.1 E-government in Africa Cape Verde (0.4297) because their improvements development of did not keep pace with those of other countriesThe key challenge for the e-government develop- around the world. Africa remains thement of Africa remains the widespread lack of in- lack of widespreadfrastructure and functional literacy. Despite recentexpansion in mobile telephony, most countries in Table 1.3 Top ranked countries in Africa infrastructure andAfrica remain at the tail end of the digital divide. World e-gov. functional literacy. E-gov. development index development rankingThese challenges have translated into a lower than Rank Country 2012 2010 2012 2010world average e-government development for all 1 Seychelles 0.5192 0.4179 84 104sub-regions. Southern Africa (0.3934) consistently 2 Mauritius 0.5066 0.4645 93 77outpaces all other sub-regions. Though there has 3 South Africa 0.4869 0.4306 101 97been some improvement in all sub-regions, except 4 Tunisia 0.4833 0.4826 103 66for Northern Africa and Middle Africa, it has been 5 Egypt 0.4611 0.4518 107 86minimal, with the least e-ready sub-region being 6 Cape Verde 0.4297 0.4054 118 108Western Africa (0.2171). 7 Kenya 0.4212 0.3338 119 124 8 Morocco 0.4209 0.3287 120 126 9 Botswana 0.4186 0.3637 121 117Figure 1.6 Trends in e-government 10 Namibia 0.3937 0.3314 123 125development in Africa 2008-2012 Regional Average 0.2780 0.2733Eastern Africa 0.3011 2012 0.2782 2010 World Average 0.4882 0.4406 0.2879 2008Middle Africa 0.2492 0.2603 0.2530Northern Africa 0.3159 0.3692 0.3403 Map 1.1 Sub-regions of AfricaSouthern Africa 0.3934 0.3505 Western Africa Northern Africa Eastern Africa 0.3893 Benin Algeria Burundi Mozambique Burkina Faso Egypt Comoros RwandaWestern Africa 0.2171 Cape Verde Libya Djibouti Seychelles 0.2156 Côte d’Ivoire Morocco Eritrea Somalia 0.2110 Gambia Sudan Ethiopia Uganda Ghana South Sudan Kenya United Republic Guinea Tunisia Madagascar of Tanzania 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35 0.40 Guinea-Bissau Malawi Zambia EGDI Liberia Middle Africa Mauritius Zimbabwe Mali Angola Mauritania Cameroon Niger Central African Republic Nigeria Chad Southern Africa Senegal Congo Botswana Sierra Leone Democratic Republic of the Congo Lesotho Africa has seen improvement in e-government Togo Equatorial Guinea Namibia Gabon South Africawith countries in the region looking to increase São Tomé and Príncipe Swazilandtheir online presence through developing websites 15
  • 27. Chapter One1 World e-government rankings United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 1.1 Seychelles leads in Eastern Africa The Government of Seychelles took the through its SeyGo Connect for residents, initiative to enhance its e-government citizens and businesses which branches out service offerings in line with an integrated into an e-services gateway, providing a one- and interdependent strategic approach, stop-shop services ranging from thematic, which focuses on ICT infrastructure, sectoral, life cycle services to single sign-on legal and regulatory framework, human tailored for the individual user. u resource development, ICT industry and improvements in the efficiency of the gov- ernment. It aims at making “Seychelles globally competitive, with a modern ICT enabled economy and a knowledge-based Information Society where strong, efficient and sustainable improvements in social, economic, cultural, good governance and regional integration are achieved through the deployment and effective application of ICT”. 5 Seychelles hosts its integrated portal In 2012, Seychelles undertook further con- Table 1.4 E-government development solidation of infrastructure and its e-government in Eastern Africa development. Major improvements in mobile World e-gov. telecommunication and integration of thematic E-gov. development index development ranking services in education, health, and fi nance with the Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 national portal allowed it to improve its world rank- Seychelles 0.5192 0.4179 84 104 ing. Mauritius improved its offerings around 10 per Mauritius 0.5066 0.4645 93 77 cent with the national portal providing facilities for Kenya 0.4212 0.3338 119 124 services such as appointments for vehicle inspec- Zimbabwe 0.3583 0.3230 133 129 tions, scholarships and work permits. Although it United Rep. 0.3311 0.2926 139 137 of Tanzania ranked 2nd in the Eastern Africa region, its efforts Rwanda 0.3291 0.2749 140 148 could not keep pace in comparison to peers, leading Uganda 0.3185 0.2812 143 142 to a decline in its global ranking. Madagascar 0.3054 0.2890 148 139 Online services of Mozambique have gained Zambia 0.2910 0.2810 154 143 ground in attempting to consolidate all information Mozambique 0.2786 0.2288 158 161 into one complete site, though this site lacks trans- Malawi 0.2740 0.2357 159 159 actional services. Integrated services across sectors, Comoros 0.2358 0.2327 171 160 including important legislation, are available. They Ethiopia 0.2306 0.2033 172 172 include obtaining an identity card, registration of Burundi 0.2288 0.2014 173 174 motor vehicles, fi nding private employment recruit- Djibouti 0.2228 0.2059 176 170 ment agencies, and the payment of taxes, to name a Eritrea 0.2043 0.1859 180 175 few. Progress on back-office integration can be found Somalia 0.0640 0.0000 190 N/A from the linkages to the various ministries and in- stitutions of the government. Lack of infrastructure, Sub Regional Average 0.3011 0.2782 especially broadband, remains a critical factor imped- World Average 0.4882 0.4406 ing the e-government efforts in other countries of this16
  • 28. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1 Box 1.2 Tunisia national portal The national government portal provides a ‘Most Used Services’ section on the home page that pro- vides quick access for citizens to information on services such as obtaining a driver license, and acquiring personal and home loans. Information regarding government services is also laid out by sector, providing quick and efficient access to com- prehensive data. usub-region such as Mozambique and Rwanda as well, of Sao Tome and Principe, though providingdespite their progress in expanding services. mostly static information, has archived data in- The top fi ve countries in the Middle Africa sub- cluding sectoral information on health, educationregion all improved their service offerings in 2011. and the economy.However the marginal improvement did not trans- For effective e-government to materialize, plan-late into rank improvements on a world level, except ning and organization needs to accompany resourcein the case of Cameroon (0.3070). The countries availability and an adequate level of human andof Middle Africa trailed behind other countries of physical infrastructure on the ground.the world. Gabon (0.3687) was the sub-regional leaderfollowed by Sao Tome and Principe (0.3327) and Table 1.6 E-government developmentthen Angola (0.3203). Improved features such as in Northern AfricaTwitter and Facebook on the Gabon national site World e-gov. E-gov. development index development rankingindicated a move towards greater participation Country 2012 2010 2012 2010and inclusion of the citizen. The national website Tunisia 0.4833 0.4826 103 66 Egypt 0.4611 0.4518 107 86 Morocco 0.4209 0.3287 120 126Table 1.5 E-government development Algeria 0.3608 0.3181 132 131in Middle Africa Sudan 0.2610 0.2542 165 154 World e-gov. E-gov. development index development ranking South Sudan 0.2239 N/A 175 N/ACountry 2012 2010 2012 2010 Libya N/A 0.3799 N/A 114Gabon 0.3687 0.3420 129 123Sao Tome and Principe 0.3327 0.3258 138 128 Sub Regional Average 0.3159 0.3692Angola 0.3203 0.3110 142 132 World Average 0.4882 0.4406Cameroon 0.3070 0.2722 147 149Equatorial Guinea 0.2955 0.2902 151 138 Though most countries of Northern Africa in-Congo 0.2809 0.3019 157 135 creased their e-government offerings since the lastDemocratic Republic 0.2280 0.2357 174 158of the Congo Survey, they slipped in overall world rankings thisChad 0.1092 0.1235 189 182 year primarily because other countries overtookCentral African Republic N/A 0.1399 N/A 181 them in infrastructural development, especially in mobile telephone access. Tunisia (0.4833) main-Sub Regional Average 0.2492 0.2603 tained its position as the leader of e-government inWorld Average 0.4882 0.4406 the sub-region. Morocco improved its e-government 17
  • 29. Chapter One1 World e-government rankings United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 value (0.4209) reaching 120th. Algeria increased its upon the virtual presence of the Government in e-government development value by 13 per cent and Libya (formerly the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), which maintained its global rank. Egypt did not improve went offl ine at the time of the survey assessment. South Africa (0.4869) was the sub-regional leader, followed by Botswana (0.4186) and Table 1.7 E-government development Namibia (0.3937). South Africa developed a solid in Southern Africa presence covering many of the basic services and World e-gov. features while simultaneously developing transac- E-gov. development index development ranking tional facilities and venturing into the networked Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 presence stage. Though providing slightly higher South Africa 0.4869 0.4306 101 97 online services than in 2010 and advances in mo- Botswana 0.4186 0.3637 121 117 bile telephony, all countries in Southern Africa, Namibia 0.3937 0.3314 123 125 except for Lesotho, fell behind due to continued Lesotho 0.3501 0.3512 136 121 low availability of infrastructure, especially for the Swaziland 0.3179 0.2757 144 145 use of broadband. Sub Regional Average 0.3934 0.3505 World Average 0.4882 0.4406 Table 1.8 E-government development in Western Africa much and declined to 107th. South Sudan became the World e-gov. E-gov. development index development ranking 193rd United Nations Member State and at the same Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 time came online with a world ranking of 175th. At Cape Verde 0.4297 0.4054 118 108 the same time, domestic political turmoil impacted Ghana 0.3159 0.2754 145 147 Gambia 0.2688 0.2117 161 167 Nigeria 0.2676 0.2687 162 150Figure 1.7 Limitations of infrastructure impeding Senegal 0.2673 0.2241 163 163e-government in Africa Côte d’Ivoire 0.2580 0.2805 166 144 Mobile subscribers per 100 inhabitants Liberia 0.2407 0.2133 169 166 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Togo 0.2143 0.2150 178 165 Benin 0.2064 0.2017 179 173 6.000Botswana 6.847 117.800 Mauritania 0.1996 0.2359 181 157 0.604 0.600 Guinea-Bissau 0.1945 0.1561 182 179 6.500 Mali 0.1857 0.1815 183 176Namibia 6.657 67.200 4.169 Burkina Faso 0.1578 0.1587 185 178 0.420 Sierra Leone 0.1557 0.1697 186 177 41.000Seychelles 25.480 135.900 Niger 0.1119 0.1098 188 183 6.603 7.260 Guinea N/A 0.1426 N/A 180 12.300South Africa 8.428 100.500 7.551 Sub Regional Average 0.2171 0.2156 1.480 World Average 0.4882 0.4406 3.860 Internet usersLesotho 1.787 32.200 0.124 Telephone lines 0.020 Internet subscriptions Fixed broadband Cape Verde (0.4297) was the sub-regional 8.020Swaziland 3.710 61.776 Mobile subscribers leader. Although half of all countries, includ- 1.883 0.137 ing Ghana (0.3159), Gambia (0.2688), Senegal (0.2673), and Liberia (0.2407) increased their 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Numbers per 100 inhabitants offerings in 2012 all countries of the sub-region remained below the world average. Despite the18
  • 30. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1upsurge in mobile telephony online in recentyears, services in Africa remain circumscribed Table 1.9 Top ranked countriesby lack of infrastructure. in the Americas World e-gov. E-gov. development index development ranking1.3.2 E-government in the Americas Rank Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 E-government 1 United States 0.8687 0.8510 5 2As part of their effort to advance citizen services, 2 Canada 0.8430 0.8448 11 3 strategies in thedeveloped countries are paying greater attention 3 Chile 0.6769 0.6014 39 34 Americas are geared 4 Colombia 0.6572 0.6125 43 31to the concepts of an integrated government por-tal and the re-engineering of back-office processes 5 Barbados 0.6566 0.5714 44 40 towards user-centricin designing their e-government capabilities. 6 Antigua and Barbuda 0.6345 0.5154 49 55 solutions, which serve 7 Uruguay 0.6315 0.5848 50 36E-government strategies are geared towards user-centric solutions, which serve to synergize gover- 8 Mexico 0.6240 0.5150 55 56 to synergizenance processes and systems across multiple public 9 Argentina 0.6228 0.5467 56 48 governance processes 10 Brazil 0.6167 0.5006 59 61administration domains. As noted in figure 1.8, the sub-region of and systems acrossNorthern America (0.8559), encompassing only Regional Average 0.5403 0.4790 multiple public World Average 0.4882 0.4406the United States and Canada, is the world leaderwith values far higher than the world average and administrationall other sub-regions. In 2012, all sub-regions col- The United States was found, as before, a best prac- domains.lectively improved performance in the Americas, tice example of an integrated portal that provides easy toincluding the Caribbean (0.5133) and South navigate design and collects and consolidates all infor-America (0.5507). mation and services for citizens in one place, including agency services at the state and local level, which vastly increases the effectiveness of user search and uptake.Figure 1.8 Regional e-government Barbados (0.6566) has been and remains thein the Americas sub-regional leader among the Caribbean countries in 2012 followed by Antigua and Barbuda (0.6345)Caribbean 0.5133 2012 and the Bahamas (0.5793). The national site of 0.4454 2010 Barbados offered a user friendly approach of “chan-Central America 0.4895 0.4295 nels” such as the Government Channel, Citizens &Northern America 0.8559 0.8479South America 0.5507 0.4869 Map 1.2 Sub-regions of the AmericasWorld Average 0.4882 0.4406 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 EGDI Northern America Canada United States of America The top ranked countries in the Americas re- Caribbeanmained the United States followed by Canada, Central America South America Antigua and Barbuda Belize Argentina Bahamasboth of which were also among the world leaders. Costa Rica Bolivia (Plurinational State of) Barbados El Salvador Brazil CubaAll countries of the region improved their e-gov- Guatemala Honduras Chile Colombia Dominica Dominican Republicernment in the past two years, which contributed Mexico Nicaragua Ecuador Guyana Grenada Haitito around 12 per cent improvement in the sub- re- Panama Paraguay Peru Jamaica Saint Kitts and Nevis Suriname Saint Luciagional average. The majority of the countries were Uruguay Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Venezuela Trinidad and Tobagoalso among the top 60 in world rankings. 19
  • 31. Chapter One1 World e-government rankings United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Table 1.10 E-government development Table 1.11 E-government development in the Caribbean in Central America World e-gov. World e-gov. E-gov. development index development ranking E-gov. development index development ranking Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 Barbados 0.6566 0.5714 44 40 Mexico 0.6240 0.5150 55 56 Antigua and Barbuda 0.6345 0.5154 49 55 Panama 0.5733 0.4619 66 79 Bahamas 0.5793 0.4871 65 65 El Salvador 0.5513 0.4700 74 73 Trinidad and Tobago 0.5731 0.4806 67 67 Costa Rica 0.5397 0.4749 77 71 Dominica 0.5561 0.4149 73 105 Guatemala 0.4390 0.3937 112 112 Grenada 0.5479 0.4277 75 99 Honduras 0.4341 0.4065 117 107 Saint Kitts and Nevis 0.5272 0.4691 81 75 Belize 0.3923 0.3513 124 120 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 0.5177 0.4355 85 94 Nicaragua 0.3621 0.3630 130 118 Dominican Republic 0.5130 0.4557 89 84 Saint Lucia 0.5122 0.4471 90 88 Sub Regional Average 0.4895 0.4295 Jamaica 0.4552 0.4467 108 89 World Average 0.4882 0.4406 Cuba 0.4488 0.4321 110 96 Haiti 0.1512 0.2074 187 169 infrastructure has allowed them to complement, and indeed supplement, traditional access to nar- Sub Regional Average 0.5133 0.4454 row the digital divide. World Average 0.4882 0.4406 Mexico upgraded its offerings in 2011 to in- clude a comprehensive search service, which in- Residents Channel, Businesses Channel, etc., mak- dexes federal, state and municipal web portals ing it easier for the user to fi nd relevant information. daily. With more than 400 million registries in its Moving towards transactional offerings, it allowed index, the national portal greatly expanded online for calculation of land taxes. services to citizens, including an open government Improvements in online offerings along with initiative, special offerings for vulnerable groups, investments in telecommunications and human and a facility for the anonymous reporting of is- capital allowed Antigua and Barbuda to advance sues of concern to authorities. It allows for greater to a world ranking of 49 th in 2012. Similarly, in inclusion of the citizen through social media such Dominica and in Grenada, substantial investments as Twitter and Facebook and is among the select in access infrastructure, especially broadband, con- 19 per cent of world countries providing a single tributed to an advance in world rankings. sign-on service. All countries of the Central America sub-region Though Panama improved its online services, increased their offerings in 2012. Mexico (0.6240) the main contributor to its advancement in this was the leader with e-government offerings around year’s rankings is the expansion of mobile infra- 27 per cent higher than other countries of the sub- structure, which is becoming an affordable technol- region. Closely following Mexico as number two ogy among other countries as well. Panama has one in the sub-region, Panama (0.5733) improved its of the highest penetrations of mobile subscribers in world ranking from 79 in 2010 to 66 in 2012. It is the region. As part of its Modernization Plan, to be followed by El Salvador (0.5513) and Costa Rica completed in 2014, Panama is aiming to provide free (0.5397). On the other hand, even as mobile te- access to the Internet for all citizens. lephony increased in El Salvador, broadband and The United States (0.8687) leads this sub- other access infrastructure remained low, imped- region followed closely by Canada (0.8430). Since ing its online service delivery uptake. Other coun- the United Nations Survey started tracking e-gov- tries of the sub-region that improved e-services are ernment development in 2003 both countries have also demonstrating that the expansion of mobile been among the top world leaders with integrated20
  • 32. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1 Box 1.3 Mexico’s alternative approach Mexico takes an alternative approach to being able to fi lter through other themes such e-services. Its portal, simply speaking, is a as laws at state and federal levels. Users are search engine with integrating services that also able to fi lter information that narrows respond to users’ specific search criteria. It down search results to those that are near contains information fi ltering features that the user. A translation feature allows users to allow users to fi lter content in order to nar- translate their searches into the various lan- row down searches for specific information. guages that Google offers. Another feature The portal has the ability to fi lter information is ‘The Government Recommends’ side-bar by image, videos or news, following the style that suggests useful pages to users so they can of Google’s main fi ltering features, as well as quickly gain access to information. u closest to a pure integrated portal with access to in-Table 1.12 E-government development terlinked searchable information from the Unitedin Northern America States Government, state governments, and local World e-gov. governments all in one place. Substantial back- E-gov. development index development ranking office integration has gone into the user interface,Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 which offers a simple convenient and easy-to-use fa-United States 0.8687 0.8510 5 2 cility for everything from government departmentsCanada 0.8430 0.8448 11 3 and agencies to verifying a social security number, gett ing an employer identification number, multipleSub Regional Average 0.8559 0.8479 online participation efforts and much more. 6 EarlyWorld Average 0.4882 0.4406 recognition of the use of ICT for rolling out citizenportals and increasingly inclusive citizen servicesspread across theme, functionally and now by life Table 1.13 E-government developmentcycle and events. For example, the United States in South Americae-government portal (htt p:// comes World e-gov. E-gov. development index development ranking Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 Chile 0.6769 0.6014 39 34Figure 1.9 E-government Colombia 0.6572 0.6125 43 31in Northern America Uruguay 0.6315 0.5848 50 36 1.0 Argentina 0.6228 0.5467 56 48 0.9 USA Brazil 0.6167 0.5006 59 61 Canada 0.8 Venezuela 0.5585 0.4774 71 70 0.7 Peru 0.5230 0.4923 82 63 0.6 Ecuador 0.4869 0.4322 102 95EGDI 0.5 0.4882 Paraguay 0.4802 0.4243 104 101 0.4514 0.4406 0.4130 0.4267 0.4020 Bolivia (Plurinational 0.4 State of) 0.4658 0.4280 106 98 0.3 Guyana 0.4549 0.4140 109 106 World average 0.2 Suriname 0.4344 0.3283 116 127 0.1 0 Sub Regional Average 0.5507 0.4869 2003 2004 2005 2008 2010 2012 World Average 0.4882 0.4406 21
  • 33. Chapter One1 World e-government rankings United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 1.4 Brazil: Expanding services Brazil’s national portal (htt p:// An innovative feature of the national portal is has looked to further build upon its strengths by of- ‘MeuBrasil’ (My Brazil), where users can personal- fering greater access and improvement of services ize queries by choosing their favourite themes that to citizens and increasing transparency of govern- allow updated and user-tailored content. An innova- ment actions. The layout of the national portal is tive approach is noticeable on the linked Ministry thematic with a ‘For’ section, which targets the of Health portal, (htt p:// student, worker and business person with a supple- saude/default.cfm). Here, through a live webcast, mental ‘About’ section differentiated by topics such radio users can receive the latest news and informa- as health, education, environment and citizenship. tion on health issues while a micro site offers health Government services, such as payment of income crisis information. At the time of assessment, avail- taxes, fi nes, utilities and application for social welfare able material related to dengue fever, informing on benefits, are easily accessible in an A to Z search from symptoms and methods of prevention and providing the national portal, which connects users to the vari- a map showing the risk of the disease in each state of ous ministries and government departments. the country. u centric services has contributed to the United and the region as a whole has a higher level of e- States’ top rankings in the last decade. As the figures government development than the world average. indicate, both the United States and Canada have While there has been improvement in providing consistently had e-government development levels e-services across the continent, some of the largest far above the world average from 2003 to 2012. gains are found in Western Asia. Chile (0.6769) is the sub-regional leader in The Republic of Korea (0.9283), the worldIn 2012, three of the South America, followed by Colombia (0.6572). leader in e-government, is also the top performer Whereas collectively the sub-region improved its e- in Asia with around double the average world e-world’s top 20 government development by 13 per cent, of the 12 government offerings. The 2nd slot is taken this yeare-leaders are from countries that make up this sub-region all declined by Singapore (0.8474) followed by Israel (0.8100) in the world rankings except Brazil (0.6167) and and then Japan (0.8019). The performance of theAsia, and the region Suriname (0.4344), indicating that countries withinas a whole has a the region as well as around the world are investing in – and expanding – services faster than the coun- Figure 1.10 Regional e-governmenthigher level of tries of this sub-region. in Asiae-government Central Asia 0.4941development than 1.3.3 E-government in Asia 0.4239 Eastern Asia 0.6344the world average. 0.6470 Asia is home to 60 per cent of humanity. With some Southern Asia 0.3464 0.3248 Asian countries, including China and India, averag- South-Eastern Asia 0.4793 ing around 8 to 9 per cent of the continent’s GDP, 0.4250 Asia as a whole continued to expand e-government Western Asia 0.5547 0.4732 services further. Investments were made horizon- Regional Average 0.4992 2012 tally to expand infrastructure, including support 0.4424 2010 for broadband and mobile access, while at the same World Average 0.4882 0.4406 time governments reached out to provide greater online services and improve e-governance. In 2012, 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 EGDI three of the world’s top 20 e-leaders are from Asia,22
  • 34. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1 Commensurate with global progress, all countriesTable 1.14 E-government leaders in Asia of Central Asia improved their service offerings, pull- World e-gov. ing up the sub-regional average by around 17 per cent. E-gov. development index development ranking Kazakhstan was the sub-regional leader, improving itsRank Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 global ranking by around eight positions in 2012. 1 Republic of Korea 0.9283 0.8785 1 1 Kazakhstan in recent years has made efforts to 2 Singapore 0.8474 0.7476 10 11 modernize the public sector, including technology- 3 Israel 0.8100 0.6552 16 26 based reform of administrative governance systems. 4 Japan 0.8019 0.7152 18 17 A parallel effort has been a focus on the use of ICT 5 United Arab Emirates 0.7344 0.5349 28 49 6 Bahrain 0.6946 0.7363 36 13 7 Kazakhstan 0.6844 0.5578 38 46 Table 1.15 E-government development 8 Malaysia 0.6703 0.6101 40 32 in Central Asia 9 Saudi Arabia 0.6658 0.5142 41 58 World e-gov.10 Cyprus 0.6508 0.5705 45 42 E-gov. development index development ranking Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 Regional Average 0.4992 0.4424 Kazakhstan 0.6844 0.5578 38 46 World Average 0.4882 0.4406 Uzbekistan 0.5099 0.4498 91 87 Kyrgyzstan 0.4879 0.4417 99 91 Tajikistan 0.4069 0.3477 122 122United Arab Emirates (0.7344) is especially notable Turkmenistan 0.3813 0.3226 126 130as it advanced 21 positions to the ranking this yearof 28th globally and 5th in Asia. The rapid progress Sub Regional Average 0.4941 0.4239of the United Arab Emirates is a best practice case World Average 0.4882 0.4406highlighting how effective e-government can helpsupport development. With double the populationand three quarters of the GDP per capita, the United for provision of services and inclusion. As in otherArab Emirates has achieved around the same level of developing countries the acceleration of informa-online services as those offered in Norway, a global tization is aimed at increasing the efficiency of theleader at the 8th position. government and exploiting synergies towards a sus- tainable model of development. Ranked 2nd in the e-government development indexFigure 1.11 E-government in Norway in Central Asia, Uzbekistan has taken slow but signifi-and the United Arab Emirates cant steps toward increasing its online presence with the Government Portal of the Republic of Uzbekistan Online Service Index 1.0 0.8627 0.8 0.8562 0.6 United Map 1.3 Sub-regions of Asia Arab Emirates 0.4 Norway Central Asia Eastern Asia Kazakhstan China 0.2 Kyrgyzstan Democratic People’s Tajikistan Republic of Korea Turkmenistan Japan 0.2 0.2 0 Uzbekistan Mongolia Republic of Korea 0.4 0.4 Southern Asia Afghanistan South-Eastern Asia 0.6 0.6 Bangladesh Brunei Darussalam 0.8 0.8 Western Asia Bhutan Cambodia 0 1.0 1.0 Armenia India Indonesia 57 Azerbaijan Lebanon Iran (Islamic Republic of) Lao People’s Democratic Republic 0.5 0.7 1 87 Bahrain Oman Maldives Malaysia 0.9 83 0.7 Cyprus Qatar Nepal Myanmar 1 34 Georgia Saudi Arabia Pakistan Philippines 3 Iraq Syrian Arab Republic Sri Lanka Singapore Human Telecommunications Israel Turkey Thailand Capital Index Index Jordan United Arab Emirates Timor-Leste Kuwait Yemen Viet Nam 23
  • 35. Chapter One1 World e-government rankings United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 1.5 Integrated services in Kazakhstan The official homepage provides more than participation online in almost all procure- 1300 codes, laws, decrees, and orders with ment procedures. The main driver behind all legislation integrated into the main the improvement in services is the elec- site. Each e-service has several icons stat- tronic public procurement portal featuring ing whether this service can be paid online digitization of 59 e-services of state bodies, or obtained through electronic signature. the e-license database, frequent open public There are other convenient sites such as ePay web conferences, often with the with active ( and eLicense participation of high-level government offi- ( where you can cials, and blog platforms in many ministries get specific services and payments. Another and agencies. u site, (htt p://, offers ( Though the country slipped in The Republic of Korea offers around 87 per overall rank, it improved its services by around 13 per cent of all services assessed in the United Nations cent. If several years ago the website was merely infor- E-Government Survey 2012. The country’s emer- mative and not at all interactive, government initiative gence as the world leader in information and and consequent legislative changes in 2007 and 2009 communication technologies in fields such as broad- made possible a more comprehensive e-government band, semiconductors and third generation mobile portal. Compared to its earlier versions, the national site devices – has guaranteed its fast growth and devel- has added the following notable characteristics and fea- opment in the area of e-government. Japan follows tures: effective organization of information; integrated as number two in the sub-region, at 18th in world e- archived information (laws, policies, etc.); an increased government development rankings. It is notable that number of ministries linked to the portal; technical and all countries of Eastern Asia improved their service web design features (RSS, audio, video, language, etc.) offerings and that the Democratic People’s Republic and static online downloadable forms. of Korea came online. Box 1.6 World leader in e-government development 2012: Republic of Korea The Government’s main website has devel- A key reason for continued leadership in oped into an integrated portal where citizens world e-government progress is significant can fi nd almost every service they want, on development and provision of download- both national and local level. The main able mobile applications that are available government portal is a gateway to services from its national portal. The cross sector through multiple channels, by theme and mobile apps for citizens are both iPhone and subjects; citizens can also have a custom- Android compatible including for e-Learn- ized channel by inputt ing their own age, ing, which allows students to learn on their gender and services of interest. Back-office mobile phone in areas such as social stud- integration across many departments brings ies, math and English. For employment op- together a powerful search engine offering portunities, Jobcast provides information on advanced categorizing function, which can availability of jobs in the Republic of Korea list results by websites, services, and news, along with the relevant legislation govern- including at the local level. ing labour. u24
  • 36. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1 Box 1.7 China: Enhancing transparency and openness China has been making efforts to improve the level of its Government portal by providing comprehen- sive information, more integrated services of differ- ent sectors, and interactions between government officials and citizens. One thing worth mentioning is China’s endeav- our to promote the open government initiative. In order to improve transparency, there is a separate section on the government’s main portal that enables citizens to search for and refer to archived policy doc- uments and notifications of different sectors. u Among others, China has made steady progressin overall e-government development. Th is is no Table 1.16 E-government developmentsmall feat since it is a country of 1.2 billion people and in Eastern Asiaa large land mass – both of which require more effort World e-gov. E-gov. development index development rankingfrom the government, especially if the population is Country 2012 2010 2012 2010widely dispersed, than would a country with a small Republic of Korea 0.9283 0.8785 1 1population living within a limited area. China has en- Japan 0.8019 0.7152 18 17hanced the quality of its government portal by pro- Mongolia 0.5443 0.5243 76 53viding comprehensive information, more integrated China 0.5359 0.4700 78 72services across different sectors, and greater interac- Dem. People’s 0.3616 N/A 130 N/Ations between government officials and citizens. Rep. of Korea All countries of Southern Asia fall in the lower half Sub Regional Average 0.6344 0.6470of the e-ready countries with approximately an equal World Average 0.4882 0.4406number of them above and below the regional aver-age. A low GDP per capita, a still evolving infrastruc-ture and lower levels of functional literacy translate Box 1.8 India looks to sustainable development by including all In addition to the national portal, the view?set_language=en). A variant of the Government has also developed an India National Portal, but targeted towards a Development Gateway. Th is is “the National specific group of people, this site contains portal of India developed as a single-win- specific topics aimed at the rural poor: ag- dow access to information and services, riculture, rural energy, etc., and features with the specific objective of reaching forum discussions and an “ask an expert” the ‘un-reached’ rural communities of section. Making it available in English and India, especially women and the poor. It in eight local dialects, the government’s catalyzes the use of ICT tools for knowl- main objective is to stimulate women, the edge sharing, leading to development.” poor, and people in the remote rural areas to ( use technology to their own advantage. u 25
  • 37. Chapter One1 World e-government rankings United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 1.9 Pakistan in the forefront of e-passport In Pakistan, the Ministry of Interior and the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) have introduced a chip-based e-passport that would help fur- ther secure the identity of the citizens, making Pakistan one of the first countries in the world to issue the Multi- biometric e-Passport compliant with ICAO standards. The e-Passport solution uses security features on the data page supported by sophisticated technology and business logic, which makes it one of the most modern passports of this era. NADRA has already issued the passports to millions of Pakistani citizens. u into low service provision and user uptake for the ma- jority of the populations of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Table 1.17 E-government development Pakistan and Nepal, with e-government development in Southern Asia levels ranging from 0.2664 to 0.3829. World e-gov. E-gov. development index development ranking Maldives (0.4994) leads in the sub-region fol- Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 lowed by the Islamic Republic of Iran (0.4876) Maldives 0.4994 0.4392 95 92 and then Sri Lanka (0.4357). Service provision in Iran (Islamic Republic of) 0.4876 0.4234 100 102 Maldives builds on providing easy access to informa- Sri Lanka 0.4357 0.3995 115 111 tion to citizens and businesses. Th rough an ‘I Want India 0.3829 0.3567 125 119 To’ section organized by theme and life cycle, users Bangladesh 0.2991 0.3028 150 134 can fi nd information on service procedures, includ- Bhutan 0.2942 0.2598 152 152 ing how to obtain driver licenses, obtain ID cards Pakistan 0.2823 0.2755 156 146 and register vehicles. The national site of the Islamic Nepal 0.2664 0.2568 164 153 Republic of Iran is available in two languages: Persian Afghanistan 0.1701 0.2098 184 168 and English. Transactional service offerings in the Islamic Republic of Iran are joint public-private part- Sub Regional Average 0.3464 0.3248 nerships with some available online but also though World Average 0.4882 0.4406 banks and other local and national institutions. Box 1.10 Singapore in the vanguard of countries Singapore is among the leaders in the use services that lists by agency as well as bill of private cloud computing for leverag- type. Payments range from taxes, fees, fines ing ICT infrastructure and services. In and licenses that can be made through September 2009, it became the first gov- multichannels such as credit card, direct ernment in Asia to equip all its teachers debit as well as internet banking and even with Web 2.0 communication and collabo- by phone. u ration tools under an open standard cloud platform. Singapore’s citizen’s portal pro- vides an extensive range of online payment26
  • 38. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1 Box 1.11 Israel consolidates e-services Israel has improved its e-government development and has now become the leading country in the Western Asia region. The Government portal is well organized. Citizens can access information on government services in three different ways: by target audience, topics and life events. Citizens can also use the portal’s electronic identity management feature ‘My Gov’ to filter content that interests them and to access the full range of online government services and make online payments. u With 1.2 billion people and challenges associ-ated with a large population, e-services in India are Table 1.18 E-government developmentin the formative stage. The Government of India in South-Eastern Asiahas made substantial efforts in the last few years to World e-gov. E-gov. development index development rankingovercome the challenges, including that of connec- Country 2012 2010 2012 2010tivity to its 70 per cent rural population. Looking Singapore 0.8474 0.7476 10 11towards sustainable growth the government has Malaysia 0.6703 0.6101 40 32announced that Rural Broadband Connectivity to Brunei Darussalam 0.6250 0.4796 54 68all 250,000 Panchayats (local governments) in the Viet Nam 0.5217 0.4454 83 90country will be provided in three years to bridge the Philippines 0.5130 0.4637 88 78digital divide.7 Thailand 0.5093 0.4653 92 76 Other countries in the sub-region such as Indonesia 0.4949 0.4026 97 109Pakistan are also providing more e-services. In Lao People’s Dem. Rep. 0.2935 0.2637 153 151line with the Government of Pakistan’s policy to Cambodia 0.2902 0.2878 155 140digitize e-services, the Multi-biometric e-Passport Myanmar 0.2703 0.2818 160 141project aims at improving transparency in the Timor-Leste 0.2365 0.2273 170 162public sphere. Tenth in the world ranking, Singapore Sub Regional Average 0.4793 0.4250(0.8474) is the leader in the South Eastern Asia World Average 0.4882 0.4406region and a best practice example. It is among Box 1.12 Saudi Arabia offers innovative e-services A big development in the Saudi e-services is the eDash- board portal, which verifies the identity of the citizen (Digital Verification) and serves as a single sign-on portal where citizens can access all services provided. The Saudi Government also offers an Open Data Initiative, which provides citizens with documents and reports from min- istries and government agencies, all publicly available. It encourages e-participation to gather public opinion through surveys, public consultations and blogs. u 27
