The United Kingdom, Japan, Australia took top honours. Down the list, Canada, Singapore, Finland and Italy were tied at eighth. Not far behind, France and The United States were tied for 12th spot. Interestingly, Estonia – a country known for embracing online technologies for elections and citizen engagement was tied with China, in the 22nd spot.
The survey revealed a growing number of e-participation applications and tools are being put in place in various sectors with the objective of responding to the needs of various communities. This can contribute to the development of new forms of collaborative partnerships between government bodies and people and reinforces the focus on people’s needs. The largest share of these initiatives relates to the central government and local authorities giving access to public sector information and public consultation via online engagement tools.
But there has been a growing focus on mobilizing contributions to policy-making, even though progress in this area has been modest so far. Some examples of policy-making we have been involved with using online technologies include the following case studies:
Overall, the 2016 United Nations E-Government Survey highlights a positive global trend towards higher levels of e-government development. Countries in all regions are increasingly embracing innovation and utilizing information and communications technologies to deliver services and engage people in decision-making processes. One of the most important new trends is the advancement of people-driven services. It addresses the growing demand for more personalized services that reflect individual needs, as well as people’s aspiration to be more closely engaged in the design and delivery of services. These new demands are transforming the way the public sector operates.
The entire report, as well as individual chapters on eGovernment, eParticipation, and Online Decision Making can be downloaded from the UN Website by clicking here.