Compendium of Innovative E-government Practices

Compendium of Innovative E-government Practices

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19 Feb 2015
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As information and communication technologies (ICTs) are dramatically changing the lives of people around the world, governments must come to grips with finding solutions that will increase public value to their citizens. This publication creates a venue for promoting innovative e-government solutions, services and products developed by public institutions across the world. The Compendium also enables South-South and North-South information-sharing of their respective experiences and innovative practices. In both cases, the focus is on hastening innovation and creating public value for the citizenry. It covers a wide range of innovative practices, such as citizens service delivery, e-participation, information access, e-health, information sharing/access, crisis management, e-accounting, e-commerce, e-customs, e-petitioning, e-voting, e-education, e-justice, e-procurement, e-taxation, e-inclusion, e-environment, gender equality, government portal, government intranet, sustainable development, open government data, etc.

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  • Foreword
    The potential benefits of online service provision are increasingly being recognized throughout the world by governments at the national, regional and local levels. Governments’ use of the Internet to deliver government services has revolutionized the speed and effectiveness of government service delivery and public administration. The benefits of online service delivery manifest themselves in a faster, cheaper and more personalized and efficient service delivery that citizens and businesses can access 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Acknowledgements
    The Compendium of Innovative eGovernment Practices was developed by the Division for Public Administration and Development Management of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA) under the guidance and direction of Mr. Vincenzo Aquaro, Chief of the eGovernment Branch and with substantive advice and support of Ms. Adriana Alberti, Senior Governance and Public Administration Officer.
  • Executive Summary
    In the face of increasing demands from society on governments to become more effective and efficient, coupled with a need to pay more attention to user needs, governments have been forced to rethink their approach to service delivery.
  • Explanatory Notes / Abbreviations and Acronyms
  • Introduction
    The UN/DESA Compendium of Innovative E-government Practices is a compilation of case studies of innovative e-government solutions, services and applications with elements of transferability and adaptability. In developing this online Compendium, UN/DESA aims to provide not only a tool for knowledge management but also a venue for the promotion and sharing of these cost-effective, value-added innovative solutions. Since the Compendium is an ongoing project, UN/DESA will continue to solicit and identify innovative practices from all corners of the globe for inclusion in later editions of this resource.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Africa

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    • Kenya
      The Kenyan agricultural company launched in 2010 a website and SMS system called “Angaza Mkulima”. The purpose of this system is to reinforce the relation between Farmchen and its clients. The system provides its users with information pertaining to farming technologies, agricultural markets, business models and farming tips.
    • Tanzania, Republic of
      Maji Matone (Raising the Water Pressure) is a program run by Daraja, a civil society organization based in southern Tanzania that updates citizens about rural water supply problems and also allows them to report breakdown in the water supply via text messages, and then forwards the information to the relevant authorities.
    • Uganda
      AppLab Uganda introduced in 2009 a mobile health service application which provides information tips on health care. The application answers in particular questions pertaining to non-communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS, family planning methods, pregnancy, delivery or early infancy. In order to receive information tips, the user can send a text a question to the number 6001. The application will then, in return, send back an answer. Text queries for the health application are for free. The service also offers a Clinic Finder tool, which allows users to locate the nearest hospital, including opening hours and services provided.
    • Zambia
      MRI Agro application system is based on an electronic voucher or card that is provided to farmers after they prepay for the product. Each prepaid card has a unique scratch-off code number that is registered at point of purchase by the input retailer by submitting an SMS together with the farmer’s national identification and cell phone numbers. The network then sends an SMS to the farmer validating the product purchased and projected date of delivery. When the seed is available, an SMS is sent to the farmer to notify them of the date and retailer location for pickup. Upon presentation of their corresponding identification to the retailer, the products are released to the farmer.
    • Cameroon
      National Agency for Information and Communication Technologies (NAICT), through its website, provides the gateway to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Cameroon and relevant information on all aspects of ICT activities, as well as attempts made by the Government to facilitate and accelerate the development, deployment, and exploitation of ICTs to support the social and economic development of the nation.
