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Frequently Asked Questions

What UN E-Government Survey data is available to the public?

All publicly available data can be accessed on our web-portal UN E-Government Development Database. Under the "DATA" tab, you can find an interactive tool to view, sort and download information and datasets in open data formats from the 2018 Survey and previous editions (2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2012, 2014 and 2016). It also includes a machine-readable file of the Annex tables, advanced research features such as customisable regional and country comparisons, ranking and country profiles.

Is the Online Service Questionnaire (OSQ) available to the public?

In 2018 the questionnaire to assess the government portals, the Online Service Questionnaire (OSQ), was expanded to include the main principles of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Leaving No One Behind, with a particular focus on Goal 16, namely accountability, effectiveness, inclusiveness, openness and trustworthiness. While we do not share the questions used in our assessment of the national portals, a list of the features assessed are for the first time included in the 2018 edition of the Survey. They can be found listed in the Annex. It is also important to note that this list is dynamic and is updated for each edition of the Survey. The latest publication can be found at https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us.

Is the Member State Questionnaire (MSQ) available to the public?

As done for each edition of the Survey, the United Nations Member States were requested, through the Member State Questionnaire (MSQ), to provide information on the website addresses (URL) of their national portal(s) and the different government ministries. Information on efforts in support of e-government development, open government data, e-participation and the designated authority in charge of e-government policies was also requested. The MSQ is available to the public and can be found in the Annex here.

What is the reason for a country’s low ranking, or a drop in ranking compared to previous years?

The Survey rates the e-government performance of countries relative to one another, as opposed to being an absolute measurement. This means that a drop in the ranking does not actually mean that e-government development in that country is going backwards. It only implies that there were more countries which scored higher in that edition of the Survey. The Survey tracks progress of e-government development via the E-Government Development Index (EGDI). The EGDI, which assesses e-government development at the national level, is a composite index based on the weighted average of three normalized indices. One-third is derived from a Telecommunications Infrastructure Index (TII) based on data provided by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), one-third from a Human Capital Index (HCI) based on data provided by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and one-third from the Online Service Index (OSI). The scores of the country in TII and HCI will equally affect the EGDI. While the country may have scored very high in OSI, it may not score high in EGDI due to lower scores in the other two components.

Why is there a difference between the data currently available for the Telecommunications Infrastructure Index (TII) and/or Human Capital Index (HCI) and that used in the last edition of the Survey?

TII is based on data provided by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the HCI data used in the Survey is sourced through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Institute of Statistics (UNESCO-UIS) or UNDP. For the 2018 Survey, as highlighted in the publication, all Member States’ TII and HCI data was last checked against those two entities’ online databases in December 2017, and the Survey has been finalized using the data available at that point in time. It is quite likely that the data available now was updated after December 2017.

Can the data and the rankings be updated to include the most recent TII or HCI data?

The Survey rates the Member States’ e-government performance relative to one another, as opposed to offering an absolute measurement. Therefore, given the established methodology of the Survey and its already-published status, updating or revising data could affect not only a country’s score, but also unfairly change the final rankings of other Member States.

Is there a release date for the next edition of the Survey?

The UN E-Government Survey is conducted on a biannual basis, with publication in even years (2018, 2020, etc.) While no exact date has been set for the 2020 edition, we anticipate, as in previous Surveys, that it will be released in early Summer 2020.

Can the data and other findings generated by the Survey be used for research and publication?

All the Survey data found in the UN E-Government Knowledge DataBase page (https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us) may be used if properly referenced to the official source (example, UN E-Government Survey © 2018 by United Nations) and the United Nations Terms of Use and Copyright are followed. Please consult these sources for more details: http://www.un.org/en/sections/about-website/terms-use/ http://www.un.org/en/sections/about-website/copyright/

Which country-level portals were used to collect the Online Service Index (OSI) data?

The links to the country-level portals used in our research can be found here: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/Resources/Country-URLs

Why is the UN E-Government Survey not available in all UN official languages?

The E-Government Survey is a DESA mandated publication, but only for the English version. We work with Member State institutions to provide as many translations in various languages as possible. Once available, and after we have made sure the layout, format and content are identical to the published English version, the translations are available in UN E-Government Survey page: https://publicadministration.un.org/en/Research/UN-e-Government-Surveys