Digital Agenda for Norway

Strategies and Action Plans

Author: Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation

The document ‘Digital Agenda for Norway’ outlines Norway’s comprehensive strategy for harnessing information and communication technology (ICT) to simplify daily life and boost productivity. Norway’s digital agenda is strategically positioned to leverage ICT for enhancing public service efficiency, promoting economic growth, and ensuring inclusive digital participation. Its focus on user-centric services, innovation, and data security forms a robust framework for navigating the digital transformation of society. This comprehensive approach not only addresses current needs but is also adaptable to future technological and societal shifts.

Key Priorities of ICT Policy

  • User-centric Focus: The strategy emphasises the importance of designing public services that are seamless and integrated, regardless of the agency delivering the service. It stresses reusing data to avoid requesting the same information multiple times from users.
  • Promotion of Innovation and Productivity: The government aims to leverage ICT to strengthen the competitiveness of industries and enhance overall productivity, which is crucial for financing future welfare services.
  • Digital Competence and Inclusion: Starting from primary education, digital competence is to be enhanced to ensure inclusivity and confidence in digital solutions. The aim is to make digital services universally accessible and easy to use.
  • Effective Public Sector Digitization: Public sector digital projects should be executed professionally to minimise complexity and risk, ensuring that benefits are realised efficiently.
  • Data Protection and Information Security: Integral to the strategy is the assurance that data protection and information security are maintained, with citizens having control over their personal data.

Development Trends and Challenges

  • Widespread Use of ICT: Over the past two decades, the internet and digitization have transformed society significantly. ICT is highlighted as a “universal technology” critical for various sectors and platforms.
  • Mobile and Internet Growth: There’s a significant increase in mobile phone usage, contributing to greater internet access globally. This trend underscores the need for high-capacity broadband to support diverse media and service convergence.

Contribution of ICT to the Economy

  • Economic Impact: The document highlights the substantial contribution of ICT to economic growth, particularly through digitization, which has been responsible for significant portions of productivity growth in Norway.
  • ICT Industry: The ICT sector in Norway is robust, providing vital support for digitization in both public and private sectors. It’s noted for dramatic productivity growth and significant employment within the country.

Digitization of Public Services

  • Public Service Transformation: There has been strong growth in the use of digital public services, greatly increasing efficiency and accessibility. Platforms like Altinn facilitate digital interactions between the public and various government services.

International Comparations and Strategies

  • Global Standing: Norway ranks high internationally in ICT development and is actively engaged in European digital initiatives, such as the Digital Single Market, to promote cross-border digital services and economic integration.

Strategic Implementation

  • Cross-Sectoral Issues: The document acknowledges that digitization spans multiple sectors and requires coordinated national efforts to maximise societal benefits.