In the recent UN e-Government Survey 2020 that rates 193 UN Member States in terms of digital government, Estonia ranks among the top three most digitally advanced countries together with Denmark and the Republic of Korea. Estonia recorded the most significant e-Government Development Index increase from 16th place in 2018 to 3rd place this year. In the e-Participation Index, Estonia is ranked 1st in the world.
The survey captures the scope and quality of online services, the status of telecommunications, and existing human capacity. Over the past ten editions, the survey has become widely recognised as a leading benchmarking reference on e-government development.
The main part of the e-Government Survey deals with the state of e-government development around the world and in this section, Estonia ranks 3rd. The methodology focuses on 19 key metrics, 13 of which deal with strategies and legal as well as institutional frameworks.
Participation is a key dimension of governance and one of the pillars of sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development highlights the importance of participatory processes. Through the survey, e-participation is assessed on the basis of features of national e-government portals and other government websites that relate to the provision of information to citizens; consultation; and decision-making. Estonia is the country that ranks highest in the 2020 e-Participation Index, ahead of South Korea and the United States.
Estonia is considered one of the fastest rising countries for digital transformation in the world. The citizens in Estonia can do basically anything online except for getting married or divorced. “The jump from 16th place to 3rd in e-Governance and our highest rank in e-Participation shows that Estonia has been on the right track in building a resilient digital society,” stated Siim Sikkut, Government CIO of the Republic of Estonia. “But there’s always work to be done to continue ahead of the curve in digital development and we have to acknowledge that benchmarks like the UN’s show things in the rearview mirror,” Sikkut added. “We are already working on the next solutions in e-Estonia, be it proactive services or making our government AI-driven.”
“The pandemic has renewed and anchored the role of digital government – both in its conventional delivery of digital services as well as new innovative efforts in managing the crisis,” Mr. Liu Zhenmin, UN Under‑Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said in the survey, adding: “Partnerships are more important than ever, between governments and the private sector, and among countries in the same region or across national digital government teams.”
Thanks to Estonia’s collective response to the crisis – both by our government and IT companies – the continuity and resilience of its public services remained unchanged and Estonia has been regarded as one of the best nations to cope with crises. Estonia is also very open to sharing it’s experience and knowledge in digitalisation, especially when it comes to bridging the widening the digital divide between and within countries.
That is why the Estonian state created the e-Estonia Briefing Centre where its unique digital society and e-solutions have been shared with more than sixty governments and its solutions exported to over 130 countries around the world. To name a few examples – launching digital prescriptions in Japan; more effective tax filing in Finland; building secure data exchange for US telecoms; developing the e-government infrastructure in Ukraine and building the world’s fastest company creation e-service in Oman. The e-Estonia Briefing Centre hosts impactful events both in-person and online for government institutions, companies and media. Through this, the centre shares e-Estonia best practices and builds links to leading Estonian IT-companies and state experts that help build digital ecosystems and national resilience all over the world.
The UN E-Government Survey, published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), is prepared over a two-year period. The Survey measures e-government effectiveness in the delivery of public services and identifies patterns in e-government development and performance as well as countries and areas where the potential of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and e-government has not yet been fully exploited and where capacity development support might be helpful. It looks at how the digital government can facilitate integrated policies and services across 193 UN Member States.
Today, e-governance and e-services have become a necessity in every country. e-Estonia Briefing Centre – the gateway to Estonian expertise in e-governance, invites you to connect with the Estonian IT companies directly responsible for the successful functioning of the e-state even during a pandemic. Get in touch with us to set up your custom programme with the best partners you could get: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: UN e-Government Survey 2020