Editorial

UK slips from 1st to 4th in UN global e-gov ranking

In 2016, the UK was at the top of the table, followed by Australia, South Korea and Singapore; now, Denmark is number one, followed by Australia and South Korea

Posted 1 August 2018 by

The latest version of the United Nation’s global index of e-government success and usage of digital in government has put Denmark top of a list that the UK topped just two years ago.

That’s quite a jump for a country that was ranked as just inside the top 10 last time – and it also has dethroned the UK, incumbent leaders of the list, pushing us down to fourth, after Australia and South Korea: Sweden, Finland and Singapore are chasing the UK’s tail, while the US is out of the top 10, coming in at 11.

Why the drop? The full study says that a “relative decrease in the ranking of [the UK’s] human capital and online service indices” is to blame – while on the plus side, we win more points for GOV.UK’s push to providing more integrated online services and the aims of the Government Transformation Strategy.

The study – which comes with the rather unwieldy official moniker of United Nations E-Government Survey 2018: Gearing E-Government to Support Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies – attempts to offers a snapshot of trends in the development of e-government in countries across the globe, though, and will be of interest for that reason alone to many e-government practitioners and policymakers.

It states that in general, European countries lead e-government development globally, the Americas and Asia share almost equal standing in high and middle e-government index levels – but that many African countries continue to struggle to improve their e-government standing.

Uruguay is the only Latin American country with ‘Very-High’ scores on its development metric, its ‘E­Government Development Index’ (EGDI), joining the other two forerunners in the Americas region in this group of the US and Canada.

It also notes that all 193 UN Member States now have national portals and back-end systems to automate core administrative tasks, and 140 provide at least one transactional service online.

“The trend of improvement in transactional online services is strong and consistent in all assessed categories,” it adds, noting that the three most commonly used services being payment for utilities (140 countries), submitting income taxes (139 countries), and registration of new business (126 countries).

As a result, it says, “Countries in all regions of the world are continuing to make strides in their efforts to improve e­government and to provide public services online.”