Digital government

OECD Recommendation on Digital Government Strategies



This Recommendation aims to support the development and implementation of digital government strategies that bring governments closer to citizens and businesses. It recognises that today’s technology is not only a strategic driver for improving public sector efficiency, but can also support effectiveness of policies and create more open, transparent, innovative, participatory and trustworthy governments.  However, the multiplication of technological options may give rise to new risks and greater societal expectations that governments are not always fully prepared to address. Many governments still do not see technology as a collaborative means to shape public governance outcomes. A “business as usual” approach to technology that reinforces existing internal government processes only leads to failed projects and public criticism. 

The Recommendation can enable a fundamental shift from citizen-centric approaches (government anticipating the needs of citizens and businesses) to citizen-driven approaches (citizens and businesses formulating and determining their needs in partnership with governments).

Capturing the value of digital technologies for more open, participatory and innovative governments:

  • Using technology to improve government accountability, social inclusiveness and partnerships. 

  • Creating a data-driven culture in the public sector.

  • Ensuring coherent use of digital technologies across policy areas and levels of government.

  • Strengthen the ties between digital government and broader public governance agendas.

  • Reflecting a risk management approach to address digital security and privacy issues.

  • Developing clear business cases to sustain the funding and success of digital technologies projects.

  • Reinforcing institutional capacities to manage and monitor project implementation.

  • Assessing existing assets to guide procurement of digital technologies.

  • Reviewing legal and regulatory frameworks to allow digital opportunities to be seized.


Download the Recommendation




What can policy makers do to spur effective and more open, innovative and participatory governments?


Set strategic digital government objectives

Taking steps to address existing “digital divides” and the need to avoid “new digital exclusions”; as well as the creation of a data-driven culture that enables open data for transparency, better service delivery and public participation.


Ensure the coherent use of technology across policy areas and levels of government.

Establishing organisational and governance frameworks for effective co-ordination and integration of efforts to produce better policy outcomes and services.


Strengthen capacities to support better implementation of digital government strategies.  

Governments should adopt clear business cases for the use of resources on identified objectives, and should monitor results. The necessary capacities, including regulatory and legal frameworks, need to be put in place to not only capture new digital government opportunities but also to mitigate associated risks (such as security and privacy).


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