Exploring Digital Government transformation in the EU - Analysis of the state of the art and review of literature
Work data:ISSN: 978-92-76-13299-8
Type of work: Report
This report presents the findings of the analysis of the state of the art conducted as part of the JRC research on “Exploring Digital Government Transformation in the EU: understanding public sector innovation in a data-driven society” (DIGIGOV), within the framework of the “European Location Interoperability Solutions for eGovernment (ELISE)' Action of the ISA2 Programme on Interoperability solutions for public administrations, businesses and citizens, coordinated by DIGIT. The results of the review of literature, based on almost 500 academic and grey literature sources, as well as the analysis of digital government policies in the EU Member States provide a synthetic overview of the main themes and topics of the digital government discourse. The report depicts the variety of existing conceptualisations and definitions of the digital government phenomenon, measured and expected effects of the application of more disruptive innovations and emerging technologies in government, as well as key drivers and barriers for transforming the public sector. Overall, the literature review shows that many sources appear overly optimistic with regard to the impact of digital government transformation, although the majority of them are based on normative views or expectations, rather than empirically tested insights. The authors therefore caution that digital government transformation should be researched empirically and with a due differentiation between evidence and hope. In this respect, the report paves the way to in-depth analysis of the effects that can be generated by digital innovation in public sector organisations. A digital transformation that implies the redesign of the tools and methods used in the machinery of government will require in fact a significant change in the institutional frameworks that regulate and help coordinate the governance systems in which such changing processes are implemented.