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UN E-Government Survey in the News  
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UN eGovernment Readiness Index 2008
Source: eMagazine, http://www.emagazine.gov.bh/default.aspx?type=showissues&lang=en&id=339
Source Date: Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Created: Aug 04, 2010

The UN eGovernment Survey 2008 assesses the eGovernment initiatives of countries according to a weighted average composite index of e-readiness based on website assessment; telecommunication infrastructure and human resource endowment.

The Web measure Index is based on a five stage model comprising Emerging presence, Enhanced presence, Interactive presence, Transactional presence and Networked presence. The websites surveyed for this assessment were the national portal and departmental websites for the Education, Finance, Health, Labour and Social Development.

The telecommunication infrastructure index is a composite weighted average index of six primary indices based on basic infrastructural indicators, which define a country’s ICT infrastructure capacity. These are: PC’s/1000 persons; Internet users/1000 persons; Telephone Lines/1000 persons; Online population; Mobile phones/1000 persons; and TV’s/1000 persons.

The human capital index is based on the UNDP ‘education index’ which is a composite of the adult literacy rate and the combined primary, secondary and tertiary gross enrolment ratio with two third weight given to adult literacy and one third to gross enrolment ratio.
Another important but independent index that is measured by the UN survey is the eParticipation Index which assesses the quality and usefulness of information and services provided by a country for the purpose of engaging its citizens in public policy making by assessing
• Institutional capacity, leadership role and support for participatory decision making for public policy
• Structures to facilitate citizens’ access to public policy dialogue

Some of the main findings of the survey were:
• Sweden, Denmark, Norway, USA and the Netherlands are the top 5 nations in 2008 survey
• The global average eGovernment readiness index increased from 0.4267 in 2005 to 0.4514 in 2008
• Out of the 192 UN member nations only 3 – Zambia, Central African Republic and Somalia have no online presence
• Republic of Korea, ranked number 6 in the world is the highest ranked country from Asia followed by Japan at 11
• Government back-office integration and process re-engineering is increasingly being undertaken
• eGovernment is promoting eParticipation through provisioning information for masses, facilitating eConsultation and using inputs from citizens in decision making

Performance of GCC and Bahrain

The countries in the GCC showed good progress from the last survey conducted in 2005. UAE was the top performer with a ranking of 32 in the world (up from 42 in 2005) followed by Bahrain at 42 (up from 53 in 2005). Qatar at 53, Kuwait at 57, Saudi Arabia at 70 and Oman at 84 also showed good progress. The eGovernment Readiness Index of all the GCC countries was higher than the world average which is a reflection of the strides made by the GCC members in the eGovernment sphere.

As shown in the table below, the momentum generated by the eGovernment program of Bahrain was evident in the improvements shown by Bahrain in every aspect of the ranking – most notably the eParticipation index.
 

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