Table of Contents
What is e-Government?
According to the results of the eGovernment Benchmark 2021, the annual report by the European Commission, the Covid-19 pandemic has stimulated resilience and innovation, fostering the digitization of the European economy and society, including the way governments deliver their digital public services. In addition, a survey by McKinsey and Company found that the pandemic has accelerated digitization by about seven years globally.
The eGovernment Benchmark 2021 is an internationally recognized study that examines the e-government of 36 European countries by analyzing four specific indicators:
- User-centricity: it indicates the extent to which an online service is provided, its ease of use with mobile devices, and usability in terms of availability of online support and feedback mechanisms.
- Transparency: it indicates the extent to which governments are transparent about the delivery process, accountability, performance of public organizations, and processing of personal data;
- Cross-border mobility: it indicates the extent to which users of public services can use online services in another European country;
- Key Enablers: it indicates the extent to which technical and organizational pre-conditions exist for the provision of eGovernment services, such as electronic identification and authentic sources.
What is meant by the term e-government? E-government, e-gov or “electronic government,” is the digitized management of public administration based on the use of innovative technologies that enable central and local public entities to optimize their work and increase the efficiency of services for users (citizens, businesses or administrations).
In other words, e-gov refers to all those activities that public administrations carry out through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in order to improve their tasks and offer users both faster and new services. Among the tools that are useful for this purpose are the digital signature and the digital identity.
Promoting the digital transformation of governments is a priority for the EU, and member states are planning substantial investments to further digitize their public administrations under the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the tool at the heart of NextGenerationEU program.
In addition, the Commission has presented a proposal to support Europe’s digital transformation by 2030, the so-called “Pathway to the Digital Decade,” which is built around four points: digital skills, digital enterprises, digital infrastructure, and digital public services.
Politecnico di Milano’s benchmarking model
For the 7th consecutive year, the eGovernment Benchmark Report 2021 was produced with input from the Politecnico di Milano, which developed a benchlearning model to explain the extent to which the type of users, the characteristics of the public administrations and a country’s digital readiness can affect e-Government activities.
As reported by Corriere Comunicazioni -the Italian online newspaper of digital economy and innovation- in the Polimi’s benchlearning model, performance is measured through four indicators:
– degree of diffusion of the online channel among users who use public services,
– public administration’s ability to exploit the potential of ICT.
As the newspaper reported, the measurement is provided “by identifying and weighing the contextual factors that can condition the development of eGovernment in a country, using the indicators of the Digital Economy and Society Index”.