Digital Government podcast

e-Governance Academy

Welcome to e-Governance Academy’s podcast to discover the future of governance. e-Governance Academy has assisted digital transformation globally in more than 130 countries. Our experts will share their insights and worldwide examples on how digital technology could benefit every society. Tune in for the digital government podcast every Wednesday! read less
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Latest trends in digital participation and civic engagement
27-09-2023
Latest trends in digital participation and civic engagement
The newly formed Competence Centre of e-Governance Academy on Governance and Engagement already has a track record of matching active citizenship with institutional dialogue, bringing citizens and administrations closer together.But let’s zoom out for a moment. We have worked on improving the relationship between public service providers and users in Georgia, Ukraine, and many other countries worldwide. In what context and which direction, though, these developments took place more at large?Dmytro Khutkyy, Expert at the Competence Centre and Research Fellow in Digital Governance at the University of Tartu, joins this podcast episode to do just that – draw the bigger picture, on latest trends in digital participation and civic engagement.Changing trends in civic digital participationOver the past decade, significant changes have occurred in the realm of civic digital participation. As Khutkyy notes, people are shifting from classic web-based platforms to social media for participation. While governments used to create dedicated participation platforms, citizens are now directly engaging with decision makers through more informal. "People use social media on an everyday basis, so sometimes they just reach politicians directly. This creates buzz around certain issues, and politicians take them into account," he explains.Another notable trend is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into civic engagement. Municipal authorities and governments are starting to use AI tools to analyze popular sentiment and trends among citizens. AI can help structure and categorize these sentiments, providing valuable insights for policymakers. While this AI-driven approach is still in its infancy, it certainly holds great potential for the future of digital participation.The relationship between democracy and participationBut we can’t talk about digital engagement without focusing on the connection between democracy and civic participation, too. The level of participation can vary significantly depending on a country's political context and regional factors. However, Khutkyy points out, some tools already worked better than others in getting citizens involved. Participatory budgeting has proven to be a powerful tool for local communities to influence policymaking, for example. "Participatory budgeting empowers citizens by involving them in the entire policymaking process, from generating ideas to monitoring and overseeing the results," he says. And this inclusive approach strengthens democracy at the local level.Additionally, citizen assemblies make the chart as well, as a format of participation that has gained traction at the national or EU level. These assemblies allow citizens to deliberate and contribute to policymaking. Khutkyy believes that this format, when implemented effectively, can lead to substantial policy improvements and better democratic representation.
Laying the groundwork for The Gambia’s digital transformation
21-06-2023
Laying the groundwork for The Gambia’s digital transformation
Speaking today is Serign Modou Bah, Director of Telecommunications and Postal Services at the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy of The Gambia. In this episode, next to delving into the status of digital transformation in the country, Modou Bah discusses the importance of getting right needs and policy actions, and the role of international partnerships in advancing the country’s digital journey.Status of digital transformation in The Gambia, at a glanceThe Gambia, like many other countries, is in the process of embracing digitalization and leveraging technology to drive development. “We can distinguish three categories that define Gambia’s digital transformation journey: its evolution, the assessment of digital readiness maturity, and our work on e-government services,” Modou Bah begins with.The Gambia's digital transformation journey began in 2005 with the goal of bringing telecommunication and internet connectivity to government offices. Over time, the country has made significant strides in digitizing processes, moving from analog to digital records. Words do matter in understanding where the country is at: “We are in between digitization and digitalization, speaking of stages. Not yet at what is commonly identified as a digital transformation status. But we do stand as an emerging and developing government on the topic, whereby we have done certain things in certain areas, and strive now to reach a more advanced and established stage in digital development,” Modou Bah says.Developing e-government services, advancing in maturityThat is valid, particularly, when framing their journey in terms of digital readiness maturity. The government has demonstrated strong leadership, vision, and political will to support digital transformation. Policies such as the e-government strategy 2021-2024 and the ICT for development policy have been implemented to guide digital initiatives. Collaboration with the private sector, proliferation of services, and the use of digital solutions at the government level are also notable achievements. But even if change continues, milestones have already been reached in e-government services development. The government of The Gambia has introduced various e-government services to benefit citizens, businesses, and government employees. Notable examples include the single window business registration, which simplifies the business registration process and reduces bureaucracy. The recently launched e-procurement platform aims to streamline tender applications. Government websites provide citizens with access to information on policies, strategies, and laws. The transition from physical salary payments to electronic funds transfers and mobile money has improved efficiency for government employees. Additionally, The Gambia has implemented innovative solutions, such as mobile banking and digital wallets for social safety net projects, supporting disadvantaged individuals.The milestones add up. By 2010, the country initiated an e-government program with a focus on infrastructure and digitalization. The establishment of an ICT unit within the government and the introduction of an e-government data center facilitated the development and hosting of various government systems and services. Connectivity milestones were also achieved through the connection to an international submarine cable. “That was definitely a game-changer, enabling private businesses and citizens to better utilize the Internet for communication and services,” Modou Bah says.