Policy Briefs for the Global Solution Summit 2022

March 9, 2022

Responsive e-governance combines information and communication technologies and modern management practices within a single identity framework that enhances citizen, public and private sector engagement; transparency and accountability; and business and market efficiency – all leading to improved public service delivery and GDP growth.124 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) argues that technology can greatly improve government effectiveness at increased speeds of adoption, maturity and integration with public services.Countries already have started such services. India’s digital ID program Aadhaar registered 99 percent of its 1.2 billion population;125 Indonesia’s e-KTP card,Malaysia’s MyKad, Bangladesh’s Smart NID card system, and Pakistan’s NADRA system126 have followed similar suit. Asian megacities are also improving public transportation systems using technology: The Jakarta Transport Authority, for instance, engaged with multiple application providers such as Trafi, Waze, and Google Maps to assess alternate traffic routes that cuts down commuting times and increase ridership.127 Kenya’s M-Pesa system, launched in 2007 as the world’s first mobile money service, has contributed to an uptake of e-government services,128 enhancing financial inclusion for 86 percent of Kenyans. Similarly, the diffusion of mobile networks and inexpensive mobile phones has enhanced the use of digital identification systems for accessing government and IAAS (identity as a service) services used for KYC or anti-money laundering activities.129

Due to the benefits of e-governance and digitally available public services, the European Commission has made efforts to boost cross-border digital public services130 through interoperable platforms such as the Common Framework for Citizens’ Electronic Identity Management.

Any technological change would cause systemic disruptions to fundamental ways of interaction within any context. The numerous characteristics that define any new technology are determined by the way communities interact192 both with and without it. Governance of technological interventions lies in ensuring existing institutions anticipate, reform and adapt to normative social issues as they arise in response to the after-effects of technological disruptions. In a post-pandemic context, it is without doubt that technology will bolster global economic recovery but must not be without appropriate regulation to avoid potential negative fallout,193 such as an increase in inequality and abuses of power.The rapid pace of emerging technologies can inspire resilience and adaptability among human beings, but it must be kept in check with appropriate ethical guidelines that address gaps in governance through a multi-stakeholder approach to ensure their equitable, fair, and just use194 without necessarily slowing down innovation and progress. Numerous examples of multi-stakeholder collaboration that spark innovation and increase public trust already exist. Japan’s expe-rience with cryptocurrency and Finland’s open-data approach to transport are existing examples.A digital future is indeed possible, provided they are grounded in fundamental rights and laws that keep one safe from unlawful persecution. Data is more than just a “new oil.” It is the bedrock of a rights-based and user-centered environment in the 21st century.