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Bhutan improves on the new e-Government Development Index


Bhutan has advanced from the medium E-Government Development Index (EGDI) in 2018 to a high-level EGDI group this year according to the United Nations (UN) latest E-Government survey.

Rising 23 places on the index, Bhutan is ranked 103 among the 193 UN member states. Bhutan was ranked 126 and 133 in the last two surveys in 2018 and 2016 respectively.

With the new standings, Bhutan is now listed as one of the leaders in digital government development among the 47 least-developed countries (LDCs) according to the report launched early this month.

The achievement is attributed to the recent improvements in the telecommunications infrastructure that has connected government offices, schools and hospitals, among others.

Also enabling internet connectivity and access to online services including business licenses and customs and trade approvals made up for the major leap in its position.

Officials from the Department of IT and Telecom (DITT) said that the digital skills for government officials and teachers through digital platforms,   international and regional cooperation, which resulted in the deployment of various e-Government systems also contributed to the higher ranking this year.

The UN E-Government Survey is conducted every two years to assess the e-government development status of the member states.

According to a press release from DITT, the report serves as the standard for member states to reflect on their efforts in driving the digital transformation of governance and public administration and also helps them understand what needs to improve.

The report highlighted that despite limited resources and geographical challenges, Bhutan displayed a higher online service index (OSI) level compared to the human capital index (HCI) and telecommunication infrastructure index (TII) levels. These are some of the parameters that every member states are assessed on for the overall EGDI.

The country also maintained a high level of E-Participation Index (EPI) ranking of 82, an improvement from 111 in 2018.

Officials said that one of the key aspects considered during the survey was the incorporation of e-participation features in government portals and websites as vital components of many interaction mechanisms.