    • Egypt
      The Egyptian ICT sector suffered from a lack of cohesive and reliable data that truly reflected the state of ICT usage in the country. Indicators suffered inconsistency when published by the Ministry or by its affiliates and there was a problem of unavailability of indicators for measuring the characteristics of using ICT within the households, businesses, government, education and health sectors; which represented a big obstacle for policy makers. Even when indicators and data were available, they were not easily accessible as they were scattered around different departments.
    • Morocco
      Before the implementation of the 0-Paper initiative, RCAR faced a difficulty in manually managing the large volume of files due to the increasing number of its clients. In addition to long delays and high costs associated with manual management, processing of paper records presented a safety issue, since archived documents could be lost and operations and transactions were non-traceable.
    • Tunisia
      Before the implementation of this initiative by the Tunisian Ministry of Interior, any fact related to civil status such as birth, death, marriage, etc. was manually entered into the Civil Status Registry of the municipality of origin of the person. Also, any extraction of a civil status form was also done manually and was a long process that required traveling for distances and incurring high costs for simple administrative services.
    • South Africa
      Mobenzi Intelligence is a software service that empowers people to be rewarded for completing simple tasks on their mobile phones. These tasks involve certain types of problems that are difficult for a computer to solve without assistance from a real person – even someone without expert knowledge of the problem.
    • Ghana
      MoTeCH is part of the Ghana Health Service delivery for maternal health and explores the potential for health service of information technology. It has two main complementary applications: A Mobile-Midwife Application and a Nurse Application. Mobile-Midwife targets pregnant clients with educational and actionable messages who are tailored to their pregnancy stages. Couples can both access MoTeCH messages via SMS (text) or voice in the local dialect or English. Clients decide the time of day and frequency at which messages are delivered.
    • Nigeria
      The Niger Delta Watch project enables individuals and organizations in the Niger Delta region to report incidents using SMS messages, which are then verified and displayed on an interactive map on the Niger Delta Watch Website. An accompanied Android application, which sends users a GPS location in the same SMS that contains the report, has also been developed. The Web application reorganizes and stores these coordinates, thus providing accurate location information along with the reports. The interactive map on the website is enriched with the additional overlays that contain data from external source.
    • Senegal
      The Jokko Initiative is a collaboration initiative between UNICEF and Tostan, an NGO in West Africa that implements human rights-based Community Empowerment Programs to provide communities with skills and knowledge to improve their lives.
    • Regional – Africa
      The African Network Information Center (AFRINIC) is the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Africa, responsible for the distribution and management of Internet resources such as IP addresses and ASN (Autonomous System Numbers) for the African region.
    • Regional Africa, Asia, Latin America
      Farmforce is an initiative of the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and is backed by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland. It is a mobile service that links smallholder farmers to other actors in the agro-value chain and its strategic value proposition is to reduce transaction costs for contract farming, aid compliance with food standards, improve traceability of goods from the field, and agronomy of scale. The service, led by the Syngenta Foundation, has been developed over the last two years and went live in 2013.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Americas

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    • Antigua & Barbuda
      The implementation of E-GRIP in Antigua & Barbuda is part of a regional approach promoting e-government solutions for better efficiency, quality and transparency of public services. For the country, this initiative is piloted by the Ministry of Information under the umbrella of the E-GRIP Committee. With the aim of modernizing the public sector, the government is responding to citizens’ demands for greater responsiveness and availability of public services to them. This framework is a direct link to organizational performance and effectiveness concerned with placing citizens at the center of policy-makers’ considerations. Thus, in this nexus, citizens are also agents of change in the co-creation of ownership and accountability.
    • The Dominican Republic
      In 2000 the government of the Dominican Republic had a tremendous capacity gap impeding its ability to conduct its daily affairs and relations with its citizens. The country was dealing with an obsolete model of state management. It presented clear hindrances clogging various administrative units, thus pushing common Dominican citizens far away from a democratic and participative society. In 2006 as various calls from civil society started to grow louder clamoring for greater effectiveness, transparency and accountability with government institutions, the administration of the time decided to implement institutional reforms to improve transparency and accountability.
