Over recent years, the presence of online government services has become increasingly common. In 2018, Denmark was ranked first with a near-perfect E-Government Development Index (EGDI) rating of 0.9150. The EGDI assesses e-government development at a national level and is based on three components: online service index, telecommunication infrastructure index and the human capital index.
E-government development and the persisting digital divide
According to the UN, e-government is a key factor in order to advance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Public services should be accessible for all and e-government has to harness existing and new technologies in order to ensure that. There is a risk of a new digital divide, as low-income countries with insufficient infrastructure are lagging behind, leaving already vulnerable people even more at risk of not being able to gain any advantage from new technologies. Despite some investments and developmental gains, many countries are still unable to benefit from ICTs because of poor connectivity, high cost of access and lack of necessary skills. These factors have a detrimental effect on the further development of e-government in low EGDI-ranked regions such as Africa as the pace of technological progress intensifies.
Transactional services are among the most common features offered by e-government websites worldwide. In 2018, it was found that 139 countries enabled their citizens to submit income taxes via national websites. The majority of countries enable citizens to access downloadable forms, receive updates or access archived information about a wide range of sectors such as education, employment, environment, health and social protection.