Recently, the concept of E-Government has been appearing on various media as a development strategy that many countries are aiming for. The emergence of E-Government provides departments, sectors, governments, businesses, and citizens with convenient automated information and services, contributing to economic growth and social life.
Understanding the importance of E-Government and with a vision towards 2030, Vietnam has become a digital nation, comprehensively innovating the management and operation of the government. Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has approved the "Development Strategy for E-Government Towards Digital Government 2021-2025, Oriented towards 2030".
E-Government and Digital Government are two important concepts in the strategy, which are the directions and goals of the state's digital transformation process.
The characteristic of E-Government is the transformation of existing public administrative services into online services. Meanwhile, Digital Government focuses on reforming and transforming the information-based model where public services are closely linked to citizens' daily tasks.
With the nature of E-Government being supplemented and optimized for activities (information security, service development, etc.), building a Digital Government is the development of E-Government.
Challenges in Building E-Government
E-Government brings many benefits but also comes with challenges in creating changes in the approach and operational habits of each organization:
- The transfer of public administrative processes to the technology environment requires enhancing digital skills for citizens, followed by creating habits and a digital living culture.
- In addition, when the government switches from the traditional paper environment to the digital environment, personal information security and safety need to be more concerned than ever.
- For each business, the change requires the implementation of digital technology solutions and readiness to implement entirely new operations to keep up with technological trends and increase competitive advantages.
To overcome challenges and limit risks in the implementation process, the strategy sets out 6 national core tasks, including: perfecting the legal environment, developing digital infrastructure, national-scale platforms and systems, national digital data, national applications, services, and ensuring national cybersecurity and safety.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the important role of E-Government in providing online public services, connecting society and maintaining the stability of the country in difficult times. The pandemic is also considered a boost to speed up Vietnam's digital transformation process, creating a premise for E-Government to continue to play its role after the epidemic and develop into a Digital Government according to the goals of the Government's Strategy.
Recently, Vietnam has made many efforts to implement projects to build E-Government and achieved initial important results as a foundation. Specifically, the national database on population has been cleaned, standardized, and ready for connection and sharing by over 90 million people (92% of the population); the Production and Issuance of Citizen Identity Cards project has issued over 50 million cards. This helps reduce costs, facilitate citizens, businesses, and organizations in administrative procedures and provide public services.
Vietnam's efforts in building E-Government have also been recognized by international organizations. According to the United Nations E-Government Development Index (EGDI) survey report in 2020, Vietnam is classified as a developed country in E-Government with a high EGDI index compared to the world average. In Southeast Asia, Vietnam ranks sixth out of 11 countries, after Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, and the Philippines.
As of 2021, Vietnam has up to 53 million digital consumers (according to the SYNC DNA report), meaning that every 7 out of 10 Vietnamese consumers have access to digital platforms. In addition, over 60% of businesses have been and are using digital platforms and tools in their business operations (according to the World Bank, 2021).
This indicates that Vietnam has the ability to integrate into a high digital environment, and this is also the reason why digital transformation at all levels, sectors, and businesses needs to be accelerated to meet market demands.
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