I’m writing this post from New York where I’ve participated in the UN eGovernment Expert Group Meeting following an invitation from the Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM).
The meeting entitled “United Nations E-Government Survey 2016: E-Government for Sustainable Development “aimed at discussing and reviewing emerging issues and trends in the area of e-government for sustainable development.
In addition, we spent a good time reviewing the key themes of the next edition of the UN eGovernment Survey to reflect the proposed Sustainable Development Goals and Post-2015 Development. We have also reviewed the methodology and evaluation mechanism of the survey to effectively measure the identified trends.
For those of you who might not be familiar with it, the United Nations global e-government survey presents a systematic assessment of the use and potential of information and communication technologies to transform the public sector by enhancing efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability, access to public services and citizen participation in the 193 Member States of the United Nations.
Personally, I’ve been attached to the UN eGovernment Survey for the past eight years specially during my work as a strategist for Dubai Smart Government and UAE Federal eGovernment. So, I’ve been following how the survey has evolved.
Throughout the discussions within the group and also through the brief we have received on the feedback of the member states on the survey, I was glad to notice the growing belief in eGovernment and the survey itself as tools for development in various countries. I know though my work how GCC countries and other Arab states have been investing in eGovernment programs as a key tool for public sector modernization but it was good to detect similar pattern from other countries. Here’s a statement from Mr. José Mujica, President of Uruguay:
“President Mr. José Mujica emphasized the fact that e-Government is indeed irreversible, becoming a Key agent for State transformation […] The Survey has been used by Uruguay as a tool for having access to global e-Government practices as well as concrete policy guidance based on factual indicators for sustainable improvement of the overall performance of the State.”
The timing of the meeting was carefully selected, it came after a series of Consultative Meetings that took place in various regions in Asia, Europe and Africa and also after the UN member states have agreed on the proposed new Sustainable Development Goals.
And to further emphasize on the importance of eGovernment and UN eGovernment Survey as enablers for sustainable developments, the team of the eGovernment Branch at the DPADM offered us a review of these goals at the beginning of the meeting. These goals were always present throughout the discussions in the two days.