  • 39. Chapter One1 World e-government rankings United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 1.13 Qatar’s Hukoomi: Working towards integration Hukoomi, Qatar’s official government gate- Qatari law and society. The portal provides way that integrates government services, direct links to sub-portals, such as on the programmes and initiatives. Among its employment and recruitment service and goals are to improve efficiency, responsive- e-tendering; and links to application forms ness to users and accessible to all. Accessible from a wide range of government ministries, through the Internet as well as a mobile de- agencies and public services. 8 u vice, Hukoomi integrates back-office pro- cesses to allow easy access to over 100 topics and articles with detailed information about the vanguard countries employing advanced an enabling ICT environment through legislation, technology for innovative future solutions, orga- policies, guidelines and standards, such as the e- nizing information in a seamless structured and commerce policy, security policy, and data protec- user-targeted manner. Malaysia (0.6703) contin- tion policy. It addresses ICT ‘readiness’ by offering ues to be the 2 nd leading country in the South- e-services through a unified system of government Eastern Asia region in 2012, not least because of networks; provides a centralized, secure, govern- its impressive service provision through an A-Z ment data centre and a payment platform; and seeks topics section as well as a life cycle feature target- ing the user as a child, teenager, adult or elderly person. An impressive national health portal, Table 1.19 E-government development MyHealth, uses ICT to inform citizens on health in Western Asia issues in Malaysia. World e-gov. E-gov. development index development ranking Like other leading countries, the key to the ad- Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 vancement of Israel, the leader in Western Asia, is its Israel 0.8100 0.6552 16 26 integrated approach to e-government development. United Arab Emirates 0.7344 0.5349 28 49 Israel has added 10 points to its ranking, advancing Bahrain 0.6946 0.7363 36 13 from 26th position in 2010 to 16th in 2012. Saudi Arabia 0.6658 0.5142 41 58 Close behind are Saudi Arabia (0.6658) and Cyprus 0.6508 0.5705 45 42 Qatar (0.6405), both of which have undertaken to Qatar 0.6405 0.4928 48 62 expand citizen centric services as reflected in their Kuwait 0.5960 0.5290 63 50 notable performance, which raised their global Oman 0.5944 0.4576 64 82 rankings to 41st and 48th respectively. The principle Georgia 0.5563 0.4248 72 100 goals of the Saudi Arabian e-government offerings Turkey 0.5281 0.4780 80 69 are to raise the productivity and efficiency of the Lebanon 0.5139 0.4388 87 93 public sector, increase the return on investment in Armenia 0.4997 0.4025 94 110 ICT and provide easy-to-use, timely accurate ser- Azerbaijan 0.4984 0.4571 96 83 vices. A separate e-payment portal has been devel- Jordan 0.4884 0.5278 98 51 oped through which citizens are able to handle all Syrian Arab Republic 0.3705 0.3103 128 133 online transactions. Iraq 0.3409 0.2996 137 136 In accordance with the strategy of the Supreme Yemen 0.2472 0.2154 167 164 Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR), Qatar developed a stra- Sub Regional Average 0.5547 0.4732 tegic plan for the implementation of an integrated World Average 0.4882 0.4406 government programme. The plan aims to provide28
  • 40. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1to improve ‘usage’ by increasing the number of e-services such as businesses’ registration, visa ser- Table 1.20 Top 10 in Europevices and resident permits. Hukoomi, the national World e-gov. E-gov. development index development rankingportal of Qatar, integrates back-office processes to Rank Country 2012 2010 2012 2010allow easy access to over 100 topics and articles 1 Netherlands 0.9125 0.8097 2 5with detailed information about Qatari law and 2 United Kingdom 0.8960 0.8147 3 4society. Online services available include, among 3 Denmark 0.8889 0.7872 4 7others, payment for utilities, renewal of health 4 France 0.8635 0.7510 6 10cards, sett lement of traffic violations, visa applica- 5 Sweden 0.8599 0.7474 7 12tions, and licenses. 6 Norway 0.8593 0.8020 8 6 7 Finland 0.8505 0.6967 9 19 Moving from 8 Liechtenstein 0.8264 0.6694 14 231.3.4 E-government in Europe 9 Switzerland 0.8134 0.7136 15 18 improving publicEurope as a region has been in the vanguard of in- 10 Germany 0.8079 0.7309 17 15 sector efficiency,formation technology and sett ing the pace for othersto follow. Building on the existing strength of high Regional Average 0.7188 0.6227 Europe looks to takelevels of human capital and infrastructure, the trans- World Average 0.4882 0.4406 this role further informative role of ICT has been recognized and ad-opted to further streamline e-government services. With a common e-government framework, adapting innovativeMoving beyond improving public sector efficiency, EU countries are encouraged to deploy advanced technologies toEurope is now looking to adapt innovative technolo- technologies, institute better governance and pro-gies to human development and economic sustain- vide expanded services with concomitant pursuit human developmentability in the future. of greater transparency, efficiency and inclusion. and economic Notwithstanding, differences remain between re- gions and within them. Key European countries sustainability inFigure 1.12 Regional e-government spend more than double the EU average amount the Europe per capita on ICT; others, around half of it. The Netherlands (0.9125) made substantialEastern Europe 0.6333 gains, advancing to the top position in Europe 0.5449 and 2nd in world rankings, followed by the UnitedNorthern Europe 0.8046 0.7113 Kingdom (0.8960) in 3rd place and DenmarkSouthern Europe 0.6574 (0.8889), which also advanced and occupies the 0.5566Western Europe 0.8142 0.7165Regional Average 0.7188 Map 1.4 Sub-regions of Europe 0.6227World Average 0.4882 2012 0.4406 2010 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 EGDI Northern Europe Denmark Eastern Europe The European region has the highest level of Western Europe Southern Europe Estonia Belarus Austria Albania Finland Bulgariae-government development, which is around 50 Belgium Andorra Portugal Iceland Czech Republic France Bosnia and San Marino Ireland Hungaryper cent higher than that of the world as a whole. Germany Herzegovina Serbia Latvia Poland Liechtenstein Croatia Slovenia Lithuania Republic of MoldovaWestern and Northern Europe offer the most on- Luxembourg Monaco Greece Italy Spain The former Yugoslav Norway Sweden Romania Russian Federationline services but considerable gains were made by Netherlands Switzerland Malta Montenegro Republic of Macedonia United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Slovakia UkraineSouthern and Eastern Europe as well in 2012. 29
  • 41. Chapter One1 World e-government rankings United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 1.14 EU leads the way to innovative application of ICT to sustainable development Europe 2020, EU’s growth strategy for the digital market based on fast or ultra-fast coming decade, involves an innovative use internet and interoperable applications. of technology to challenges of economic Targets include: growth, employment, education, social in- • By 2013: broadband access for all by clusion and climate/energy. Expanding the 2020: access for all to much higher reach, EU countries are looking towards Internet speeds (30 Mbps or above) ICT as the key enabling technology to un- • By 2020: 50 per cent more European derpin future development in the region. households with Internet connections The EU Member States have ear- above 100 Mbps. marked a total of € 9.1 billion for fund- The strategy for the near future aims at ing ICT over the duration of the Seventh development of common platforms and ref- Framework Programme.9 One of the erence architectures, interoperability and three Flagship Initiatives to achieve Smart data exchange standards in order to build a Growth in Europe 2020 is the Digital agenda competitive advantage in technology solu- for Europe, a blueprint for creating a single tions, which will yield high value added. u 4th position this year. Within the aforementioned market, targeting small and medium enterprises and common e-government framework, all of the top increasing the number of ICT experts. countries of Europe offered more or less the same E-services were increasingly the norm in other level of user centric services to their citizens result- countries as well. In 2010, Moldova, another ing in marginal assessment difference among them. country that improved its ranking, in collabora- For example, Germany (0.8079), the 10 th leading tion with the World Bank, started implementa- country in Europe as a whole, achieved about 89 tion of a Strategic Programme for Technological per cent of the e-government development level of Modernization of the Government, aimed at ICT-led the regional leader, the Netherlands. Advancing 32 positions in the world rankings, the Russian Federation (0.7345) became the leader Table 1.21 E-government development in Eastern Europe followed by Hungary (0.7201) in Eastern Europe and the Czech Republic (0.6491). World e-gov. E-gov. development index development ranking As in other parts of Europe, all countries of the Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 sub-region improved their e-government develop- Russian Federation 0.7345 0.5136 27 59 ment in 2012, advancing the sub-regional average Hungary 0.7201 0.6315 31 27 by 16 per cent even though they could not maintain Czech Republic 0.6491 0.6060 46 33 their rankings, except for Belarus and the Russian Poland 0.6441 0.5582 47 45 Federation. Being the largest country in the world Slovakia 0.6292 0.5639 53 43 and consisting of eight federal districts influences Bulgaria 0.6132 0.5590 60 44 the development of e-government in the Russian Belarus 0.6090 0.4900 61 64 Federation. The Government recently announced Romania 0.6060 0.5479 62 47 investments of around 80 billion rubles for the in- Ukraine 0.5653 0.5181 68 54 formatization of federal government bodies and Republic of Moldova 0.5626 0.4611 69 80 other initiatives related to the development of e- government. In Hungary, the focus of programmes Sub Regional Average 0.6333 0.5449 to develop the information society encompassed World Average 0.4882 0.4406 support for improving ICT skills in the labour30
  • 42. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1 Box 1.15 Denmark: Providing multiple choices Denmark’s services portal is the gateway for student loans and student grants schol- to the entire public sector in Denmark and arships, see and modify tax issues, apply provides access to an enormous amount of for a state pension, and report changes information and services. It paves the way in income or marital status. Feedback is for an efficient user interface with effective offered through a mailbox called E-Box, streamlining of public sector departments. which collects all the mail that the citizen The slogan of the page is “your access to the receives from both public authorities and public”. It is, for example, possible to report private companies. u an address change on this website, applyinstitutional reform to increase access to informa- improvement of user interface is evident in the inte-tion and promote digital services (e-services), and grated services on the United Kingdom’s DirectGovto improve public administration. By improving the (htt p://, which provides a one-governance frameworks the programme is expected stop-shop for all government information and ser- vices. Its comprehensive ‘Do It Online’ page lists all public services, forms, tools and transactions thatTable 1.22 E-government development the government provides in a user-friendly Northern Europe The Jobcentre Plus page located on the portal allows World e-gov. citizens to search one of the United Kingdom’s larg- E-gov. development index development ranking est online databases of job vacancies.Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 With a focus on service delivery, government na-United Kingdom 0.8960 0.8147 3 4 tional portals are organized according to domains inDenmark 0.8889 0.7872 4 7 most of the EU countries. Denmark’s overall strategySweden 0.8599 0.7474 7 12 appears to go well beyond simply providing a singleNorway 0.8593 0.8020 8 6 portal. Rather, it seems to be focusing on multipleFinland 0.8505 0.6967 9 19 entry points to government based on various interestEstonia 0.7987 0.6965 20 20 groups and constituencies. Early adoption of onlineIceland 0.7835 0.6697 22 22 transactional services has resulted in substantial costLithuania 0.7333 0.6295 29 28 efficiencies. In Denmark, for example, electronic in-Ireland 0.7149 0.6866 34 21 voicing saves taxpayers €150 million and businessesLatvia 0.6604 0.5826 42 37 €50 million a year. According to one estimate, simi- lar efforts all across the EU would result in annualSub Regional Average 0.8046 0.7113 savings of around €50 billion.10World Average 0.4882 0.4406 In Northern Europe, the progress of Finland was especially noteworthy as it gained 10 positionsto result in simplification and consolidation of ad- to rank 9 th in the world. The National Knowledgeministrative procedures leading to transparency Society Strategy 2007-2015 in Finland focuses onand effectiveness. the provision of multichannel, interactive e-services Six out of ten countries of Northern Europe together with interoperability of information sys-were among the world leaders. Number three in tems in the public administration. The suomi.fithe world, United Kingdom (0.8960) was the (htt p:// portal pro-leader in Northern Europe followed by Denmark vides a single access point to online public services(0.8889 – 4 th) and Sweden (0.8599 – 7th).The offered from both state and local authorities, orga-focus on integration of back-office departments for nized around daily life events. 31
  • 43. Chapter One1 World e-government rankings United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Some other Northern European countries also fortified their e-services, providing greater access Table 1.23 E-government development and inclusion to citizens. Though they did not main- in Southern Europe tain their global ranking, other countries such as World e-gov. E-gov. development index development ranking Lithuania (0.7333 – 29th), Ireland (0.7149 – 34th), and Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 Latvia (0.6604 – 42nd) also improved e-government Spain 0.7770 0.7516 23 9 applications, networking, and other web services. The Slovenia 0.7492 0.6243 25 29 e-government gateway of Lithuania (http://www.ep- Croatia 0.7328 0.5858 30 35 has been developed under the auspices of Italy 0.7190 0.5800 32 38 the Information Society Development Committee Portugal 0.7165 0.5787 33 39 for the purpose of providing seamless public admin- Malta 0.7131 0.6129 35 30 istration services and information to residents and Greece 0.6872 0.5708 37 41 business. Covering content in both the Lithuanian Serbia 0.6312 0.4585 51 81 and English languages, the gateway provides 211 San Marino 0.6305 N/A 52 N/A fi rst-level public services, 167 second-level services, Montenegro 0.6218 0.5101 57 60 33 third-level services and 12 fourth-level services.11 Andorra 0.6172 0.5148 58 57 The one-stop-shop portal of Ireland approaches The former Yugoslav 0.5587 0.5261 70 52 the delivery of e-services in such a way that enables Rep. of Macedonia Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.5328 0.4698 79 74 users to tailor those services to their needs at a place Albania 0.5161 0.4519 86 85 and time that suits them, together with an overview of the extent of public services online. Latvia’s one- Sub Regional Average 0.6574 0.5566 stop-shop portal ( offers 29 e- World Average 0.4882 0.4406 services and online banking (e-payments). Points of Single Contact allow service providers to obtain in- formation through a single entry point and complete Among other countries that increased their required administrative procedures electronically in world rankings are Italy, Portugal, Greece and Serbia. order to commence provision of services in a chosen Particularly notable is Serbia’s performance, which business sector in Latvia. An advanced users authori- advanced 30 positions to arrive at 51st in the world zation system through bank or ID cards ensures users rankings. In Serbia, the Digital Agenda Authority is privacy and security. The online banking system al- lows users to employ the system more efficiently and securely (e.g., for income tax declaration). Table 1.24 E-government development Even though its global ranking dropped, Spain in Western Europe (0.7770) remained the leader in Southern Europe, World e-gov. E-gov. development index development ranking followed by Slovenia at 25th and Croatia at 30 th in Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 world rankings. The national site of Spain is avail- Netherlands 0.9125 0.8097 2 5 able for the user in five languages with information France 0.8635 0.7510 6 10 services and easy-to-navigate features. In Slovenia Liechtenstein 0.8264 0.6694 14 23 the public sector reforms have included digitization Switzerland 0.8134 0.7136 15 18 of governance processes and services for improved Germany 0.8079 0.7309 17 15 functioning. The State portal of the Government of Luxembourg 0.8014 0.6672 19 25 Slovenia (htt p:// organizes infor- Austria 0.7840 0.6679 21 24 mation to citizens by links to 18 life event categories Belgium 0.7718 0.7225 24 16 such as work and employment, health and social Monaco 0.7468 N/A 26 N/A aff airs, personal fi nance and taxes, environment, education and youth, and social welfare so that in- Sub Regional Average 0.8142 0.7165 formation on government services can be easily and World Average 0.4882 0.4406 quickly accessible.32
  • 44. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1responsible for introducing online services to improve Luxembourg’s services portal (http://www.economic efficiency and citizens’ quality of life, and is helping tofor implementing e-government in accordance with simplify the citizens’ interaction with government bya “one-stop-shop” principle. Among other initiatives, providing a quick and easy access to all information andthe Authority created Serbia’s e-services portal, eU- services by public bodies to citizens and businesses andprava (, which aggregates it allows users to use the electronic signature and information from more than 27 govern-mental authorities, including municipal authorities. Of the countries of the region which are global Table 1.25 E-government developmentleaders, several offered examples of best practice. in OceaniaIn the Netherlands, efficiency and citizen inclu- World e-gov. E-gov. development index development rankingsion are the objectives of the e-government strategy. Country 2012 2010 2012 2010Integration of a back-office management system has Australia 0.8390 0.7863 12 8been undertaken with a belief that citizens should pro- New Zealand 0.8381 0.7311 13 14vide information once. The government is building an Fiji 0.4672 0.3925 105 113e-government infrastructure encompassing citizen Tonga 0.4405 0.3697 111 116access to government processes including electronic Palau 0.4359 0.4189 113 103authentication, uniform identification numbers for Samoa 0.4358 0.3742 114 115both citizens and businesses and electronic personal Micronesia (Federated 0.3812 N/A 127 N/Aidentification. As part of its broader ICT strategy the States of) Tuvalu 0.3539 N/A 134 N/Afocus of e-government in the Netherlands was on Vanuatu 0.3512 0.2521 135 155improving efficiency of services concomitant with Nauru 0.3242 N/A 141 N/Areduction of administrative cost and burden. Marshall Islands 0.3129 N/A 146 N/A Based on extensive technological infrastructure, Kiribati 0.2998 N/A 149 N/Athe recently concluded National Implementation Solomon Islands 0.2416 0.2445 168 156Programme (NUP) for Better Services and e-Gov- Papua New Guinea 0.2147 0.2043 177 171ernment laid out agreements among the nationalgovernment, provinces, and municipalities to im- Sub Regional Average 0.4240 0.4193prove service delivery. Its high levels of broadband World Average 0.4882 0.4406connectivity ensured further enhancements in e-services undertaken during the last few years. 1.3.5 E-government in OceaniaFigure 1.13 Regional e-governmentdevelopment: Oceania and the world Two of the world leaders – Australia and New Zealand – outpace others in the region. With many2012 0.4240 countries in the range of 113–177 in global rankings, 0.4882 the region as a whole scored around 13 per cent less2010 0.4193 0.4406 than the world average.2008 0.4338 0.45142005 0.2888 0.4267 Map 1.5 Region of Oceania2004 0.3006 Oceania Australia and 0.4130 World New Zealand Melanesia Micronesia Polynesia average Australia Fiji Kiribati Samoa2003 0.3510 New Zealand Papua New Guinea Marshall Islands Tonga 0.4020 Solomon Islands Micronesia Tuvalu Vanuatu (Federated States of) 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 Nauru EGDI Palau 33
  • 45. Chapter One1 World e-government rankings United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Australia continues to be the leader in the Oceania region. The national portal (http://aus- Table 1.26 E-government development acts as a one-stop-shop that connects in least developed countries citizens to the information and services of around World e-gov. E-gov. development index development ranking 900 government websites and state and territory Country 2012 2010 2012 2010 resources. Information can be quickly and easily Samoa 0.4358 0.3742 114 115 accessed through the ‘People’ and ‘Topics’ sec- Tuvalu 0.3539 N/A 134 N/A tions, which categorically filter specific content Vanuatu 0.3512 0.2521 135 155 while the ‘Services’ section allows citizens to per- Lesotho 0.3501 0.3512 136 121Though there is form many functions such as making payments Sao Tome and Principe 0.3327 0.3258 138 128 for taxes, driver license renewals, vehicle and busi- United Rep.considerable ness registrations, lodging online forms and mak- of Tanzania 0.3311 0.2926 139 137 Rwanda 0.3291 0.2749 140 148progress in the ing online inquiries. The integrated portal of the Angola 0.3203 0.3110 142 132 Government of New Zealand provides a one-stop- Uganda 0.3185 0.2812 143 142expansion of online shop portal for information, images and resources Madagascar 0.3054 0.2890 148 139services, one of the from all New Zealand government agencies and Kiribati 0.2998 N/A 149 N/A Bangladesh 0.2991 0.3028 150 134 government funded sites.primary challenges Equatorial Guinea 0.2955 0.2902 151 138 Bhutan 0.2942 0.2598 152 152that remains in Lao People’s Dem. Rep. 0.2935 0.2637 153 151LDC’s is integration 1.4 Least developed countries Zambia 0.2910 0.2810 154 143 Cambodia 0.2902 0.2878 155 140of back-end Mozambique 0.2786 0.2288 158 161 The least developed countries (LDCs) group was Malawi 0.2740 0.2357 159 159processes with led by Samoa (0.4358) at 114 th place, followed by Myanmar 0.2703 0.2818 160 141efficient, user Tuvalu (0.3539) which, at 134th, made considerable Gambia 0.2688 0.2117 161 167 progress since 2010.12 Notable advances were also Senegal 0.2673 0.2241 163 163friendly, and target- made by Vanuatu (0.3512) and Rwanda (0.3291), Nepal 0.2664 0.2568 164 153oriented services which moved up to 135th and 140 th , respectively. Sudan 0.2610 0.2542 165 154 Yemen 0.2472 0.2154 167 164 Overall, the LDCs remain hampered by a lack ofdelivery. infrastructure, both physical and human. Despite Solomon Islands 0.2416 0.2445 168 156 Liberia 0.2407 0.2133 169 166 advances in mobile communication lack of func- Timor-Leste 0.2365 0.2273 170 162 tional skills limit user uptake. Comoros 0.2358 0.2327 171 160 Though there is considerable progress in the Ethiopia 0.2306 0.2033 172 172 expansion of online services, one of the primary Burundi 0.2288 0.2014 173 174 Democratic Republic of challenges that remains is integration of back-end the Congo 0.2280 0.2357 174 158 processes with efficient, user friendly, and target- Djibouti 0.2228 0.2059 176 170 oriented services delivery. Countries around the Togo 0.2143 0.2150 178 165 Benin 0.2064 0.2017 179 173 world are increasingly adopting integrated, multi- Eritrea 0.2043 0.1859 180 175 channel and user-centric services online. Though Mauritania 0.1996 0.2359 181 157 efforts towards deploying ICT for sustainable de- Guinea Bissau 0.1945 0.1561 182 179 velopment are evident, the extent, design and ap- Mali 0.1857 0.1815 183 176 proach to user interface vary depending on several Afghanistan 0.1701 0.2098 184 168 factors, including leadership and vision, planning Burkina Faso 0.1578 0.1587 185 178 and organization, level of income and absorptive Sierra Leone 0.1557 0.1697 186 177 capacity in the country. Haiti 0.1512 0.2074 187 169 Niger 0.1119 0.1098 188 183 Chad 0.1092 0.1235 189 182 Somalia 0.0640 N/A 190 N/A34
  • 46. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 11.5 Post-confl ict countries Table 1.27 E-government development in post-conflict countriesPost-confl ict situations are associated with weak World e-gov. E-gov. development index development rankingand fragile states where legitimacy and governance Country 2012 2010 2012 2010are ineffective and services non-existent. As a spe- Croatia 0.7328 0.5858 30 35cial case, in table 1.27 the 2012 Survey presents e- Georgia 0.5563 0.4248 72 100government development in a few select countries El Salvador 0.5513 0.4700 74 73that have witnessed confl ict in the past decades. For Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.5328 0.4698 79 74the defi nition of post-confl ict countries, please refer Lebanon 0.5139 0.4388 87 93to the United Nations Development Programme’s Azerbaijan 0.4984 0.4571 96 83Crisis Prevention and Recovery Report 2008, avail- Indonesia 0.4949 0.4026 97 109able online.13 Guatemala 0.4390 0.3937 112 112 Sri Lanka 0.4357 0.3995 115 111 Tajikistan 0.4069 0.3477 122 122 Namibia 0.3937 0.3314 123 1251.6 Conclusion Nicaragua 0.3621 0.3630 130 118 Rwanda 0.3291 0.2749 140 148In conclusion, the 2012 Survey finds that Member Angola 0.3203 0.3110 142 132States have begun to move from a decentralized Uganda 0.3185 0.2812 143 142single-purpose organization model of e-govern- Cambodia 0.2902 0.2878 155 140ment to an integrated unified whole-of-govern- Congo 0.2809 0.3019 157 135ment model for the people. This approach supports Mozambique 0.2786 0.2288 158 161the strengthening of institutional linkages with in- Nepal 0.2664 0.2568 164 153terconnected departments and divisions; greater Côte d’Ivoire 0.2580 0.2805 166 144efficiency and effectiveness of governance sys- Solomon Islands 0.2416 0.2445 168 156tems; and better public service delivery. However, Liberia 0.2407 0.2133 169 166the efforts of countries at all levels of development Timor-Leste 0.2365 0.2273 170 162are still affected by a lack of integration of admin- Ethiopia 0.2306 0.2033 172 172istrative simplification with e-government devel- Burundi 0.2288 0.2014 173 174opment plans, lack of infrastructure and human Democratic Republic 0.2280 0.2357 174 158resource capacity and a gap between e-services of the Congo Papua New Guinea 0.2147 0.2043 177 171supply and demand. Low-income countries, in Eritrea 0.2043 0.1859 180 175particular, continue to contend with traditional Guinea-Bissau 0.1945 0.1561 182 179barriers to ICT investment such as lack of techni- Afghanistan 0.1701 0.2098 184 168cal skills, high costs of technology, and ineffective Sierra Leone 0.1557 0.1697 186 177government regulation. – Haiti 0.1512 0.2074 187 169 Chad 0.1092 0.1235 189 182 35
  • 47. Chapter TwoUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Progress in online service delivery 2 Chapter 2 Progress in online service UN Photo/Albert Gonzales Farran deliveryChapter 2 Information and communication technologies supportProgress in online service delivery development. When that development is effective, efficient2.1 Online service rankings 38 and enduring it is called sustainable. E-government impacts2.2 Trends in e-service provision 39 directly on sustainable development through the use of ICT in 2.2.1 Review of online services 39 public sector social and economic development programmes. 2.2.2 Citizen inclusion and e-participation 43 In this context, the emerging imperative today is to rethink 2.2.3 Online environmental information services 48 e-government development in order to understand how the2.3 Conclusion 53 opportunities offered by new technologies promote development for the people and with their integral participation. There is a need to assess how and to what extent governments of the world are employing e-government, which furthers greater efficacy and effectiveness for sustainability in this specific and people- focused sense. The 2012 Survey assesses four different types of indicators encompassing: information such as documents on laws, policies etc., across sectors of education, health, fi nance, social welfare and labour; public services such as taxes, fi nes, licenses; e-participation information and services; and technical features (audio, video, RSS, etc.), which provide a conduit for these kinds of information and services to flow from the government to the citizen. 37
  • 48. Chapter Two2 Progress in online service delivery United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 2.1 Bahrain, a leader in Western Asia Bahrain’s e-government strategy is based mobile portal, national contact centre (a upon “delivering customer value through 24-7 call centre) and e-services centres and collaborative government.” The government kiosks. Bahrain has introduced the “Listen” sees citizens as customers who have differ- feature, which enables people with visual ent needs and demand different services and disabilities to hear any text available on the at the same time demand value for money. website with the click of a button. Another Thus the aim of e-government is to provide very innovative feature is the e-government all services, integrated, to all citizens and toolbar, which can be downloaded perma- upon their choice of channel. The Kingdom nently to your browser. Th is allows direct provides delivery of services through the access to e-services and RSS feeds without following channels: e-government portal, having to go to the main portal. u Within the framework of sustainable develop- at the same level as some high-income economies, ment, the 2012 Survey has attempted to take into such as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, account Member States’ efforts with regard to the which are at the level of Australia and Japan, and rising importance of a whole-of-government ap- Colombia, which is at the level of Sweden. proach and integrated online service delivery, as Th is is highlighted by the example of Saudi well as the effectiveness of multichannel services Arabia and Bahrain – two countries that devoted and how these approaches will help advance eco- especial attention to expanding and consolidatingTable 2.1 Top 20 nomic efficiency and effectiveness in government online services in the last few years and now offercountries in online service delivery with people’s participation. At the online services close to those of global leaders suchservice delivery same time, the 2012 Survey has paid attention to as Norway and Denmark. Online an assessment of the increasing emphasis on ser-Country service index vice usage and citizen satisfaction, including on-Republic of Korea 1.0000 line services that are effectively responding to the Figure 2.1 Progress in onlineSingapore 1.0000 demands of the people, and particularly those of service provision 2003-2012United States 1.0000 vulnerable groups, to ascertain whether e-infra- in selected countriesUnited Kingdom 0.9739 structure is playing the prescribed role in bridgingNetherlands 0.9608 1.0 the digital divide. BahrainCanada 0.8889 0.9 Saudi ArabiaFinland 0.8824 0.8 RussianFrance 0.8758 0.7 FederationAustralia 0.8627 0.6 2.1 Online service rankingsBahrain 0.8627 0.5Japan 0.8627 0.4 Barbados Th ree countries – the Republic of Korea, SingaporeUnited Arab Emirates 0.8627 0.3 and the United States – are tied as world leaders inDenmark 0.8562 0.2 online services this year. Devoid of the level of in-Norway 0.8562 0.1 frastructure and human capital in the country, theIsrael 0.8497 0 online service index is a measure of ‘how much’ the 2003 2004 2005 2008 2010 2012Colombia 0.8431 governments are putt ing online. Of all the onlineSweden 0.8431 services assessed of the United Nations MemberEstonia 0.8235 States, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and the Recognizing the potential of e-government forSaudi Arabia 0.7974 United States provide the most. Among the top 20 development is key to the provision of online services.Malaysia 0.7908 in 2012 are several developing countries, which are Notwithstanding issues of the marginal utility of ICT38
  • 49. Chapter TwoUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Progress in online service delivery 2 Box 2.2 Russian Federation: Investments for service delivery improvements In 2006 the Government of the Russian rich technical features. The portal of public Federation adopted a new version of the services is one of the key elements of the Federal Target Programme eRussia (2002- project to create “electronic government” 2010) to improve efficiency of government in the country. The portal provides a single operations and enhance citizen services. point of access to all references on state and Standards were crafted and put in place, municipal services through the Internet and departments were interlinked and informa- provides citizens and organizations the op- tion management systems were integrated. portunity to receive these services electron- The national government portal of the ically. Monthly visits by users of the public Russian Federation (http://government. services portal range between 200,000 and ru) has been modified and redesigned and 700,000. For example, citizens are now able now looks very solid and representative, to get or exchange a driver license through with links to all ministries/agencies and this portal. uinvestment, cognizance of the fact that new technolo-gies along with access to services can support efficiency 2.2 Trends inand efficacy of development solutions is necessary for a e-service provisionmeaningful expansion of citizen services. Take the case of Latvia and Belarus: at around An increasing focus on improving efficiency and ef-the same levels of GDP per capita, telecommuni- ficacy has led to an increasing trend towards innova-cation infrastructure and human capital, Latvia tive and transformational use of ICT in online serviceprovides around 51 per cent of online services delivery. The section below provides an assessment of Member States haveassessed, compared to 36 per cent in the case of the type – and extent – of service offerings.Belarus, pulling up its EGDI ranking to 42 com- steadily madepared to 61 for Belarus. progress in 2.2.1 Review of online services establishing anFigure 2.2 E-services in Latvia The review of online government service provision online presence.and Belarus during the last decade indicates two notable trends. First, United Nations Member States have steadily In 2003, when the Online Service Index 1.0 made progress in establishing an online presence. United Nations 0.8 In 2003, when the United Nations started tracking, 18 countries were not online. Since then many have started tracking, 0.6 0.5882 0.4118 Latvia begun online offerings, including Chad, Dominica 18 countries 0.4 Belarus and Eritrea. In 2012, only three countries (Central 0.2 African Republic, Guinea and Libya) did not have a were not online. web presence. These countries are excluded from the In 2012, only three 0.2 0.2 0 0.4 0.4 2012 Survey. Second, it was noticeable that whereas countries did not 0.6 0.6 the collective world progress improved over the 0.8 0.8 0.55034 have a web presence. 2 1.0 1.0 05 years, a few countries were sporadic in their offer- 0. 0.89114 ings by being online in one year and offl ine the next. 0. 87 2 Human Telecommunications Zambia, which had a presence in 2003, went offl ine Capital Index Index in 2004-05 and again had no web presence in 2008. Similarly, Turkmenistan, which was online until 39
  • 50. Chapter Two2 Progress in online service delivery United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 current and updated within the last three months. Figure 2.3 United Nations Member Two thirds offered a site map or index to guide the States’ online presence, 2003 – 2012 user through the services. However, advanced fea- tures had an inverse relation to the number of coun- 20 tries represented. 18 18 Number of countries with no online presence 16 14 13 12 Figure 2.4 Online features availability 12 10 Help/FAQ feature 96 8 6 Access in more than 105 one language 4 Availability of 124 2 3 3 3 map/index 0 Site updated within 170 2003 2004 2005 2008 2010 2012 past three months Find website using 181 search tools 2004, discontinued its offerings in 2005 but came 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 Number of countries back online again in 2008. Guinea, which had been online since 2003, was not available to its citizens at the time of the 2012 Survey. The fact that only 96 countries provided an ad- Consistency of online service can be a key fac- vanced search feature on the website, fewer (79) had tor in building trust in the institutions of the govern- a privacy statement and only 39 countries offered a ment. It is important to recognize that an important secure website is indicative of the large number of precursor for an effective utilization of ICT for sus- countries that still have a long way to go in terms of tainable development is the maintenance of services exploiting the full potential of e-government. even at a basic level. Notwithstanding domestic conf lict and/or natural disasters, which may affect the ability of a Table 2.2 Advanced features available country to provide online services to its citizens, on websites intermittent provision of service does not build Advanced Privacy Tag cloud or Secure trust in government. It may be that during times of search options statement ‘hot topics’ website Number of countries 96 79 56 39 natural disaster and/or confl ict the citizen could be Percentage of countries 50% 41% 29% 20% more in need of vital information, especially in far flung cut off areas, and such information can be pro- vided to the outermost reaches via the use of ICT. Services and features targeted to a thematic area In this context, the role of e-government in treating were also on the rise. One hundred and seventy-nine information as a key service to the citizen becomes countries provide some form of documentation re- increasingly important and lends credence and sig- lated to fi nance. The most common among them nificance to the need for maintenance and sustain- were tax forms. Laws, policies and other documenta- ability of online service delivery. tion of interest to the citizen on education, health, so- A cursory glance at the characteristics of online cial welfare and other sectors were increasingly being presence of countries in 2012 indicates a greater integrated within the overall national portal and/or on number of features than in previous years and a the agency portals. More than two thirds of the coun- growing recognition of the importance of providing tries provided options for directly sending updates via relevant and up-to-date information. The majority email, RSS or a mobile device to the citizen. Whereas of countries (88 per cent) were involved in ensur- the more advanced countries may have provided mul- ing that their online e-government offerings were tiple choices, the fact that countries in early stages of40
