UN E-Government Survey in Media

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E-Government Survey in Media


This will be a post of unfair generalizations, regardless of what I say in the next few paragraphs it should be noted that countries around the region are generally doing an outstanding job of driving their respective eGovernment Programs - there is always room to reflect and improve though.

The 2008 eGovernment Readiness Survey has been published by UN/DESA and in turn we have see ZDNet report that some countries around the region have dropped in their overall rankings.

From Vivian Yeo’s article;

Several countries in Asia have slipped in e-government readiness rankings, according to a new study released by the United Nations (U.N.). [..]

[..] With an index score of 0.447, the Asian region fared slightly below the world average of 0.4514 in the e-government readiness index. Europe proved the best-performing region, boasting a score of 0.649, while the Americas scored 0.4936.

Given that the survey work that UN/DESA undertake reflects eGovernment projects from around the globe it is important to recognize that the rankings are comparative, so this does not mean that a move in the rankings suggests that a given program is succeeding or failing, just moving in ranking against other countries in the world.

2008 UN SurveyAt the same time there are some exciting highlights from around the region in the report, with countries such as Korea and Vietnam scoring well for the work that they are doing in the exciting and emerging area of eParticipation.

So, if your national programs are beginning to slumber a little what can you think about to restart and refresh them? I have three ideas that you might want to start with.

Leadership. When most national level plans kick off they usually do so with support from senior leadership within the respective government, sometimes a senior civil servant or ministerial level politician. This leadership is important both in terms of strong senior support which helps to get past some of the bigger hurdles that stand in the way of delvery and ensuring that the technology aligns well with the business of government.

At this point in time a lot of eGovernment programs are several years into their original plan, the original leadership has moved on to think about other big issues. Now is a great time to reach out to those same people with new and exciting ideas of what can be done in the next phase of your program, work with them to establish support for your next big adventure.

Clarity of Vision. Another symptom of aging programs is that the original plans tend to fragment across various departments and become a little hazy. In this environment it gets increasingly harder for departments to understand how they work together, for industry to establish a plan to get involved with your program and for citizens to understand what services are on offer or how to use them.

It is worth thinking about all of your work around eGovernment, looking at how the programs fits together at a national level and considering many of the new technologies, increased broadband speeds, mobile communications and other advances can be used to bring new benefits to your programs. A clear vision around how all these pieces fit together is invaluable for the many groups who want to get the most out of your program.

Simplify the Technology. Finally, over the last five years we have seen significant advances in the way that technology integrates, with much of the functionality that would have been hard to deliver now being available out of the box. Microsoft has been building reusable plans and components like the Connected Government Framework, or for local government the Citizen Service Platform which help you get started and deliver services more rapidly and efficiently.

Of course, these three ideas won’t solve everything, but they will give you some insight into where to focus as you refresh your current plans and prepare for the years ahead.

eGovernment is as exciting an area today as it was ten years ago, with plenty of additional technologies maturing to a point where they are useful components of government programs, and a plethora of new ideas around how to streamline services that improve service to citizens and businesses.

Now is a great time to take a look at the survey data coming out of the United Nations, reflect on your own national program and put a plan in place for an exciting decade ahead!

Source Date: 1/7/2008

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