UNU-EGOV participated in the 2018 e-Government Survey, conducted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), with a chapter focusing on local e-Government development in 40 cities across the world. In close collaboration with Vincenzo Aquaro and Deniz Susar (UNDESA), UNU-EGOV researchers show that there is a bouncing effect on the good performance of a certain country in the e-Government Development Index (EGDI) when compared to the local assessment (and the Local Online Service Index – LOSI that was developed). In other words, municipalities belonging to countries well ranked in the EGDI tend to also perform better in the local level.
Used to hear about e-Government development assessment at the national level, the study presents the results of the assessment of municipal portals of 7 cities in Africa, 6 in Americas, 13 in Asia, 12 in Europe, and 2 in Oceania. These portals are the most immediate digital interfaces with citizens and were assessed based on four dimensions:
The first item assesses some basic features of the website: the second examines the existence of essential information; the third assesses the delivery of fundamental electronic services; finally, the last item refers to the levels of participation and engagement by citizens.
The top three leaders in LOSI classification were Moscow, Cape Town, and Tallinn. Notwithstanding, when crossing LOSI with OSI (which is part of the composite indicator EGDI), it is verified that almost half of the cities showed a lower LOSI classification comparing to the classification of their respective countries in OSI.
The 2018 edition of the e-Government Survey has been recently released with updated data on the development of e-Government in the United Nations Member States. It is the tenth edition of this study, ran by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).
The results were made publicly available on 19 July 2018 and show that Europe is the leading continent regarding e-Government development in general. European countries perform better when compared to the Americas, Asia, and Africa, with Denmark, Australia and Republic of Korea in the front row in the e-Government Development Index (EGDI).
EGDI is used “to measure the readiness and capacity of national institutions to use ICTs to deliver public services” (UNDESA, 2018: page XX).
In total, there are 11 countries presenting a positive change in the ranking and that improved significantly, from which 8 are European (Belarus, Greece, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Portugal, and Russia). Regarding the index components, it is remarkable the overall importance given to online services provision. As such, it is the first time that this component contributes the most for the overall calculation of EGDI across the globe. In specific, 140 countries (out of the 193 included in the survey) have at least one transactional service online, being the preferred used services payment for utilities, submission of income taxes and registration of new businesses.
The study also presents results regarding the e-Participation Index (EPI), with Denmark, Finland, and Republic of Korea being the three top level performers in this category.
E-participation is measured based on “(i) e-information – availability of online information; (ii) e-consultation – online public consultations, and (iii) e decision-making – directly involving citizens in decision processes. The Survey assesses the availability of e-participation tools on national government portals for each of the above criteria” (UNDESA, 2018: page 112).
There is a global trend of improvement in this regard. The number of countries with very-high classification in the EPI ranking has doubled when compared to 2016 (from 31 to 62) while less 21 countries are now in the low-EPI level. The countries with more significant improvement in the EPI ranking are Burkina Faso, Dominica, the Philippines, and Panama.
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