  • 51. Chapter TwoUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Progress in online service delivery 2e-government development such as Afghanistan,Burundi, Iraq, Mali, and Senegal also provided some Table 2.3 Transactional services onlineform of citizen alert mechanism testifies to a wider rec- Birth Car ID Driver Income taxes Utilities Fines certificates registration cards licensesognition of the importance of citizen inclusion. Number of countries 77 55 46 43 41 34 34 Percentage of countries 40 28 24 22 21 18 18Figure 2.5 Sectoral user services online increasingly placed online. In 34 to 55 countries,Education 164 citizens could obtain driver licenses, ID cards and 125 84 birth certificates online.Health 156 Despite considerable progress in online service, 124 71 only 22 countries offer 66 per cent or more of theFinance 179 online services assessed. E-services in around 171 136 86 countries are below 66 per cent with around half –Social welfare 148 Archived or 95 countries – providing less than 33 per cent, 113 69 information including three that are not online at all.Labour 122 152 Downloadable forms Trends in e-government development around 68 Updates the world in 2012 indicate that e-services in a via email,Environment 102 147 RSS or mobile country are a function of the level of development, 68 services resource availability, and human and technologi- 0 50 100 150 200 cal infrastructure. The complex pattern of develop- Number of countries ments across a myriad of these factors has a bearing on how many e-government services are available Online transactional1 capability, such as making – and how much they are utilized.payments online, is substantially more complicatedthan simply providing information. Increasing onlineprovision of transactional services such as payments Figure 2.6 Extent of e-service deliveryindicates maturity as well as greater integration be- 67%-100%cause payments made through a single site may need 22 countries 0%-33%to be routed to any number of accounts held by vari- 94 countriesous branches of the government. Conversely, in somecountries, even payments collected from various pointsof sale must make their way to a single governmentalentity, such as a treasury department. Countries musthave a well-developed electronic banking infrastruc- 193 countriesture, including electronic clearing systems and ad-equate security safeguards. Society must also trust thatthe electronic banking system is reliable. However once these pre-requisites exist it is arelatively easier task to add transactional capabili- 34%-66% 77 countriesties to multiple sectors. In 2012, a greater number ofcountries were providing transactional services on-line than before. With governments keenly aware ofthe role technology can play in revenue generation Despite progress, service availability levels areonline, tax payments became available in 40 per cent generally low around the world. Except for the topof the countries in 2012. With greater back-office in- performers most countries have a long way to go integration, other forms of transactions such as pay- providing online services, which remain betweenment for utilities and birth and car registrations were low and non-existent. A selected few are shown in 41
  • 52. Chapter Two2 Progress in online service delivery United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Table 2.4 Extent of service delivery Table 2.5 E-services in selected in top performers, selected countries developing countries Stage 1: Stage II: Stage III: Stage IV: Stage 1: Stage II: Stage III: Stage IV: Emerging Interactive Transactional Networked Emerging Interactive Transactional Networked presence presence presence presence Total presence presence presence presence Total 67%-100% utilization 0%-33% utilization Republic of Korea 100 79 92 87 87 Honduras 92 52 15 25 33 Singapore 100 79 94 86 87 Grenada 83 50 8 28 31 United Rep. United States 100 90 88 83 87 of Tanzania 92 55 2 28 31 United Kingdom 100 95 79 81 85 Saint Lucia 83 50 8 26 30 Canada 100 83 81 68 78 Senegal 75 31 12 36 30 Finland 100 90 75 67 77 Cameroon 83 48 4 20 26 France 100 79 85 65 77 Ghana 83 38 2 28 26 Bahrain 100 76 81 67 75 Lesotho 92 38 4 25 26 United Arab Emirates 100 74 83 67 75 Zimbabwe 67 45 4 25 26 Colombia 100 76 65 74 74 Tonga 100 33 2 14 21 Sweden 92 90 71 62 74 Turkmenistan 67 19 4 16 17 Estonia 100 69 65 74 72 Burundi 42 5 8 17 13 Saudi Arabia 92 60 77 67 70 South Sudan 58 19 2 9 13 Malaysia 100 64 79 59 69 Swaziland 50 24 2 7 13 New Zealand 100 79 69 57 69 Marshall Islands 25 26 2 9 12 Kazakhstan 92 64 52 80 69 Togo 42 14 6 10 12 34%-66% utilization Solomon Islands 42 24 4 4 11 Dem. People’s Rep. Chile 100 62 67 61 66 of Korea 58 12 4 6 10 Sao Tome and Qatar 83 64 62 64 65 Principe 58 7 4 9 10 Mexico 100 69 62 57 64 Guinea-Bissau 33 12 2 9 9 Lithuania 83 67 54 59 61 Myanmar 50 17 0 4 9 El Salvador 100 71 38 59 59 Chad 25 14 2 7 9 Portugal 100 74 42 51 57 Equatorial Guinea 25 10 4 9 9 Serbia 100 64 38 42 50 Nauru 33 14 2 6 9 Cyprus 100 62 46 35 49 Haiti 33 19 0 3 8 Uruguay 100 60 38 39 48 Comoros 42 7 2 4 7 India 100 64 33 38 47 Congo 33 14 2 1 7 China 92 55 40 38 46 Mauritania 33 7 2 6 7 Peru 83 45 31 49 45 Kiribati 33 5 2 4 6 Costa Rica 92 45 31 43 43 Tuvalu 17 2 2 6 5 Trinidad and Tobago 92 64 23 35 42 South Africa 100 60 17 35 40 stage II and a third in stage IV but only 17 per cent Bangladesh 100 60 21 29 39 in the transactional stage. As expected, transactional Cape Verde 92 48 23 35 38 stage utilization depends, among other factors, on Viet Nam 100 52 17 32 37 the level of development of the fi nancial system in Belarus 100 55 25 22 36 the country. Putt ing up stage III services would also Jordan 83 48 31 20 34 require a regulatory framework and governing rules of security and privacy, which are still to be fully de- table 2.4, which also indicates that there is no appar- veloped in many of the developing countries. ent linear correlation between the level of develop- Some of the least developed countries had the ment and stages of e-services. A country such as Viet lowest availability of e-services, which were barely Nam may offer all services in stage I, around half in a third of those in the forefront of e-government.42
  • 53. Chapter TwoUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Progress in online service delivery 2 Box 2.3 Kazakhstan: A leader in e-participation Kazakhstan has improved from 2010 in terms of providing online features that allows citizens to engage with government. An interesting online participation feature is the government’s Blogs site, where citizens can communicate with the govern- ment agencies’ executives by posting comments and questions. The executives may then respond and post their answers on the blog. The site also contains statistical information on the questions and com- ments an agency executive has received as well as how many times he/she has responded. uMany of these countries are in Africa which, as toward promoting user uptake, addressing the needsalready noted, also is the least e-ready region in and concerns of the citizenry, especially the vulner-the world. Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho able. It also requires viewing the citizens not onlyand Zimbabwe all had utilization levels ranging as passive receivers of information through web-from 26-30 per cent. Others included Democratic based services, but also as active partners who arePeople’s Republic of Korea, which came online engaged and supported to interact with the govern-in 2012, at 10 per cent; Myanmar, Chad, and ment through ICT-based dissemination of relevantEquatorial Guinea at 9 per cent; while Tuvalu had government information. Table 2.6 Top e-partici-a bare minimum offering at 5 per cent. The best performing countries in e-participa- pation leaders Though there is considerable progress in the tion appear in table 2.6. Once again the Republic of Rank Country Indexexpansion of online services, the digital divide has Korea tops the list, but this year it is joined by the Netherlands 1.0000remained more or less the same for the majority of Netherlands. Kazakhstan (0.9474), a developing 1 Republic of Korea 1.0000countries in the world. As previous surveys have country, which was noted in the 2010 Survey for Kazakhstan 0.9474maintained, there are wide disparities between and its commitment to e-participation, moved up 16 2 Singapore 0.9474among regions and countries in their online service places to be ranked second and tied with Singapore. United Kingdom 0.9211offerings. Governments in the high income coun- Among this group several other countries were 3 United States 0.9211tries are far advanced in their provision of public tied for the same spot, such as Australia, Estonia, 4 Israel 0.8947information, online services, communications and and Germany, which were all at the 5th position. Australia 0.7632outreach to citizens, as well as overall electronic ac- With the use of consultation tools, including social 5 Estonia 0.7632cess to government. Their distance from the bottom media, other developing countries have also caught Germany 0.763240 countries remains substantial. up to the developed countries as e-leaders. Notable Colombia 0.7368 among these are Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Finland 0.7368 Emirates, Colombia, and Chile. 6 Japan 0.73682.2.2 Citizen inclusion and The pie in figure 2.7 shows the geographic dis- United Arab Emirates 0.7368e-participation tribution of the top 20 countries. Europe’s share of Egypt 0.6842 the top ten fell from 51 per cent in 2010 to 38 per Canada 0.6842For e-participation to contribute to sustainable cent this year. Th is change was primarily the result 7 Norway 0.6842development and the socio-economic uplift of the of the Americas increasing from 14 per cent to 19 Sweden 0.6842people, the role of government requires a shift from per cent with Chile and Colombia joining the lead- Chile 0.6579that of a controller of information and services to ers, along with the appearance of Egypt from Africa, 8 Russian Federation 0.6579that of a proactive facilitator. In this context, it is and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates from Bahrain 0.6579imperative that information and services are geared Western Asia. 43
  • 54. Chapter Two2 Progress in online service delivery United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Figure 2.7 Geographic distribution Table 2.7 Extent of e-participation of top performers in e-participation E-infor- E-consul- E-decision Country mation tation making Total Netherlands 75 84 67 81 Oceania: Africa: Republic of Korea 75 78 100 81 1 country, 5% 1 country, 5% Kazakhstan 100 76 67 77 Europe: Americas: Over Singapore 75 76 83 77 8 countries 4 countries 67% 38% 19% United Kingdom 100 70 83 74 United States 75 78 50 74 Israel 75 73 67 72 Estonia 75 65 33 62 Colombia 75 59 50 60 21 United Arab Emirates 50 54 100 60 countries Egypt 25 54 83 55 Bahrain 50 49 83 53 Chile 25 59 33 53 Russian Federation 50 59 17 53 Qatar 75 51 33 51 Asia: Saudi Arabia 50 49 67 51 7 countries 34%- Mongolia 75 43 67 49 33% 66% France 50 43 67 47 Mexico 25 51 33 47 Denmark 25 51 17 45 El Salvador 0 54 17 45 There are several countries among the top from Lithuania 100 38 33 43 the European region, including the Netherlands, the Brazil 0 43 50 40 United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, and the Russian Brunei Darussalam 50 38 33 38 Federation. There is strong political emphasis on Hungary 50 30 67 36One of the main e-participation in Europe. One of the main aims Oman 50 32 50 36 Peru 50 35 0 32 of European e-government development, laid outgoals of European through the European Commission’s Action Plan Rep. of Moldova 25 32 33 32 Austria 50 27 33 30e-government 2011-2015, is to empower citizens and businesses Portugal 50 32 0 30 by providing greater access to public service infor- Ethiopia 0 32 17 28development is to mation and greater transparency of governments as Greece 0 30 33 28 Thailand 0 30 17 26empower citizens well as effective measures to enable public participa- Argentina 50 22 17 23 tion in policy-making processes. The national portaland businesses by of the United Kingdom (htt p:// Croatia Kyrgyzstan 25 0 19 30 50 0 23 23providing greater uk) provides a fi ne example through its e-petition Czech Republic 0 27 0 21 Italy 0 27 0 21 page, where citizens have the ability to lodge onlineaccess to public petitions on issues for governments to propose to Guatemala 50 19 0 19 1%- Liechtenstein 25 22 0 19service information parliament if enough signatures are acquired. The 33% Uzbekistan 0 24 0 19 Bolivia (Plurinational government also provides great transparency by pro- 0 19 17 17and greater viding the outcomes of previous petitions, showing State of) China 25 14 33 17 India 25 14 17 15transparency of how many signatures were obtained. South Africa 0 16 0 13 Despite broad regional representation, e-partici-governments. pation for social equity remains largely unexplored for Ukraine Pakistan 50 0 14 8 17 0 13 11 many other countries as a norm. The concept, which de- Saint Lucia 0 11 0 9 St. Vincent and 0 11 0 9 rives from an acceptance of online inclusion of citizens the Grenadines Viet Nam 0 8 17 9 for effective sustainable development, envisions provi- Bahamas 0 5 17 6 sion of information followed by consultation, feedback United Rep. 25 5 0 6 of Tanzania and inclusion of citizen views in active decision-making. Algeria 0 5 0 4 The pre-requisites for this life cycle of e-participation are Vanuatu 0 5 0 444
  • 55. Chapter TwoUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Progress in online service delivery 2technology access and also a conducive political regime countries that score 100 per cent on whether the gov-with leadership and vision in support of collective soci- ernment takes citizen’s views into decision-making.etal approaches to public policy challenges. As in the case of overall online services, e-partici- Figure 2.8 shows how deep the e-participation pation also does not follow any linear model: the levelservices are. The majority of countries offer less than of each category is a function of political regimes,two thirds of all e-participation services assessed. leadership, commitment and openness. For exam-Advanced features of e-participation and citizen ple, Guatemala, Liechtenstein and Pakistan provideincluson assessed in the 2012 Survey are not yet ad- 25-50 per cent of e-information but zero in consider-opted by most Member States. More than one third of ing citizens’ views. Overall, fewer countries provideall countries do not offer any e-participation services. evidence of active citizen views in decision-making. Promotion of opportunitiesFigure 2.8 Depth of e-participation Despite the gap among countries, e-participation has been on the rise as countries become more openDepth of e-participation to the idea of collective solutions to societal issues. 0% 33 The 2012 Survey found that 61 countries – nearly 0%-33% 123 one third–provide an e-participation policy online. 34%-66% 30 Whereas most of these are developed economies67%-100% 7 where e-participation is well rooted, others such as Senegal, Pakistan, India, Nicaragua and China are 0 20 40 60 80 Number of countries 100 120 also in the group. A smaller number (26 per cent), follows up on this with a public statement that citizen feedback will be taken into account but only about 14 Table 2.7 shows the extent and type of e-par- per cent actually have calendar listings of participa-ticipation for selected countries. Of all the services tory events, though this is a useful feature. In Januaryassessed in the survey, the Netherlands and the 2011 the Government of Ukraine accepted a resolu-Republic of Korea tied for the number one spot, tion to promote e-participation in the country andproviding 75 per cent in e-information, 84 and 78 allow its citizens to take part in shaping the country’sper cent respectively in e-consultation, and 67 and policies. Th is resulted in the creation of the new e-100 per cent respectively in e-decision making. It is participation portal “Civil Society and Government”noteworthy that Kazakhstan, the United Kingdom (htt p://, with features such as a calendarand Lithuania offer all e-information assessed. A showing upcoming events to promote dialog be-cursory glance at the results indicates that though tween the citizens and the government.e-participation has found adoption among manycountries, only the top seven countries provide morethan 70 per cent of the services assessed. Table 2.8 Extent of government’s Governments have started consulting more with commitment to e-participationcitizens in a bid to boost transparency and allow for a Number of Percen- countries tagepartnership approach to public policy making. They E-participation policy available online 61 32provide policies and information on when participa- E-decision making commitment publicized online 50 26tory events are available on which citizen can give E-participation calendar available online 27 14feedback. More recently, information has begun tobe provided if the government commits itself pub-licly to considering the results of e-participation in Consultation toolsits decision making process as well. Even though e- A majority of countries, 123, have some means –consultation is more widespread across countries, it even if only a simple feedback form – of collectingis not so deep. It is noteworthy that the Republic of citizen opinions online. Less than half that number,Korea and the United Arab Emirates are the only two 57, administer surveys specifically with the aim 45
  • 56. Chapter Two2 Progress in online service delivery United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 2.4 Colombia: E-participation Colombia’s government portal contains numerous participation features for citizens to use to engage with government. Citizens can employ tools such as online forums, blogs and online polls. The por- tal also allows users to participate through social networking features such as Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, YouTube and Flickr, where they can post comments and express their views. u of improving their online service offerings. From Thanks to the provision of government information the developing countries these include, among through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, others, Angola, Cameroon and Burkina Faso in citizens are able to make comments and suggestions to Africa; Albania and Croatia in Europe; Sri Lanka, governments while these sites also offer governments a Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan in Asia; and Uruguay useful tool for reading into public opinion. and Venezuela in the Americas. Figure 2.9 E-consultation tools used Table 2.9 Collecting citizen feedback by governments Number of Percen- countries tage Online polls 54 Facility for citizen feedback 123 64 Online surveys or feedback forms 87 Surveys regarding improving online services 57 30 Listservs or newsgroups 14 Weblogs (blogs) 48 More countries now provide online surveys Chat rooms or an IM feature 14 or feedback forms – 87 compared to 55 in 2010. Other interactive tools 58 Notable among these are Afghanistan, Albania, 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Bangladesh, Benin, Cuba, El Salvador, and India. Number of countries Online polls are also available in many more coun- tries (54 compared to 30 in 2010) including Ghana, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nigeria and Uganda. Some countries in the vanguard have gone even A much smaller number of countries provide chat further to implement multichannel methods of online room features, which edged up only slightly from consultation. A common method of online public con- 11 to 14 countries, while listservs and newsgroups sultation in Australia and New Zealand is through the edged down slightly from 16 to 14. government providing draft regulations in a download- The use of other interactive tools jumped 73 per cent, able format for users to read. Citizens can then submit from 33 to 58 countries in 2012. The fact that assess- their comments and suggestions via email to the re- ment in this category included social networking tools spective ministry that is responsible for the consulta- such as Facebook helps to account for this increase. For tion. In Latin America, Panama’s citizen participation example, a key pillar of the strategy the Latin American ( portal contains a blog region has followed is to take advantage of social net- section where users can comment on government working media features to promote online participation programmes while Brazil’s Electronic Government of citizens, especially among the younger demographic site ( contains a whose members are the main users of these networks. forum section that allows users to send comments and46
  • 57. Chapter TwoUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Progress in online service delivery 2 Box 2.5 Australia: E-participation Australia’s national portal provides numer- respective ministry, mainly by email. The ous features enabling citizens to engage government also provides the outcomes with government in the policy-making of previous consultations online. Also lo- process. The government provides a ‘Have cated in this section is a ‘blogs’ page that Your Say’ section that is located on the provides links to various government blogs homepage of the portal. This section links as well as a Twitter page that shows a table to a public consultations section where of all government Twitter pages that users citizens can send their comments and can access and respond to with their com- suggestions on draft regulations to the ments and suggestions. usuggestions regarding e-government, such as acces- 8 in 2010 to 17 in 2012. Similar or greater increasessibility and integration of services, while also contain- ocurred in the use of online discussion forums (32 toing a public consultation section on draft regulations. 78) and online petitions (17 to 42). For example, in theIn Mexico, online public consultation features allow Russian Federation officials provide feedback to citi-users to participate in the policy-making process with zens’ views. Lithuania’s national portal (http://www.government. Citizen input is then moderated by a gov- contains a public consultation page that displaysernment official and subsequently published, promot- current consultations as well as previous consultationsing greater government transparency. that the government has undertaken with the public. The 2012 Survey found that Twitter and Facebook It contains a number of ways that citizens may par-are increasingly being deployed by governments as ve- ticipate with government such as being able to sendhicles for consultation. The 24-7 reach of these tools in their opinions via e-mail to the named governmentprovides a cost effective mechanism for citizen alerts authority or by submitting an online form containingas well as for views on how the government is doing. their comments and suggestions. In Africa, a case inIn Hungary for example, on the e-democracy site point in improvement in this area is in Mozambique,( government where both the Ministry of Education’s (http://www.officials and agencies respond to citizens’ comments the Ministry of Health’s (htt p://and suggestions as well as moderating the forums. websites, provide online discus- The number of countries encouraging govern- sion forums where users can comment and make sug-ment officials to respond to citizen input more than gestions on education and health policy issues.doubled, from 16 to 38. The number of countries where officials moder- ICT-enabled participationated e-consultations also more than doubled, from in decision-making One quarter of all countries publicly commit to considering the results of e-participation in theTable 2.10 Web 2.0 tools used policy-making process, including, among others,in e-decision making Plurinational State of Bolivia, Brazil, India, Hungary Number of Percen- and Panama. Governments are increasingly mind- countries tage ful of how ‘well’ they are doing. In an effort to-Government officials respond to citizen input 38 20 wards greater inclusion, 25 countries are providingGovernment officials moderate e-consultations 17 9 feedback from citizens on their services, includingOnline bulletin boards 76 39 Mongolia, Morocco, the Islamic Republic of Iran,Online discussion forums 78 40 Saudi Arabia, and Malta, among others.Online petitions 42 22 As a final note, online service delivery remainsOnline voting 18 9 skewed in favour of developed countries with the digital 47
  • 58. Chapter Two2 Progress in online service delivery United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 may not be. Global warming, for example, is only Box 2.6 Providing outcome on feedback received from citizens indirectly perceptible. The greenhouse gases concerning the improvement of their service themselves can only be measured with scientific instruments, while personal observations of the Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Islamic Republic of effects are not conclusive evidence for their exis- Iran, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Morocco, Oman, Republic tence. Similarly, groundwater pollution may take of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Singapore, Slovenia, Switzerland, Th ailand, United Arab years or even decades before its effects are apparent Emirates and United Kingdom. u via birth defects or other health outcomes. There is widespread acceptance that current in- stitutions are inadequate to address the challenges of sustainable development and that new arrangements Table 2.11 E-decision making features are needed to achieve economic, environmental and Number of Percen- social objectives in a balanced and integrated manner countries tage at national and local levels.2 Much of the success in this Government commitment to considering the 50 26 field depends on broad public awareness and on access results of e-participation in decision making to reliable information for decision-making. Yet infor- Government provides confirmation receipt 45 23 mation gaps occur in a range of disciplines with the net on citizen sent communication result that public appreciation of the challenges of sus- Government provide outcome on feedback received from citizens concerning the 25 13 tainable development and scope for action are highly improvement of their services circumscribed in many countries. The purpose of the survey depicted here was to de- divide a continued challenge. Assessment in 2012 rein- termine the extent to which national governments have forces the need to continue to focus on expansion and been using online media to promote public awareness, consolidation of relevant services for the user, supported promulgate environmental information and encourage by increasing efficiency and integration of the different stakeholders, chief among them the average citizen, toTable 2.12 Top countries government departmental processes and institutional express their views on the issues of the day.on environment survey arrangements relevant for sustainable development. The top-scoring countries on use of online media vis-à-vis the environment are listed in tableCountry Index 2.12. Four countries – Germany, the Republic ofGermany 1.0000 2.2.3 Online environmental Korea, Singapore, and the United States –earned aRepublic of Korea 1.0000 information services perfect score. As in the case of e-government devel-Singapore 1.0000 opment rankings, developed countries dominate inUnited States 1.0000 With the worldwide focus on sustainable development, e-environment service delivery.Austria 0.9412 the 2012 Survey devoted a special section to examin- In terms of overall provision of information andIsrael 0.9412 ing the effort made by Member States in provision of services, the countries are evenly distributed, withJapan 0.9412 environment-related online information and services. 69 countries (36 per cent) providing less than oneMalta 0.9412 The data collection effort was global in scope and cov-Mexico 0.9412 ered 193 countries. Though not comprehensive, theNew Zealand 0.9412 prototype survey is indicative of the general trends in Figure 2.10 Overall environmentalRussian Federation 0.9412 national ‘e-environment’ performance and the amount e-service provisionUnited Kingdom 0.9412 of effort invested by Member States in addressing envi-Australia 0.8824 Environment e-services ronment as a national development priority.Canada 0.8824 Effective information dissemination regarding 0%-33% 69Finland 0.8824 how resources are managed represents a funda- 34%-66% 68France 0.8824 mental requirement if economic development is to 67%-100% 56Mongolia 0.8824 benefit all rather than selected groups only. WhileNorway 0.8824 some environmental degradation is apparent to 0 10 20 30 40 50 Number of countries 60 70Portugal 0.8824 all, many forms of pollution or resource depletion48
  • 59. Chapter TwoUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Progress in online service delivery 2third of the information and services assessed, an-other one third providing 34-66 per cent, and 56 Figure 2.13 Asia sub-regional averagecountries providing 67-100 per cent. scores as percentage of regional average scoreFigure 2.11 Africa sub-regional -12 Western Asiaaverage scores as percentage -4 South-Eastern Asiaof regional average score -4 Southern Asia Central Asia 12 -22 Middle Africa Eastern Asia 46 -20 Northern Africa -10 0 10 20 30 40 Percentage of total score for the region -18 Western Africa Eastern Africa 26 Southern Africa 36 per cent of the difference in cumulative scoring on -20 -10 0 10 20 30 the selected indicators could be explained by dif- Percentage of total score for the region ferences in gross national income (GNI) per capita. Every time GNI per capita is doubled, the predicted Performance within regions varied widely, with e-environment score increases by approximately 5 perMiddle, Northern, and Western Africa scoring about cent under this informal assessment. The result tracks20 per cent less than the regional average, while closely with e-government development scores in gen-Eastern and Southern Africa scored 26 and 36 per eral, suggesting that wealth is a powerful determinantcent more than the regional average, respectively. of e-government success across sectors as evidenced by Germany, the Republic of Korea and Singapore, high income economies that fared best in this assessment.Figure 2.12 Americas sub-regional Though the connection between aff luenceaverage scores as percentage of and online environmental information services isregional average score strong, having to contend with a low income econ- omy does not of necessity mean that progress can- -16 Caribbean not be made as the case of Bangladesh suggests. Nor -9 Central America is size automatically a strictly limiting factor as the South America 9 case of Kyrgyzstan shows. The bubbles in figure 2.15 Northern America 87 represent the number of Internet users in a country. -20 0 20 40 60 80 Countries with large numbers of Internet users, such Percentage of total score for the region as the United States and China, score comparatively well in this area. National e-environment initiatives In the Americas, North America greatly ex- may thus be reaching a considerable proportion ofceeded the regional average, while South Americascored slightly above nine per cent. Similarly in Asia, Eastern Asia was 46 per cent Figure 2.14 Europe sub-regionalabove the regional average score, followed by Central average scores as percentageAsia, which was 12 per cent above the regional average. of regional average score Although in Europe Southern and Eastern Europetrailed the rest of the region, the overall sub-regional -11 Southern Europevariation in Europe was considerably smaller than in -3 Eastern Europethe other regions, ranging from 11 per cent less than Western Europe 8the regional average score to greater than 11 per cent. Northern Europe 11 E-environment performance is closely correlated -10 -5 0 5 10 Percentage of total score for the regionwith wealth as figure 2.15 suggests. In fact, some 90 49
  • 60. Chapter Two2 Progress in online service delivery United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 the extraction of marine resources from oceans andFigure 2.15 Relationship between e-environment performance seas. All appeared in the top quintile of countries inand gross national income per capita this basic assessment of national websites. A majority of countries have a section within the 1,000,000 officially designated national government website United States dedicated to environmental issues (49 per cent), a Germany separate national website dedicated to environmen- Singapore 100,000 tal issues (78 per cent) or some combination of theGross national income per capita two (83 per cent). However, results vary by income group. Whereas 96 per cent of high-income coun- 10,000 Republic tries maintain an environment website, only 60 of Korea per cent of low-income countries do the same. The China higher the income group, the more likely a country 1,000 is to promote awareness of environmental issues Bangladesh Kyrgyzstan online, as noted earlier. Differences in performance 100 based on income also translate into geographic vari- -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ations as shown in figure 2.16. The concentration of E-environment performance Low income countries = $1,005 GNI per capital or less low income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Bubble size represents among small island developing states of the Pacific number of Internet users results in less extensive use of online tools to pro- mote public awareness in those regions. the world population although there are no global Just over half of national governments publish an statistics available to substantiate this hypothesis. easily accessible policy document or similar statementThe higher the The Russian Federation, Canada, the United setting out environmental management strategies (57 States, China, Brazil and Australia together account per cent). National environmental policies supportincome group, the for almost half of the world’s total land area, in ad- sustainable development by articulating objectives,more likely a country dition to having substantial industries devoted to identifying relevant actors and guiding management of information for decision-making. While not allis to promote countries have comprehensive strategies so clearlyawareness of Figure 2.16 Use of e-government spelled out, all have laws and regulations that, together, to raise awareness of sustainable embody national environmental policy and are mostenvironmental issues development likely to be implemented when openly Shortcomings in communication may be due, in National part, to questions of leadership and accountability as environmental Africa 67 Website in other areas of public affairs. More often than not, 46 News service 9 Alerts national sustainable development focal points are lo- Americas 94 cated within these ministries. As figure 2.17 illustrates, 74 11 Asia 87 81 30 Table 2.13 Selected environmental Europe 98 online features and content 93 51 Number of Percen- countries tage Oceania 64 50 21 ‘What you can do’ section 38 20 World 83 News section focused on environment 136 70 70 25 Alerts pertaining to environment 48 25 Searches can be filtered for environment 62 32 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Percentage of countries Environment strategy available online 110 5750
  • 61. Chapter TwoUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Progress in online service delivery 2 Box 2.7 Trinidad and Tobago: Wealth of information on environment Trinidad and Tobago’s Environmental Manage- ment Authority’s website offers a wealth of in- formation on environmental policy, laws and regulations, as well as technical reports detail- ing how the government manages natural re- sources. In addition, the site includes links to the Authority’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The latter features nearly 30 videos on a variety of environmental topics. uthree out of every four national websites identify the dedicated to environmental issues, with sub-Saha-person responsible for leading the development of ran Africa and Pacific Island countries, as usual, lag-environmental policy at national level, for example, ging behind other head of an environment ministry or similar na- News alerts and messages such as those usedtional regulatory agency (74 per cent). The number in disaster management require somewhat greaterrises slightly, to 85 per cent, among those countries e-government capacity. Only one quarter (25 perwith dedicated environmental portals, as might be cent) of countries have been able to overcome theexpected. These omissions notwithstanding, contact hurdles presented by the technology. Among these,information for environment ministries is readily the European States (51 per cent) have had some-available for all countries from other sources. 3 what more success than others, while Africa and the Americas trail far behind (9 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively). Given the near universality of mobileFigure 2.18 Countries offering cellular access in developing regions, the inherenteducation or information on public value of public messaging services to vulnerablepolicy concerns areas appears to be considerably underexploited.Clean water 111Clean air 105 Figure 2.17 Online leadership promotion and accountabilityResource conservation 104 in environmental sustainabilityEnergy 86 Proportion of websites Proportion of countries Proportion of web- 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 identifying person publishing an environ- sites referring to Number of countries responsible for mental conservation international coope- Proportion of environmental policy strategy or natural ration in the field websites with links at national level resources policy online of environment to local authorities Yes 27 17 22 4 Africa Current news plays a pivotal role not only in rais- No 27 37 32 50ing awareness and support for sustainable develop- Yes 28 23 25 14 Americas 7ment, but also in giving a stronger voice to citizens No 12 10 21and in monitoring commitments made by political Yes 38 25 33 19 Asia 9 Noleaders.4 Recognizing the potential of news media 22 14 28to influence att itudes and behaviours, a majority of Yes 39 38 39 33 Europe 10 No 4 5 4countries (70 per cent) maintain an online environ-mental news service. However, countries that do not World Yes 142 110 125 72 average No 83 121produce an online environmental news service also 51 68tend to be among those without a national website 51
