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Estonia among the leading economies in GovTech

The GovTech Maturity Index (GTMI) is a benchmarking tool that measures the sophistication of a nation’s digital government. Estonia is among the leading economies according to the index.

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. “Being among the leading economies in GovTech 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 GTMI 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.

What does public sector digital transformation mean

 How does the digital transformation of the public sector look like? 

It evaluates a country’s public sector’s capacity to leverage digital technologies to provide better services for its citizens. It also measures critical aspects in the four focus areas of digital transformation in the public sector:

  1. core government systems
  2. public service delivery
  3. citizen engagement
  4. GovTech enablers.

Plenty of indexes, but only GTMI covers so many areas

Although existing digital government surveys and indexes help monitor the progress of digital government initiatives and good practices in general, none of them assesses progress in all four GovTech focus areas defined earlier.

a sheet of various govtech indexes listed

 There are many GovTech indexes out there. 

The GTMI addresses this gap. The GTMI is not intended to create a ranking of countries. Instead, it measures a country’s position on the GovTech trajectory by measuring progress in the four GovTech focus areas.

Assisting practitioners 

The index is expected to assist practitioners in benchmarking countries to highlight gaps in how far those countries are from the leaders at a specific time. The benchmarking approach used in the GTMI is more informative than a ranking. The GTMI draws on an updated and expanded version of the World Bank’s GovTech data set that includes 48 GovTech key indicators defined by the World
Bank team, including six external indexes—four key indicators extracted from the 2020 UN e-Government Development Index and e-Participation Index and two indicators from the 2018 ID4D data set—to provide a composite GTMI.

198 countries

The GTMI report presents a global snapshot of digital maturity across 198 countries while also highlighting a selection of 22 good practice cases seen across these countries.

GovTech status globally visualised on the map

 State of GovTech around the world, by GTMI group.

43 leading economies (21 percent) are using advanced or innovative digital solutions and demonstrating good practices in all four GovTech focus areas, whereas 33 governments (17 percent) have placed minimal or no emphasis on the GovTech agenda. Fifty-nine economies (30 percent) have made significant investments in various GovTech focus areas, and 63 governments (32 percent) have ongoing projects to improve maturity.

Europe and Central Asia take the lead

Based on the information presented on 198 government websites and published documents, the average GTMI score is 0.52 out of 1 (figure 3.1). The average score is 0.48 for the Core Government Systems Index (CGIS), 0.61 for the Public Service Delivery Index (PSDI), 0.46 for the Citizen Engagement Index (CEI), and 0.53 for the GovTech Enablers Index (GTEI), as shown in table 2.4 in chapter 2. The higher average score for the PSDI than for other focus areas indicates that many countries have national online service portals.

GovTech leading economies list

 Estonia is among the leading economies according to the GovTech Maturity Index 2020. 

Still, few countries have visible and universally accessible citizen-centric services. Europe and Central Asia is the most advanced region regarding the maturity of GovTech, despite the gaps in citizen engagement and enablers in several countries.

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