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Snapshot: The state of e-Government in the Caribbean

Telecommunications and the Information Society Day will be celebrated on 17 May. To recognise this occasion, during the month of May, posts will be geared towards providing a snapshot of telecoms and ICT development in the region. We kick off the series by examining e-Government in the English-speaking Caribbean.

According to the World Bank, e-Government is the use of ICT by government agencies. Some of the objectives of e-Government are:

* to increase efficiency and productivity among and between government agencies
* to improve access to and the availability of pertinent information to citizens
* to provide avenues for the exchange of information and for execution of a broad range of transactions between government and businesses, and between government and individuals.

Since 2002, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) at the United Nations has been conducting a survey of e-Government development in its member countries. A key output of this assessment is the e-Government Development Index (EGDI), which provides an indication of the ability and willingness of national governments to use mobile and online technology to carry out some of its functions. The index signifies the performance of the participating countries relative to each other, and scores can range from a maximum of 1, to a minimum of 0. The EGDI comprises the following three indicators:

* Online Service Index – which examines the scope and quality of service offered by a cross-section of government websites
* Telecommunications Infrastructure Index – which examines telecoms connectivity with regard to fixed-line, mobile and Internet broadband subscriptions, along with Internet use and computer ownership
* Human Capital Index – which examines adult literacy and enrolment across all levels of the education system.