  • 62. Chapter Two2 Progress in online service delivery United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 2.8 Brazil: Special section on Rio +20 The website of Brazil’s Environment Ministry in- cludes a tag cloud of most frequent searches and a calendar of public consultations on the environ- ment. There is also a special section of the site dedicated to Rio +20, including an electronic ques- tionnaire soliciting citizen feedback in formulating Brazil’s position. u With respect to selected other questions per- per cent) and resource conservation (54 per cent), taining to information dissemination, relatively few as depicted in figure 2.19. Not all countries make countries provide features designed to proactively it easy for users to discover content for themselves, notify citizens of environmental issues or permit however, with only one-third of sites (32 per cent) citizens to focus online searches specifically on the offering advanced search options for locating envi- environment. However, more than half of Member ronmental information. Most rely on the logic of the States do provide information focused on the envi- site to guide interested individuals to the informa- ronment and how citizens can help to preserve and tion they seek. manage natural resources, and a substantial major- ity of countries (57 per cent) make their strategy on resource use and conservation available online. Figure 2.19 Reflection of public Clean air and water represent basic requirements concerns on national environmental for life. As such, they can reasonably be expected to websites be the first subjects of information to be disseminated online. Energy, a clear necessity for economic devel- Websites: Africa 26 Water quality opment, represents another key area about which 20 Air quality 31 Resource conservation citizens need information. Finally, resource conserva- 17 17 Energy efficiency Advanced search option tion in general, including biodiversity maintenance, is Americas 66 critical, given that many people in poor communities 57 60 54 rely on agriculture for their sustenance. 29 A majority of countries provide online informa- Asia 60 64 tion or education to citizens regarding clean water 51 38 (111 countries), clean air (105 countries), and resource 26 conservation (104 countries). Nearly half of countries Europe 93 91 (86) provide information pertaining to energy. 86 84 On specific public policy concerns, 58 per cent 63 of environmental websites provide information on Oceania 43 29 water quality while 54 per cent supply air quality 43 29 information. The connection between public con- 21 cerns and public information is more tenuous when World 58 54 it comes to resource efficiency. Whereas natural 45 54 resource depletion is generally considered a seri- 32 ous problem, only about half of the national web- 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Percentage of countries sites promote awareness of energy efficiency (4552
  • 63. Chapter TwoUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Progress in online service delivery 2 Likewise, some two-thirds of countries (65 percent) use online tools to publicize their commitments Figure 2.20 Citizen participationto international environmental cooperation. There in environmental affairs by regionare more than 200 multilateral environmental agree-ments in effect5 and all countries without exception Africa 17%are party to at least 7 key global and regional treaties.6 Americas 43%Online disclosure of international commitments Asia 42%is a sign of leadership and reinforces accountability. Europe 50%However, ratification of a treaty is not the same as Oceania 27%compliance and there may be reasons why this infor- World average 36%mation is not readily apparent, such as government 0 10 20 30 40 50incapacity that can make the obligations of multilat- Average regional utilizationeral environmental agreements (MEAs) seem lessrelevant in the day-to-day lives of ordinary people. 56 countries in the environmental survey. Only e- consultations in the environmental domain exceededTable 2.14 Environment-related online the general one – 9 per cent versus 8 per cent of coun-citizen feedback tries. A possible reason for this inconsistency is that Online disclosure the question pertaining to e-consultation in the main Number of countries Percen- tage survey focused on whether government officials mod- of internationalPolls, surveys, discussion forums or chats 45 23 erate e-consultations. Th is restriction was not applied commitmentsSocial networking tools 56 29 to the environmental survey, where unmoderated e-E-consultations 34 18 consultations could be counted as well. is a sign of leadership On a regional basis, citizen engagement utiliza- and reinforces One key aspect of engaging the public on envi- tion on environmental issues is strongest in Europe,ronmental issues is putt ing a face on environmental followed by the Americas and Oceania. However, accountability.policy. Th ree out of every four countries identify the given that average utilization for Europe is only 50person responsible for leading the development of per cent, it appears that more can be done world-environmental policy at the national level, for ex- wide to employ e-government in support of citizenample as head of an environment ministry or similar engagement on sustainable development.national regulatory agency (74 per cent). As many as88 per cent of the countries with a national websiteidentify the person responsible for environmentalpolicy; the number is 85 per cent for the countries 2.3 Conclusionwith a dedicated environmental portal. The environment survey also assessed government In conclusion, the 2012 assessment indicates thatonline tools for feedback from the citizen. As might be websites aim at centralizing the entry point of serviceexpected, the use of e-participation tools specifically delivery to a single portal where citizens can accessfor environment is slightly less common than that all government-supplied services, regardless of whichfound across portfolios in the main E-Government government authority provides that service. But de-Survey. The use of polls, surveys, discussion forums or spite attention to e-government, there are substantialchat rooms in the general survey ranges from only 14 gaps in most countries and regions that continue tocountries for chats to up to 87 countries for online sur- inhibit development and delivery of online services.veys or feedback forms. On an environment-specific To ensure benefits, Member States need to have abasis only 45 countries use any one of these features. clear strategic vision of development planning and The use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or other establish a regulatory environment for promotion ofthird party tools with social networking aspects was access and use of newer technologies by the govern-found in 78 countries in the main survey, but only in ment, the private sector and the citizen. – 53
  • 64. Chapter ThreeUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Taking a whole-of-government approach 3 Chapter 3 Taking a whole- of-government Bioraven/ approachChapter 3 In recent years, there has been a change in emphasis awayTaking a whole-of-government approach from structural devolution, disaggregation, and single-purpose3.1 E-government harmonization in practice 56 organizations towards a more integrated approach to public 3.1.1 National coordinating authorities 56 service delivery.1 Variously termed “one-stop government,” 3.1.2 Public sector interoperability 57 “joined-up government” and “whole-of-government,” the 3.1.3 Online service integration 58 movement from isolated silos in public administration to formal 3.1.4 Overall commitment 61 and informal networks is a global trend driven by various societal3.2 Challenges and opportunities of integrated e-service delivery 63 forces such as the growing complexity of problems that call for 3.2.1 Revisiting institutional arrangements 63 collaborative responses, the increased demand on the part of 3.2.2 Promoting citizen-centric design 64 citizens for more personalized and accessible public services, 3.2.3 Standards setting and which are to be planned, implemented and evaluated with their systems integration 65 participation, and the opportunities presented by the Internet to 3.2.4 Privacy and security matters 67 transform the way the government works for the people. 3.2.5 Issues in infrastructure development 683.3 Conclusions 69 55
  • 65. Chapter Three3 Taking a whole-of-government approach United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 The ability of agencies to work together and citizens to engage in wide-ranging dialogue with 3.1 E-government government become especially important in the harmonization in practice context of putt ing e-government to the service of inclusive and people-centred sustainable develop- The entry point for an integrated approach to ment. Integrated policy approaches, enabled by whole-of -government is to determine the baseline cohesive institutional mechanisms and modern conditions which allow for collaboration, across technology, contribute to the overall objectives and between departments, through inst tutional of long-term development while lending greater arrangements so that the ensuing system is holis- legitimacy to government activities. The absence tic, synergistic and coordinated in the delivery of of a whole-of-government approach, by contrast, public services. can inhibit progress in many areas, notably in low- income countries where limited coordination can undermine delivery of social services, provision of 3.1.1 National coordinating physical security, sound economic management and authorities inclusive political processes. 2 What needs to be clear, however, is that whole- To realize a national strategy, strong leadership is of-government is not the same as e-government required. Among other things, top e-government even if the use of ICT can be useful to the prac- officials can bring together key stakeholders across tice of whole-of-government. Three questions ministries and agencies, defi ne shared needs, identify need to be answered separately. One concerns potential gaps and redundancies in implementing how the application of ICT can help the practice strategic goals, and guide e-government innova- of whole-of-government. The second is about the tion in service delivery. They can also steer process institutional reorganization governments need to redesign efforts, facilitating communication among carry out in order to make whole-of-government departments, highlight best practices, and leverage effective. A third question concerns what whole- shared solutions. Given the mandate to do so, they of- government has to do with sustainable devel- can identify and remove common barriers to one- opment and how whole-of-government can help stop service provision as well. It is therefore vital to in implementing it. e-government transformation that governments Taking the United Nations E-Government appoint an official with real authority across depart- Survey 2012 data, this chapter attempts to shed mental and ministerial boundaries to facilitate strat- light on these questions. It assesses trends in whole- egy and decision-making regarding the country’s of-government for all 193 United Nations Member ICT architecture, and assist agencies in their efforts States and analyzes whether governments around to run more effective and efficient programmes. the world are employing online tools to enhance One measure to be taken is the establishment of institutional coordination and strengthen public a coordinating authority in the form of a chief infor- services that respond effectively to people’s needs mation officer (CIO) or equivalent at the national and does so with their effective participation. level. Since 2008, United Nations E-Government Surveys have assessed governments’ organizational commitment to a whole-of-government approach by Figure 3.1 Countries with CIO or asking whether they have identified a government- equivalent overseeing e-government wide CIO or similar official responsible for oversee- ing e-government strategy. As seen in figure 3.1, the 2008 29 number of countries publicizing such a post has 2010 32 steadily increased. In the current Survey, 60 coun- 2012 60 tries – 31 per cent of Member States – were found to 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 have an e-government CIO or equivalent. Th is is up Number of countries from 32 countries in 2010 and 29 countries in 2008.56
  • 66. Chapter ThreeUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Taking a whole-of-government approach 3 responsible for the design and management of pub-Table 3.1 Chief information officer lic services. Second, it imparts to the CIO function aor equivalent by region significant convening power that facilitates national Countries with Number of % of countries with strategy development and ongoing collaboration. The CIO or equivalent countries in region a CIO or equivalent authority to bring different constituencies togetherAfrica 9 54 17% to address common problems may be especiallyAmericas 12 35 34% important in large countries having a substantialAsia 19 47 40% number of administrative divisions. The institutionalEurope 18 43 42% realignment needed for effective e-governmentOceania 2 14 14% echoes responses to questions of coordination and participation that arise in other areas. In particular, As shown in table 3.1, Africa and Oceania lag the e-government experience can be taken as an im-behind the other regions with only 17 per cent and portant lesson learned in the design of institutional14 per cent, respectively, of countries identifying a frameworks for sustainable development.CIO or equivalent. The percentages of countries in- However, despite its evident value, the CIO or of-stalling a CIO or equivalent in the Americas (34 per ficial with an equivalent function is not always easycent), Asia (40 per cent), and Europe (42 per cent), to identify. Fewer than 10 per cent of leading e-gov-however, are roughly comparable. ernment officials use “Chief Information Officer” as In developed countries, the CIO or equivalent is their functional title, preferring instead appellationstypically responsible for providing policy leadership, such as “Director-General” or “Head” of the organi-supporting and monitoring open government initia- zational unit mandated to undertake e-governmenttives, coordinating ICT projects across government coordination activities. The variety of arrangementsto ensure they are aligned with overall strategy, and and difficulty establishing exactly who is responsiblemonitoring and reporting on spending. In develop- for overseeing administrative reform processes at theing countries, the role is often described in similar national level is indicative of the evolving nature of theterms, but with the addition of building technol- institutional frameworks for e-government develop-ogy competence among government officials and ment and the absence of global norms in this area.improving and expanding ICT infrastructure andinternational cooperation with donors and NGOson e-government initiatives. 3.1.2 Public sector interoperability The CIO function may be situated at any levelwithin a national administration, from a technical sup- A whole-of-government strategy necessarily impliesport group to a ministerial office. Given the emphasis that the systems deployed throughout government areon ICT inherent in CIO functions, responsibility for able to communicate with one another. However, dif-e-government coordination at the national level is as- ferent government entities have different technologysigned to a technology unit more often than not, fre- needs. A treasury department has little need for a data-quently within a communications department. Only base of geo-spatial and seismic data; while conversely,some 10 per cent of countries have a CIO or equivalent a mining ministry likely has little use for a system thatofficial placed in a senior position in the cabinet office, detects suspicious financial ministry or public administration department, Many governments may bear sunk costs fromamong them many top-performing high-income significant historical technology investments that,countries such as the United States, the Republic of along with new purchase and implementation costs,Korea, the Netherlands, Canada and France. prohibit migration to entirely new systems. The chal- Association of the national coordinating author- lenges above are only exacerbated when multipleity with the executive or reform elements of public levels, such as regional and/or local governments,administration serves a dual purpose. First, business are involved. Thus, interoperability and integrationownership of e-government at a high-level assigns re- are at a premium with respect to both new tech-sponsibility for government modernization to those nology purchases and upgrading existing systems. 57
  • 67. Chapter Three3 Taking a whole-of-government approach United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Interoperability in the public sector is defi ned as the electronic identity management, while slightly more ability of government organizations to share and inte- than a third have an online tracking system. Examples grate information by using common standards. of countries with an online tracking system include The 2012 Survey includes several indicators Argentina, Bangladesh, Cape Verde, China, Colombia, focused on the degree to which countries have Croatia, Denmark, Greece, India, Japan, New Zealand, implemented systems that can seamlessly exchange the Russian Federation, and South Africa. information. One such indicator looks for identity management features. To be counted, the feature must enable the government to positively identify an 3.1.3 Online service integration individual citizen in the course of an online transac- tion. At a minimum, the availability of such a feature Some countries have set up portals that aggregate implies that the government has dynamically con- large amounts of information and services into a nected its repositories of uniquely identifying infor- single website. A key objective of such portals is to mation – such as birth certificates, passports, and/ facilitate citizen navigation and use of the content. or citizen ID numbers – with the system or systems Although during the Survey assessment period no offering a particular service. country’s portal completely integrated all informa- Specific countries with an identifying man- tion, services, and features assessed, several came agement feature include Albania, the Bahamas, close. Some of these vanguard countries include: Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Georgia, the Republic of Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Kazakhstan, Maldives, New Zealand, Qatar, and the United Kingdom. Serbia, Singapore, and Ukraine. In some cases, par- A common approach in this model includes ticularly among European countries, the system is organizing content around life themes and/or spe- also integrated with an electronic ID card database cific audiences, such as the young, elderly, women, and/or tied to the citizen’s mobile phone. One such job seekers, students, etc. These portals also typi- example is Austria, where citizens can get personal- cally include an advanced search feature that may ized information and services by signing on to the index content from dozens of government web- services portal (htt ps:// using their sites; includes all of these features. ID card or mobile phone, and can even electroni- The 2012 Survey includes a specific indica- cally sign documents using their mobile phones. tor that assesses whether a country has integrated Another interoperability indicator is an online portals under the rubric “one-stop-shops.” The tracking system that permits citizens to check on Australian Government has been one of the early the status of online transactions. As with an identity management feature, such a system implies that the citizen-facing system – the national website or portal Figure 3.2 Countries offering – is able to communicate with the system that gov- a one-stop-shop ernment officials are using to process the transaction. Number of countries Given the expense and difficulty of achieving in- 140 teroperability that is required for these features, it is 135 130 unsurprising that a relatively low proportion of coun- 120 123 tries offer them. Only about a quarter of countries offer 118 110 100 90 Table 3.2 Interoperability and 84 80 back-office integration 70 63 Countries Percentage 60 Electronic identity management 52 27% 50 2004 2005 2008 2010 2012 Online tracking system 66 34%58
  • 68. Chapter ThreeUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Taking a whole-of-government approach 3adopters of a one-stop portal. Its portal offers citi- The Survey also measures how many countrieszens numerous interactive services ranging from provide a gateway to regional and/or local govern-birth certificates to registering on the electoral roll. ments by linking to them from their national page orIt offers three ways to access services: by service type portal. Roughly half of all countries – 96 – provide such(paying a bill, applying for a grant); by life event (giv- links. Some specific countries providing this featureing birth); or by location (of government agency or include Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Plurinationaldepartment). Now, one-stop-shops are the norm in State of Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada,most developed countries such as Austria, Belgium, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Kenya,Japan, and Singapore. Further, the trend has been in- Latvia, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, the Philippines, thecreasing. As seen in figure 3.2, the number of coun- Russian Federation, Uganda, the United Kingdom,tries deploying one-stop-shops increased in the past the United States, and Venezuela.eight years from 63 in 2004 to 135 in 2012. Amongdeveloping countries, Angola, Costa Rica and Egyptall have developed one-stop-shop portals. Figure 3.4 Percentage of national While not all countries may yet be able to achieve sites or portals linking to governmentsubstantial interoperability, the Survey includes a ministriesproxy for intent to move in that direction: the num-ber of government websites linking to the national Education 80page or portal. By providing such links governments Health 80not only aid citizens in fi nding the information and Finance 85services they seek, but demonstrate that their differ- Social Welfare 76ent branches are in fact collaborating in the online Labour 76sphere. By this measurement, the majority of coun- Environment 74 Other 85 60 65 70 75 80 85Figure 3.3 Countries with Percentagegovernment websites linking toa national website or portal Another way in which the 2012 Survey mea- sures whole-of-government strategy execution is No links More than 10 links by assessing how many government websites pro- 20 countries 123 countries vide information and services in key government 10% 64%1-5 links portfolios covering citizens’ basic needs. As can be34 countries18% seen from figure 3.4, the vast majority of countries provide links from their national portal to their 193 countries Figure 3.5 Policy information online Education 856-10 links Health 8116 countries Finance 938% Social Welfare 77 Labour 79 Environment 76tries are making a strong effort in this area, with 123 Other 93countries having at least 10 government sites linking 70 75 80 85 90 95to their national site or portal and only 20 countries Percentagehaving no government sites with such a link. 59
  • 69. Chapter Three3 Taking a whole-of-government approach United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 3.1 leads in integrated portals is perhaps the best example of a that is likely to be relevant. In the event that highly integrated portal. It is carefully orga- the citizen cannot fi nd what he/she needs nized, starting from a sufficient level of ab- by browsing, a comprehensive, detailed straction for the citizen who does not need and searchable FAQ is available. Failing to know, say, exactly for which form he/she that, the citizen can use the general ad- is looking. Yet by drilling down through vanced search feature, which indexes doz- increasing levels of specificity, the citizen ens of federal and even state and municipal ultimately – and with remarkably litt le ef- websites. Finally, the site provides myriad fort – arrives at a very specific item or ser- ways for the citizen to communicate with vice. Th is process is aided on virtually every the government on any topic, ranging from page by “Popular Topics,” “In Focus,” and technical support for the site to substantive other helpful boxes that bubble up content policy issues. u ministries having education, health, fi nance, social needs sectors, the highest proportion provide in- welfare, labour, and environmental portfolios. The formation on finance (93 per cent), while one of differences in percentages are largely reflective of the lowest proportions provide information on the fact that some countries do not have websites social welfare (77 per cent). for all of their ministries: where the national site Overall, 78 per cent of countries have a provides any links to ministry websites it usually separate website for the environment, and in all links to all of them. Among the basic needs sectors, regions a majority of countries scored this ques- the highest proportion of countries link to a fi nance tion. Far fewer countries – only 49 – have taken ministry (85 per cent), while the lowest proportion the additional step of integrating environmental link to a social welfare (76 per cent) or labour (76 information into their national and sub-national per cent) ministry. governance structures. Only in Europe have a Similarly, a large majority of countries provide clear majority of countries progressed to this point. information on policies and laws for each of the Roughly half of the countries in the Americas and key portfolios on their websites. Among the basic Asia include environmental information in their portals, while Africa trails substantially. E-government can support environmental insti-Figure 3.6 Institutional integration efforts in environment tutional integration not only by including environ- ment ministries/departments but also by linking 100 vertically and horizontally institutional structures 90 Europe responsible for environmental governance so that 80 information and service flows are consistent, effi- Americas 70 Asia cient and effective. While the e-government Survey World 60 does not focus on G2G interaction per se, certainPercentage 50 aspects of governments’ online G2C offerings may Oceania 40 Africa be taken as proxies for this type of information flow. 30 While G2C offerings necessarily will overlook dedi- 20 cated, login-protected websites containing sensitive 10 information for government officials only, it seems 0 likely that government officials from various institu- Separate National portal Links to regional/ Information on website for with environment local environment international tions will make at least as much use as citizens of the environment section authorities cooperation publicly available information.60
  • 70. Chapter ThreeUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Taking a whole-of-government approach 3 The Survey asked specifically whether MemberStates help support vertical institutional integra- Table 3.3 Whole-of-government top performerstion by providing a gateway to regional and/or Country Country Countrylocal environmental authorities as well as providing Republic of Korea Malaysia Serbiainformation on international cooperation on envi- Singapore New Zealand Cyprusronmental issues. Once again Europe is a leader United States Spain Uruguayin this area, with 77 per cent of countries provid- Netherlands Germany Argentinaing the former and 91 per cent the latter. Very few Canada Austria Perucountries in Oceania and Africa provide a gateway France Mexico Slovakiato local authorities. Th is may be explained in part by Bahrain Lithuania Indonesiaa lack of multilevel governance in general in these United Arab Emirates Luxembourg Philippinesareas, particularly among the small island nations Japan Oman Costa Ricaof Oceania. After the question on a separate website Norway Slovenia Iran (Islamic Republic of)for the environment, information on international Israel Russian Federation Mauritiuscooperation is the most commonly scored ques- Colombia Malta Viet Namtion, with 65 per cent of countries providing this Sweden Egypt Sri Lankainformation overall. Saudi Arabia Latvia3.1.4 Overall commitment As seen in figure 3.6, the majority of countries provide links from their government websites to theAs measured by factors that focus on commitment cabinet level as well as sub-national websites. A ma-to a whole-of-government approach, several coun- jority of countries also link other government web-tries stand out. The top performers can be seen in sites to the portal. In addition, there is a trend towardtable 3.3. Specific factors in the 2012 Survey en- installing more e-government CIOs and deployingcompassing the whole of government approach in- more one-stop-shops. Finally, the specific countriesclude: 1) identification of an e-government CIO or that display the greatest commitment to the whole-equivalent; 2) the number of links to and from the of-government approach include many with rela-cabinet level and other government and regional/ tively low levels of e-government development.local websites; and 3) whether a one-stop-shop is Taken together, these indicators suggest thatoffered. The commitment to a whole of government countries are generally motivated to pursue aapproach among these countries is evident by their whole-of-government approach by integratinghigher scores even though some of them remain at a services and information as much as possible.lower level of overall online service delivery. The particular form of integration is affected by Box 3.2 Mauritius, an A to Z thematic approach The “Citizen” portion of Mauritius’ integrated portal is organized primarily around key services, but also groups information by audience and includes an A – Z thematic index. Additional features that aid the citizen in quickly fi nding content include a “Quick Links” box, a “Related Subject Areas” box, and a gov- ernment directory. The directory can be displayed according to hierarchy or in alphabetical order by ministry or department name. u 61
  • 71. Chapter Three3 Taking a whole-of-government approach United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 3.3 Germany chooses integrated services on multiple portlets One portlet, Die Bundesregierung, focuses primarily on information. It includes news from across the government, links to laws, policy documents, thematic websites in par- ticular policy areas, and links to all govern- ment ministries. A second portlet, Bund De, focuses primarily on services. It includes a searchable directory of government offices, services and links, as well as links that direct citizens to the specific services or offices they are seeking. u considerations of: the technical challenges involved Following closely behind such portals are in linking dramatically different systems of varying those of countries that may not have a single inte- provenance and vintage; the technical complexity grated portal but integrated ‘portlets’ each with of sett ing up authentication and security systems multi-sector, multifunctional integrated services that can be scaled up to adequately protect an in- or information from across multiple departments creasingly integrated infrastructure; the costs in- and agencies. Many European countries appear to volved; and political and organizational tensions follow this model, with separate information and that may inhibit different organs within govern- services portlets, each integrated across thematic ments from cooperating effectively. and functionally relevant sectors. One example is A common variation on portal organization is Germany, described in box 3.3. Other countries to segregate information into categories for citizens, pursuing variations of the portlets model include businesses, government, and sometimes foreigners. the Netherlands, France, Spain, and Portugal. Bahrain’s portal and Mauritius’ portal (box 3.2) are both organized according to this principle. Box 3.4 Malaysia “no wrong door” policy A whole-of-government strategy, intro- government agencies are well-coordinated, duced in the 10 th Malaysia Plan for devel- well-informed and customer-friendly. opment covering 2011-2015, urges public Using various service delivery channels, it is sector agencies to work across portfolio expected that citizens and businesses will be boundaries to provide high quality public able to deal with government agencies in a services to citizens across all areas of eco- fast, simple and transparent manner, result- nomic activity, and ultimately to improve ing in increased customer satisfaction. One the capacity of public sector agencies to work of the most visible manifestations of the together to address the economic, social policy is the country’s myGovernment web- and environmental challenges of globaliza- site providing one-stop access to a variety of tion. A “one service, one delivery, no wrong services from a multiplicity of agencies. u door” policy is intended to enable easy ac- Source: The Malaysian Public Sector ICT Strategic Plan: Powering cess to public services by ensuring that Public Sector Digital Transformation 2011-2015, 7 July 201162
  • 72. Chapter ThreeUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Taking a whole-of-government approach 3 change management mechanisms in the whole-of-3.2 Challenges and government programme.opportunities of integrated One important step towards this end is the de-e-service delivery velopment of a national strategic framework that articulates the government’s vision, objectives and In the section below, we examine how e-gov- milestones, as well as basic roles, technical stan-ernment harmonization requires strong leadership dards and constraints for realizing a one-stop e-gov-and commitment in order to achieve interopera- ernment system. Such a framework also addressesbility and integration of the various public sector issues of privacy and security, maintenance, and in-organizations, which is a crucial pillar of whole-of- terface standards. The strategy should help depart-government practice. ments and agencies in both central and sub-national government to cooperate in new partnerships that will enable them to offer their services in ways that3.2.1 Revisiting institutional make sense to the customer. Such a strategy canarrangements usefully point to partnerships with innovators in the private sector who can fi nd new ways of meetingAs the 2012 Survey fi ndings show, the vertical and changing patterns of demand.horizontal fragmentation, which is typical of public To realize the national strategy, a high level of ini- Vertical and horizontaladministration, constitutes one of the key chal- tial investment may be needed, which must be em-lenges of one-stop government implementation. bodied in long-term vision and strategic planning in fragmentation, whichPublic sector initiatives where services cross depart- order for an integrated and sustainable e-government is typical of publicmental boundaries present a formidable challenge. solution to be successfully implemented. Service de-The fragmented and ‘siloed’ government structure livery platforms often require the integration of tele- administration,complicates easy communication among persons com and IT capabilities and the creation of services constitutes one of thein each silo, which might result in customer dis- that cross technology and network boundaries. Insatisfaction. Service delivery channels might not be this process, established, hierarchical and bureau- key challenges ofdeveloped based on a shared vision and could have cratic structures must be supplanted with horizon- one-stop governmentdifferent objectives. 3 tal one-stop government network structures that For example, whereas one channel might focus facilitate customer orientation and increase levels of implementation.on personal interaction, another channel of the transparency and accountability. The end result mustsame organization could emphasize efficiency. be seamless, knowledge-enhanced e-government so-Furthermore, there might be a gap between strat- lutions that are sustainable.egy and operational processes. Strategies are high At the same time, governments need to guardlevel and can be interpreted and implemented in against creating parallel structures or institutionsmany, sometimes even conf licting, ways. Also, because these further complicate the difficult jobstrategies are often formulated by politicians. They of coordination and go contrary to the require-may ref lect their political ambitions but fail to con- ments of the whole-of-government approach.sider limiting factors like scarce resources, path Creating parallel institutions would also be moredependencies, legacy systems and public agencies’ of a throw-back to traditional hierarchical gov-time constraints. ernmental organization. The practice of whole- The issue here is to overcome existing power of-government mainly requires the establishmentstructures and build a culture of cooperation. of networks and partnerships within governmentDepartment/agency heads may fear losing power agencies, as well as with other key players, such asover human and fi nancial resources and thus fail those in the non-government sector. Beyond theto make them available for advancing one-stop engagement of leading e-government officials andgovernment. Building trust among departments institutions, one-stop government may require theand agencies is therefore key to successful one-stop acquisition of new skills by public employees ande-government implementation, as is incorporating customers alike. 63
  • 73. Chapter Three3 Taking a whole-of-government approach United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Alongside analysis and interpretation skills, Third, project implementation, in almost all the which are necessary at every stage of an e-govern- cases analyzed, is based on extensive training ses- ment project, skills in information management sions. Training in the implementation process is can ensure that information is treated as a valu- essential. Training contributes to cultural change, able organizational resource with due regard for to knowledge transfer, and to enabling civil ser- content, quality, format, storage, transmission, vants to use the technology. 5 accessibility, usability, security and preservation. Notwithstanding common issues that arise in Depending on the type of e-government challenge the design of effective institutional frameworks for an organization is facing, higher order technical e-government development, there is no one insti- skills may be required to implement the chosen tutional arrangement that can be recommended solution. Communication skills are important be- for all governments. Much depends on the national cause of the need throughout the project to convey context and the interplay of organizational changes goals, progress, issues and results. Finally, project that may be advised in the pursuit of a whole-of- management skills are essential to plan, organize, government approach as table 3.4 suggests. allocate resources, negotiate, track progress and measure results.4 An analysis of 40 case studies on interoperable 3.2.2 Promoting citizen- government collected in Europe points to three centric design further conclusions regarding human resources. First, strengthening of existing collaborations in The distinguishing characteristic of the whole-of- order to create new ones; interoperability (vertical government approach is that government agen- or horizontal cooperation) is easier to implement cies and organizations share objectives across when the actors are used to collaborating. Even organizational boundaries, as opposed to working then, it takes time. Second, collaboration yields solely within an organization. It encompasses the better results than imposition: “things change design and delivery of a wide variety of policies, naturally and it is not necessary to inf lict them. programmes and services that cross organiza- Changes impact the heart of organizations, prac- tional boundaries. 6 From the citizens’ perspective, tices and culture. This can only be done gradually.” a whole-of-government approach to e-government permits them to access information and services without needing to know anything about theTable 3.4 Selected organizational changes needed in the pursuit structure of government. It ‘fl attens’ governmentof a whole-of-government approach structure so that even if a particular administrative process involves two or three government depart-Objective Strategy ments, the citizen need have only a single point of Incorporate whole-of-government values into all departments and agencies contact with the government. One way to imple-Adopt a new and different culture and philosophy Promote information sharing and cooperative ment a whole-of-government approach is to ag- knowledge management gregate government services and information into Effectively align top-down policies with bottom-up issues a limited number of websites. Another is to deploy Pursue a collegiate approach advanced search technology that indexes websitesAdopt new and different ways of developing policies, Focus on whole-of-government outcomesdesigning programmes and delivering services throughout government. Consult and engage with clients and users One-stop government refers to the integration Exercise shared leadership of public online services from a customer’s view- Emphasize expertiseAdopt different working methods point via a single entry point, irrespective of whether Apply flexibility and promote teamwork these services are actually provided by different de- Focus on outcomes partments or authorities. The customer may be a Recognize and reward shared outcomes citizen or a business. One-stop online service pro-Employ new incentives and accountability mechanisms Promote horizontal management vision requires the interconnectedness of all public Be flexible around service outcomes authorities, with the effect that customers are able to64