    • Belize
      By engaging in an ambitious Health Sector Reform project, the Belizean Ministry of Health (MoH) chose in 1999 to decentralize planning and decision-making. This process first triggered the creation of Regional health Management Teams (RMTs). Then to overcome barriers to information among care practitioners the government looked into the most adequate resources to address evidence-based decisions and enhance surveillance and response time.
    • Costa Rica
      In an attempt to buttress social progress, the government of Costa Rica has come to see modernization as internal dynamic, requiring adaptive solutions to bridge systems and people together. A core aspect is the way government should respond to citizens to foster faster interactions by integrating public inputs into the policy-making process.
    • Mexico
      @Campus Mexico is an online portal that offers learning opportunities and skills training to help support the professionalization of civil servants. It was founded by the Secretary of Public Function in partnership with the Canadian Center for Management Development and other Mexican national specialists. @Campus Mexico acts as a form of capacity development by providing a space where civil servants can learn and develop their skills on their own. This is done by facilitating training, skill capacity, and ability levels. @Campus Mexico provides various courses online and coordinating courses within specific governmental departments based on demand, and then provides a physical environment to best host these courses. Through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and access of the Web, this program is able to reach a minimum 50,000 civil servants.
    • Argentina
      @TeDis is a support technology for people with disability. It is an e-service that works toward universal accessibility of people to e-government services. Its goal is to become used at the national government level by everyone in order to enable ultimate Web accessibility and equal hardware and software support technologies for access. It also aims to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) as a tool of integration for people living with disability, and encourage contact between organizations related to disability. This initiative seeks to support and spread the use of ICTs as tools of integration for people living with disabilities within all levels of government and society.
    • Brazil
      Telecomunicações de São Paulo S.A., a firm of Telefonica, S.A., delivered a variety of telecommunications facilities in São Paulo, Brazil. Telefonica had the responsibility to deliver USO facilities within São Paulo. Gilat was competent to act rapidly to offer a formula fitted for São Paulo State’s USO wishes and telecommunications structure. Beside the extensive SkyEdge system that delivered rural areas phone services, Gilat proposed and produced an enclosure that united a VSAT and cohesive rectifier.
    • Chile
      Digitalización Municipal is part of a national plan for digital development and integration of municipalities. The objective of this plan is to make Municipalities more accessible for citizens without them having to travel from far-away rural to urban sites. The plan has initiated several digital platforms that have to support the accessible character of the municipalities. These include platforms of digital payments to be used for commercial patents, or other taxes, and regional ordinance platforms for commercial purposes. A service platform is implemented to facilitate public service access for citizens, so that all services can be found on one single website per municipality.
    • Colombia
      Agronet is a technology-based information and communication platform in the agricultural and agribusiness sector. It is promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and is supported by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Its goal is to provide strategic information to the agents involved in agriculture transactions, including policy-makers and small farmers. The service provides statistical and analytical information on a broad range of topics related to agriculture. It articulates several technologies and databases to gain a better understanding of the dynamics in agriculture. For example, it uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map and analyze land uses across municipalities. It also uses the Moodle technology to create a user-friendly environment for virtual training and on-line education courses.
    • Peru
      Colecta Palm was a project that involved the use of PDAs to enhance adherence to antiretroviral treatment and to support safer sex and HIV transmission risk reduction for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). It is an open source, secure web-based application that delivers Spanish-language surveys via audio on PDAs, was designed to ensure patient buy-in. Colecta-PALM provides behavioral messaging based on risk assessment responses for HIV patients. The application uses a wireless Intranet secure connection to transfer Web survey pages from desktop server to wireless-enabled PDA. Usability testing was undertaken using mixed methods including observation and semi-structured interviews.
    • Venezuela
      The National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela wanted to run the 2004 presidential referendum in an electronic way. Consequently, they opted to install products from Gilat Satellite Networks (Skyedge and Gilat) in approximately 3000 sites at polling stations. For the first time in Venezuela, the CNE wanted a transparent and fraudless voting and identification system for the pivotal governmental referendum, and these were provided via Gilat Satellite Networks’ products.
