Research Findings and International Institutional Recommended Principles

Research Findings and International Institutional Recommended Principles

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9647-9.ch003

Abstract

This chapter examines the relationship between the centric ratings (for USA, EU, India, South East Asia, Australia, and NZ) and six key United Nations ICT societal variables, namely, eGovernment Development Index, Online Service Index, Telecommunication Infrastructure Index, Human Capital Index, eParticipation Index, and Human Development Index. The chapter then examines the digital strategic principles identified by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and World Bank. The findings suggest that the main difference between the recommended digital strategies of OECD and World Bank is the way they view the citizen and civil society. OECD sees the citizen and civil society in broad terms, whereas the World Bank focuses on different categories of citizens and civil society. This micro-view enables the World Bank to make specific recommendations regarding how the digital age can assist in developing all categories of people to achieve a truly digital inclusive society.
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Introduction

If the private sectors are about markets and the public sectors are about governments, then the plural sector is about communities. Henry Mintzberg, Author on business and management

Institutions such as the United Nations (UN), OECD and the World Bank undertake frequent independent, professional, and academic studies that provide comprehensive information about a wide range of issues, including digitization and its impact on the economic and social development of countries around the world. Furthermore, they also provide guiding values and principles about how technology should be implemented to benefit nations and their populations. The information provided by these institutions is available on the public domain and can be utilised in further research studies and as a fundamental basis for robust recommendations.

United Nations (2018) report concludes that countries in all regions of the world are continuing to make strides in their efforts to improve eGovernment and to provide public services online. This conclusion is based upon a number of key societal indexes, namely, eGovernment Development Index; Online Service Index; Telecommunication Infrastructure Index; Human Capital Index; eParticipation Index; and Human Development Index. These indexes are calculated by the United Nations after a comprehensive survey of all countries and have the following meaning:

  • 1.

    eGovernment Development Index (EGDI). This index measures countries’ use of information and communications technologies to deliver public services. It encapsulates the scope and quality of online services, the significance of the telecommunication infrastructure and current human capacity.

  • 2.

    Online Service Index (OSI). The OSI assesses each country’s national website in the native language, including the national portal, e-services portal and e-participation portal, as well as the websites of the related ministries of education, labour, social services, health, finance and environment as applicable.

  • 3.

    Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII). This index is an arithmetic average of five indicators, namely estimated internet users; number of main fixed telephone lines; number of mobile subscribers; number of wireless broadband subscriptions; and number of fixed broadband subscriptions on a basis of per 100 inhabitants.

  • 4.

    Human Capital Index (HCI). The HCI is a weighted average of four indicators, consisting of adult literacy; gross school enrolment of the total number of students; expected years of schooling; and mean years of schooling.

  • 5.

    eParticipation Index (EPI). This index focuses on the use of online services to facilitate the provision of eInformation by granting citizens public information and access to information without or upon demand; eConsultation by engaging citizens in contributions to and deliberation on public policies and services; and eDecision-making that empower citizens through co-design of policy options and co-production of service components and delivery modalities.

  • 6.

    Human Development Index (HDI). The HDI consists of three indicators, namely life expectancy; education; and income per capita. A country scores a higher HDI when the life expectancy at birth is longer, the education period is longer, and the income per capita is higher.

These societal variables are important because they measure the progress being made by the various countries in relation to digitization and the influence of this progress on the growth of economic activity of nations. United Nations (2018) findings indicate that worldwide, about 66% of 193 UN Members States currently demonstrate a high-level of eGovernment development. European countries lead eGovernment development with eight of the eleven new countries that joined the top performing group in 2018 being European (Belarus, Greece, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Portugal and the Russian Federation). However, notwithstanding these gains and major investments in eGovernment development made by many countries, the UN found that the digital divide persists (United Nations, 2018).

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