  • 74. Chapter ThreeUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Taking a whole-of-government approach 3access all available public services through a single delivery and payment phase, the processes to com-entry point. Since from a customer’s perspective plete the service are performed, the results are con-knowledge of the functional fragmentation of the veyed to the customer and the customer pays for thepublic sector is irrelevant in terms of accessing infor- service. The last phase addresses aftercare, wheremation, customers should be able to access one-stop aspects of citizen (or customer of public adminis-online services in terms of life events and business tration) relationship management and complaintssituations directly from the responsible unit. management are addressed. 8 The one-stop-shop should offer a point of entry While general principles such as the foregoingfor citizens and businesses to all relevant services together constitute a helpful guide to e-governmentfrom the central and sub-national governments. development, the quest for citizen-centric design im-It should be capable of personalization, matching plies an understanding of the specific needs of differ-citizens’ and businesses’ circumstances and needs. ent segments of society and their capacity to benefitIt should also facilitate push technology, so that from online and mobile services. How these needsat citizens’ and businesses’ choices, it can send re- are matched with available channels, taking into ac-minders about services or information by email. count characteristics of the various phases of serviceGovernment online resources should also be well delivery, is explored in Chapter 4. Differentiation inindexed and easy to fi nd. e-service design can, moreover, reinforce efforts to Some additional characteristics include a well bridge the digital divide by reaching out to vulner-thought out structure, a comprehensive navigation able populations, as discussed in Chapter 5. Moresystem, and a consistent look for the web pages – all generally, citizen-centric design with a strong usercornerstones of an effective government website. It focus has a direct bearing on increasing usage of e-is also necessary to present the content in a way that services to realize their full potential benefits, a sub-is understandable for a normal user according to ject explored in detail in Chapter events. Personalization is likewise veryimportant to improve the acceptance of a nationalwebsite. Since authentication of a citizen is neces- 3.2.3 Standards setting andsary for transactions anyway, the same mechanism systems integrationcan also be used for personalization purposes. Thedemand of businesses for personalization is even Citizen-centric design is dependent on a fully-higher than that of citizens, since a business is likely integrated operational model usually requiringto use the portal more often. The user needs to be significant systems integration and accompanyinginformed as to what happens with his/her data, for transformation of business processes. Two types ofwhom it is accessible and how it is protected. Th is integration can be discerned: vertical integrationcreates confidence in the site.7 involving cooperation among different tiers of gov- Another requirement for a one-stop-shop is that ernment, for example between national and localit be intuitive. For example, if a user wants to use a authorities engaged in environmental management;specific public service, she/he should be automati- and horizontal integration within a single jurisdic-cally connected to the right agency (e.g., marriage tion, such as connecting the fi nance ministry with– registry office) in the right jurisdiction. Use of government departments involved in provision ofmore advanced e-services can be described as a set social services. In both cases, citizens and businessesof phased transactions corresponding to the citi- are best served when responsibility for the requisitezen’s view of the exchange. In the information and communication among different agencies is as-intention building phase, users search for informa- sumed by government, subject to applicable legaltion regarding possible intended public services. In and regulatory constraints, rather than transferredthe contracting phase, the user already knows what to individual actors.she/he needs to do and either fi lls in the online ap- Building a common architecture for a one-stopplication form or downloads the corresponding government portal requires secure and trustedform from the server and completes it. In the service interoperable systems that adopt existing Internet 65
  • 75. Chapter Three3 Taking a whole-of-government approach United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 standards for government agencies at all levels. on interoperability standards. Other measures can Establishing an interoperable system within one include gett ing political support from top manage- government means that agencies can easily “talk to ment and developing policy and regulation in sup- one another” whether by sending email or exchang- port of interoperability within the government. ing information, without any technical problems As far as online services are concerned, there is that hinder the smooth operation of government. what is known as the ‘portal’ approach, which is de- In practice, various approaches to interoperability signed for information provision and sharing. It aggre- are possible with tighter and looser forms of integra- gates content coming from various sources and allows tion. Th ree principle types of interoperability can the easy localization of information delivery by use of be identified:9 co-branding solutions. Th is solution, however, needs • Organizational interoperability is the ability of significant investment supported by a single main systems and interfaces to overcome different actor and an efficient networking of all other actors business processes in different regions, in order involved, which influences the quality and updating to process a certain transaction or request. of information. A basic requirement for a one-stop All three types of interoperability are of great government portal is that there should be a govern- importance if one wants to achieve the goal of a ment information infrastructure (GII).10 Th is is a net- one-stop e-government portal. work that connects all government agencies. Building • Semantic interoperability is about the ability of a GII however is a costly undertaking that requires systems to exchange information, to combine cross-agency, cross-government planning. In order to it with other information resources and to sub- assess the cost implications of such an undertaking, a sequently process it in a meaningful manner. fi nancial feasibility study should be conducted. When semantic interoperability is achieved, in- There is also a so-called ‘platform’ approach. formation is made understandable for different The platform approach does not aim at centraliz- applications and consequently it can be reused ing and dispatching the data but provides common in different sett ings. tools and common functionalities (security, data • Technical interoperability of e-government solu- exchange mechanisms, electronic signature) that tions for sustainable development demands the allow service delivery. In this configuration, local establishment of an IT infrastructure that allows actors are directly responsible for service provision for the efficient exchange of information among and have to coordinate their actions (technical and different levels of administration, both horizontal organizational interoperability).11 Both have been and vertical. It also presupposes that there is successfully employed separately and in combina- homogeneous equipment among all the actors tion by different countries. involved and a significant number of end-users. The experience of the United Arab Emirates in Many governments have started creating managing its e-government initiative is instructive interoperability frameworks spanning agency in this respect. While the Emirate of Dubai centrally boundaries that, among other things, facilitate the controlled and monitored the e-services develop- deployment of multichannel delivery of government ment overall, government departments were given services. Achieving interoperability in government the freedom to creatively build their own e-services organizations is difficult. In many cases, agencies in an early phase of the project. Th is not only acceler- are reluctant to change existing processes, open ated development, but also helped the government data and services to external parties, and renegotiate departments to meet the initial target of 70 per cent their way of operating with external parties. Open of government services to be online by 2005.12 standards are particularly recommended as they Similarly, Dubai adopted a hybrid approach to are platform independent and cannot be controlled implementing its e-government initiative whereby by any single agency. Legal offices, academia, and government departments focused on e-service en- other organizations involved in interoperability can ablement while the central authority focused on be invited to discuss key issues. An inter-ministerial building common parts (e.g., payment, customer board can also be set up as a working group to agree support, etc.) needed by all offices. Th is balance66
  • 76. Chapter ThreeUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Taking a whole-of-government approach 3between centralization of common aspects of e- Protection of personal data calls for a number ofservices implementation and decentralization of organizational and technical measures to prevent un-e-services enablement was one of the key pillars of authorized access and processing, for example by:15success in the Dubai e-government initiative, which • Protecting premises, equipment and systemsresulted in standardization, best practices sharing, soft ware, including input-output units;cost savings, and reduced time to market. • Protecting soft ware applications used to pro- Implementation can be augmented by adding cess personal data;identity management and single-sign-on functionality. • Preventing unauthorized access to personal A central challenge ofThe former allows the government to verify the citi- data during transmission thereof, includingzen’s identity, which in turn permits a broader range of transmission via telecommunication means one-stop governmentonline service offerings. However, it also permits gov- and networks; is the need toernment to more easily tie together information about • Ensuring effective methods of blocking, strengthenindividual citizens from multiple data repositories. destruction, erasure, or anonymization ofThis enables the government to increase efficiency by personal data; confidence in datareducing data duplication and administrative over- • Enabling subsequent determination of when privacy and securityhead while providing more personalized services to individual personal data were entered into acitizens. Single-sign-on functionality adds the ability fi ling system, used or otherwise processed, and measures, forfor citizens to only log on once regardless of with how the person responsible, for the period coveredmany disparate government ICT systems they inter- by statutory protection of the rights of an example by allowingact. The whole-of-government model of information individual with regard to unauthorized supply citizens to verifyand service delivery benefits citizens by simplifying or processing of personal data.their interaction with government. As a result, it can Creating a trusted framework for digital authenti- the accuracy ofbe expected to drive user take-up of government in- cation is also a crucial factor in assuring the integrity of personal records.formation and services. online and mobile financial transactions. Digital signa- ture is only a beginning. Concrete applications have to be developed, and they require a lot more legal changes.3.2.4 Privacy and security matters Individual laws, governing both the operation of pub- lic administrations and policy-specific issues, have toThere must also be a strong emphasis on a legal frame- institute digital signatures as an accepted way of iden-work that embodies elements of trustworthiness, tification and authentication.16 A key concept with se-traceability, security and privacy of citizens’ data. curity issues is scalability. At the same time, the securityOne-stop government often requires the adaptation of framework should take into consideration the fact thatlaws to make e-government solutions legally binding. a majority of administrative transactions do not needAmong the legal issues to be investigated for a success- high levels of protection and that secure procedures areful one-stop government are: data protection, access to expensive, difficult to implement and not always wellsensitive data, networking of authorities and databases, accepted by the end user.17equal opportunities, electronic signature, etc.13 Given the complexities, implementation of A central challenge of one-stop government is trusted security and privacy measures constituteshow the new technology can be used not only to a major challenge to one-stop-shops, which manyincrease efficiency for public administration, but governments have yet to tackle. Only about one fi ft halso to strengthen confidence in privacy measures of national portals clearly indicate the presence ofby creating mutual transparency between public security features with significant regional variation.administration and citizens.14 For example, while According to the 2012 Survey, almost half of the coun-secure systems are needed to impede unauthor- tries in Europe display secure links on their nationalized access to data, such personal data must be websites, while only one in Africa appears to do so,made accessible to a citizen who wishes to verify underscoring the continuing difficulty that Africanthe use, authenticity and accuracy of his or her own governments face in moving to the transactional andpersonal data. connected stages of e-government development. 67
  • 77. Chapter Three3 Taking a whole-of-government approach United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 3.5 Cloud computing Cloud computing has been a big beneficiary equipment with the fastest response times – major vendors of cloud computing equipment of virtualization, enabling organizations to while less important data can go to lower cost reports that virtualization has enabled the share computing resources and, depending devices with slower response times. Data that Municipality of Copenhagen, Denmark to cut on service level agreements, pay only for what is rarely accessed or needed only in emergen- the number of servers it uses from 638 to just they use. In the United States, as part of the cies can be sent in devices that are less ad- 32. That meant not only less infrastructure to new Cloud First Initiative, government agen- vanced and less costly. Virtualization enables maintain but also lower power consumption, cies are required to consider cloud options organizations to use their most expensive reducing carbon emissions by 77 per cent.19 before making new IT investments. With storage devices for their most important data A major caveat, however, is that data about virtualization, data can reside across a shared and to buy fewer of them.18 citizen-government transactions and the con- pool of storage devices, but the devices them- Another possible advantage of virtualiza- tent of those transactions is better off kept selves do not have to be equal. Critical infor- tion is that it can contribute to green IT when under governmental control to protect privacy mation that needs to be accessed frequently data centres are established in areas with ac- and ensure that use of data complies with ap- can be sent to high performance storage – the cess to renewable energy sources. One of the plicable regulations. u run by a large telecommunications carrier. With 3.2.5 Issues in infrastructure this alternative, the government entrusts the secu- development rity of the network to the operator, who will also be assuming the costs of regular network maintenance Relevant infrastructure issues to be considered here and technical support and the risks of possible net- include the country’s existing infrastructure, cur- work sabotage. rent level of Internet penetration, telephone density, In order to minimize the threat of security risks, existing speed of technology change, allowances for governments that choose to ride on a private back- convergence, and investment in broadband. bone will have to set up specific security measures, including: fi rewalls, intrusion detection soft ware, encryption, and secure networks (such as Virtual Table 3.5 National portals clearly Private Networks, Wide Area Networks or Local indicating a security feature Area Networks) for government agencies that re- Portals with a security Number of quire high levels of security. feature indicated countries in region Percentage One-stop e-government requires IT support. Africa 1 54 2% It is therefore necessary to develop the appropriate Americas 4 35 11% technical infrastructures, such as a full-fledged elec- Asia 12 47 26% tronic network among agencies, including applica- Europe 19 43 44% tions for communication and electronic fi ling. Oceania 3 14 21% Standardization and intelligent functional- World 38 193 20% ity has to be provided for the portal, front-office (intake and communication) as well as the back The advantage of having one’s own backbone is office. 20 Specific attention has to be paid to small that government communications are open and secure units of government in rural regions, which other- and operating 24-7. However, this may imply regular wise would never get a chance to use the required funding for upgrades and maintenance of the network, government infrastructure. In this respect, the and for hiring a team to support the network full-time. need for cooperative, shared architectures and Given the cost and time implications of building infrastructures to avoid lack of skilled resources a backbone, governments may opt for an existing and to lower investment and maintenance costs private telecommunications backbone, usually one becomes important too.68
  • 78. Chapter ThreeUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Taking a whole-of-government approach 3 With the silos being phased out, IT resources be- management while avoiding fragmentation and lackcome much more tightly linked and collaboration of coordination. Knowledge and att itudes of publicbecomes crucial. Increasing flexibility and efficiency servants to the whole-of-government vision are alsoin e-government operations can now be achieved via seen as critical elements to its success.virtualization, which enables organizations to pool Why is integrated service delivery so hard, andcomputing resources and use the same servers and what are the key lessons that can be extracted from Despite widespreadstorage devices for many different users and applica- reviewing the literature? The problem lies not withtions. On-demand computing is the new model for the technology but in the political challenge of re- support for whole-of-organizations looking to get the best returns from wiring a range of public sector programmes deliv- government, theretheir technology investments. ered by different levels of government – often with different qualification requirements – for the people. remain major Adding to the complexity is the fact that an increas- problems in ing number of these services are delivered on behalf3.3 Conclusions of a government by a network of private and non- overcoming profit organizations with a common mission such departmental silos,Employing e-government to improve efficiency and as reducing poverty, improving education or help-effectiveness of public service delivery, and to pro- ing teens fi nd jobs. reducingmote development for the people helps governments The network model for service delivery has fragmentation anduse available resources to their best advantage, thus evolved because traditional hierarchical govern-contributing to economic sustainability. In the past, ment has failed to figure out how individual agencies enhancinge-government development efforts tended to focus can interconnect and deliver services that success- coordination.on the short term, in particular on gett ing isolated fully deal with the complex and tough social andservices online, publishing information without economic challenges facing societies. For some,providing for regular updates and adding new fea- networked service delivery avoids the inefficienciestures to websites in response to changes in technol- inherent in earlier efforts to reorganize governmentogy. Th is approach has helped meet the immediate agencies into single large units. Instead, it focuses onneeds of specific agencies while bypassing reform of engaging existing agencies in joint problem solvinginstitutional frameworks, enabled by technology, in without realignment of formal authorities. 21response to the long-term fi nancial and operational The key lessons that can be drawn from the pre-challenges of the public sector. ceding analysis are: The 2012 Survey fi nds that many Member States • On strategy: It is essential to begin with aare moving from a decentralized single-purpose or- strategic framework. That involves definingganization model, to an integrated unified whole- the framework for the whole-of-government,of-government model, contributing to efficiency basic roles of the public as well as the privateand effectiveness. The model aims at centralizing sector, and strategic decisions to be taken, asthe entry point of service delivery to a single portal well as identifying constraints to be consid-where citizens can access all government-supplied ered for realizing and implementing a one-services, regardless of which government authority stop government.provides that service. In some countries, the whole- • On leadership, commitment and vision: If effec-of-government approach helps build a transparent tive one-stop government is to materialize ingovernment system with interconnected depart- any shape or form, public officials must have aments and divisions. long-term coherent vision that identifies, artic- Although there is widespread support for the ulates and advocates the benefits of a one-stopprinciples of whole-of-government, there remain government programme. They must also bemajor problems in implementing the concept re- aware of potential resistance to change, whichlated to issues of ensuring accountability for pub- is always inherent in projects like one-stoplicly funded activities and overcoming the ‘silos’ government. Since tradition is deeply rootedcreated by departmentalism or vertical styles of in public administration, leaders must address 69
  • 79. Chapter Three3 Taking a whole-of-government approach United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 and explain what the one-stop government be fi ltered through one agency, reducing the portal is, inviting the opinion of personnel in variation and duplication of e-government the process and emphasizing the importance of systems. Decentralized e-government systems continuous communication while developing allow individual agencies more control over and implementing the project. Leaders must e-government administration and content. also provide all necessary resources to person- Agencies can choose which fi rms to use when nel to carry out their work effectively, while they outsource e-services. training them in an adequate and continuous The argument can also be made that decen- way during the whole process. tralized information provision is more accurate There are many examples illustrating that because it is as close to the source as possible. in the search for appropriate institutional Decentralized systems can provide agencies arrangements for implementing whole-of- with a sense of ownership that can encour- government for sustainable development, age better site management and design. 22 The whether supported by ICT or not, there is a decision to develop a centralized or decentral- need to emphasize collaboration, partnerships, ized e-government system depends on the mainstreaming, and inter-agency or interde- economic and political circumstances within partmental coordination across the whole a government and the objectives stated in its e- spectrum of governance. Th is includes collabo- government strategy. In either case, there needs ration and partnership with private sector and to be smooth cooperation among government civil society organizations. authorities (central government, local govern- • On funding: Governments fund their e- ment and other administration bodies). government programmes in a variety of ways: • On sustainability and efficiency: A study on the fi nancing through a general fund, user fees, strategies of the European Union plus 21 other and public-private partnerships. When good countries showed that the most prominent economic conditions prevail, tax revenues strategic objectives that appear among e-gov- can be an effective way to pay for a one-stop ernment strategies are: enhancement of public government portal. When economic hardship sector capacity for better services; networked prevails however, spending on e-government government; efficiency; simpler procedures to and one-stop portals becomes more difficult as boost business participation; business facilita- it must compete with spending for education, tion; simplification of life; increasing public health care, and other social welfare concerns. value; and human capacity building, respec- Therefore, it may make sense to embark on tively.23 One of the study’s most striking fi ndings ambitious one-stop portals during economic is that the most frequent guiding principle is to boom times. always consider efficiency while devising solu- • On systems transformation: The objective of tions. The second most prevalent guiding prin- one-stop government should be to focus on the ciple is to design e-government in such a way as depth of services, integrating them as deeply as to allow greater participation from the constitu- possible, especially those frequently in high de- ents. Clearly, this is a social requirement that also mand. The breadth of services should be the next calls for government to become more responsive focus. Such an undertaking implies developing and considerate vis-à-vis users of its services. A seamless links from the front to the back office. responsive government aims at offering better An e-government system may have both services. To achieve this, internal efficiency also centralized and decentralized processes for needs to be attained. The third most important implementing and executing e-government guiding principle for e-government is to achieve goals for the people. Neither system guarantees universal access, while the fourth was found to the success of these goals while each has its be user-centricity. All of these four goals, in turn, advantages and disadvantages. Centralized feed directly into making sustainable develop- administrative systems allow IT requests to ment citizen-centric and participatory.70
  • 80. Chapter ThreeUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Taking a whole-of-government approach 3 It is important to note that creating a Herein lies perhaps the biggest conundrum one-stop portal is a great step forward towards facing whole-of-government approaches. While establishment of a one-stop-shop. However, whole-of-government approaches and the tech- the portal per se does not guarantee such nological benefits to be derived thereof require an outcome. That requires connecting all cooperation across the boundaries that separate the e-government systems so that no matter one agency from another, and the government where the user starts his/her quest, he/she from the private sector, sustaining cooperation will always be pointed to the desired service. 24 among diverse entities is almost always difficult Th is clearly needs collaboration among all if not a Herculean task. However, given the government units. Internal efficiencies and substantial benefits for both governments and government networking are therefore needed citizens that can result, many governments are to make systems sustainable. fi nding it well worth the effort. – 71
  • 81. Chapter FourUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Supporting multichannel service delivery 4 Chapter 4 Supporting multichannel IQoncept/ service deliveryChapter 4 Increasingly powerful and user-friendly technologies are creatingSupporting multichannel service delivery opportunities for governments to offer new ways to interact4.1 Global and regional trends 74 with citizens in order to respond to their needs more effectively 4.1.1 Channel selection 75 and with their integral participation. Taking advantage of the 4.1.2 Integration of mobile services 76 introduction of devices such as smartphones, interactive voice 4.1.3 Public service access points 77 response systems, digital television, and self-service terminals, 4.1.4 Channel coordination 79 the private sector has been making use of multiple channels4.2 Challenges and opportunities of multichannel service delivery 79 for a long time.1 Such initiatives encourage citizens to envision 4.2.1 Strengthening service new forms of interaction with the desire that service providers – delivery frameworks 80 public and private – be as accessible and responsive as modern 4.2.2 Responding to changes in technology 81 technology allows. Although many governments are aware of this 4.2.3 Expanding delivery options through partnerships 82 trend, few developing countries are exploiting the full potential of 4.3.4 Channel steering and multichannel service delivery to serve their constituents. e-government marketing 83 Multichannel service delivery is the provision of public4.3 Conclusion and recommendations 83 services by various means in an integrated and coordinated way. Citizens can make selections according to their needs and circumstances and receive consistent information and services across channels resulting in an increase in their satisfaction and trust in government. 2 73
  • 82. Chapter Four4 Supporting multichannel service delivery United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Traditional channels can include face-to-face countries, and can be expected to play a leadingTable 4.1 List of countries contact, telephone or postal mail. Digital channels role in multichannel constellations going forward.utilizing all channels encompass websites, mobile-based services and Research suggests that the economic and social public access points such as kiosks. Public agen- benefit of mobile technologies will be highest inAustralia Malaysia cies can also make use of existing physical and rural areas, which currently have less telephonyAustria Netherlands virtual networks managed by private sector or non- services. 5 Mobile phones allow rural citizens ac-Bahrain Oman governmental organizations. To facilitate higher cess to information, whether for business, medical,Canada Qatar penetration of e-government and to advance effi- or educational purposes. For those without fixedChile Republic of Korea ciency and effectiveness in public service delivery, addresses and without bank accounts, a cell phoneChina Singapore it is necessary that the use of all available channels provides a place where they can be contacted and The former YugoslavCroatia Rep. of Macedonia be considered. a means through which they can pay bills. UnlikeDenmark United Arab Emirates Multichannel service delivery can contribute other forms of communication, including mostJapan United Kingdom to sustainable development by delivering public web technologies, mobile phones do not requireKuwait services to those who most need them, that is for literacy, although they can play a role in its devel- the people. Poverty and isolation are closely re- opment, at the same time contributing to a kind lated in many parts of the world and result from of sustainable development that is people-centred the lack of access to markets, emergency health and inclusive. 6 services, education, the ability to take advantage Th is chapter reviews the usage of multichannel of government services and so on. 3 Multichannel service delivery mechanisms by national govern- service delivery supports the provision of acces- ments and specifically highlights mobile-based sible services needed by the poor and increases technologies, due to their pervasiveness and agility. the inclusion and participation of socially disad- It then presents some of the major challenges and vantaged groups in government policies and deci- opportunities that are faced by public officials re- sions. For example, public access Internet points sponsible for implementation of multichannel ser-Multichannel in rural areas, supported by intermediaries, can vice delivery platforms and concludes with major bring the benefits of public services to poor people fi ndings and policy recommendations.approaches support who would otherwise need to make tremendousdelivery of services efforts to reach them, such as travelling to the nearest the poor and Multichannel public service delivery can also 4.1 Global and regional trendsincrease participation be used to deliver sustainable services to socially excluded groups. Research shows that these groups The 2012 Survey finds that the majority of coun-of socially disadvan- require an intermediary person or organization to tries are not fully utilizing the opportunitiestaged groups enable them to benefit from a combination of in- provided by multichannel delivery mechanisms. formation and transactions to meet their highly Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, France,in government specific and complex needs. In multichannel de- the Netherlands, Qatar, the Republic of Korea,policy-making. livery, public services can be delivered by using a Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, the United mix of channels, complemented by human interac- Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the tion and networks. The intermediaries can be from United States rank high in multichannel service any sector – public, private, or a social enterprise or delivery because they provide services in vari- community support group. Multichannel service ous channels such as traditional ones supported delivery is thus defined as involving the organi- by intermediaries, free access to public services zational interactions that make up the network, through kiosks or WiFi, and mobile-based chan- rather than as just a collection of access routes for nels such as mobile web or applications. As seen delivering the service. 4 from the list, these are all high income countries, Among the channels within multichan- suggesting that financial capacity is one of the nel platforms, mobile-based technologies hold main factors in implementing multichannel ser- tremendous promise, especially in developing vice delivery mechanisms.74
  • 83. Chapter FourUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Supporting multichannel service delivery 44.1.1 Channel selection Figure 4.2 Breakdown of channels by region As seen in figure 4.1, 190 countries are using webchannels to deliver public services, which are by far Africa 94 17the most common means used across United Nations 0 7Member States. Seventy-one countries utilize public- Americas 100private partnership, 32 use kiosks and 60 provide ser- 29 37vices via mobile-based channels. There are 19 countries 29which utilize all channels listed in figure 4.1, 15 being Asia 53 100high-income countries and, the remaining four (Chile, 32 47China, Malaysia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Europe 100Macedonia), upper middle income economies. 56 37 51 Oceania 100 21 Web 14Figure 4.1 Overview of channels 14 Public-private partnership Kiosksfor public service delivery Mobile-based channels 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Percentage of countriesWeb channels 190Public-private 71partnership and low income countries. Th is finding implies that Partnerships in whichKiosks 32 countries with limited resources do not invest in mo-Mobile-based 60 bile-based technologies and kiosks. However, public- public services arechannels private partnership is the second most used channel provided using 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 193 in low income and lower middle income countries, Number of countries which implies that countries with limited resources private infrastructure can still make use of the private sector to deliver pub- are increasingly Figure 4.2 shows the regional breakdown of lic services. The figure confirms previous findings thatchannels in percentages. As seen, public-private countries with limited resources are not able to invest common in low andpartnership is the second most utilized channel in in kiosks and mobile-based channels. lower-middle incomeall regions except the Americas, where MemberStates make use of kiosks more than public-private countries wherepartnership and mobile-based channels. In Oceania, Figure 4.3 Breakdown of channels many people cannotutilization of kiosks is much lower (14 per cent) and by income levelthere is no single country in Africa that lists usage afford or do not haveof kiosks in its national portal. Delivering services High income 68 100 access to the Internet.through public-private partnership is utilized most 46 66in Europe and Asia, 56 and 53 per cent, respectively. Upper- 98Public-private partnership is significantly lower in middle 29 income 38other regions and lowest in Africa (17 per cent). Asia 35and Europe are also the leaders in the usage of mo- Lower- 27 100 middlebile-based channels, 47 and 51 per cent, respectively. income 5 11Utilization of mobile technologies by governments Low 94is lowest in Africa with only 7 per cent of countries income 20 0 Web 9providing services to citizens’ mobile devices. Public-private partnership Kiosks Figure 4.3 shows the breakdown of channels based Mobile-based channelson income level. As seen, usage of kiosks and mobile- 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Percentage of countriesbased channels is very low in lower middle income 75
