PRIME Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha welcomed Thailand having climbed up 16 places to reach the rank of 57 in this year’s UN E-government Development Index (EGDI) after being placed 73 in 2018, Sanook.com reported this morning (July 12, 2020).
The UN E-Government Survey provides a snapshot with relative rankings of e-government development of all 193 Member States with this conducted every two years. Three important factors considered are online service, telecommunication infrastructure and human capital.
Government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat said Gen Prayut thanked all relevant government agencies for their continuous hard work which helped improve Thailand’s ranking.
This improvement in significant in terms of concrete reforms of the country under section six of the National Strategy which focuses on balancing and developing government management systems.
In its report UN said the top 15 countries in Asia are in the very high EGDI group.The Republic of Korea, Singapore and Japan are in the highest rating class and are among the global leaders in e-government development.
Seven of the leading Asian countries (China, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey) joined the very high EGDI group for the first time in 2020.
Asia increased its average EGDI value from 0.5779 in 2018 to 0.6373 in 2020, or by 10 per cent, becoming the second most advanced region in e-government development. The improvement was driven primarily by infrastructure development (reflected in a 26 per cent increase in the average Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII) value for the region).
While Asian countries perform well as a group, their individual levels of e-government development are highly diverse; this region has the widest variance in EGDI values. Asia is home to countries with some of the highest EGDI rankings, such as the Republic of Korea (2nd), Singapore (11th) and Japan (14th) but also includes countries with significantly lower rankings, including Lao People’s Democratic Republic (167th), Afghanistan (169th), Yemen (173rd) and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (187th).
Asia has further distinguished itself in 2020 as the region with the highest number of countries that improved their EGDI rank by more than 15 positions.
While analysts and policymakers should be cautioned against misinterpreting changes in rankings among countries in the same rating class these significant upward shifts in ranking can serve as a proxy for tracking digital development. The Asian countries that experienced such shifts include Bhutan (up 23 positions [+23]), Cambodia (+21), Syrian Arab Republic (+21), China (+20), Armenia (+19), Indonesia (+19), Cyprus (+18) and Thailand (+16).
UN also said as the Covid-19 pandemic forces lockdowns, most countries and municipalities are pursuing digital government strategies, many with innovative initiatives – but vast numbers of people still do not have access to online services
The 2020 ranking of the 193 UN Member States in terms of digital government – capturing the scope and quality of online services, status of telecommunication infrastructure and existing human capacity – is led by Denmark, the Republic of Korea, and Estonia, followed by Finland, Australia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the United States of America, the Netherlands, Singapore, Iceland, Norway and Japan.
Among the least developed countries, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Cambodia have become leaders in digital government development, advancing from the middle to the high EGDI group in 2020. Mauritius, the Seychelles, and South Africa are leading the e-government ranking in Africa. Overall, 65 per cent of Member States are at the high or very high EGDI level.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut is happy Thailand has significantly improved its EGDI ranking. Thailand headline says, “happy with the ranking.”Photo: Sanook.com