E-government is a crucial enabler for implementing the SDGs by improving effectiveness and efficacy of government and its public service delivery. Leveraging e-government can also foster inclusiveness and accountability of public services by ensuring access of the vulnerable groups to the basic government services and promoting participation of citizens in the process of decision-making. The UN E-Government Survey 2018, under the theme of “Gearing E-Government to Support Transformation Towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies”, highlighted a persistent global trend towards higher levels of e-government development and examined how digital technologies and innovations are impacting the public sector and transforming everyday lives of people. More and more countries are improving delivery of their public services, enhancing resilience against risks and disasters, and ensuring inclusion of the vulnerable groups, with the transforming and facilitating power of ICT and digital technologies.
E-government realizes effective governance by promoting transformation and innovation across all levels of policy designing, planning, implementation and monitoring and review. Digital technologies facilitate effective information- and data-sharing across ministries and government agencies, which often work in silos, and lead to coherent and integrated governance. Expansion of platforms through e-government and mobile devices widens government’s engagement with the private sector, civil society and citizens, promoting the whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches. Better service delivery with application of intelligent information technologies elevates the quality of government services and level of citizen satisfaction, at a time when the expectation of citizens for more effective and prompter response of government to their needs is growing higher than ever, as citizens are nowadays empowered with much real-time information and social media tools.
Against this backdrop, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) / Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG), through its project office UNPOG, and the National Information Society Agency (NIA) of the Republic of Korea are co-organizing the Study Visit on Advancing E-Government Development for SDG Implementation.
This Study Visit is organized as a follow-up to the UN DESA’s Development Account (DA) Project DA1617B in Bangladesh and Ethiopia, which is under the theme of “Evidence-based e-government policies in support of the Sustainable Development Goals”. This follow-up Study Visit complements the programmed activities and expected accomplishments of the DA Project and fully complies with DPIDG’s capacity development strategy of providing capacity support to those countries in special situations through an integrated and targeted approach. In addition to Bangladesh and Ethiopia, the Study Visit also invites three other countries, namely Bhutan, Lao PDR, and Uganda, among which UN DESA/DPIDG has DA Projects in Bhutan and Lao PDR, so as to interlink the capacity development in e-government with other areas in strengthening public institutions for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The main objective of the Study Visit is to develop capacities of government officials of the targeted countries in leveraging e-government and digital technologies for SDG implementation. Composed of both training sessions and site visits, the Study Visit aims to provide participants with an opportunity to gain knowledge and real experience on how e-government can be leveraged and how innovative practices can be adopted to achieve sustainable development.
The experience of the Republic of Korea in its e-government development and its cases of leveraging e-government and digital technologies for improving public service delivery and enhancing citizen engagement and partnership building to effectively implement the SDGs will be introduced throughout the Study Visit.