  • 84. Chapter Four4 Supporting multichannel service delivery United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 4.1.2 Integration of mobile services Figure 4.4 Selected mobile-based channels for multiservice delivery Mobile phones are becoming the most rapidly ad- SMS notification opted technology in history and the most popular service 27 and widespread personal technology in the world.7 Separate m- 25 government site Mobile government (or m-government for short), Mobile 29 applications as one of the channels in multiservice delivery, Payments using 33 has tremendous benefits for public agencies. 8 mobile phones M-government can help modernize the public 0 10 5 15 20 25 30 35 sector organizations – hence the business process, Number of countriesMobile devices are work and interactions between citizens and gov- ernment – using mobile-based services.  Mobileamong the most phone penetration extends outreach and access Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia,widespread personal to often difficult-to-reach groups such as seniors, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United people with disabilities and persons living in States are the only countries utilizing all channelstechnologies in the rural areas. Citizens have access to government depicted in figure yet m-service information and services anytime and anywhere using wireless networks through their mobile anddelivery lags behind wireless devices. As mobile phones are typically Figure 4.5 Breakdown of mobile-basedweb channel personal, the possibility of locating an individual’s channels by region exact physical location ensures that governmentsdevelopment in many can directly provide services to each person. Africa 2 0countries. Empowerment of field workers and cross-agency 2 4 interactions can reduce requirements and costs Americas 14 for time, travel and staffing, as well as eliminate 11 14 redundant data entry. Mobile crews with mobile 9 devices can increase unit availability. Real-time Asia 19 28 and location-based processes result in quick and 28 30 easily accessible data and communications, infor- Europe 28 mation consistency, responsive case management 19 19 30 and seamless information exchanges. Oceania 0 Figure 4.4 summarizes the findings of the 0 SMS 7 Separate m-gov. site 2012 Survey on selected mobile channels. 14 M-apps Payments Compared to the 2010 Survey, there is little dif- ference in the number of countries that provide 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Percentage of countries SMS notification services. In 2010, 25 Member States provided SMS service while in 2012, 27 out of 193 Member States had initiated the service of Figure 4.5 shows the regional breakdown of sending messages and alerts via SMS to citizens’ mobile-based channels. As seen, there is little mobile phones. The 2012 Survey started looking information about mobile-based channels in the at the availability of a separate m-government site national portals of countries in Africa. While in 2012 and noted that 25 Member States have a there are many innovative and widespread uses website specifically designed for mobile phones. of mobile phones by the private sector in Africa,9 Noticeable increases in mobile applications (from the finding above implies that African govern- 14 Member States in 2010 to 29 in 2012) and in ments are running behind compared to the pri- mobile payment transactions (from 17 countries vate sector in utilizing mobile-based channels. in 2010 to 33 in 2012) were also noted. Bahrain, Madagascar is the only country in Africa – and76
  • 85. Chapter FourUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Supporting multichannel service delivery 4 Box 4.1 Malta MyAlerts 12 : Notifications through multiple delivery channels As part of the e-government strategy to notifications, while myAlerts also provides enhance citizen communication with the citizens with news regarding ongoing and government, Malta provides timely no- new e-government initiatives. tifications and alerts citizens to govern- Using mobile channels makes sense in ment services of interest through multiple Malta in particular, as mobile cellular sub- delivery channels. Malta myAlerts pro- scriptions per 100 inhabitants were 109.34 vides citizens with a one-stop-shop for all while internet users per 100 inhabitants to- notifications by email and SMS, allow- talled 63 in 2010 according to ITU. As the ing citizens to be notifi ed about various numbers reveal, the penetration of mobile government services instantly. These ser- phones is much higher and public agencies vices are updated continuously to provide can reach the majority of the population by the latest information on governmental using mobile-based services. ualso the only low income country – with a websiteoffering a service to send SMS messages to the Figure 4.6 Breakdown of mobile-basedcitizen’s mobile phone. channels by income level Asia is the leading region in utilization ofmobile-based channels, specifically in providing High 38 income 36mobile applications and a separate mobile gov- 38 46ernment site. In Singapore,10 citizens can receive Upper- 12timely and personalized SMS alerts and notifica- middle 10 13 incometions for various services such as passport renewals 13and road tax renewals. In Malaysia,11 the Ministry Lower- middle 2 4of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries enables income 4 4farmers to lodge reports on problems of paddy Low 3 SMSattacks, including assaults by pests and diseases, income 0 Separate m-gov. site 3 M-apps 3through SMS, which will enable fast and imme- Paymentsdiate action to be taken by the Department of 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Percentage of countriesAgriculture. The Republic of Korea provides a na-tional mobile portal service ( which citizens can use the m-government transactions via mobile phones are the mobileservices of each government organization and re- channel functions most utilized by high incomeceive customized national policy information at countries. Less than 5 per cent of lower middle-once. Bahrain’s mobile portal, a mobile version of income and low income countries provide publicthe national portal, enables anyone with a mobile services through mobile-based channels while thephone to communicate with all government enti- ratio hardly exceeds 10 per cent in upper middleties and access their services, in addition to other income, via text message. Figure 4.6 shows the breakdown of mobile-based channels based on income level. As seen 4.1.3 Public service access pointsin the figure, high income countries are muchmore active in delivering public services through Public agencies are using public-private partnership,mobile-based channels compared to other coun- kiosks, and free wireless access to services to providetries. It is also important to note that payment additional access points to citizens. 77
  • 86. Chapter Four4 Supporting multichannel service delivery United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 4.2 Turkey: UYAP SMS information system13 The SMS judicial information system, announcement related to their case needs developed by the IT Department of the to be sent. Th anks to this system, the parties Ministry of Justice of Turkey, provides a no longer have to go to the courts to collect legal notifi cation service for its citizens this information. Th is service also provides and lawyers. This system automatically improved access for the disabled and el- informs all related parties who have cases derly and enhances overall e-accessibility. before the Turkish courts by short mes- The SMS service does not replace official sage service (SMS), also known as text notifications, as it only intends to provide message, when any legal event, data or up-to-date basic information. u As the private sector can bridge the gap be- the nature and scale of private sector provision is tween public agencies’ offers and citizens’ wishes often greatly dependent on how well public sector and requests, public-private partnerships can re- services are performing. sult in both increased efficiency and better cus- A review of cases suggests that more and more tomer-oriented service delivery.14 An important governments are now using public-private partner- role private organizations can perform is to cre- ship to provide services. In India, citizens can visit ate multifunction access points for citizens (e.g., 51 e-seva centres (community one-stop-shops) when a citizen purchases a car, the dealer does all with 400 service counters spread over the state of the necessary work instead of the citizen having to Andhra Pradesh where they can pay taxes and utility visit different government offices).15 The private bills, register births and deaths, and apply for driver sector’s comparative advantage can be its f lexible licenses and passports, among other transactions. labour force, lower cost through competition, and The e-seva centres are formed as a result of partner- wide distribution network, which results in ser- ships between the government and private fi rms vices that are more accessible and acceptable to with government providing staff and fi rms provid- citizens. However, it should not be forgotten that ing hardware and soft ware in return for transaction Box 4.3 Italy: Reti Amiche for multichannel public service delivery In Italy, Reti Amiche (User-friendly More than 70 per cent of the front Networks) is an initiative adopted with the desks are Lottery and Bett ing Offices and aim of bringing the public administration Tobacconists, activated by Reti Amiche on closer to the citizen by offering as many the basis of memorandums of understand- channels as possible that provide access to ing signed with the Italian Tobacconist the various services and by adopting a user- Federation and with Lottomatica. Two types friendly rationale in interacting with the citi- of transaction that are the most frequently zens. The Reti Amiche utilizes the networks used are requests for the issuing of docu- and channels existing in the private sector ments such as passports, birth, marriage and (Post Office, Tobacconists, large-scale retail death certificates and residence permits; and trade outlets, ATMs, etc.) to provide infor- payment transactions such as social contribu- mation and deliver services through points tions for domestic help, taxes, and fines. Reti of access that are easily found and close to Amiche is an initiative of the Ministry for the citizens. Public Administration and Innovation. u78
  • 87. Chapter FourUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Supporting multichannel service delivery 4fees. In Mexico, delivery of public services such associal subsidies in remote areas is achieved through Figure 4.7 Availability of paymentbanking correspondents.16 transactions in different channels The 2012 Survey assesses the availability offree access to government services through kiosks Telephone 26or free wireless networks and finds that 24 coun- Kiosks 32tries provide free access. In Estonia, free WiFi Mobile phone 33implemented by public agencies not only pro- Web 71vides wider access to government services but alsohelps the economy by attracting global conference 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70and event organizers.17 In the United States, San Number of countriesFrancisco’s Department of Technology is expand-ing public WiFi in a variety of neighbourhoodsas part of the city’s community broadband net- and responsiveness on the supply side. Storing datawork. In Mexico, digital community centres aim centrally means that data need to be collected onlyto reduce the digital divide among adults, while once and that they can be accessed (reused) byalso offering advanced tools, training and entre- back office applications.preneurial support to younger generations who The 2012 Survey assesses whether countriesare already “wired.” In New Zealand, the city of are coordinating delivery of public services acrossWellington has launched cbdfree,18 which is a channels. In order to do this, the Survey checkspublic access WiFi network that allows WiFi en- availability of payment transactions in differentabled devices to freely connect with the Internet channels. As seen in figure 4.7, 26 Member Statesfrom anywhere outdoors within the designated allow citizens to complete payment transactionsarea. It is important to note that there is no low in- by calling the respective agency. There are 33come country offering free access to government countries that accept payments via mobile phonesservices and that only three lower-middle income and 71 countries that accept payments via govern-countries do so: El Salvador, Guatemala, and the ment portals, and 32 countries have implementedRepublic of Moldova. self-service kiosks for citizens to complete pay- ment transactions. For a positive user experience, it is important for public agencies to unify infor-4.1.4 Channel coordination mation delivery and transactions across channels and deliver the same message in all channels re- While previous sections analyzed availabil- gardless of citizens’ channel preferences.ity of multiple channels, it should be noted thatmultichannel public service delivery means morethan just using multiple channels. In multichannelservice delivery, all channels are integrated and 4.2 Challenges andcoordinated. Front office applications commu- opportunities of multichannelnicate to each other and support the service pro- service deliveryvision with centrally stored and accessible data.Citizens always receive the same response and see While there are tremendous benefits associated withthe same information no matter which channel multichannel public service delivery, realizing thesethey use to access public services. They can select benefits is not easy. Multichannel provisioning re-their preferred channels given their needs and cir- quires substantial institutional change as well as co-cumstances and, especially with the availability of ordination within government agencies and in somemobile channels, they can reach governments any- cases with outside organizations. The complexitytime, anywhere, anyhow. Central data storage and of multichannel projects further increases whenreuse of data increase governments’ performance considering the challenges that public agencies 79
  • 88. Chapter Four4 Supporting multichannel service delivery United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 4.4 ServiceOntario of Canada19 ServiceOntario is currently a programme The historical roots of ServiceOntario within the Ministry of Government and go back to the year 2000, when the Consumer Services. It has the support of the Integrated Service Delivery Division was Cabinet, the Minister, a Board comprised created within the Ministry of Consumer of Deputy Ministers from other ministries and Business Services. The focus of the providing service, and key corporate stake- organization was on working with minis- holders. ServiceOntario delivers informa- tries to develop a multichannel service de- tion and transactional services through four livery system, with particular emphasis on channels: online, in-person, kiosk, and tele- the electronic channel. The involvement phone. Mechanisms used to encourage the of partner ministries was on a voluntary use of the online channel are service guar- basis at that time. However, in 2006, the antees (e.g., a two-day service guarantee Cabinet approved a revitalized vision and for an electronic master business license), mandate for ServiceOntario, which then and expedited services. ServiceOntario has became the government’s primary pub- built partnerships with the private sector to lic-facing service delivery organization. assist with service delivery (e.g., Teranet, a Ministries then ceased providing those private sector company, provides access to services that are delivered on their behalf the Ontario land registration system). by ServiceOntario. u sometimes face in e-government implementation. Allocating adequate resources for multichan- These include a bureaucratic culture, outdated poli- nel public service delivery projects is a must. Initial cies, budgetary constraints, inadequate technical costs can be quiet high since undertaking these skills and lack of leadership. projects would require a review of existing systems and infrastructure, including legacy applications. Introducing new channels in the front office would also require creating a back office that is able to 4.2.1 Strengthening service handle these new channels in an efficient way. Since delivery frameworks multichannel provisioning requires collaboration within and between agencies, it is important to cre- Public officials responsible for multichannel service ate a fair fi nancing methodology to accommodate delivery have a variety of channels at their disposal. each agency. Th is can be achieved by taking into Once government agencies can answer why they consideration agency size, budget and referrals for want to offer new channels, they can make properly its services. Although a multichannel approach can, motivated choices in terms of which channels to im- in principle, enable an “anytime, anywhere, anyhow” plement and how to redesign services to reap the op- policy of e-service delivery and increase efficiency, timal benefits from them. 20 It is also important that most government agencies, especially those oper- these channels be part of a multichannel strategy ating on a shoestring, may not be able to afford to and that their impact and role are assessed within develop and maintain such sophisticated networks. the context of that strategy overall. Introducing new Multichannel public service delivery can con- channels without clear goals may result in separate tribute to sustainable e-government development channels that are neither integrated nor coordi- by enhancing the allocative efficiency21 of public nated. Channels that “do not talk to each other” administration. It is naïve to assume that new would result in negative user experience and even- channels will always lead to cost savings and in- tually cause project failure due to low utilization. creased efficiency for public agencies. Instead, new80
  • 89. Chapter FourUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Supporting multichannel service delivery 4channels should always be introduced to deliver a efficiency gains, many disadvantaged groups dobetter quality of public service to citizens. If a per- not have access to these channels. According tosonal ID can be issued within one hour on the basis the ITU, in 2011, 73.8 per cent of the populationof new channels, whereas before it took 30 days and in developed countries, 26.3 per cent in developingrequired citizens to queue up for two days in differ- countries and 34.7 per cent of the entire world pop-ent public agencies, the allocative efficiency may be ulation were able to access the Internet. Th is meansconsiderably higher even if the government spends that nearly 65 per cent of citizens worldwide do notmore on the delivery of that specific service. 22 use the Internet at all. There is no access for 99 Competencies of the personnel involved in per cent of the population in Ethiopia, 95 per centmultichannel service delivery projects are ex- in Eritrea and Iraq, and 90 per cent in Mongolia,tremely crucial. Strong project management and Nicaragua, and Angola. While mobile subscrip-coordination skills as well as technical knowledge tions have increased dramatically in recent years,are required. To address these needs, implement- mobile broadband subscriptions are still very lowing a training and development plan in conjunc- even in developed economies and less than 5 pertion with all the agencies involved in multiservice cent in most of Africa. 24channel delivery would be helpful. The plan needs Many citizens worldwide still cannot affordto start with different job streams, skill sets and to access e-services. Fixed broadband prices havecompetencies required for successful delivery dropped significantly in recent years but thereof public services in a multichannel platform. are still huge differences among countries when itProgrammes may be implemented where skills comes to affordability. ICT services continue to beand behaviours essential to service excellence are more affordable in high income economies and lessemphasized. Staff members working in different affordable in low income economies. According tochannels need to be trained in the specifics of that ITU, the cost of ICT services averaged 1.5 per centchannel, such as telephone skills for call centre of GNI per capita in developed countries, comparedagents and cash handling and dealing for front- with 17 per cent of GNI per capita in developingoffice agents. Once new technologies are used in countries in 2010. Th is obviously has significant im-the new channels, increasing personnel comfort plications for the uptake of ICT services for peoplewith the new technology and increasing their in developing countries. 25perception of its ease of use are the best ways toprepare staff for technology acceptance. 23 Public officials need to take into consideration 4.2.2 Responding toaccess and affordability issues while designing mul- changes in technologytichannel service delivery platforms. Age, gender,income, educational background and level of dis- Fast moving technology creates another challengeadvantage affect citizens’ att itudes towards their for public officials implementing multichannel plat-channel choice. Public agencies can tackle these forms. Web 2.0 technologies such as social media,challenges in different ways. Implementing a regu- e-participation tools and recent paradigms such aslatory policy that favours competition can bring the open data have only added to these challenges, andprices down so that more citizens can afford access public agencies have been slow to adjust to theseto the Internet. Implementing social coverage pol- new concepts of openness and interaction. Thereicy, which can aim at providing basic telephony and are also growing numbers of available devices,Internet access to the disadvantaged groups, can be especially mobile ones such as smart phones andanother effective measure. tablets that citizens are using. Finding the right bal- Internet access and cellular subscription con- ance between applications and devices and invest-tinue to rise worldwide but the existence of the ing wisely on technical platforms in an era of rapidlydigital divide is also well documented. While changing technology is a difficult task that publicgovernments encourage the use of electronic and officials face in the design of multichannel servicemobile channels over traditional channels for delivery systems. 81
  • 90. Chapter Four4 Supporting multichannel service delivery United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Public officials tasked with designing mul- channel for reaching people in areas with only mo- tichannel service delivery systems must have bile phone access. knowledge of the availability of different devices A new wave of development is happening in and their bandwidth requirements. For example, mobile technologies with the use of smart phones the proportion of mobile phones to personal and web enabled phones. Mobile phones have computers can be a deciding factor on the type begun to turn into do-it-all devices that can act like of channel to be implemented. In countries with portable computers. This is completely changing low computer penetration, public agencies can the way in which citizens interact with govern- consider providing services through kiosks or ments. People now can access public services by mobile-based channels. using applications in their smart phones that are Limitations of mobile devices and adaptation downloaded from commercial platforms. As addi- of information and services that can be provided tional channels, these applications offer a variety of by these devices should also be considered while useful tools, from finding the nearest tax office to designing new channels. During the assessment of reporting problems. government portals, it has been noted that many portals are laid out for presentation on desktop- size displays and exploit capabilities for desktop 4.2.3 Expanding delivery options browsing soft ware. Accessing such a web page on through partnerships a mobile device often results in a poor or unusable experience. Contributing factors include pages not Multichannel public service delivery can be used being laid out as intended. Because of the limited to deliver sustainable services to socially excluded screen size and the limited amount of material that groups. Technology alone cannot guarantee that is visible to the user, context and overview are lost. 26 the benefits of multichannel service delivery will Mobile phones, therefore, may not be appropriate reach large – and eventually all – parts of society. for submission of long forms such as those needed Disadvantaged groups maintain a strong preference for fi ling taxes. Instead, phones can be used for pro- for face-to-face channels and they are the biggest vision of emergency and other time-critical public users (and people most in need) of public services. 29 information to citizens. In order to include these citizens in public service To overcome limitations of mobile devices and delivery, public agencies may consider utilizing and offer a better user experience, it is important for revitalizing traditional channels. Intermediaries governments to utilize mobile-based technologies such as those in the private sector and NGOs, sup- such as SMS, a separate m-government site or mo- ported by a robust layer of technology, can pro- bile applications. vide services to disadvantaged groups on behalf SMS is one of the most widely used data appli- of, or in partnership with, government agencies. cations in the world. Research shows that the main Intermediaries can assist citizens who cannot, or reason why citizens use SMS-based e-government do not wish to access services themselves, but have services is because they believe that these services access to them through these third parties, whether are easy to use. 27 The total number of SMS sent on an informal, professional or commercial basis. globally tripled between 2007 and 2010, from Th is would also offer opportunities for advisers and an estimated 1.8 trillion to 6.1 trillion. In other caretakers to offer personal services online and of- words, close to 200,000 text messages are sent fl ine and use ICT support systems to improve the every second. In developing countries, seven out quality of service, either where a personal approach of ten people have access to SMS, 28 which means is more appropriate or to fulfi l the needs of specific that people are more familiar with SMS than the target groups. 30 Internet. As simple and cost-effective as it is, SMS Multichannel platforms require a sound coor- is not widespread globally. SMS can complement dination framework in the public and third party e-government services where it is deemed that organizations involved in service delivery. Services, they are more appropriate, for example, providing a information and processes in different channels82
  • 91. Chapter FourUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Supporting multichannel service delivery 4need to be coordinated in such a manner that in- less technically oriented older people who relyformation is available on every channel. 31 A corpo- on traditional channels, public agencies need torate culture with excellent coordination skills and a analyze their constituents in detail. This requirescooperative mind set is required for multichannel understanding the social preferences of citizens,service delivery projects. Achieving this harmony their habits of information consumption, as wellwithout strong policy leadership and political sup- as accessibility requirements, including peopleport is nearly impossible. with disabilities.. Monitoring the usage of new channels is equally important for citizen uptake once new4.3.4 Channel steering and channels are implemented. Officials need to bee-government marketing able to answer questions such as how many peo- ple are using the new channel and through which While physical access to ICT infrastructures types of devices; how much it costs the agency tois important for utilization of new channels, re- run the new channel; how well the devices operatesearch shows that access alone is not enough. 32 and under what conditions; what the basic usageMotivation and desire to use electronic and mobile trends and satisfaction levels of users are; andchannels, as well as having the necessary skills and the demographics of citizens accessing the newconfidence are other factors that prevent people channel. For instance,  Directgov  (http://www. Mobile phones arefrom using online channels. Once new channels in the United Kingdom is avail-are implemented, certain user groups may need able through the government’s website, through now becomingto be motivated to give up traditional channels in any Internet enabled phone and through digital do-it-all devices thatorder to accomplish both a more efficient govern- TV. It has been found that users of the Directgovment and better user experience. Inf luencing citi- TV service are more likely to be older (63 per cent act like portablezens to use the most cost-effective channels may over 35, 40 per cent over 45, and 17 per cent over computers, and cannot always be straightforward. Raising awareness 55, respectively); the majority are not working (67of citizens via communication campaigns about per cent); and half (48 per cent) rarely or never use completely changemore cost efficient channels can help to inf luence the Internet. 34 Such analysis would give further in- the way peoplecitizen perception. In other cases citizens may sight to public officials about the future directionneed to be trained on how to effectively utilize the of multichannel provisioning. interact withnew channels. Frequently used channels can be government.used to inform the client on what other channelsare available to satisfy their needs. For example,if somebody telephones a government call centre 4.3 Conclusion andand the answer is on the web, the caller could be recommendationsdirected to the Internet via an interactive voicesystem before a contact is established between the Multichannel public service delivery and spe-citizen and the call centre agent. cifically usage of mobile-based channels will con- Citizens are not homogeneous and they all tinue to be high on the e-government agenda inhave different needs. In order to increase user the coming years. Success factors in multichannelsatisfaction, it is important that public services public service delivery depend on a vast range ofbe tailored to the needs of individual users to the parameters; there is no single formula or genericextent possible. Public agencies are in a better po- solution that fits all situations. In some circum-sition to provide tailored services if they segment stances, a wide variety of channels may be needed,user populations, subdividing them into more or whereas in other situations, a limited number orless homogeneous, mutually exclusive subsets of even a single channel will suffice. While designingusers who share an interest in the service(s). 33 In multichannel service delivery systems, public of-order to identify homogeneous subgroups such ficials should pay particular attention to the issuesas younger clients who heavily use e-channels or listed below: 83
  • 92. Chapter Four4 Supporting multichannel service delivery United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Have a well-established by using the latest web technologies. While de- coordination framework across signing their e-government systems, public offi- stakeholders involved in cials need to clearly define the objectives of each multichannel service delivery channel and proactively consult with citizens and Multichannel public service delivery is a complex stakeholders for successful multichannel public process. It demands interrelated, intersectoral service delivery implementation. and integrated service delivery from the many sectors and government departments involved. Ensure that all groups and indi- Collaboration and coordination within and across viduals, particularly those disad- government agencies are needed for success. All vantaged in some way, can access channels need to share a set of common principles combined and fl exible services using and their data and a culture of cooperation among multichannel delivery systems agencies must be in place. Effective coordination While aiming for high efficiency and effective- and cooperation call not only for technical in- ness, public officials need to keep in mind that all teroperability but also strong political and top level citizens have equal rights to access public services, management support. (See Chapter 3, Section 3.1.2 that is, all citizens should be able to access services Public sector interoperability.) even if they do not own or have access to the new- est and most innovative platforms, such as a smart Devote adequate resources to planning phone or tablet. Disadvantaged groups are the larg- before implementing new channels est and most in need users of public services but When new channels are designed, it is important also the least likely to be able to access or afford that their impact and role be assessed within the electronic and mobile channels. Public agencies context of an overall strategy. Seamless connectiv- can tackle access and affordability issues in differ- ity of different channels needs to be considered as ent ways. Implementing a regulatory policy that part of service delivery and is increasingly impor- favours competition can bring the prices down so tant as an enabler of public sector productivity. New that more citizens can afford access to the Internet. channels should be developed complementary to Implementing social coverage policy, which can existing ones wherever possible. Therefore, an evolu- aim at providing basic telephony and internet ac- tionary approach which tries to align new channels cess to the disadvantaged groups, can be another with existing practices is more suitable. effective measure. Kiosks and public access points are effective measures to overcome the digital di- Utilize the potential of all vide and reach out to segments of the population possible channels that are entirely unfamiliar with Internet applica- Research shows that a combination of contact tions. (See Chapter 5, Section 5.1 for factors inf lu- channels works best to increase e-government ser- encing e-service access and use.) vice adoption and public agencies should therefore provide multiple contact points. 35 The existence Pay particular attention to of one channel and its applications alone does mobile-based services not guarantee results. Each channel should focus Mobile government gives public agencies an op- on exploiting its specific characteristics, usually portunity to address the digital divide, especially in those that they possess as a comparative advan- developing countries. M-government is expected to tage to other channels, to reach larger groups of continuously expand due to the high penetration of citizens. In this respect, traditional channels can mobile services, especially in developing countries. focus on reaching a higher number of citizens by As a result of convergence, mobile devices such as increasing access via kiosks or free wireless access tablets will become the primary and maybe the points; mobile channels can target mobile citizens only connection tool to the Internet and therefore as a complementary channel for e-government; to e-government services. Hence, the enormous and e-channels can further strengthen their reach potential of mobile devices is still largely untapped84
  • 93. Chapter FourUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Supporting multichannel service delivery 4and more innovative applications will be seen as understood in order to be used effectively to cre-mobile phones become powerful enough to run a ate value. Traditional channels, ideally supportedfull desktop operating system that can do virtually by a robust layer of technology, are still the onlyeverything a computer can do. option in most parts of the world. Public-private partnership and use of existing private sector chan-Use existing networks and services nels can help governments to include more citizensof third party organizations in in service delivery. Intermediaries can assist citi-multichannel public service delivery zens who cannot, or do not wish to access servicesTechnology alone cannot guarantee that the bene- themselves, but have access to them through thesefits of multichannel platforms will reach large – and third parties, whether on an informal, professionaleventually all – parts of the population. Technology or commercial basis. The best recipe for success is aneeds to be socially and culturally embedded and healthy mix of technology and services. – 85
  • 94. Chapter FiveUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Bridging the digital divide by reaching out to vulnerable populations 5 Chapter 5 Bridging the digital divide UN Photo/Kibae Park by reaching outChapter 5 to vulnerableBridging the digital divide by reaching outto vulnerable populations5.1 Factors affecting e-government access populations and use 88 5.1.1 Language and Literacy 90 Sustainable development cannot be reduced to environmental 5.1.2 Abilities and Capacities 91 protection alone.1 Socioeconomic factors are just as important, and 5.1.3 Gender and Income 94 so are the institutional frameworks undergirding development and 5.1.4 Location and Age 96 development management initiatives. Social exclusion and lack5.2 Conclusions and Policy Recommendations 97 of adequate access to public services can significantly undermine sustainable development. E-government, in improving public service provision and delivery, and in promoting inclusion – with due regard to the needs of vulnerable populations – can be instrumental in mitigating the effects of exclusion and improving people’s livelihoods. E-government, in this sense, is instrumental in promoting a sustainable development that is for the people. 87
