A Systematic review of e-government global trends, challenges, and opportunities


E-government utilization is essential for nations to stay competitive in the globalized 21st-century economy. Every government today has full confidence in e-government, and its significance is established by make citizens’ lives better and improve government processes.  Despite the overall opportunities and advantages of the digital transformation, the E-government transformation is a complicated challenge that needs to consider the characteristics of the public sector, and the characteristics of the country itself. Considering the literature available to date and E-government survey by united nations. This paper focuses on the global complexities of utilizing E-government as well as regional and global E-government leaders. Accordingly, the study provides recommendations and guides to the public in E-government implantation. The results of the 2020 survey are promising, showing significant uptakes in digital services in numerous geographic regions, countries, and cities. Data-centric methods and E-participation have been improved, with an increased focus on building digital capacities. However, the advancement is gone up against existing and new difficulties and risks, like cybersecurity and data privacy.


E-government has become a worldwide mechanism to improve the lives of citizens and to make government processes transparent and flexible. Advances in information and communication technologies, such as increased internet accessibility and easier access to desktops and mobile devices, have changed the way governments operate and led citizens to expect public services to be more open and transparent. These innovations have made it possible for government services to go online, leading to a phenomenon now widely known as e-government.
The main goals of the e-government initiative are to reduce service delivery costs; decrease the effort necessary to deliver services; improve the ease of workflow processes and enhance transparency. Therefore, government and other private organizations need to conduct citizens’ awareness campaigns about the newly added services and their value.  Citizens engage more often with highly qualified administrations that offer reliable, secure, and sustainable services than with undefined ones. since the first offers the vast majority of services that affect them and defines their living environment’s sustainable growth. It would certainly guarantee the fulfillment of e-government functions by establishing a well-qualified e-services infrastructure.
Research Purpose and aim:
The research aimed to investigate the status of e-government development and aimed at facilitating and informing discussions of e-government implementation, obstacles, and growth worldwide.
Research questions
This study will seek to answer the following questions to achieve our objectives:

  • What are the major barriers/challenges/risks of e-government development in developing and modern countries?
  • To what extent do the global trends of digital government reach in 2020?

Or what is the level of today’s digital government?

  • What is the potentials transformation in e-government growth to address national and local needs?

Study objective:

  • Determine the effectiveness of the global E-government services
  • Identify the current challenges and risks of E-government development in developing and modern countries?
  • Assess the weaknesses and present approaches to solve them


To examine the current level of e-government improvement, difficulties, and openings around the world, we followed two principle research steps. First, the risks, challenges, strategies, and initiatives of e-government in both the turn of events and present-day nations were distinguished from a rigorous review of literature that directly related to the E-government adoption worldwide. We focused and selected the papers and articles that give prominence to the overall status of  E-government in a specific country or region. These kinds of exact papers give us deep insight into the stereotype of the E-government. That leads us to realize how the income, education, digital divide, country size, and cultures involved format the E-government. We had considered nine countries from different regions and countries, to analyse them and present the interesting risks, challenges, strategies, and initiatives for each. As a result, we highlighted and discussed the most common challenges that obstruct the E-government implementation and adoption worldwide despite the variation and diversity.
Second, the e-government patterns and progress characterized by the distributed United Nations E-Government survey of 2020 [2]. The survey has developed itself as a leading reference guide for e-government as well as a policy tool for decision-makers over the past ten versions. It’s the only solitary worldwide report that evaluates the e-government improvement status of every one of the 193 United Nations Member States. Furthermore, it fills in as a benchmarking and advancement tool for nations to gain from one another, recognizes zones of strength and difficulties in e-government, and shapes their approaches and methodologies in this area.

We studied the analytical part of the survey and considered the logical piece dependent on a writing audit and an examination of the survey’s information. The common challenges of e-government found in the survey were listed and were compared with the literature reviews found for the situation investigation. There were a few cycles all through the exploration as each case presented new likely advantages.



Global Trends in E-Government


In the decade of action for the execution of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, science, innovation, and advancement hold the possibility to get through probably the most perplexing difficulties confronting the present reality. Digitalization in the public area gives freedoms to help the accomplishment of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including by improving the proficiency and viability of public assistance conveyance and by arriving at those abandoned. Surely, ongoing experience proposes that sending e-government on the side of good administration for the most part is fundamental for building powerful, responsible, and comprehensive foundations at all levels, as called for in Goal 16, and for reinforcing the execution of Goal 17 according to the sustainable development goals [1]. To benefit from the force of current advancements, developing quantities of United Nations Member States are speeding up the computerized change of administration and policy implementation.
This part presents an information driven investigation of key patterns in e-government improvement in 2020 dependent on the evaluation of the E-Government Development Index (EGDI) from the United Nations E-Government survey that was led over a two-year time span (from July 2018 to June 2020).

The section starts with a short introduction of the e-government rankings of 193 United Nations Member States and their situation and relative situation inside four EGDI value groups (exceptionally high, high, center, and low). In 2020, interestingly, the positioning is enhanced by the rating class—further investigation of nations gathered by four similarly characterized spans (quartiles) inside each worth gathering to acquire better knowledge into nations with comparative degrees of execution in every one of the EGDI gatherings.

