2017•06•21 New York
The 18th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research (dg.o 2017) was held at the City University of New York (CUNY) on New York’s Staten Island (USA), between 7-9 June 2017. UNU-EGOV attended the event through two researchers who presented their accepted papers on two different topics: Morten Meyerhoff Nielsen presented his work on e-Government in Estonia and Ibrahim Rohman talked about the economic impact of implementing e-government policy.
During his presentation, Morten explained why Estonia’s use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the public sector is regularly highlighted as an innovative model worth emulating. Despite this, research into the Estonian governance and inter-governmental cooperation model is limited, with most being 5-10 years old. The Estonian case thus supports academic arguments in favour of a strong e-Governance model and a high level of inter-governmental cooperation and decision making. The paper and presentation is part of ongoing research at UNU-EGOV on ICT-enabled public service delivery.
Ibrahim’s presentation has a global focus and highlighted the potential contribution of e-Government implementation to reduce the shadow economy across the globe. Using a panel data analysis, the study shows that the increasing performance on, for example, the UNDESA eGovernment Readiness Index, significantly reduces the size of the shadow economy. The paper and presentation are part of a larger study and research on the informal and shadow economy as well as ICT-enabled administrative burden reduction.
This year, the conference main theme was “Innovations and Transformations in Government”, highlighting the importance of technological advances and the open data movement. Besides that, Public Private Partnerships (PPP) received, again, great attention throughout the conference given the role they can accentuate on the provision of public goods and services. Additionally, the conference theme also showcased the challenges and solutions in harnessing innovations and transformations in government. Innovative designs in all aspects of government, including people, services, data, policy, governance, collaboration, and democracy, require leadership talent and clear success criteria for evaluating solutions. What could have been more interesting but overlooked during the conference was the discussion on the nature and progress of digital transformation in the developing regions. This aspect might bring different consequences on the digital transformation and open-data requirement.