Denmark Tops UN eGovernment Ranking Once Again
Denmark has topped the UN’s E-Government Survey for the second time in a row. In 2018, Denmark reached the top of the ranking for the first time, up from ninth place in 2016.
The UN survey praises Denmark for the holistic approach to public digital services, which put citizens’ needs first. In particular, the Danish focus on inclusion in the digital transition of society receives praise. Fully 92 percent of the country’s inhabitants over the age of 15 use the secure national Digital Post.
The survey also commends Denmark for its joint-public strategies for digitisation in which national, regional, and local governments have cooperated on digital initiatives across the public sector since 2001. The most important achievement of this collaboration is the Danish public digital service infrastructure that includes e.g. the national eID (NemID), the secure national Digital Post, and several national portals for citizens and businesses (e.g. borger.dk and virk.dk).
It’s wonderful that Denmark has been recognised as the country with the best public digital services once again. It confirms that the public sector in Denmark is heading in the right direction in our efforts to deliver better services to both citizens and businesses through digital tools.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that vital parts of society can continue to function digitally during a crisis. In Denmark, our joined-up public digital service infrastructure and many digital services have enabled us to continue providing education, healthcare, benefits, and other public services during the lockdown. The entire public sector has worked for over 20 years to create the public digital service infrastructure, which once again brings Denmark distinction, and I’m proud that we’ve come so far together.
Rikke Hougaard Zeberg, Director-General of the Agency for Digitisation
The UN also draws attention to the fact that Denmark’s digital transformation includes experiments with digital technologies and public digital services in collaboration with the private sector and Danish tech SMEs. One example highlighted by the UN highlights is the 200 million DKK (€27 million) ‘development fund’ aimed at financing a number of artificial intelligence projects in Denmark. The projects focus on using AI to increase the quality and capacity of the public sector in areas such as social and healthcare, water management, and reducing traffic congestion. The fund will ensure that smaller projects can be scaled up and disseminated across the public sector.
However, the digital transition of society also brings along new challenges, including the issues of cybersecurity, data-sharing, and digital inclusion.
As society has become more digital, issues concerning cybersecurity, data ethics, and digital inclusion have become increasingly important. The digital transition has given us faster and better services, as well as a more efficient public sector. However, the transition has also lead to challenges.
In Denmark, we strive to find solutions which also work for those with fewer digital skills. We cooperate closely with DaneAge Association, Disabled Peoples’ Organisations Denmark, and the Danish Consumer Council—among others—to tackle these challenges.
Additionally, hackers and other criminals constantly get better, which means that it’s necessary with a continuous effort to improve the safety of our digital solutions.
Rikke Hougaard Zeberg
Several countries—including Estonia, Finland, and South Korea—are catching up with Denmark when it comes to the provision of public digital services. Indeed, Denmark works closely with these and other countries to share inspiration and experiences.
The UN ranking surveys 193 countries and is published every other year. The survey measures how well each country performs on three indicators: public digital services, telecommunications infrastructure, and the level of education. All countries are given a score between 0 and 1; Denmark tops the survey with an overall score of 0.9758.
Read more about the survey at UN’s website