Overview of e-government development

The 2020 survey reflects further improvement in worldwide patterns in e-government advancement and the progressing of numerous nations from lower to higher EGDI levels. In this version, 57 nations have high EGDI value going from 0.75 to 1.00, in correlation with 40 nations in 2018—a 43 percent increment for this gathering. An aggregate of 69 nations have high EGDI estimations of 0.50 to 0.75, and 59 nations are important for the center EGDI bunch with estimations of somewhere in the range of 0.25 and 0.50. Just eight nations have low EGDI value (0.00 to 0.25), which addresses a 50 percent decrease in the quantity of nations in this classification in 2018.The guide in figure 1.1 shows the geological conveyance of the four EGDI bunches in 2020.
Figure 1.1 The four EGDI groups’ geographical distribution in 2020
Figure 1.2 contrasts the numbers and rates of nations in various EGDI groups in 2018 and 2020. The outcomes for 2020 demonstrate that member states with high EGDI value account for the majority of the population. (36%), trailed by those with a middle EGDI value (31%). The percentage of countries with very high EGDI scores has risen from 21% in 2018 to 29% in 2020, while the portion of nations with low EGDI scores has declined from 8 to 4 percent during a similar period.
Figure 1.2 Number and percentage of countries in each EGDI grouping, 2018 and 2020

The Countries Leading E-Government Implementation

In evaluating and analyzing the findings of the 2020 survey, we tracked down that 14 nations in the most elevated rating class of the great EGDI group are recorded in table 1.1. The United States continues to lead e-government growth in the Americas and globally, thanks to its improved EGDI value.
Table 1.1 Top countries in terms of e-government growth, 2020

Country Region EGDI value
EGDI value
Denmark Europe 0.9758 0.9150
Republic of Korea Asia 0.9560 0.9010
Estonia Europe 0.9473 0.8486
Finland Europe 0.9452 0.8815
Australia Oceania 0.9432 0.9053
Sweden Europe 0.9365 0.8882
United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland
Europe 0.9358 0.8999
New Zealand Oceania 0.9339 0.8806
United States of America Americas 0.9297 0.8769
Netherlands Europe 0.9228 0.8757
Singapore Asia 0.9150 0.8812
Iceland Europe 0.9101 0.8316
Norway Europe 0.9064 0.8557
Japan Asia 0.8989 0.8783

Source: 2020 United Nations E-Government Survey.
Korea leads the world in online service provision (OSI) and is Asia’s best EGDI performer, led by Singapore and Japan. For the second year in a row, Denmark has the highest EGDI value in the world, and it is one of seven countries in Northern Europe and one of five countries in the European Union in the highest rating category. Since the 2018 edition of the survey, the other European Union/Northern European countries in this category have improved. Estonia had the biggest EGDI growth, and Finland improved in all three EGDI subindices.
Through major improvements in the technological infrastructure component (TII), both Sweden and the United Kingdom were able to achieve a higher overall EGDI value. The Netherlands is the last member of the European Union in the top-ranking category. All three EGDI subindices improved in Iceland and Norway, both of which are in Northern Europe and are ranked twelfth and thirteenth overall. The leaders of Oceania, Australia, and New Zealand remain in the top EGDI category and are well ranked inside the top-ranking class. Finally, none of Africa’s countries are rated in the top class.

The case of Saudi Arabia

Asia’s average EGDI increased in 2020, making it the second most progressive region in terms of e-government growth (see table 1.2).
The improvement was driven essentially by infrastructure development in the region. Saudi Arabia is one of seven major Asian nations that joined the group of countries with extremely high EGDI without precedent in 2020 alongside (China, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Thailand, and Turkey).

Table 1.2 Asia’s countries with the highest EGDI values

Country EGDI  Rank Sub-Region  EGDI  (2020)  EGDI  (2018)
Republic of Korea 2 Eastern Asia 0.9560 0.901
Singapore 11 South-Eastern Asia 0.9150 0.8812
Japan 14 Eastern Asia 0.8989 0.8783
Cyprus 18 Western Asia 0.8731 0.7736
United Arab
21 Western Asia 0.8555 0.8295
Kazakhstan 29 Central Asia 0.8375 0.7597
Israel 30 Western Asia 0.8361 0.7998
Bahrain 38 Western Asia 0.8213 0.8116
Saudi Arabia* 43 Western Asia 0.7991 0.7119
China* 45 Eastern Asia 0.7948 0.6811
Kuwait* 46 Western Asia 0.7913 0.7388
Malaysia* 47 South-Eastern Asia 0.7892 0.7174
Oman* 50 Western Asia 0.7749 0.6846
Turkey* 53 Western Asia 0.7718 0.7112
Thailand* 57 South-Eastern Asia 0.7565 0.6543

* Countries that shifted from a moderate to a very high EGDI category in 2020.
Source: 2020 United Nations E-Government Survey.

