Banner Arabic Chinese English Russian Spanish Press Release

The United Nations welcomes you to our interactive e-Government Knowledgebase (UNeGovKB). The Database was created by the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) to provide governments and all members of civil society easy access to this valuable information for research, education and planning purposes. We invite you to use the interactive UNeGovKB to view, sort, and print information from the UN E-Government Survey, or download copies of the annual (2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018) United Nations E-Government Survey. The United Nations E-Government Survey presents a systematic assessment of the use and potential of information and communication technologies to transform the public sector by enhancing efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability, access to public services and citizen participation in the 193 Member States of the United Nations, and at all levels of development.




The United Nations E-Government Survey 2020

Deadline: 28 October 2019

Preparations for the 2020 United Nations E-Government Survey (2020 UNEGOV) are now underway. This is a call for contributions from experts, practitioners, scientists, and researchers for concise and factual policy briefs highlighting issues, research findings or solutions relevant to the themes of the Survey, as set forth in the chapters outlined below. All contributions that will be included in the final publication of the 2020 UNEGOV will be acknowledged in the publication. All other contributions that meet the requirement of this call will be published online.

The United Nations E-Government Survey is a biennial flagship publication of the Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) now on its 11th edition. Since the second edition was published in 2003, the exact methodology -- an online assessment of government national portals in computing the online service index (OSI) -- has been used consistently with adjustments in each edition to reveal prevailing trends and data availability. The OSI, along with the telecommunication infrastructure index (ITU as data source provider) and the human capital index (UNESCO/UIS as source provider), jointly establishes the E-Government Development Index (EGDI) as a composite measure, of which countries are ranked numerically based on standardized and normalised indices.

Scope of the call for contributions

Submissions can address an issue, finding, or research topic with a bearing on how governments can better make use of e-Government services to better support the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to serve their constituents. In addition, good practices of e-government including, but not limited to, partnerships, policy initiatives and legislative updates can be submitted.Submissions should not exceed 2,000 words. Tables or figures should indicate the source in the caption. Footnotes instead of endnotes should be used for necessary explanations and asides. References in Harvard Citation Style, i.e. (Author, year), should be inserted where quoted in the text. All references should be listed alphabetically at the end of the brief.

Submission process

The deadline for submission is 28 October 2019. Interested contributors are encouraged to submit as soon as possible. Please email your contributions  to in .doc or .docx format, using email Subject “2020UNEGOV – [Title of Brief/Submission]” indicating  your name and professional affiliation in the text of your email.

For more information on the Survey, please visit : 


The overall structure for the 2020 United Nations E-Government Survey[1] is expected to be as follows: 

Chapter 1. Global and regional rankings (including countries in special situations)

This chapter analyses the relative rankings of countries according to the E-Government Development Index (EGDI) and the its three components – the scope and quality of online public services (OSI); the status of the development of telecommunication infrastructure (TII); the status of human capital (HCI). Through in-depth analysis of the survey data, this chapter takes stock of institutional arrangements, whole-of-government and whole-society approaches -- across ministries, different levels of government and engagement of non-government stakeholders in deploying digital strategies for sustainable development.

Specifically, this chapter focuses on the following: (i) global and regional trends in e-government development; (ii) trends and analysis of countries in special situations (CSS), namely the least developed countries, Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and landlocked developing countries (LLDC), considering their unique vulnerabilities in the context of resilience and sustainability; (iii) policy options and recommendations.

Chapter 2. Regional Trends and Prospects

In close cooperation and with the Regional Commissions, regional and sub-regional trends, priorities and development in digital government will be considered across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Western Asia, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean, including, but not limited to, use of new and existing technologies in disaster risk reduction and other public sector areas. Illustrative case studies on innovative practices and solutions within each region will be presented, including national, regional and other partnership efforts. Such case studies will help countries to learn from others on how to tackle common challenges and resource constraints in leveraging e-government to achieve the SDGs and national development objectives. Written contributions will be provided by ECA, ESCWA, ESCAP, ECE and ECLAC.

Chapter 3. Local E-Government Development in cities and human settlements

While the global population continues to grow, more people are living in cities. In 2018, 55 percent of the world’s population lived in cities. By 2050, this is expected to increase to 68 per cent, with seven in every ten people living in cities. If sustainable development is to deliver to all people, urban development plays a critical role.

