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Estonia among the best countries to provide digital public services according to the OECD

Photo: Renee Altrov

OECD released in January their new Digital Government Index, which surveys and benchmarks the OECD members’ efforts to digitise their public sector. The survey shows that Estonia is a clear leader in developing a data-driven public sector. 

Estonia ranked 6th of 33 participating OECD member countries, scoring 74.2% compared to the OECD average of 60.5%, according to the fresh OECD Digital Government Index 2023. Compared to the latest study in 2019, Estonia’s position has increased by 12 places.

Its data-sharing interoperability system demonstrates a commitment to efficient digital government and integrated public services. Estonia’s data rights reflect its focus on citizen-centric services, ensuring transparency, privacy, and security. This practice strengthens public trust and supports the country’s broader digital transformation objectives.

Estonia’s data quality framework also showcases its dedication to accuracy and reliability in government data, which is critical for informed decision-making and policy development. These practices demonstrate Estonia’s strategic leveraging of data-driven solutions to create an efficient, transparent, responsive public sector.

The OECD Index also shows room for improvement in Estonia’s public digitisation efforts. There is an opportunity to build a more user-driven public sector – the government should develop and implement clear guidelines on using interactive tools to facilitate users’ consistent and effective involvement.

The Government could improve how it measures whether digital services meet user needs by adopting a comprehensive approach to evaluating service performance, incorporating user feedback, satisfaction surveys, and usability testing. Finally, it should also seek to understand and address barriers to co-designing services with users and develop strategies to facilitate their participation in the service design process.

The DGI assesses countries’ digital government by looking at the degree to which they have the necessary foundations to leverage data and technology to deliver a whole-of-government and human-centric digital transformation of the public sector. The DGI assesses digital government maturity along the six dimensions:

• Digital by design: measures how digital government policies are designed to enable the public sector to use digital tools and data coherently when formulating policies or transforming public services.
• Data-driven: measures government’s advancements in developing the governance and enablers needed for data access, sharing, and re-use across the public sector.
• Government as a platform: measures the deployment of common building blocks such as guidelines, tools, data, digital identity, and software to equip teams to advance a coherent
transformation of government processes and services across the public sector.
• Open by default: measures openness beyond releasing open data, including efforts to foster the use of technologies and data to communicate and engage with different actors.
• User-driven: measures governments’ capacity to place user needs at the core of the design and delivery of public policies and services.
• Proactiveness: measures governments’ capacity to anticipate the needs of users and service providers to deliver government services proactively.

Discover the results and the whole report here. 

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