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UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Policy Briefs

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs provides thought leadership through its UN DESA Policy Briefs series, presenting timely and relevant analysis and policy guidance on global economic and social issues.

English

COVID-19: Embracing Digital Government During the Pandemic and Beyond

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) play a vital role in promoting the health and safety of people and in keeping economies and societies working during the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis. Digital government technologies either through information sharing or online services have kept governments and people connected during the outbreak. Digital technologies have also enabled governments to make rapid policy decisions based on real-time data and analytics, to enhance the capacities of local authorities for better coordination and to deploy evidence-based services to those who need them most. The efforts in developing digital government strategies after the COVID-19 crisis should focus on improving data protection and digital inclusion policies as well as on strengthening the policy and technical capabilities of public institutions. Even though public-private partnerships are essential for implementing innovative technologies, government leadership, strong institutions and effective public policies are crucial to tailor digital solutions to countries’ needs as well as prioritize security, equity and the protection of people’s rights. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of technology, but also the pivotal role of an effective, inclusive and accountable government. This policy brief addresses how digital government has played a central role as a key tool of communication and collaboration between policymakers and society during the COVID-19 pandemic. Policymakers need to further embrace the future of digital government, even when the crisis is over.

English

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