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  • Lombeh K

E-Government in Liberia: Assessing Progress and Identifying Opportunities for Improvement



Introduction:


E-government services have the potential to revolutionize public administration by improving efficiency, transparency, and citizen engagement. While Liberia has made strides in implementing e-government initiatives, there remains considerable room for improvement. In this analytical technology insight, we will examine the current state of e-government in Liberia, identify areas in need of enhancement, and explore potential solutions to increase access to government services through digital channels.


Current State of E-Government in Liberia:


According to the United Nations E-Government Development Index (EGDI), Liberia ranked 174th out of 193 countries in 2020, indicating that the nation has much to do to fully realize the benefits of e-government services (United Nations, 2020). Some areas of progress include:

  • Online Presence: Liberia has developed a number of official government websites to provide information to citizens and businesses, such as the Liberia Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).

  • E-procurement: Liberia has implemented an e-procurement system to streamline the procurement process, reduce corruption, and enhance transparency (World Bank, 2020).

Areas in Need of Improvement:

  • Online Service Delivery: Despite the presence of official government websites, the range and depth of online services provided remain limited. Many services still require in-person interactions, which can be time-consuming and inefficient (United Nations, 2020).

  • Digital Infrastructure: The limited internet penetration in Liberia, with only 7% of the population having access (World Bank, 2021), hinders the widespread adoption of e-government services.

  • Digital Literacy: Low literacy rates and limited digital skills among the population may prevent many Liberians from accessing and utilizing e-government services effectively (World Bank, 2021).

Potential Solutions:

  • Expanding Online Services: Liberia could prioritize expanding the range of services available online, such as providing digital access to government forms, allowing online tax filing, and enabling remote access to other public services (OECD, 2021).

  • Improving Digital Infrastructure: Investments in digital infrastructure, such as expanding internet access and ensuring stable electricity supply, would be necessary for the widespread adoption of e-government services (World Bank, 2021).

  • Enhancing Digital Literacy: Initiatives to improve digital literacy, such as training programs and public awareness campaigns, could help ensure that more Liberians can effectively access and use e-government services (ITU, 2020).

Although Liberia has made progress in implementing e-government services, there are areas in need of significant improvement. By focusing on expanding online services, enhancing digital infrastructure, and promoting digital literacy, Liberia can unlock the full potential of e-government services and improve access to government services for its citizens.


E-government refers to the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to improve government services and make them more accessible to citizens. E-government can be used to provide a variety of services, such as:

  • Online tax filing

  • Online application for government benefits

  • Online access to government records

  • Online government procurement

  • Online citizen feedback

Liberia has made some progress in implementing e-government services. The government has launched a number of e-government initiatives, such as the e-Liberia portal, which provides access to a variety of government services online. However, there is still a long way to go.


According to a 2022 study by the World Bank, only 10% of Liberians have access to the internet. This means that a significant portion of the population is unable to access e-government services online. Additionally, the government's e-government initiatives are often poorly designed and implemented. This makes it difficult for citizens to use them.

There are a number of areas where e-government in Liberia could be improved. These include:

  • Improving access to the internet: The government needs to invest in expanding access to the internet, especially in rural areas.

  • Improving the design and implementation of e-government initiatives: The government needs to improve the design and implementation of its e-government initiatives. This includes making them more user-friendly and accessible to citizens.

  • Providing training on how to use e-government services: The government needs to provide training on how to use e-government services. This will help citizens to understand how to use these services and to benefit from them.

E-government has the potential to improve the delivery of government services in Liberia. By improving access to the internet, improving the design and implementation of e-government initiatives, and providing training on how to use e-government services, the government can make e-government a reality for all Liberians.


References:


United Nations. (2020). E-Government Development Index. Retrieved from https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/Data-Center


World Bank. (2020). Liberia - E-Procurement. Retrieved from https://projects.worldbank.org/en/projects-operations/project-detail/P156113


World Bank. (2021). World Development Indicators. Retrieved from https://databank.worldbank.org/reports.aspx?source=world-development-indicators


OECD. (2021). Digital Government in OECD Countries. Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/gov/digital-government/digital-government-strategies.htm


ITU. (2020). Enhancing Digital Skills and Literacy. Retrieved from https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Digital-Inclusion/Pages/Enhancing-Digital-Skills-and-Literacy.aspx


World Bank (2022). Liberia E-Government Assessment. Washington, DC.

 

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