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m-Government: The New Frontier in Public Service Delivery

The World Bank e-Development Thematic Group/GICT, IT SLC

In partnership with

eGovWorld, Mobile Government Consortium International,
IIS-Russia, eGov Monitor and the Development Gateway

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Presented a Global Dialogue on

Thursday, 29 November, 2007; 8:30 - 11:00 am ET


Welcome and Introduction

Samia Melhem, Senior Operations Officer, Global ICT Department; and Chair, e-Development Thematic Group, World Bank
Vikas Kanungo, Chairman, The Society for Promotion of e-Governance, India & Convener, eGovWorld 2007
Oleg Petrov, Coordinator, e-Development Thematic Group, World Bank

Opening Remarks/Keynote address

R. Chandrashekhar, Additional Secretary (e-Governance), DIT, Government of India


Ibrahim Kushchu, Associate Professor and Director, Mobile Government Consortium International and Author, "m-Government: An Emerging Direction in e-Government", UK
Hannes Astok, Member of Parliament and former Deputy Mayor, City of Tartu, Estonia


David Nishball, President, Airtel Enterprise Services (India Private Sector Perspective)

Program Description

Mobile services are quickly emerging as the new frontier in transforming government and making it even more accessible and citizen-centric by extending the benefits of remote delivery of government services and information to those who are unable or unwilling to access public services through the Internet or who simply prefer to use mobile devices. In theory, many government services can be now made available on a 24x7x365 basis at any place in the world covered by mobile networks, which today means almost everywhere. According to an estimate by R. Chandrashekar, Additional Secretary (e-Gov), Government of India (keynote speaker at this seminar), approximately 50%–60% of government services in India can be delivered via mobile channel. This emerging trend in public service delivery has been called "Mobile Government" (M-Government) and is part of a broader phenomenon of mobile-enabled development (m-development) or leveraging the mobile revolution to enable development impact.

Mobile technology takes electronic services and makes them available via mobile devices such as mobile phones and PDAs, bypassing the need for traditional physical networks. As more advanced mobile devices become more common, and faster rates of data transfer become possible, more useful and higher value-added mobile services will be possible and expected from all levels of governments (especially municipal), in different areas and sectors. Both developed and developing countries have been experimenting with mobile delivery of public services for the last 5–7 years, and there is plenty of experience to learn from for the newcomers to the M-Government agenda.

According to the ITU, the total number of mobile users worldwide as of late 2006 was about 2.7 billion and the number of Internet users was just above 1.1 billion. This means that at least there is 23.6% of world population (and at least 22.2% of developing countries’ population) who already have mobile phones but are not yet using the Internet. The graph below vividly illustrates the "M-Opportunity," which will be explored at the seminar.


These and other questions were addressed at this seminar:

  • Does this provide a strong case for leveraging the mobile channel to dramatically improve access to public services, including electronic government services, to those who can afford to use a personal or shared mobile phone (e.g., Village Phone)? Does this create an opportunity to connect in the near future the next two billion people to some of the benefits of e-government, e-health, e-education, e-banking and e-commerce?
  • How exactly can Mobile Government transform the lives of common people in developing countries? What are the best examples of such an impact?  What are the types of services that can be easily provided on mobile phones/devices ("quick wins") and what are the more strategic high-impact services ("killer applications")?
  • What are the key constraints to making this vision a reality? What are the critical success factors and lessons learned?
  • Should governments and the development community take this opportunity to drastically improve access to information and services much more seriously? How exactly should governments and donors change the way they do business to take full advantage of mobile technologies?
  • What is the role of the private sector? Are there successful business models (e.g., PPP) for private sector companies to support value-added m-government services?

This Global Dialogue seminar was organized as an integral part of the eGovWorld 2007 ( Conference taking place in New Delhi on Nov. 29-30, 2007 to connect a large and high profile audience in India with experts and e-government champions in other countries to share ideas on how to take public services transformation to the next level with the help of mobile technologies. The seminar will provide a platform to discuss a variety of mobile services being developed and deployed around the world and will highlight global best practices and lessons learned in this area. 

The event will was webcasted live for Country Offices and remote audiences to enable remote participation, and several country offices were connected via videoconference.

The e-Development Thematic Group is powered by GICT in collaboration with ISG, WBI, PREM, and other partners. Visit us at to download materials for this and all previous e-development seminars (over 100 since Sept 2003). To join our mailing list, please write to

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Event Videos

mGovWorld Interviews with Key Practitioners Worldwide
Interview with Hannes Astok
Interview with W3C: Stephane Boyera & Jose Alonso
Interview with Rain Rannu
Interview with John Daly
Article by Emmanuel C. Lallana: m-Gov and e-Democracy

Key Resources

Our Blog

Mobile Transformation Series

Other Resources 1

World Bank ICT Country Tables

Partnership Opportunities
This event is open for global and country-level partnerships with all interested parties
These partnerships can take various forms, from co-branding and marketing to co-sponsorships and intellectual contributions.
To find out about specific partnership and sponsorship opportunities related to this event, please contact Chew Kuek at