Pakistan is ranked 153rd amongst 193 countries in the UN E-Government Development Index (EDGI) report. In comparison to the previous report released in 2018, there is a decline in the country’s ranking from 148th to 153rd. This warrants a closer evaluation of Pakistan’s digital transformation and the various governance areas that can be affected.
Initially, the UN EDGI was responsible for solely tracking e-government development, but now it includes other indicators like online service condition (OSI), Human Capital Index (HCI) and telecommunication infrastructure (TII). Using these indicators, UN-EDGI measures e-government development and ranks UN member countries. A thorough analysis of the report can help policymakers in creating potential solutions that can enhance the use of technology in the government sector and citizen’s experience with it.
An overview of the report for Pakistan shows that the country’s declining rank is due to a fragmented approach towards adopting technology. A lack of telecommunication infrastructure, low affordability, and digital skills gap are the factors that contribute to the declining rank on the e-government development index. Moreover, cyber security threats, inability to deal with data privacy issues, limited citizen participation in the research process, all snowball and contribute towards a declining EDGI.
The report also suggests multiple ways Pakistan can use the experience of other countries as a benchmark to accelerate its digital government transformation. Potential solutions include developing a national digital government strategy, creation of an action plan, establishment of a centre of excellence for data analytics, and development of a common governance framework.