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E-Government Experience in the US and Canada: How Relevant is it to Developing Countries?

Begins:   Jun 15, 2005 
Ends:   Jun 15, 2005 
Contact Person:   Oleg V. Petrov

Date: June 15, 2005

Time: 9:30 am -12:00 pm

Location: Room I1-200, 1850 I Street N.W., Washington DC, USA

Event Type: Video Seminar

Participating Countries: Brazil, Guatemala, Macedonia, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Uganda

Program Description


The United States and Canada have been at the forefront of the e-government revolution.  According to the latest Accenture annual e-government maturity report issued on 6 April 2005, for the fifth consecutive year Canada ranked first out of the 22 surveyed countries, followed by the United States, Denmark, Singapore and Australia.

“The US e-government vision has remained consistent for several years, with its basic principles of reforming government to make it citizen-centered, results-oriented and market-based. Electronic government is considered one of the critical components of making government more responsive and cost effective under President Bush’s larger Management Agenda” 1. During fiscal year 2003, USA Services (, one of the priority initiatives of the President’s Management Agenda had 209 million citizen contacts through its call center (1-800-Fed-Info), portal ( and publications center according to Accenture report. “In 2003, 3.4 million US taxpayers filed their taxes using the IRS Free File program and 350,000 businesses tax forms were filed electronically. Job seekers logged more than 65 million visits to the web site ( and created over 600,000 new on-line resumes”2 .

“The latest annual report from the Canadian Government On-Line (GOL) program reveals that online services now account for 30% of all government transactions.  Launched in 1999, the GOL initiative aimed at e-enabling the 130 most commonly used Canadian federal government services.  Today, as a result of the collective efforts of dozens of government departments and agencies, all of those services are online and can be accessed through the federal portal. With almost 600 million interactions between citizens and the federal government in 2004 – compared to 150 million in 2001 – e-government is now a key channel for the delivery of public services in Canada and represents almost a third of the total number of transactions. At a time when most countries are struggling to reach a critical mass of users for their e-government services, Canada has managed to secure impressive rates of take-up for its sophisticated public e-services offering.” 3

Many World Bank client countries are now looking at the US and Canadian experience as the source of inspiration, good practices and lessons learned when designing and implementing national e-government strategies, interoperability and governance frameworks, and integrated architectures. There is a growing demand to learn from early implementers in order to avoid common pitfalls and to maximize returns on investment.  However, there are many factors to be considered, such as population size; cultural, socio-economic and political differences; Internet penetration; and sources and availability of funding.  This seminar will highlight a number of lessons learned in the US and Canada that might be applied.  In addition, it will examine the following issues:

1. “Joined-up Government”: What does it take to ensure seamless, integrated delivery of processes and services to citizens and businesses across departments and jurisdictions?   What are the lessons learned regarding development of an e-Government Strategy, an Architecture and Interoperability Framework, and Single Window delivery mechanisms?

2. What are the key lessons learned about the role of e-Government Leadership and specialized institutions?

3. What are lessons learned on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and outsourcing?

4. How have Monitoring and Evaluation been undertaken to measure the impact of e-government? How much hard evidence is available today?

5. Have Canada and the US been involved in applying these approaches to developing and transition countries? What has been learned there? How can one best identify what is applicable and what is not applicable?

1 Accenture 2005 e-Government Report “Leadership in Customer Service: New Expectations, New Experiences
2 Expanding e-Government Results report
3 Impressive e-government take-up in Canada, eGovernment News,  8 April 2005


  • Rakesh Asthana, Director, ISGCI, World Bank (Welcome and Opening Remarks)
  • Mark Forman, former Administrator for the Office of E-Government and Information Technology, United States (keynote presentation)
  • Shauneen Furlong, former Executive Director, Government On-Line, Canada
  • Lalith Weeratunga,  Secretary to the Prime  Minister, Sri Lanka
  • Godfrey Kibuuka, The Commissioner for Communications, Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications
  • Patricia Pessi, e-Government Coordinator, Ministry of Planning, Brazil
  • Jani Makraduli, President, Committee for Information Technology, Macedonia
  • Ilyas Naibov-Aylisli, e-Government Coordinator, Ministry of ICT, Azerbaijan
  • Alejandro Ludlow, e-Mexico National  & International Digital Sharing Director
  • Robert Schware, Lead Informatics Specialist,  Global ICT Department, World Bank
  • Deepak Bhatia, ISG e-Government Practice Manager, World Bank

Robert Valantin, Manager, Development Information, ISG; Co-Chair, e-Development Thematic Group

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