UN E-Government Survey in Media
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Dhaka, Jul 22 (UNB) – Bangladesh has been ranked 115th in the United Nations E-Government Survey 2018 among the 193 countries moving nine notches up from its previous 124th position in 2016.
Access to Information (a2i) programme on Sunday revealed the information at a press conference at BCC conference room in the city. The UN survey report was published on July 19.
Addressing the press briefing, Post, Telecommunications and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar said, the real advancement of e-government has not truly reflected in the survey report due to data gap and as a result the desired ranking could not be achieved.
“We are prioritising on Human Capital Index and Telecommunication Index. Various projects like CRVS, Open Data Portal, National Information Portal, SDG Portal, Big Data Initiative etc. have been taken to keep our quality at par international standards.”, said the minister adding that, Bangladesh will further improve its position in Online Service Index once these projects are implemented.
While explaining Bangladesh’s rank in the report, a2i programme’s Policy Advisor Anir Chowdhury said, according to the UN survey report, Bangladesh is the highest ranked least developed country (LDC).
Among other LDCs, Nepal is ranked at 117th, Rwanda 120th, Bhutan 126th, Zambia 133rd and Uganda 135th.
According to the report, Bangladesh is a notable example of a country with a very high OSI (Online Service Index) which is 0.7847, but set at a much lower EGDI (E-Government Development Index) which is 0.4862. This placed the country in the middle-EGDI level group.
Anir Chowdhury said, the ranking is based on three indexes – Online Service Index, Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII) and Human Capital Index (HCI).
Online service is progressing at a high speed, but more efforts are needed to be given to develop the TII and HCI, he said adding that, Bangladesh is improving in E-participation, which means general people are using online mechanism to involve themselves with government decision.
In 2012, E-participation ranking of the country was 109, which has now become 51 this year, said Anir Chowdhury.
Among the neighbouring countries India, Maldives, Bhutan, Pakistan and Myanmar have improved their positions while Sri Lanka went 15 notches down in the list, said the policy advisor.
In 2012, Bangladesh followed the model of Sri Lanka to improve its position, but now Sri Lanka’s ranking has gone down, he said adding that, “If we fail to sustain our achievements we will lag behind in the global competition.”
Anir Chowdhury also stressed on some measures to perform well in the competition such as- increasing assistance and collaboration among government agencies to reduce data gaps about e-governance, ensuring updated open data, prioritizing telecommunication and education sector and increasing e-participation of mass people.
While speaking at the press conference, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak expressed his hope to get Bangladesh into the top 20 countries in EGDI and into the top 5 countries in E-participation index by 2041.
“Bangladesh had its major improvement in the Online Survey Index primarily because of using ICT tools to develop different online services and then delivering these through mobile or web applications. This strategy has helped Bangladesh advance to a better position in every survey”, he added.
The government is working with a target to make 90 percent of its services online by 2021 while this year 50 to 70 online services will be inaugurated, said the state minister.
The outliers, who are still out of any online service, are needed to be brought under the net, he added.
Among others, Information and Communication Technology Division Secretary Juena Aziz, Access to Information (a2i) Project Director Md. Mustafizur Rahman (PAA) and other top officials from Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC), ICT Division, UNDESA and a2i were also present at the event.
According to the survey report, the top three countries of EGDI are Denmark (0.9150), Australia (0.9053) and Republic of Korea (0.9010).
The average world EGDI has been increasing from 0.47 in 2014 to 0.55 in 2018 due to the continuous improvement of its subcomponent indices while the improvement of the OSI average is the fastest, from 0.39 to 0.57, by an average of 40 percent, said the report suggesting that globally there has been steady progress in improving e-government and public services provision online.
European countries lead e-government development globally while those of America and Asia share almost equal standing in high and middle e-government index levels, and many African countries continue to struggle to improve their e-government standing, said the UN survey.