UN affirms that digital divide is an obstacle to e-government deployment

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs launched a ranking of countries on e-government development. According to the publication, despite recent progress and major investments in e-government, the world’s poorest countries are lagging behind due to a persisting the digital divide. Fourteen countries out of sixteen with low scores are African and belong to the least developed countries group. This indicates that the digital divide could deepen between people who have access to Internet and online services and those who do not, jeopardizing the vision of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development for ‘leaving no one behind’. Denmark, Australia, and Republic of Korea came out on top of a group of 40 countries, scoring very high on the E-Government Development Index—EGDI, which measures countries’ use of information and communications technologies to deliver public services. Globally, almost two thirds of 193 United Nations Members States now demonstrate a high-level of e-government development with EGDI values above in the range of 0.5 and 1. The share of countries with low e-government levels, in the range of 0 to 0.25, has dropped by a significant 50 percent, from 32 countries in 2016 to 16 countries in 2018.