Following the pilot in the 2018 edition, the 2020 Survey will continue to provide a comparative assessment of subnational or local digital delivery of public services. This chapter will be prepared in close cooperation with United Nations University’s Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance (UNU-EGOV). A new dimension will be added to reveal how smart cities are supporting resilient, sustainable and livable societies, and how smart technologies are creating daily touchpoints, making both huge and small impacts across all sectors and all walks of life. The chapter will include a high-level analysis of global and regional metrics in evaluating smart cities, and the nexus of smart city goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including SDG 11.

Chapter 4. Data: Key resource for Digital Government

Data is a key resource for deploying digital government in implementing the SDGs. There is a need to amplify the central role of government data, both as an input and output, in steering and informing policy options. Generally speaking, however, there is a dire lack of data, technical and policy know-how, most notably with respect to data that is disaggregated by gender, age, income level, geography, and other key content dimensions. Without timely and quality data, institutions would not know the gaps and be able to identify the right policy options. This in turn may affect the full policy cycle of agenda setting, policy formulation, decision-making, implementation and evaluation. There is also an urgent need to address potential undesirable effects of data collection, including the need to ensure data protection and privacy for all individuals in the evolution of big data and new technologies.

This chapter looks into various facets of data, such as open data and big data, and concludes on how data is central to ensure effectiveness and public trust in the use of e-services. This chapter will focus on the following: (i) data as a key resource for digital government in SDGs implementation; (ii) data governance; (ii) data gaps and steps to mitigate such gaps; (iii) the use of open government data, the emerging and experimental use of big data in innovative solutions for SDG implementation, and other data applications in the public sector; (vi) policy options and recommendations.

Chapter 5. E-Participation

E-participation can be defined as a process of engaging citizens in decision-making and service design and delivery through ICTs. Since 2003, the Survey has been assessing trends in e-participation through a three-stage analysis of (i) e-information; (ii) e-consultation and (iii) e-decision-making.

This chapter will analyse global and regional trends in e-participation based on the results this and prior editions of Survey, including quantitative data and examples highlighted by Member States in their inputs. The chapter will also examine obstacles and challenges to e-participation, as well as what is known of its outcomes and impacts, based on a review of academic and grey literature.

Chapter 6. Digital Government Capacity and Capacity Building

Not all public institutions are “fit-for-technology” to deliver the dynamic and diverse targets of the SDGs. Some institutions may not be staffed appropriately or sufficiently, due to a lack of funding or brain-drain, or some public servants may lack the technology capacity, competency, policy knowledge or political acumen to mobilize technologies to deliver the complex and integrated demands of public service through digital government means. Public servants, therefore, need to have adequate digital skills, capacities, innovative mind-sets and complex thinking skills in order to explore and adapt new technologies to deliver digital services. They should also be ready to initiate or embrace new innovations and technologies to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs. Depending on context, public institutions may need to undergo a systemic transformative institutional change, to be rebuilt, reformed or re-aligned to effectively deploy technologies for implementation of SDGs and national development strategies.

Governments need to strengthen the digital and data analytic skills of public servants for effective evidence-based policymaking and successful implementation of digital strategies. Governments also need to improve the general digital literacy of citizens in today’s technology age. This chapter will focus on the following: (i) strengthening digital capacity in general; (ii) building digital capacity for the public sector; (iii) building digital literacy for the general public as users of digital services; (iii) policy options and recommendations.

 [1] The proposed chapter structure for the 2020 United Nations E-Government Survey is currently under the review of the UN DESA Editorial Board.


The Member States Questionnaire (MSQ) is now available for download

Preparations for the 2020 United Nations E-Government Survey has begun. The Member States Questionnaire (MSQ) is now available for download by the offices responsible for e-government development at the national level of UN Member States. The objective of this questionnaire is to gather information from the Member States in preparation of the United Nations E-Government Survey 2020. Please note that these responses do not directly affect the UN E-Government Development Index (EGDI), which is a composite index of Online Service Index (OSI), Telecommunications Infrastructure Index (TII) and Human Capital Index (HCI). UNDESA assesses national portals with the assistance of independent researchers to construct OSI, requests data from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to construct TII and HCI respectively. For any questions about this questionnaire, please contact


Browse Data CenterBrowse Data Center