    • Regional Latin America and Caribbean
      RED GEALC is a network of e-governments connecting and sharing information between participating countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was created through a joint initiative between the Executive Secretary for Integral Development of the Organization of American States and the International Development Research Center, and was later joined by the Canadian International Development Agency and the Inter-American Development Bank. The purpose of the network is to promote horizontal cooperation between the countries involved and create an online space where the exchange of solutions and experts between the two regions.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Asia

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    • China, People's Republic of
      The long customs clearance process used to be one of the China’s Customs Administration’s biggest obstacles for a long time. While entry to the WTO brought with it a heightened capacity to engage with the world, the task of coping with the kind of growth in imports and exports, as well as integrating with more advanced economies, had become a hub of China’s international trade.
    • China, Hong Kong special administrative region
      In Hong Kong, there are around 1 million people above 60 years old, among whom there is about 72,000 people (7.2%) suffering from mental disease. is the world’s first website dedicated to promoting the brain health of Chinese elderly.
    • Korea, Republic of
      The Seoul Metropolitan Government has adopted two systems to address problems such as rampant corruption, unpaid wages for workers, vagueness in subcontract amounts, non-payment, weakness in the direct payment scheme, and unsystematic project management in construction area.
    • India
      India has the world’s biggest education system, while it also has the largest number of illiterate people. Distance education presents a major alternative in reaching out to them and achieving equity in education. Currently, distance education in higher education contributes to about 24% of the total enrollment. However, a lack of proper regulatory frameworks for distance education has resulted in questionable quality and credibility of these distance education programs. It is in this context that the Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning (SCDL) was established in 2001 to provide quality education through the open and distance mode to students from India and other countries.
    • Indonesia
      Living in an agriculture-based country, agribusiness actors in Indonesia were struggling to obtain sufficient information to remain economically and efficiently sustainable. To solve the problem, the Ministry of Agriculture established the ePetani portal in 2010 to make agricultural information, such as agricultural statistics database, database on agricultural export-import, and agricultural price information available to the public. Accessing the portal agribusiness actors, especially farmers, extension workers and traders, can easily gather information they need in conducting their daily activities. At the same time, using the multimedia portal and other web-links provided by the integrated system, those customers can also share ideas with other users, as well as file e-complaints facilitating the use of online information to improve the quality and efficiency in farming and agricultural trading.
    • Malaysia
      The eKasih system is an integrated database system implemented by the government of Malaysia which particularly aims to improve the living standard of people who belong to the low income groups identified by the Poverty Line Income (PLI). By recognizing these indigent households and storing their information in the databank, eKasih allows government agencies to plan, implement and monitor poverty programs more effectively.
    • Singapore is an integrated first-stop online portal that allows the general public to search for and access publicly available government data. Initiated as a key project of the Master plan “Co-creating for higher value,” with help from the Singapore Land Authority and the Singapore Department of Statistics, aims to provide convenient access to government data, to catalyze the private development of innovative applications and services, as well as to facilitate analysis and research. With contribution from over 60 government agencies, the portal now contains more than 7,500 datasets for discovery and this number is still increasing.
    • Bahrain, Kingdom of
      Many elderly people with chronic illnesses and disabilities often have to use multiple medications and seek a variety of clinical services and support in the Kingdom. No comprehensive and cohesive data was available for any of institution, medical errors frequently occurred due to interaction between medications and an inability to have a full list of illnesses and medical conditions of the patients.
    • Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of
      The import and export businesses in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were completely manual and inefficient. Companies had to manually type the merchandise manifests, print it, and physically take it to the various controlling agencies for endorsement.
    • Oman, Sultanate of
      In Oman, medical records of citizens were kept manually and each patient had multiple files. Medical information was incoherent and inconsistent, which posed a risk to patients’ health and their access to adequate medical services and care.