  • 95. Chapter Five5 Bridging the digital divide by reaching out to vulnerable populations United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Just as clean environment alone cannot address sustainability, the availability of computers or the 5.1 Factors affecting Internet does not in itself determine who can access e-government access and use and use ICTs and e-government services effectively. Also important are digital skills and an awareness, There are many ways to define and understand the willingness and capacity to engage with ICTs and digital divide. The 4A perspective – Awareness,Broadband Internet e-government. One illustration comes from broad- Access, Attitudes and Applications – emphasizes band, which is not solely about high-speed Internet. the need to examine the local/community-levelcan help people Coupled with the right e-government strategies, it digital gaps in addition to those at national/globalin rural and remote can be a very effective tool in fighting poverty, in- levels. 3 The access-use definitions underline the creasing literacy and protecting the environment. socioeconomic factors such as income, gender, lifeareas interact with For instance, e-government can deliver public stage and geographic location. 4 The phased-digi-doctors online services such as health and education more effec- talization definitions focus on degrees of progress tively through broadband, with e-health allowing along infrastructure, skills and competition in theand facilitate people in rural and remote areas to access doctors first phase, diffusion of devices in the second phase,education of young online and e-education enabling youth to receive and impact in the third and final phase of digitaliza- Internet-based education that would not be physi- tion. 5 The business-model definitions concentratepeople where cally available. It can also contribute to the design, on the difference between the productive assets orphysical facilities provision and delivery of more accountable services capital (info-density) and the consumables or la- by incorporating the inputs of wider segments of bour (info-use) of ICTs, 6 and purpose definitionsare unavailable. society that otherwise would not have the means extend the scope of digital divide from equipment to contact their local or national representatives or and skills to variables such as autonomy of use and representative institutions. social support, attributes of governance systems,7 Research shows that every 10 per cent increase and reasons for using the Internet (social, political, in broadband penetration accelerates economic economic versus entertainment). 8 growth by 1.38 per cent in low- and middle-income These and other definitional debates, as well countries. 2 E-government, powered by broadband, as the parallel methodological quest for determin- can improve people’s livelihoods while giving them ing the adequate indicators of the digital divide, a voice in decision-making processes through en- point to a trend that moves from the traditional abling literacy and education for the masses and technology-oriented measures of ICT tools and fulfi lling their local information needs. Internet usage in the 1990s to user-driven indica- Built on these premises, this chapter focuses tors of skills and purpose of information usage in specifically on vulnerable populations and tack- the 2000s, to the most recent indicators of social les the challenges they face in accessing and using learning and impact conjuring ICT as an enabler ICTs and e-services in the public sector. The chal- of development in 2010. It is this latter perspective lenges are presented along four lines of analysis: that puts the greatest emphasis on targeted policy language and literacy, abilities and capacities, areas for specific at risk or vulnerable groups, such gender and income, and location and age. The e- as education, health and digital literacy for women, government divide in the case of vulnerable popu- youth, the elderly, the disabled, and the less edu- lations is thus about how governments of the world cated and low income groups. Community in- fare in facilitating digital access for the illiterate volvement and the production of local content by and low-educated, persons with disabilities, the local populations, including the vulnerable groups poor, women, children, the elderly, and communi- in particular, now gain increased significance and ties living in rural and remote areas. become some of the new parameters for assess- ing the digital divide and e-government’s role in bridging it.9 The access of populations to ICTs and their ef- fective engagement with e-government processes88
  • 96. Chapter FiveUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Bridging the digital divide by reaching out to vulnerable populations 5can be broken down to individual (micro), local-community (micro-meso), national-society (meso) Table 5.1 Components and subcomponents of the conceptualand international (macro) levels of analysis. map of digital divide11 Each level of analysis covers:• ICT penetration or supply comprising mate- ICT penetration or supply Technology: Desktop, laptop, smart phones, mobile computers, broadband, Internet service providers (ISP), cost, rial issues such as technology, infrastructure, teledensity such as computers per household, number of Internet hosts, international telephone traffic, communications infrastructure, ICT infrastructure quality. equipment and ICT tools and policies;• ICT take-up or demand including human is- Government policy: sues such as skills, usage, and content; and, Government prioritization of ICT; policies regarding ICT and minorities, ethnic groups, other risk groups;• ICT environment or context such as the degree telecommunications policy and joint government, private sector and civil society programmes; investment in ICT infrastructure, education, research and development; ICT expenditures, training and awareness- to which economic, political and civic liberties raising; quality of mathematics and science education; regulatory issues such as universal access, consumer advocacy, pricing policies, interconnection agreements, licensing for ISPs, spectrum licensing, infrastructure- can interact to determine who will have better sharing; use of social media to increase e-participation, foreign direct investment and openness to trade, competition policy, restrictions on access or content. access to ICTs and e-government while gett ing the most out of them. ICT take-up Access: or demand Vulnerable populations are particularly impor- Network connectivity, affordability, reach, service provision, speed, broadband accesstant in this comprehensive perspective becausethe standard ICT penetration, ICT take-up and Usage:enabling environmental conditions may not always Computer use, Internet use, time and frequency, skills (literacy, education, knowledge of hardware and software), capacity, creating a presence on the Internet; purposes of information use (health, politics,be applicable to their specific att ributes, needs and employment, entertainment), ability to extract information.wants.10 Thus, a specific focus on vulnerable popu- ICT environment Social-political-economic factors:lations is useful and necessary for overcoming the Legal and regulatory framework, regime type, governance system, macroeconomic environment, poverty,barriers that governments of the world face in their local economic environment, trust, political will, leadership, habituation (integration of technology anddrive to ensure the digital inclusion of all citizens, Internet into the culture), structural inequalities, stereotypes, cultural values, ratio of females in the labour force, availability of scientists and engineers.thereby contributing to efforts towards ensuringsustainable development for all. Vulnerable populations are part and parcel of the three main pillars. Socio-demographic factors (income, gender, age, occupation, geographic location, ethnicity and race, religiosity, language, physical capacity, Table 5.1 summarizes some of the divide issues, affordability) arise under all three pillars above. Yet, they are particularly instrumental in situating the vulnerable groups on the map of the digital divide.indicators and policy areas contained under eachone of the three pillars of ICT penetration or sup- Salient ICT issues specific to vulnerable groups include: indirect benefits of ICTs through intermediaries,12 the rise of social media with lower technical skill requirements,13 cell-only wireless users and theply, ICT take-up or demand, and ICT environment implications for the changing face of the digital divide.14or context, as well as the cross-pillar category of vul-nerable populations. An appropriate focus on extending e-govern-ment to vulnerable groups is critical to ensuring Figure 5.1 Inclusion of at least one of the vulnerable groupsthat e-government supports inclusion and develop- on the national websitement for all. Many countries have incorporated this Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceaniainclusive e-government approach with special sec- Eastern Africa Caribbean Central Asia Eastern Europe Australia & New Zealand Ethiopia Cuba Kazakhstan Czech Republic New Zealandtions devoted to the marginalized groups on their Dominican Hungary Southern Africa Republic Eastern Asia Russian Federationwebsites offerings. Botswana Trinidad China Slovakia and Tobago Japan The United Nations E-Government Survey Northern Africa Republic of Korea Northern Europe Morocco Central America Denmark2012 pays specific attention to vulnerable groups El Salvador Mexico Southern Asia India Estonia Finlandand how they are able to access and use e-informa- Northern America Iran (Islamic Republic of) Latvia Lithuania Canada Maldives Norwaytion and e-services. An overall picture of how e- United States Sweden South-Eastern Asia United Kingdomgovernment across the world integrates vulnerable South America Malaysia Brazil Singapore Southern Europe Western Europegroups is provided in figure 5.1. The main question is Colombia Thailand Albania Austria Paraguay Viet Nam Croatia Francewhether the national government website contains Uruguay Italy Liechtenstein Western Asia Malta Netherlandsspecific sections on at least one of the vulnerable Cyprus Israel Portugal Slovenia Switzerlandgroups, namely the poor, the illiterate, the blind, the Kuwait Oman Spain The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedoniaelderly, immigrants, women and youth. 89
  • 97. Chapter Five5 Bridging the digital divide by reaching out to vulnerable populations United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 The results show that, as of 2012, only 28 per cent of Member States (56 out of a total of 193 coun- 5.1.1 Language and literacy tries) have included such sections on their national websites. Within the group of 56 countries that do One of the most important obstacles to e-inclusion, provide such information on vulnerability, Europe particularly among vulnerable groups with litt le ed- leads the way with about 50 per cent of them. Asia- ucation, is language. Today, more than 80 per cent of Pacific and Latin America are the runners-up with all websites are in English.16 Yet only one third of the 20 per cent each. Only Botswana, Ethiopia and users worldwide speak English as their native lan- Morocco make it to the list from Africa. guage.17 The illiterate poor seldom have the means There are many issues that contribute to the to learn a foreign language. digital exclusion of vulnerable groups culminating in the underutilization of e-government services byGaps in access to those who need them most. Among the important Figure 5.3 Multilingual European issues of digital exclusion are infrastructure and portalse-government access. Gaps in citizens’ access to and use of ICTs Percentage of countries in Europe with national portalsservices are often and e-government services often consist of con- having content in more than one language nectivity hurdles, such as the lack of affordable ac-associated with cess to PCs, Internet devices, modems, telephoneconnectivity hurdles lines, and Internet connections. One possible par- Eastern Europe 9 out of 10 90% tial solution to this infrastructure hurdle could besuch as the lack of to devise cheaper means of access such as the cre- Northern Europe 10 out of 10 100%affordable equipment, ation of publicly accessible kiosks in Internet com- Southern Europe 10 out of 14 71% munity centres, which would also bring down thetelephone lines and access price.15 Another approach could emphasize Western Europe 9 out of 9 100%Internet connections. users’ att ributes, needs, and wants since infrastruc- 0 20 40 60 80 100 Percentage ture and access are often mired in social, economic and political contexts including differences of lan- In this respect, both public education and guage, literacy, education, age, disabilities, capacity, local content production become paramount. income, location and gender. In other words, even The 2012 Survey finds cautiously optimistic rates if Internet community centres and machinery are regarding moves towards digital multilingualism, made available and affordable, large segments of including local content production. As shown in populations across countries might still be unable figure 5.2, more than half (105 countries) of the to reach or use them effectively due to the need for extra or non-standard technical features, outreach policies and/or e-government skills sets. Figure 5.4 Multilingual Asian portals Percentage of countries in Asia with national portals having content in more than one language Figure 5.2 Multilingual national portals National Portals with content in more than one language 5 out of 5 Central Asia 100% 5 out of 5 Africa 16 Eastern Asia 100% Americas 10 7 out of 9 Southern Asia 78% Asia 40 9 out of 11 South-Eaestern Europe 38 82% Asia Oceania 1 14 out of 17 Western Asia 82% 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 0 20 40 60 80 100 Number of multilingual national portals Percentage90
  • 98. Chapter FiveUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Bridging the digital divide by reaching out to vulnerable populations 5193 Member States are now offering their na-tional websites in more than one language. Box 5.1 Selected examples of e-government initiatives In using language to reduce the digital divide, of education to bridge the digital divideAsia is the leader with 40 countries offering theirnational websites in more than one language. Asia is Country Initiativesfollowed closely by Europe, with 38 such countries. Uruguay: Plan Ceibal Tables 5.2 and 5.3 delve into the sub-regional of the leaders. Asia, East Asia and Central • A laptop to every student enrolled in the public school system.Asia are fully multilingual digitally. In Europe, • Adaptive technology in the laptops for students with special needs.Western and Northern European countries are. • Co-ownership through engagement of students/parents in design. Latin America and Oceania have room to make • Aiming at adaptive technologies en masse and at reduced cost.progress. Only eight countries in Latin America andSamoa in Oceania provide their national websites in South Africa: Digital Doorwaymore than one language. Several African countries have already under- • Network of robust computer systems in rural communities totaken twin actions: to reach in – to their nationals in interconnect them – among each other and to the Internet.their official language(s)–, and to reach out – to the • Emphasis on awareness-raising and computer literacy withrest of the world through English and/or other com- community-driven learning programmes.monly spoken languages worldwide. These countriesare Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Nepal: CoppadesEgypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, http://www.coppades-nepal.orgMauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, and Tunisia. • ICT infrastructure and connectivity to rural public schools. The fact that some countries do not yet offer • Solar Power enabled online education project for rural schoolstheir national websites in more than one language with no connectivity to electricity grid.does not mean that that they are not making prog- • Connecting schools and students through email and their newlyress towards multilingualism on other grounds. created school websites.Educational programmes and training in foreign France: Aijalcom http://membres.multimania.frlanguages and ICT literacy, particularly targeting /ajialcomthe vulnerable groups, are widespread measures ap- • Community technology learning centres for youthplied by countries to overcome the digital linguistic in underserved areas.barrier. Some examples are provided in box 5.1. • Preparing youth to join the workforce, increasing computer The provision of government websites in the literacy and supporting local socioeconomic development.official national and local languages of minorityand other groups, particularly through their directinvolvement, could help in mitigating the e-gov-ernment access and use divide by expanding reach, cent of the world’s population is disabled in somepromoting awareness and instilling ownership in way,18 several countries have put forth innovativethe design of e-services and products. These fi ndings programmes of capacity-building that respond toalso imply that translating the national websites into the specific needs of these vulnerable groups.English can be helpful in promoting inclusion in the Persons with disabilities face substantial bar-broader information society at the global level. riers to access and use e-government. Web pages that use small fonts or particular colour combina- tions may be unreadable for the visually impaired.5.1.2 Abilities and capacities Similarly, audio or video content on web pages may not be useful for the hearing impaired. Those withEducation and digital literacy are particularly im- motor impairments may require special featuresportant for citizens with different physical and cog- on websites so that they can be navigated without anitive abilities. Considering that more than 18 per pointing device. 91
  • 99. Chapter Five5 Bridging the digital divide by reaching out to vulnerable populations United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Many persons with disabilities use adaptive technologies to overcome the challenges they face in Figure 5.5 Assisted sites consuming online content. Examples include screen Number of countries with national portals offering readers and special pointing or input devices. The video of sign language, services to read the content of former are used by the visually impaired to render pages aloud, and configuration of font size, font type, a written webpage as an audible description of the font colour and background colour page. The latter enable those with motor disabilities who may not be able to manipulate a standard key- First question Main target group: 7 board and mouse to interface with a computer and Hearing abilities navigate online content. Second question Main target group: 13 While these technologies offer persons with dis- Visual abilities abilities tremendous opportunities, they can be sen- Third question Main target group: 61 sitive to technical details of website implementation. Elderly Such technical flaws in implementation are typically 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 not visible on a webpage as rendered by a standard Number of countries browser. They can, however, be detected using au- tomated tools that read the underlying HyperText Markup Language (HTML) in which web pages are The fi rst question targets mainly those people actually stored and transmitted. with different hearing abilities. The second does the E-government can and often does represent a same for those with different visual abilities. The tremendous opportunity for persons with disabili- third question is also relevant for the visually chal- ties by bringing services to them in a way that can- lenged, as well as for the elderly. not be accomplished effectively via physical delivery. Results show that the world is only beginning to Paradoxically however, insufficient attention to the tackle digital ability. Figure 5.3 and table 5.2 show needs of the disabled in e-government planning and the associated fi ndings of this year’s Survey. implementation can actually disadvantage this vul- nerable group even more. Therefore, while capacity-building pro- Table 5.2 National websites with grammes of ICTs for persons with disabilities are accessibility features important, they are not the only remedy. Often Number of countries Percentage times, simple technical tweaks such as adding la- Read content aloud 13 7% belling to images on the web so that screen readers Video of sign language 7 4% can find them, providing audio Captchas19 for the Configure fonts and/or colours 61 32% visually impaired or designing devices with graphi- cal interfaces or tactile inputs can be highly effec- tive means for mitigating the digital divide faced The fi ndings demonstrate that only seven coun- by population groups with different visual, hearing tries offer video of sign language on their national and other abilities. government websites, and except for Canada, they The 2012 United Nations E-Government Survey are all situated in Europe. The trend-setters in digi- measures the digital divide faced by persons with dis- tal ability are Austria, Finland, France, Portugal, abilities through three questions: Sweden and the United Kingdom. • Does the site offer video of sign language? The Survey also shows that only 13 countries • Does the website offer a service to read the offer services to read their national government content of pages aloud via a speaker web pages aloud via a speaker or headphones. One or headphones? would have expected the previous seven to have un- • Can the design of the site allow for configura- dertaken this functionally equivalent step. Yet, sur- tion of font size, font type, font colour and prisingly, except for France and Sweden, there is no background colour? overlap between the two groups.92
  • 100. Chapter FiveUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Bridging the digital divide by reaching out to vulnerable populations 5 Box 5.2 Automated search for barriers to usage22 An automated search for barriers to usage was proportion of tests passed. Similarly, for prior- carried out by the United Nations E-Government National sites per type ity 2, each website was assigned from zero to Survey 2012. E-accessibility checker soft ware20 of accessibility barriers three points. The chart below shows how points was used to test the primary national website of were distributed among countries. each country to assess how well it conforms to Deprecated 98 features the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) stan- Ambiguous 74 dards promulgated under the Web Accessibility links E-accessibility points Initiative (WAI) and embodied in the Web Graphical elements 63 distribution without description Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG),21 Unlabeled 48 version 1.0. The tool only tests those aspects of form elements 0 4 Priority 1 0 Priority 2 the guidelines that can be tested automatically. It Mouse 35 required 31 1 searches, inter alia, for deprecated features, ambig- 76 Points uous links, graphical elements lacking descriptive 0 20 40 60 80 100 2 43 Percentage 63 elements, unlabelled form elements, and features 3 112 that can only be navigated with a mouse. 51 Deprecated features are HTML state- 193 Member States had deprecated features, 74 0 20 40 60 80 100 ments that the W3C recommends avoiding per cent had ambiguous links, 63 per cent had Number of countries and which may be dropped from future ver- graphical elements lacking descriptive text, 48 sions of HTML. Some features are deprecated per cent had unlabelled form elements, and 35 per specifically because they do not support acces- cent had features that could only be used with a As can be seen below, 112 countries’ sites sibility or more current HTML functions. mouse. The WCAG classifies requirements into (58 per cent) scored 3 points on the priority Ambiguous links are multiple links that priority 1 and priority 2. Priority 1 requirements 1 test, while only 51 countries’ sites (26 per have the same text but point to different des- must be met to comply with the WCAG. Priority cent) scored 3 points on the priority 2 test. tinations. Screen reader users may not be able 2 requirements should be met.22 To put it differ- Conversely, only 31 countries’ sites (16 per to differentiate such links. Similarly, graphical ently, failure to meet priority 1 requirements ren- cent) scored only 1 point for priority 1, while 76 elements that lack descriptive text or proper ders a site “impossible” to access for some users. countries’ sites (39 per cent) scored 1 point for labelling may be missed or rendered meaning- Failure to meet priority 2 requirements imposes priority 2. While countries are more successful less for them. Last but not least, features that “significant barriers” to access. at complying with the priority 1 than with the require a mouse place users with different dex- Depending on how many tests a web- priority 2 requirements, one implication of this terity abilities and levels at a disadvantage. site passed for priority 1 requirements, it was is that there is considerable room for improve- The e-accessibility checker found that 98 per assigned from 0 to 3 points for priority 1, ment in rendering e-government services avail- cent of the national web pages assessed across the with higher numbers representing a higher able to persons with disabilities. 23 u When it comes to serving populations with dif- after Europe and Asia, 3 out of the 8 Latin Americanferent visual abilities through the ICTs, it is not just countries whose national websites have built-inEurope that carries the torch of innovation. Other mechanisms that enable the configuration of visualcountries from several regions of the world also offer site characteristics come from the Caribbean. Theservices to read their government websites aloud via forerunners are the Bahamas, Saint Vincent and thea speaker or headphones. Among them are Bahrain, Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.Oman and the United Arab Emirates in Western Although these digital ability statistics point toAsia, Japan in East Asia, Malaysia in Southeastern an infancy stage at best, there is cause for hope. ForAsia, and Chile in South America. instance, a promising 32 per cent of governments The Caribbean stands out in Latin America. across the globe (61 Member States out of a total ofAlthough the region as a whole is only in 3rd place, 193) have already incorporated features that allow 93
  • 101. Chapter Five5 Bridging the digital divide by reaching out to vulnerable populations United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 for the configuration of font size, font type, font co- lour and background colour into the design of their Table 5.3 Access of females versus national websites. These advances facilitate the males to social media28 digital access, not only of those with different visual Social Networking Category Reach by Worldwide abilities, but also of the elderly. Region for Females and Males, May 2010. The fi ndings also point to an overall lack of struc- Total audiemce, age 15+ – Home & Work Locations* tured national plans for the digital inclusion of per- Source: comScore Media Metrix sons with disabilities. As certain countries are taking Social networking % reach by region initiatives to make Internet access a legal right, 24 Females % Males % planning and implementing structured digital in- Worldwide 75.8 69.7 clusion programmes take on increased significance. Latin America 94.1 91.9 The European Union’s Web Accessibility Initiative North America 91.0 87.5 (WAI) guidelines for public websites and universal Europe 85.6 80.6 design for e-accessibility are good starters. But there Asia Pacific 54.9 50.7 is a need to focus more on implementation. 25 *Excludes visitation from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs. 5.1.3 Gender and income uniform levels of female economic activity29 hov- ering around 50 per cent, which is very close to the Regarding the gender dimension or the gender world average. digital divide, women have been unreservedly as- The within-region distribution of these coun- sociated with low Internet use and an overall disin- tries with regard to female economic activity also terest in technology. They are underrepresented in follows similarly uniform patterns with low degrees their ownership and use of computers and mobile of standard deviation from their respective regional phones, and access the Internet less frequently than means. Thus, in the sample of 55 countries whose men even though once in the labour force, women national websites mention vulnerable groups, there tend to use the Internet more than men. 26 are not too many deviating countries within regions The rising social media and networking tools with respect to the ratios of women undertaking show some promising gender trends. Women dem- economic activities. 30 onstrate higher levels of engagement with social net- Regarding the income dimension or the eco- working sites than men. Although they account for nomic digital divide, research and experience 47.9 per cent of total visitors to the social networking have already shown that the poor – individuals, sites, they consume 57 per cent of pages and spend significantly more time doing it: about five and a half hours per month compared to men’s four hours. 27 Figure 5.6 Female economic activity Table 5.3 shows that the most active women Levels of economic activity carried out by women in social media are in Latin America, followed in countries that mention vulnerable groups in their by North America and Europe. Women in Asia national websites are relatively less interested in social media. In all Standard Average female economic activity as % regions, women are engaged more fully in social of total economic activity Region deviation Africa 76.50 Africa 5.94 media than men. Americas 52.04 Americas 7.65 Perspectives on the gender digital divide are Asia 50.77 Asia 13.30 provided by the E-Government Survey’s data on Europe 51.54 Europe 7.55 countries that devote specific sections to vulner- Oceania 60.10 Oceania 2.40 able groups on their national websites. Figure 5.6 World 52.67 pictures the 55 countries that do so and categorizes them according to their female economic activity. World 10.42 0 20 40 60 80 Percentage All 55 of them, clustered into fi ve regions, display94
  • 102. Chapter FiveUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Bridging the digital divide by reaching out to vulnerable populations 5communities or nations – lack adequate access to Expanding the income perspective from aICT tools, including the Internet 31 and more re- simple GDP/per capita to the more comprehensivecently to the faster and more convenient broadband Human Development Index (HDI) yields similartechnology. 32 The income gap is usually exacerbated results: Countries must be above a certain thresholdby low levels of education, difficult access to tech- of socioeconomic development to begin addressingnological and other amenities because of location in the higher-end needs of their vulnerable popula-remote areas, and sometimes additional disabilities tions, here between the HDI levels of 0.705 (Oman)hampering the development of ICT skills. 33 Income and 0.943 (Norway). 37is thus a factor, but not the only one in shaping the As simpler solutions for digital inclusion are ex-digital divide. plored, more countries from the lower income groups join the group of countries that address the needs of their citizens with different visual abilities. Th is isFigure 5.7 Broadband (2012) and GDP the case of the 60 countries whose national govern-per capita (2010 or the latest figure) ment websites allow changes in font size, font type, font colour and background colour. Th is number is a 200,000 good contrast to the only seven and twelve countriesNumber of Broadband and GDP Monaco that respectively offered more costly technological 150,000 Liechtenstein solutions to the visual and hearing needs of persons Luxembourg 100,000 with disabilities. The ranges of GDP per capita and HDI levels in this larger and more diverse group 50,000 Dominica are from Ethiopia (US$358.25) to Liechtenstein 0 0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00 40.00 50.00 60.00 (US$134,914.67), and from Mozambique (0.322) to Per capita Norway (0.943), respectively. One new development with the potential toSource: ITU data used in the E-Government Survey Data (2012) for broadband counter the economic digital divide is what the(2011 values) and GDP/Capita (current US$, 2010) from World Bank (2012) foundat ( following countries’ International Telecommunications Union calls thebroadband per 100 habitants is zero or very close to zero (<0.08): Afghanistan,Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran “mobile miracle.”38 Putt ing connectivity and ICT(Islamic Republic of), Liberia, United Republic of Tanzania, and Zambia. services within reach of the vulnerable populations, least developed countries have seen their mobile The emerging economies in the developing data connectivity jump from a meagre 1.2 per centworld are catching up fast. Internet users in devel- of their population to 30per cent in the last 10 years.oping countries increased from 44 per cent of the Among the developing regions, Africa has the high-world’s population in 2006 to 62 per cent in 2011. est mobile growth rate. Mobile penetration has risenAnd 37 and 10 per cent of these users are in China from just one in 50 people to over one quarter of theand India, respectively. 34 The increasing income population there in the last decade. 39levels paralleled with the increasing take-up of ICTs These trends in mobile connectivity are not justin general underline once more the importance of technology enhancements. They are used by govern-infrastructure and access, including affordability in ments to bring public services to their citizens, suchthe digital divide. as safe drinking water, healthcare services, online A glance at the group of countries offering built- education, all provided through m-government. Thein, sophisticated soft ware service for reading content 2012 United Nations E-Government Survey showsaloud via a speaker or headphones shows that they some convergence between those governments thatare indeed all upper-middle or high-income coun- are relatively advanced in m-government and thosetries. 35 Yet there are still considerable differences in that have taken steps to integrate vulnerable groups.the GDP/per capita levels of even this small cluster Out of a total of 25 Member States that offer sepa-of twelve rich countries. The range stretches from rate m-government sites, 14 also include specific sec-the least rich, Malaysia (US$8,373) to the richest, tions on their national websites for vulnerable groupsLuxembourg (US$108,921). 36 such as the poor, illiterate, blind, old, young, and women. 95
  • 103. Chapter Five5 Bridging the digital divide by reaching out to vulnerable populations United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 These countries are: Canada, Denmark, France, Japan, Figure 5.8 M-government and Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Singapore, vulnerable groups Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Viet Nam. From a regional perspec- Countries that offer both a separate m-government and references to vulnerable groups on their national websites tive, Europe and Asia are again leaders, followed by North America and the Caribbean. Caribbean: North Americas: Relating the digital inclusion and m-government 1 country 2 countries 7% 14% convergence to broadband and infrastructure data can yield interesting insights. The average broadband and Europe: infrastructure ratios of the converging countries over 6 countries 43% the respective world averages are high. Their infrastruc- ture scores average about 49.6 per cent higher than the world average, and their broadband score averages 14 about 37 per cent higher than the corresponding world countries average. These findings, illustrated in figure 9, point once more to the important factor of infrastructure and increased access through e- and m-government. M-government is contributing to bridging the Asia: 5 countries digital divide but is not a complete or sufficient an- 36% swer per se. Access to a cell or a mobile phone is not the same thing as creating and managing one’s own business or community, which a networked com- puter allows. Multichannel service delivery and m- government coupled with the right e-government strategies can together expand access and alleviate the challenges faced by the vulnerable groups.Figure 5.9 Broadband, m-government, and vulnerable groupsAverage broadband and infrastructure ratios of countries that both specify vulnerablegroups in their national websites and offer a separate m-government portal 5.1.4 Location and ageWorld broadband Converging countires Infrastructure Broadbandaverage The income gap in ICT penetration and take-up par- Canada 0.7163 29.818.73 allels other parameters of digital exclusion. One of Denmark 0.8615 37.38 them is the rural/urban divide or the spatial digital France 0.7902 33.92 divide. Most of the world’s poor live in rural areas, Japan 0.6460 26.91 and most of the world’s rural populations tend to be Malaysia 0.4510 7.32 poor. There are still about 1.4 billion people living on Netherlands 0.8342 37.97 less than US$1.25 a day, and close to 1 billion people Broadband Norway 0.7870 34.60 average suffering from hunger. At least 70 per cent of them 23.58 Oman 0.3942 1.89World are rural.40 Singapore 0.6923 24.72Infrastructureaverage In the spatial digital divide, sectoral perspectives Spain 0.6318 22.960.32 are particularly important. E/m-health and e/m- Trinidad and Tobago 0.4526 10.81 education in remote areas and distant markets with United Kingdom 0.8135 31.38 low population densities are more than technology United States 0.6860 26.34 upgrades. They can be effective tools in promoting Viet Nam 0.3969 4.13 sustainable development through increased access and community-oriented services that actively Infrastructure Converging countries average 0.6538 23.5816 average involve all segments of society in the formulation, 0.65 World average 0.3245 8.73 design and provision of needed e-services.96
  • 104. Chapter FiveUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Bridging the digital divide by reaching out to vulnerable populations 5 The digital divide is also an age issue. Today,45 per cent of Internet users worldwide are below Box 5.3 Selected examples of initiatives in support of access/usethe age of 25. Th is is equal to over one billion youngwomen and men. Yet that leaves two billion young Country Initiativespotential users still offl ine.41 Considering the dex- Denmark: Robobrailleterity of youth in adapting to change and their http://www.robobraille.orgpropensity to innovation, they constitute a not-to- • E-mail-based translation of documents to synthetic speechbe-missed opportunity for policy makers whose aim allowing the blind to access otherwise unreachable to build long-term digital literacy. • Free-of-charge to all non-commercial users and available Connecting schools to the Internet and con- in 7 European languages.necting them with each other via ICT tools are • In the process of being validated in Ireland, Cyprus, Italy,important means for gett ing youth on board. As Portugal and the United Kingdom.the International Labour Organization warns of a Rwanda: TracNetglobal youth employment crisis, IT-based inclusion become even more critical.42 • National phone and Internet-based reporting system for HIV/ The elderly can also benefit from Internet train- AIDS supporting the work of TRAC – Treatment and Research AIDS and access programmes. In their case, fightingcomputer anxiety and raising awareness of the • TRACs provide technical assistance and guidance for the effec-benefits of usage are important. In general, medical tive organization and management of HIV/AIDS programmesinformation, tips on stretching a limited income, ex- Hungary: Click On It Grandmapansion of social support networks, and staying in with family43 are among the advantages that • Computer classes offered to senior and retired citizenssenior citizens can seize to improve their well-being at nominal fees (EUR 4) in nationwide community centres.and help close the digital divide. Online social activity is highest for teens andyoung adults. Currently, about 72 per cent of youngadults and teens use social networking sites, com-pared to 40 per cent of adults age 30 and older. But efficiency, food security and sustainable agriculture;even though social networking sites are still domi- sound water management and healthy oceans; bal-nated by younger users, increasing trends showing anced urbanization; improved resilience; and di-more use by the elderly are promising. Lately, social saster management. Likewise, myriad dimensionsmedia have been important tools for empowering of the digital divide, including the spread, density,older people. According to the Pew Research Center, use and applications of information and communi-the 74-plus demographic is the fastest growing user cation technologies are social in their construct forgroup of social networks and social networking they often overlap with the existing socioeconomicamong Internet users ages 65 and older grew 100 inequalities in societies.44 In fact, even technologyper cent between April 2009 and May 2010, jump- itself is social because it is shaped by human actioning from 13 to 26 per cent. and applied in social contexts – not in a vacuum.45 The social nexus between the digital divide and sustainable development evokes the necessity for scholars and policy makers to consider ways of5.2 Conclusions and feeding one into the other in order to address thepolicy recommendations challenges facing both. For instance, if by bridging the gender digital divide, structural gender inequal-At the end of the day, social phenomena that can be ity can be reduced, then policy makers would haveadvanced through the right economic models, po- achieved two aims with a single effort.litical decisions and social policies include issues in Transforming the digital divide into digital div-sustainable development such as energy access and idends for development for the people necessitates 97