The Gulf Cooperation Council

As per United Nation E-government survey 2016-2018-202 Table (see figure 1.3), we can realize that the Kingdom of Bahrain is the first leader in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) with steady performance despite the progress of the United Arab Emirates in recent years, United Arab Emirates is the current leader for the E-government int the Gulf Cooperation Council, and in In terms of ICT infrastructure, the UAE is one of the most advanced countries in the GCC region.
The UAE government decided to take ownership of the identity process and provide its citizens with secure, exclusive, and tamper-proof digital identities. This form of identity enhances security, gains higher levels of confidence and trust, and encourages participation. This initiative helps the UAE government to obtain citizen trust which is the key to improve e-government utilization. State of Kuwait and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have similar progress in the last five years. However, recently Saudi Arabia achieved more in the E-government sector and paid more attention to the importance of E-government process. From the below chart we can easily realize that the major positive performance in the E-government in the Gulf Cooperation Council is the Sultanate of Oman, it moves from the 66 ranks to 50 within about five years, while Qatar Retreated from the 48 ranks to 66.
Figure 1.3 E-government development in GCC
Regional E-Government Challenges and Opportunities
Governments make the best effort to communicate with citizens and provide them with online services. Many challenges about e-government development must be highlighted as global challenges. and the most challenges faced the governments’ world wiled are:

E-government Services Trust

The establishment of e-government requires a high level of trust. It is one of the most critical factors in the implementation of e-government projects. Trust is the basis of how people interact and form positive relationships with each other. People would not engage in the e-government process if they feel lack trust.
Trust in e-government necessitates trust in government. Improving accountability and transparency is a priority to improve citizens’ perceptions of government. Selecting the right business partner in the E-government sector is a crucial factor for users’ trust agreement. To be able to have the best possible online government transaction outcomes. In order to build a government-citizen partnership.
For instance, citizens’ trust in government decisions has been damaged after the financial crisis and the bailout of Cyprus in 2013. that impact the E-government adaption and make it hard for the government to persuade citizens to utilize the E-government services.
As the lack of trust can stop citizens from taking the benefits of e-government service. The increased trust would assist the governments in dealing with other challenges such as “change resistance” and privacy and security concerns.

Information Security

Information security is ensured using a variety of systems that adhere to the security policy. Information privacy is protected by software mechanisms that ensure that only the owner of the information or official entities with the authority to obtain or access the information have access to it.
The implementation of e-government is heavily reliant on two major factors: trust and security. Governments should start building e-networks with privacy and confidentiality protections in place, ensuring the protection of personal and financial data collected and increasing people’s trust.
Lack of security and privacy are considered as key concerns that must be resolved in e-government to fulfill users’ standards. Any assurances from the government on matters of information security and privacy would be insufficient unless these technical challenges are resolved, and processes become more transparent. Users of e-government systems will decrease as a result of security breaches, a lack of defense against fraud and cyber-attacks, and the interception of sensitive information.
People in Ghana do not find online payment secure enough due to connection failures, sluggish Internet, frequent equipment breakdowns, and a lack of confidence in payment security, so they are reluctant to provide sensitive personal details. that makes the E-government service does not utilize enough.

ICTs infrastructure

One of the most significant challenges in E-Government is ICT infrastructure. Improving citizens’ confidence in government through a stronger and more advanced ICT infrastructure is crucial to growing their ability to use online services.
For instance, in 2007, the Qatar government made free wireless internet access in public parks to increase the accessibility of e-government services and user participation. In a great initiative and respected step to reduce the impact of infrastructure unavailability. The Indian government developed a Common Service Center (CSC) in rural areas to provide e-government services to people in a single physical location, resulting in increased e-government service use, improved citizen service, and lower travel costs.
In general, all infrastructure aspects are considered as factors that can either support or impede the smooth implementation of e-projects. Residents can be hesitant to use e-government services due to a lack of necessary infrastructures such as electricity and basic amenities.

Digital divide

The so-called digital divide refers to citizens’ unequal access to ICT and their lack of the skills and expertise required to use it. The variance in access to and use of e-government among different population groups is a source of concern for governments and a challenge. With the growing availability of a variety of e-government services, there is growing debate about why certain citizens use some e-government functions and others cannot.
Early adopters of any technical revolution have a few things in common: they’re young, educated, and have higher incomes. People with higher incomes and education are more confident in their ability to understand how government functions and engage effectively.
Governments must bridge the digital divide such that all people access the same quality of government information and services. To reduce the digital divide between rural and urban communities by introducing technical advances in rural areas.


In developing countries, including those in special circumstances, some concerns are particularly urgent or essential. These incorporate absences of digital infrastructures sustained e-government platforms and restricted resources for adopting digital government policies. Although e-government has progressed to a point of maturity in some developed countries, going digital is still relatively new on some countries’ national agendas.
Among the most challenges identified in this article, trust is one of the most critical aspects of implementing e-government initiatives. Trust is how people connect and establish a positive relationship. Therefore, citizens cannot participate in the e-government process without trust.
[1]: https://sdgs.un.org/2030agenda
[2]: https://www.un-ilibrary.org/content/books/9789210051453

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