    • United Arab Emirates
      The official webpage of the Department of Smart Government (DSG) of Dubai is an integrated online portal that aims to provide Electronic Shared Services (ESS) to people in the emirate, particularly those who belong to the professional groups. Functioning as an important supplementary website to the general e-service portal (, and in close corporation with 56 government entities in Dubai, this portal uses the whole-of government approach in enhancing the breadth, the quality and the efficiency of government service delivery.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Europe

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    • Finland
      In 2008 Finnish Tax Administration introduced e-return service through website The new system enabled taxpayers to make modifications to their taxation statements faster and more accurately, as compared to the traditional paper forms.
    • Finland & Sweden
      In Finland and Sweden, there is an uncertainty when it comes to Open Source solutions. There is also a lack of knowledge that Open Source is a philosophy and not a technology or; one that is implemented in technology by choice of an open license. These two things are hindering development.
    • Croatia
      The loss of major industry in the region in war-affected regions like Osijek-Baranja County in North-Eastern Slavonia in recent years has contributed to high unemployment levels. In this region, the Municipality of Darda was keen to address long-term unemployment, especially amongst Serbian, Hungarian, and Roma minority groups.
    • Portugal
      The Citizen’s Card as a modernizing project, a part of the Public Administration modernization policy, set out in the XVII Constitutional Government’s Political Program me.
    • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
      Overuse of pesticides amongst orchard farmers in Resen has been proven to be a major cause of pollution in the beautiful but environmentally vulnerable region of the Prespa Lake Basin, threatening the habitat of over 2,000 species of birds, fish and mammals, including many endangered animals unique to Prespa and the ancient freshwater lake.
    • Regional Europe (Austria, Italy, Netherlands, Spain)
      The MobiGuide project develops an intelligent decision-support system for patients with chronic illnesses, such as cardiac arrhythmias, diabetes, and high blood pressure. The patients wear sensors that can monitor biosignals (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure); the signals are transmitted to their Smartphone and from there to a powerful “backend” computer.
    • Regional Europe (Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom)
      OSEPA (Open Source Software Usage in European Public Administrations) is a project that was funded through the INTERREG IVC Program and was a partnership of 12 organizations in eleven countries. The aim of the project was to conduct a systematic debate among European public administrations in order to promote the use of Open Source Software. Debate was supported by analysis and exchange of experience on the issue of Free and/or Open Source Software (FOSS).
    • Regional Europe (Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, Sp
      LAPSI (Legal Aspects of Public Sector Information) 2.0 is a Thematic Network funded by the European Commission under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme 2007-2013. LAPSI 2.0’s objective is to identify the remaining legal barriers and obstacles to access and re-use of public sector information (PSI) on the European content market, and to propose measures and tools to stimulate the progress of the European market towards open data.
    • Regional (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Romania, UK)
      The current economic crisis, combined with growing citizen expectations, is placing increasing pressure on European cities to provide better and more efficient infrastructures and services, often for less cost. This trend has contributed to the growing popularity and use of the term ‘Smart City.’ Definitions of a ‘Smart City’ vary widely – ranging from the use of discrete new technology applications such as RFID and the Internet of Things through to a more holistic conception of intelligent, integrated working that is closely linked to the concept of Living Labs and user-generated services.
    • Regional Europe (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Latvia, Romania, Spain)
      Speeding Every European Digital (SEED) is a joint project rooted in the European Commission’s Digital Agenda as revealed in 2011. SEED was created to optimize the new technological possibility to change the way traditional administration communicates/interacts with citizens.
    • Regional Europe (Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain)
      The public sector in Europe is facing immense pressures for change and local authorities play a key role in implementing public procurement policy and legal framework. A city or a region may therefore become an important test market in implementing new and innovative products and technologies. In this context, there has been an urgent call for action.
    • Regional Europe (Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain)
      The Knowledge Volunteers (TKV) is a project funded by the European Commission, aiming to establish a network of ‘knowledge volunteers’ representing all ages who would share their experience and skills, therefore contribute to development of more inclusive knowledge society.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Oceania

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    • Australia
      The Australian e-Government Technology Cluster (“eGov Cluster”), supported by NICTA, is a national cluster of organizations from Government, industry, research and academia. Its members are collaborating to improve and strengthen the use of ICT in the government sector for better public service delivery and advancing ICT industry in Australia.
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