Digital government, or E-government, is no longer just an interesting side project aimed at harnessing the power of digital technologies and data analytics to better deliver services and “create public value.” It is now a core priority for many countries, so much so that the UN has a survey that rates how countries compare with one another in embracing technologies and innovations inside government. Canada ranks 23rd among leading countries in e-government development. The hope is that digital government will not only bring efficiencies and more sophisticated use of data (including through artificial intelligence) for a range of programs and services, but will also improve the interaction between citizens and the state.
But before any country can make digital government work, policies and practices must shift. In this feature series, experts look at the challenges associated with the expansion of digital government, and how everything from governance structures to procurement practices and public-service recruitment must be rethought. The writers also examine how public policy-makers must take a proactive role in shaping digital government so that core values and ethics are not put at risk.