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Australia ranks second in World eGovernment rankings

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The United Nations has released the results of it 2014 World eGovernment Survey, which assesses the progress of the 193 UN Member States towards eGovernment.

Australia ranked second in the world for eGovernment, jumping 10 places from 2012, and ranked seventh in the world for eParticipation. Australia’s progress was attributed primarily to its significant investment in the national broadband network telecommunications project.

The Republic of Korea topped the e-government rankings for the third year in a row, as a result of its continued leadership and focus on e-government innovation. Singapore ranked third, followed by France and the Netherlands.

Overall, 25 countries were found to have a very high level of egovernment, with one of the primary factors attributing factors found to be investment in telecommunication, human capital and provision of on-line services.

The report found that even countries with already high egovernment scores, could still achieve more through “clear strategies, smart investment in ICT infrastructure, continued investment in primary, secondary and tertiary education, as well as through radical transformation in offering online public services”.

“E-government holds tremendous potential to improve the way that governments deliver public services and enhance broad stakeholder involvement in public service,” said Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States.

Despite the on-going financial crisis, Europe was again recognised as the world leader in regional egovernment, with 11 of the top 20 countries in the 2014 rankings being European. Both France and Netherlands ranked in the top 5 eGovernment as well as eParticipation.

The report found that “the on-going financial crisis, low growth, unemployment and aging population has led Europe to actively seek innovative solutions in order to remain competitive, restore growth and to be able to continue to offer a wide-range of public services to citizens”.

“Despite the challenging times, the majority of the governments in the region report that the crisis has not had an impact on their level of e-government spending with some like Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland having even increased their e-government investments”, the report said.

The top ten countries for eGovernment were:

  1. Repbulic of Korea
  2. Australia
  3. Singapore
  4. France
  5. Netherlands
  6. Japan
  7. USA
  8. UK
  9. New Zealand
  10. Finland

The Netherlands was ranked first worldwide for eParticipation, followed by Repbulic of Korea , Uruguay , France and Japan.

The USA ranked seventh for eGovernment, and ninth for eParticpation.

The report found that whilst many countries are expanding electronic participation, utilizing more mobile and social media tools, and making more government data available online,  many challenges such as lack of resources, digital inequalities and a lack of leadership for e-government remained.

To improve e-government, the survey suggested countries needed to establish a clear national vision, supported by committed leadership, appropriate policies and collaborative governance frameworks, and greater investment in telecommunication infrastructure, human capital and provision of on-line services.

Key findings

  • For the first time all 193 UN Member States had national websites
  • Between 2012 and 2014, the number of countries offering mobile apps and mobile portals doubled to nearly 50 countries
  • Social media use by government jumped 50% since 2012, with 118 of the 193 UN member states using some form of social media
  • Barriers such as lack of resources, digital inequalities and a lack of leadership for e-government remain
  • Ongoing challenges of the digital divide and disparity in levels of egovernment around the world remain
  • Open government data is a key development resource
  • A clear national vision, committed leadership, policy and collaborative governance frameworks is necessary for effective governmen
  • Investment in telecommunication infrastructure, human capital and on-line services are key to improving eGovernment

View the full report 2014 World eGovernment Rankings.

Access all UN eGovernment survey data.