  • 105. Chapter Five5 Bridging the digital divide by reaching out to vulnerable populations United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 a direct and targeted focus on vulnerable groups a networked computer is essential. Yet, by e-government. Such a focus repudiates one- m-government is crucial in expanding the sided or piecemeal e-government policy-making. number of users and diversifying the chan- As also corroborated by the evidence presented in nels for service delivery, particularly in the chapter 5 on usage and user needs, it requires com- public sector, as documented in chapter 6. prehensive and hybrid approaches with integrative, • Th ree salient ICT issues specific to vulnerable multi-stakeholder and multichannel implementa- groups are: tion frameworks. — Indirect benefits of ICTs through interme- The digital divide in e-government can best be diaries such as traditional media channels, addressed through multiple dimensions. Below which can access the Internet while vulner- is a short summary of these and associated policy able groups cannot; recommendations: — The rise of social media with their more • Access to ICTs holds educational advantages, inclusive tendencies and lower technical prospects for future employment and earnings, skill requirements, which are opening up opportunities for social and civic involvement, new horizons for the inclusion of vulnerable and potentials for increases in civic equity. The groups; and ICT advantage can be multiplied through poli- — The emergence of cell-only wireless users cies targeting vulnerable groups. Th is implies within the vulnerable groups. consideration of linking e-government strate- All three must be on the radar screens of gov- gies with sustainable development policies. ernments – in terms of the right infrastructure, ad- • The United Nations E-Government Survey equate training, effective regulation and inclusive shows that governments of the world are only policy making. starting to include their vulnerable groups • New skills are gaining importance. Among digitally. Such inclusion initiatives should be them are fast retrieval of information; thread- enhanced and spread to all levels, eventually ing between legitimate and illegitimate including the local level. sources; assessing usefulness, validity and • Many factors are important for overcoming relevance of data; and use of social media and the digital divide: adequate fi nancial resources, multimedia. New skills create a new type of commitment by the top leadership, a national social capital. ICT workforce, open competitive and transpar- • The new skills and the new social capital being ent economic and political environments, edu- created are very much associated with the cation, technology transfers, and innovation. rising influence of online social media. Social Two particularly essential issues are infrastruc- media include and engage more diverse social ture and access, both within the framework of groups into policy making. The lower techni- efficient, effective and citizen-centric e-govern- cal know-how required to tap into these media ment. Two related issues of importance here are can be an advantage for the vulnerable groups. broadband and m-government. They can be employed in the new government — Broadband involves the effective use of the organizations created to manage e-participa- speed and connectivity advantages offered tion. Prospective data analysts can be recruited by technology and putt ing them at the ser- from amongst the vulnerable populations. vice of sustainable development initiatives. • Connecting schools to the Internet and con- — M-government is instrumental in increas- necting them with each other via ICT tools are ing access to and effective use of ICTs and important in gett ing youth on board. Fighting e-government services but hardly provides computer anxiety is more important in the a complete answer to the digital divide. case of the elderly. Developing e-learning and Access to a cell or a mobile phone is not the suitable ICT contents for target populations is same thing as creating and managing one’s key. The right infrastructure and technology own business or community, for which can support this process. A good example is a98
  • 106. Chapter FiveUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Bridging the digital divide by reaching out to vulnerable populations 5 device called “Simputer,” which is simple and means to access information, and then uses it to cre- can be used by the illiterate.46 ate new content and engage with other citizens to• Education and training in ICTs for persons better respond to their needs and aspirations. For this with disabilities are important but not the only kind of divide to be bridged, strong economies and remedies. Often times, simple technical tweaks healthy governance systems need to encompass a di- can be useful: adding labelling to images on rect and targeted focus on vulnerable groups, includ- the web so that screen readers can fi nd them, or ing the specific disadvantages that they face and the providing audio Captchas for those with differ- unique contributions that they can make in bridging ent visual abilities, including the elderly.47 the digital divide. E-government should take into ac- The digital divide is no longer confi ned to count- count the panoply of abilities of citizens toto to ef-ing telephone lines or cellular subscriptions per 100 fectively address this issue with an eye on supportinginhabitants. It is about who has the skills and the sustainable development for the people. – 99
  • 107. Chapter SixUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Expanding usage to realize the full benefi ts of e-government 6 Chapter 6 Expanding usage to realize the Italianestro/ full benefits ofChapter 6 e-governmentExpanding usage to realize the fullbenefits of e-government6.1 E-service usage: the current landscape 102 Availability of online public services (‘supply-side’) has been 6.1.1 Low level of usage 102 the primary focus of e-government studies and policymaking, 6.1.2 Gap between e-service availability but over the past years, citizen usage of e-government services and usage 103 (‘demand-side’) has also become a priority issue. An increasing 6.1.3 Limited types of e-services used 103 number of governments, mostly in developed countries, are6.2 Challenges, recent efforts and opportunities 104 making greater efforts to increase usage of services. They start 6.2.1 Multifaceted challenges by recognizing that the benefits of e-government services are of e-service usage 105 very much determined by the number and type of users of these 6.2.2 Usage divide across and within countries 107 services, and the frequency of their use. 6.2.3 Expanding usage through There is also mounting pressure for performance reporting social media 108 on taxpayer-funded e-government investments in some countries 6.2.4 Use of open data and public service co-production 110 (e.g., the United Kingdom and Canada). Measuring and6.3 Increasing e-service usage: reporting the usage level have become important for assessing policy conclusions 112 and demonstrating the benefits of e-government initiatives and ensuring continued support. 101
  • 108. Chapter Six6 Expanding usage to realize the full benefi ts of e-government United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 However, the overall level of usage remains rela- active in consuming e-services delivered through tively low compared to traditional service delivery other channels, it helps reduce e-service usage di- methods, even in countries that are making greater vide within countries, hence fostering socially in- efforts to enhance take-up, and notwithstanding clusive development. continued progress in the provision and sophistica- Second, open data is an increasingly impor- tion of e-government services. Many potential ben- tant source of information service provided by efits of e-government are thus concealed and have governments and other entities and presents not been fully realized. Th is presents a major chal- opportunities for everyone to freely use, reuse lenge for policymakers, who need to rethink how and integrate various data pertaining to socio- public services can be taken up more by citizens so economic and environmental dimensions of sus- as to help realize their full potential benefits, and tainable development. therefore, to contribute to sustainable development for the people. Th is chapter will provide an overview of the level and trends of e-service usage in countries around 6.1 E-service usage: the world, identify key policy issues and challenges, The current landscape describe recent efforts by governments as well as regional and international organizations to increase Th is section describes the level of usage and its de- usage, identify recent efforts and emerging practices, velopment trends and highlight different growth and draw some policy conclusions. rates between e-government availability and take- With a view to the Rio +20 Conference in 2012, up. It will also outline current levels and trends of this chapter will also explore e-service usage in the citizen take-up of e-government services, as well as particular context of sustainable development. The types and stages of services used. notion of sustainable development entails intra- generational and intergenerational equity and in- tegration and a balanced consideration of social, 6.1.1 Low level of usage economic and environmental objectives.1 • In connection with the environmental dimen- There is no comprehensive data available to assess sion of sustainable development, there is a citizen usages at the global level. Data are not yet rather straightforward way of connecting e- systematically collected and uniformly available service usage and sustainable development, for across countries around the world. There are only example, through the environmental impact of a few studies of some developing countries (e.g., e-service take-up. While ICT is considered to Bahrain, Pakistan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, gulf re- pose some risk for the environment, 2 e-gov- gion countries, and Bangladesh). 4 According to ernment service usage is found to have positive them, the level of e-government usage is generally impacts on it. 3 low, even as it is in most advanced countries. In • In connection with the social dimension of EU27 countries, the average usage rate is 32 per sustainable development, e-government usage cent, and in OECD countries, the average usage can also be analyzed through its connection rate in 2010 was only around 40 per cent, not- with usage differences across countries and withstanding recent increases in citizen take-up usage divide within countries. of e-services. 5 • Furthermore, e-service usage can be analyzed That said, in some countries, the Internet has through some other less immediately discern- become a frequently used channel of public ser- ible connections with social media as well as vice take-up. For example, in Australia it has even open government data provision and service. become the channel most often used. Two in five First, social media presents a new avenue of not citizens are using Internet to contact government. only e-service delivery but also usage. With its ac- Moreover, given a choice, four in five citizens tive use by minorities and other groups usually not would prefer to contact government by Internet102
  • 109. Chapter SixUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Expanding usage to realize the full benefi ts of e-government 6instead of by phone. 6 Still, this is more the excep-tion than the norm. For example, in Lithuania, a Figure 6.1 E-government usagecountry with Internet penetration of almost 70 per growth rate lagging behindcent in e-service usage, e-government usage is not e-government availability growthgrowing all that fast. Two thirds (66 per cent) of rate (2005 – 2010)the country’s residents have never used e-govern-ment services.7 100 90.40 The realities and challenges of measurement 79.12 Series 1 80are that outcome and usage indicators are more 67.03difficult to develop than e-government access and 60 57.13 Percentage 50.86 47.25readiness indicators. Nevertheless, the United 40Nations E-Government Survey 2012, with its 25 30 28 30 32 23 Series 2global data, presents valuable indications on the 20level of usage. Though only from the perspective of 0potential – not actual – use by citizens, the Survey 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010can help estimate the extent to which e-govern-ment service is used. Source: Eurostat data on e-government usage by individuals (October, 2007); The User Challenge Benchmarking — The Supply of Online Public Services, 7th Since it is not always possible to measure actual Measurement (September 2007), prepared by Cap Gemini for European Commission.usage, the Survey assesses how many non-gov-ernment websites link to the government portal.According to the Survey data, 144 countries (75 per identified by the EU (see series 1), which are fullycent of 193 United Nations Member States) have available in EU27 countries. E-government usage ismore than 10 websites that link to the government measured by the percentage of individuals aged 16portal. Th is is an indirect measurement of the usage to 74 who have used the internet for interacting withof these countries’ government portal by non-gov- public authorities (see series 2).ernment or private sector entities. 6.1.3 Limited types of6.1.2 Gap between e-service e-services usedavailability and usage The most frequently provided (as well as used) types E-government usage has thus far been limited of services are information services, which are theand has not kept up with the fast growing provi- fi rst step of sophistication of e-government initia-sion and availability of e-services. According to tives. Many countries remain at this initial stage ofrecent research commissioned by the European e-government provision and usage. Online trans-Commission, the different speed and growth rate actional services, whether they involve payment orbetween e-service availability and e-service take-up not, are being provided less often – and are muchis substantial (see figure 6.1). 8 less used. Low usage limits the reach and impact of e-gov- As far as provision of e-services is concerned,ernment services, and more needs to be done if gov- the United Nations E-Government Survey 2012ernments are to successfully leverage e-government data show the limited extent of e-transactional ser-to improve efficiency and effectiveness and realize vice availability. All 193 United Nations Memberother benefits. The recent fi nancial and economic States provide some information services – exceptcrisis has also shown that e-government projects for Libya, Central African Republic and Guinea.and realization of their benefits are important for ef- But a much smaller number of countries providefective crisis response.9 transactional services with regard to environ- The indicator of e-government availability ment, labour, social welfare, fi nance, health, educa-shows the percentage of the 20 basic services, as tion, and other sectors (see figure 6.2). It was not 103
  • 110. Chapter Six6 Expanding usage to realize the full benefi ts of e-government United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Box 6.1 Benefit of e-tax payment: Convenience and ease of paying taxes One good example of tangible and substantial benefits ten weeks in Kenya). But the report, Paying Taxes that may accrue from using e-services is online tax pay- 2011: The Global Picture found that those coun- ment, which is convenient and easy to do. E-payment of tries that are advanced in using e-payment do well taxes is growing in popularity. According to the United on a number of tax payment indicators, improv- Nations E-Government Survey 2012 data, citizens in ing their ease of paying taxes. Recently, develop- 77 countries (40 per cent of United Nations Member ing countries have also benefited, with Tunisia, States) can now pay income taxes online. Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe having Many countries around the world suffer from improved most in the ease of paying taxes through extremely long tax processing time (e.g., nearly e-tax payment.10 u unexpected to fi nd that many transactional services is characterized by the generally low e-service usage are concentrated in fi nance and other sectors rather level, a substantial gap between the e-government than the other fi ve analyzed. ‘supply’ side and ‘demand’ side, and the limited However, in some of these countries (e.g., types of e-services used. Mexico), citizen take-up of e-transaction services Th is presents a major challenge for policymak- is rapidly increasing. According to the 2012 Survey, ers in their efforts to improve citizens’ take-up of e- 66 countries, approximately one third of United services and user satisfaction. They not only need to Nations Member States, even provide an online increase the overall level of e-service usage, but also tracking system to ascertain the status of online to close existing gaps and significantly move usage transactions such as grant applications, which in- beyond the realm of information to more complexThe current situation dicates that they acknowledge the importance of transactions and services such as e-consultation. transactional services and their monitoring. According to the United Nations e-Governmentis characterized by a Survey 2012, online e-consultation features pro-substantial gap vided most by countries are: discussion forums (78 Figure 6.2 Transaction services: countries), bulletin boards (76 countries), petitionbetween Countries providing online payment tools (42 countries) and voting tools (18 countries).e-government supply facilities in different sectors But as far as the demand side is concerned, there are no comprehensive data.and demand, and Finance 36generally low levels of Social welfare 23e-service take-up. Education 22 6.2 Challenges, recent Health 21 Labour 20 efforts and opportunities Environment 13 Other than the 37 Th is section builds on identification and analysis of six sectors these overall challenges and explore more specific 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Percentage sets of challenges and policy implications related to sustainable development by: • Examining factors affecting usage and multi- Th at said, it is important to note that even in facetted challenges (section 6.2.1); countries such as the United States, where e-trans- • Analyzing the current e-government action services are growing rapidly, citizens still use usage differences and divides across and within the government website much more for information countries for an inclusive approach than for transactions.11 Thus, the current situation (section 6.2.2);104
  • 111. Chapter SixUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Expanding usage to realize the full benefi ts of e-government 6 Box 6.2 311 Service: Trust, transparency and service request map of New York City Th is kind of positive cycle of interaction as offering the most detailed information may stand the 311 service request map of about 311.14 It has interactive mapping ca- New York City in good stead, as well as pabilities and provides information on and other initiatives that aim to increase trans- access to location-specific service requests parency and public service usage. The fore- made through 311. Most importantly, it most objective of this recently launched enables real-time tracking of handling of map is increased transparency. It is iden- service requests, thereby enhancing trans- tified as “probably the most aggressive” in parency and accountability of public ser- the United States in this regard and also vice delivery.15 u• Exploring the potential of social media, in par- same factors may have different impacts in different ticular, to foster social inclusion and increase country situations. Based on this recognition, poli- usage (section 6.2.3); and cymakers need to develop a concrete operational• Exploring the opportunities for integration strategy in a manner that maximizes positive and of economic, social and environmental data minimizes negative usage factors. through governments’ open data services and Convenience is the dominant factor and gener- their take-up by citizens for engagement in bet- ally understood as enjoying 24-7 accesses and sav- ter and more integrated public service delivery ing travel. Convenience is often found as a stronger (section 6.2.4). incentive than mere cost-saving, even in developing countries (e.g., Malaysia, India, and Albania).12 Online privacy Privacy and security concerns are also impor-6.2.1 Multifaceted challenges tant. They potentially work as barriers impeding e- and security concernsof e-service usage service usage as they prevent users from trusting and may be preventing therefore using e-government services.13 In fact, theyThere are wide-ranging factors affecting usage and are often mentioned as a major reason for non-usage users from trustingchallenges that policymakers need to identify and of e-government services. and therefore usingaddress in their efforts to increase citizen take-up Lack of clear policy statements on privacy andof e-government services. These factors affect user security are likely to discourage citizens from using e-governmentmotivations and satisfactions underlying intentions e-government services. The problem is that, accord- use e-government services, and hence affect the ing to United Nations E-Government Survey 2012level of usage. data, less than half of the United Nations Member The important factors range from convenience States provide such statements. Government web-to concerns over trust, security and privacy. And the sites of 79 countries (41 per cent of 193 United Nations Member States) provide a privacy state- ment (including developing countries). Only 39Figure 6.3 Number of countries countries (20 per cent of United Nations Memberwith privacy statement and security States) have a visible security policy with a securepolicy online link feature clearly indicated on their government website (see figure 6.3).Provision ofprivacy statement 41 Th is presents a problem, as usage of e-servicesClear indication is often associated with security and privacy assur- 20of security feature ances provided to users, as shown in several empirical 0 10 20 30 40 studies in both developed and developing countries Percentage (e.g., Australia, Germany, Mauritius, Jordan, Saudi 105
  • 112. Chapter Six6 Expanding usage to realize the full benefi ts of e-government United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Arabia [city of Medina], and United Republic of services focused on their personal needs. Interest Tanzania).16 In Australia, security presents a critical among different citizens and citizen groups in usingThe more citizen- issue for those using e-services. The majority (83 per specific e-services depends on their personal situa- cent) of Australian citizens contacting the govern- tion. For example, e-services needed by unemployedcentric online and ment by Internet would even prefer to re-enter their people are very different from those services neededmobile services are, personal information each time they use a website by retirees. rather than have their details stored by the govern- To make e-services more relevant to citi-the higher the level ment agency.17 zens, some governments have begun to identifyof uptake. Besides privacy and security, trust in using e- and segment their base and group their services government services is also critical. And there is a around citizens’ needs and situations based on a positive and important cycle of interaction between life-event or themed approach. For example, the trust and transparency. As online transparency Norwegian Agency for Public Management and leads to greater trust, citizens are likely to use e- e-Government integrates the personalized, one- government more often.18 stop self-service portal ‘Miside’ with the exist- Furthermore, usability is a factor that has im- ing ‘’. The new (http://www. portant bearings on e-service usage. Good usability aims to present information and e- and perceived ease of use increase e-service usage. services based on the “life event approach.” 21 The Usability can be indicated by questions such as Singaporean Government uses a proactive “sense whether the site is easy to fi nd and use, well main- and respond” approach to anticipate citizens’ de- tained, up-to-date and robust. Government websites mands and provide integrated services geared to- with poor technical design often present usability wards users’ needs. 22 OneStopGov, an important, problems in terms of the initial search and the inter- high impact pilot project funded by the European nal navigation. Having robust search engines is par- Commission, aims to integrate disparate e-gov- ticularly important, as they are the most common ernment services around life events for more per- entry point for government website interactions.19 sonalized services. Organizing and updating government websites These initiatives indicate a shift towards a user are also important and at the same time challeng- or citizen-centric approach to e-government ser- ing, especially in developing countries, even though vice – from what services governments can provide several basic changes to the layout of government to what citizens really need. 23 The resulting impor- websites could improve their organization. At pres- tant aspect of citizen centricity in e-government is ent, the level of usability is generally low, at least as usefulness and relevance to citizens’ needs. Another measured by some indicators such as availability of aspect is usability, again, whether the site is designed a glossary of words helping users understand the for easy use by citizens. content of government websites, and tutorials guid- Citizen-centric service delivery with user focus ing users to access e-services. The United Nations is a complex issue with many perspectives that need E-Government Survey 2012 data show, for example, to be analyzed. For example, its implementation that websites of only 28 countries (15 per cent of 193 requires back-office integration of various govern- United Nations Member States) contain a glossary ment agencies and a whole-of-government perspec- of words. The situation is somewhat better with re- tive (see chapter 3 on whole-of-government). It also spect to the availability of a tutorial: 52 countries (27 requires a well-designed multichannel service deliv- per cent of United Nations Member States) provide ery strategy that offers a choice of online or offl ine a tutorial on their national portal guiding users to channels and the possibility of using the appropriate access to e-services. channel to access e-services (see chapter 4 on multi- In addition, citizen-centricity and focus on user channel service delivery) needs are highly relevant to e-service usage. The Closely related issues are citizen satisfaction more citizen-centric personalized e-government and feedback incorporation. According to a com- services are, with strong user focus, the more their prehensive study and statistics on United States uptake is likely to increase. 20 Citizens tend to prefer e-government satisfaction, citizen-centric and user106
  • 113. Chapter SixUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Expanding usage to realize the full benefi ts of e-government 6needs focussed services will improve citizen satis-faction. Satisfaction then increases the likelihood Figure 6.4 Governments’ efforts tothat the citizen will return to the website (by 51 garner and report on usage feedbackper cent), use it as a primary resource as opposedto utilizing more costly channels (by 79 per cent), Online possibility to tag, 9% 18 % of countries assess and rank content (out of 193 UN Member States)or recommend the site to others (by 81 per cent). 24 Provision of outcome onGovernment agencies therefore need to make ex- citizen feedback concerning 13% 25 service improvementplicit efforts to increase citizen satisfaction and Provision of informationincorporate this as an important factor in policy on citizen usage in basic 24% 47 web statisticsdesign for usage increase. Government report The Dubai Government’s recent launch of an on e-government service usage 9% 18online customer satisfaction survey is a step in the 0 10 20 30 40 50right direction. Th is is particularly encouraging, as Number of countriesthere is limited user satisfaction monitoring in manycountries. Even in Europe, not even one third of A real risk of dividegovernment websites can be rated and commented on broadband Internet connectivity. Researchupon by the user. 25 conducted by OECD indicates the importance of exists, both in At the global level, United Nations E-Govern- broadband access for e-government usage. Figure Internet access andment Survey 2012 data provide some further in- 6.5 shows broadband-dependent e-governmentsights into the limited efforts made by governments usage in 2008. e-service usage,to garner and report on feedback by citizens on When it comes to e-government, broadband which governmentse-service usage. The national websites of 25 coun- connectivity is critical, even in the most highly devel-tries (13 per cent of 193 United Nations Member oped countries such as those in Europe. Government need to address forStates) provide outcome on feedback received from service usage is found to be very much contingent on the sake of inclusivecitizens concerning the improvement of their ser- fast and reliable Internet connection. 26vices, whereas the website provides information on Developing countries (e.g., Malaysia, Viet and sociallycitizen usage in the form of basic web statistics, like Nam) have shown that a higher level of broadband sustainablehits or views, in 47 countries (24 per cent of United penetration is a pre-requisite for any governmentalNations Member States). In 18 countries, citizens effort to increase citizen usage of e-government ser- development.can tag, assess and rank content on the website, vice. 27 Th is presents an important challenge for de-which feeds back to government or to other users. veloping countries, where broadband penetrationGovernments report on citizen website usage in remains limited.the form of online services in the same number ofcountries (see figure 6.4). Figure 6.5 Relationship between broadband penetration and citizen uptake of e-government services (2008)6.2.2 Usage divide across andwithin countries 70 E-government take-up for citizens (%) 60 Iceland Norway Finland NetherlandsA real risk of divide exists – not only in Internet 50 Luxembourg Sweden Denmarkusage but also in e-government service usage. 40 Austria France Slovakia Spain OECD22Governments need to effectively address these di- 30 Hungary United Kingdom Turkey Germanyvides and differences for an inclusive approach and 20 Portugal Ireland Poland Italy Belgiumsocially sustainable development. 10 Greece Czech Rep. Usage divide across countries: The differences in 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40e-service usage among countries seem very much Broadband penetration (%)driven by infrastructure and connectivity, as citizenuptake of e-government services heavily depends Source: OECD Broadband statistics ( and Eurostat (2008) 107
  • 114. Chapter Six6 Expanding usage to realize the full benefi ts of e-government United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 average usage of online information services in Box 6.3 United States: Fostering social inclusion and increasing European countries is 28 per cent. The diver- e-service usage through social media gence is most pronounced between citizens with high education (53 per cent) and those with no or Nearly one third of United States Internet groups that have historically lagged behind low education (12 per cent), followed by age, oc- users are using social media to access e-ser- in their use of e-services. These groups all cupation and finally, living area. The most active vices. According to the latest United States use social media at a rate similar to that e-government users are those with high education, study, “embrace” of social media by the of other citizens, leading to a smaller gap living in densely populated areas, self-employed United States government seems to have among different socio-economic groups and aged 24-30. It is interesting to observe that “particular appeal” to minority groups, than through other forms of online infor- members of the youngest group (aged 16-24), low-income individuals, women and other mation and service delivery.29 u which are usually the most active in Internet use, are not the most active users of e-services, perhaps because they have less need for public administra- At the same time, the power of widespread mo- tive procedures. 30 bile technology offers a good opportunity to extend The least active user groups also include public services to citizens, especially in developing people living in sparsely populated areas, retired countries. It is also likely to increase usage of pub- and other inactive and/or elderly citizens, and lic services, as they can be accessed and used by disabled persons. The problem is further com- citizens everywhere and at all times. Mobile tech- pounded by the fact that these disadvantaged nology is also becoming increasingly important groups are often the very ones that require much in the multichannel mix available to citizens. But interaction with government (e.g., to obtain social at the same time, it is important to note that there welfare benefits), but are likely to miss out on what are technical constraints that can limit m-service e-government has to offer. 31 It is therefore all the usage, and that mobile broadband technology is more important to urgently address the usage gap. still in its early stages. (For a related theme, see chapter 5 on bridging the Thus, the winning approach is getting the digital divide.) right mix and balance of mobile technology and broadband Internet connectivity – with a clear focus on the next major step, namely, putting a 6.2.3 Expanding usage through broadband vision in place and “repeating the ‘mo- social media bile miracle’ for broadband Internet,”as stated in the latest ITU report. 28 There has been a drastic rise of social media (e.g., Usage divide within countries: Unequal ac- Facebook, Twitter, Micro Blog, VK), which con-Disadvantaged cess is likely to limit and fragment e-government tinue to grow rapidly, including through the use usage, which is the case in many countries around of mobile technology. In the United States, socialgroups often require the world. In the face of this reality, an important media usage has reached a milestone in 2011; two-interaction with challenge of e-service take-up for sustainable thirds of adult Internet users (65 per cent) were development is to ensure that e-service actually using a social networking site, which means thatgovernment but are reaches and is used by as many citizens as possible half of all adults (50 per cent) do so. 32 In this re-among the most and minimizes marginalization of certain groups. gard, the United States is the top-ranking country, This requires effectively increasing usage of e- followed by Poland, the United Kingdom and thelikely to miss out on services by all, including the poor and disadvan- Republic of Korea, where at least four in ten adultwhat e-government taged groups. After all, sustainable development citizens use such sites. 33 is as much about economic and social inclusion as At the regional level, in Asia and the Pacific, socialhas to offer. about environment and natural resource conserva- media have seen unprecedented growth, dominating tion and preservation. the region’s internet usage. 34 In the European Union, E-government services are often used to a dif- more than one third of all citizens use a social net- ferent extent by different citizens. For example, working site. Th is is true both for countries with high108
  • 115. Chapter SixUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Expanding usage to realize the full benefi ts of e-government 6(e.g., the Netherlands) and low (e.g., Latvia) internettake-up. 35 However, social media usage in some other Table 6.1 List of countries with government websites providingregions is still low. For example, the country average a statement ‘follow us on Facebook or Twitter’for Facebook user penetration in the Arab region was Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceaniaonly 5.94 per cent at the end of 2010. 36 Côte d’Ivoire Antigua and Barbuda Afghanistan Andorra Kiribati Government use of social media – though not Democratic Republic Argentina Azerbaijan Austria Vanuatua prerequisite for open government – is often high- of the Congo Equatorial Guinea Belize Bahrain Belgiumlighted as a good example of open government, Ethiopia Brazil Brunei Darussalam Croatiawhich builds on principles of citizen centricity and Ghana Canada Georgia Finlandinformation transparency. 37 Guinea-Bissau Chile Iraq France Government agencies are now using social Morocco Colombia Israel Germanymedia to improve public services, reduce costs and Nigeria Cuba Japan Greeceincrease transparency. Th rough these media, they Somalia Dominican Republic Malaysia Hungarycan inform citizens, promote their services, seek South Africa Ecuador Mongolia Italypublic views and feedback, and monitor satisfaction Sudan El Salvador Oman Latviawith the services they offer so as to improve their Tunisia Grenada Pakistan Liechtensteinquality. As social media enable two-way communi- Guatemala Philippines Lithuaniacation in real time, government agencies can quickly Honduras Qatar Luxembourgengage citizens as co-producers of services, not just Mexico Republic of Korea Netherlandspassive recipients. The latest study found that 66 per Panama Saudi Arabia Norwaycent of all United States Government agencies cur- Paraguay Singapore Portugalrently use some form of social networking. 38 Peru Thailand Russian Federation At the global level, assessing the presence of United States United Arab Emirates Spainsocial media in government portals of 193 United Uruguay Uzbekistan SwedenNations Member States, the United Nations Venezuela SwitzerlandE-Government Survey 2012 fi nds that government Ukrainewebsites of 78 Member States (40 per cent) provide United Kingdoma statement “follow us on Facebook or Twitter.”The survey data also show that 14 country govern-ment websites (7 per cent) provide tools to obtainraw (non-deliberative) public opinion through chatrooms or an IM feature (see figure 6.6). Table 6.2 shows which 14 countries provide the More than half of 78 countries providing a state- tools in order to obtain raw public opinion throughment ‘follow us on Facebook or Twitter’