The 2020 eGovernment Benchmark report shows that every one of the 36 countries measured has improved the digital delivery of public services. However, improvements largely differ between countries.
The report covers the 27 European Union Member States, plus Iceland, Norway, Montenegro, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and newcomers to the latest report, Albania and North Macedonia.
Overall performance is measured as an average score (0% to 100%) of four top-level benchmarks:
- User Centricity – To what extent are services provided online? How mobile-friendly are they? What online support and feedback mechanisms are in place?
- Transparency – Are public administrations providing clear, openly communicated information about how their services are delivered? Are they transparent about the responsibilities and performance of their public organisations, and the way people’s personal data is being processed?
- Key Enablers – What technological enablers are in place for the delivery of eGovernment services?
- Cross-Border Mobility – How easily are citizens from abroad able to access and use the online services?
In total, the benchmarks are assessed on the basis of four life events measured each year, a total of eight life events. The 2020 report presents the findings for data collected in 2018 and 2019. A life event refers to a user journey representing common public services that citizens or businesses will go through. These include: Regular Business Operations, Moving, Owning and Driving a Car, Starting a Small Claims Procedure, Business Start-Up, Family life, Losing and Finding a Job, and Studying.
Digital Delivery of Public Services in the Western Balkans
The EU average score in eGovernment is 68%, as opposed to 62% two years ago. The five top performers now score 89% on average, while the five laggards rank at 54% on average. While 35% seems a huge gap between frontrunners and laggards, it is also a major improvement considering the 50% gap recorded two years ago.
The best EU performers are Malta (overall score of 97%), Estonia (92%), Austria (87%) and Latvia (87%) scoring highest across all four top-level benchmarks, Denmark (84%), Lithuania (83%) and Finland (83%) follow closely.
Despite remarkable improvements, all the Balkans’ economies perform low on digital delivery of public services including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia. According to the report all these countries score between 50 to 60%.
While all the region’s economies improved significantly, it’s obvious we will have to work much harder in the future to reach countries such as Bulgaria or Hungary, not to mention the European frontrunners.