Uruguay climbs positions and consolidates itself as a regional leader in E-government

The country advanced 12 places in the index elaborated by the UN and occupies the second place in the Americas, only behind the United States.
Publication date: 07/08/2020

Uruguay climbed 12 positions in the United Nations (UN) 2020 Global e-Government Index (EGDI), from 34th to 26th place worldwide. It currently ranks second in the Americas, only behind the United States and ahead of Canada. It also ranks 29th in the Digital Participation Index (DPI) and has the highest score in the Open Government Information Index (OGDI). 

The E-Government report, which is published every two years, is a reference and valuable input for decision-makers worldwide. The measurement weighs three dimensions: the Online Services Index (OSI), which measures the scope and quality of these services provided by the government, the Technology Infrastructure Index (TII), which assesses the level of development of telecommunications infrastructure, and the Human Capital Index (HCI), which evaluates items such as literacy rate and years of schooling. 

In terms of the overall score, Uruguay went from 0.7858 in 2018 to 0.85 in 2020, consolidating its place in the group of nations with the highest development in this area. The country greatly exceeds the average score for the region, which obtains an EGDI of 0.6341. 

In the current situation, marked by the social and economic consequences of the expansion of COVID-19, "governments face unprecedented challenges in responding to the needs of their countries, which has put the different visions of digital government to the test," says the UN report. Against this backdrop, "the digital transformation is a central part of underpinning sustainable development in many countries," it explains.

Digital participation and open government

Within the report, the Digital Participation Index places Uruguay in the 29th position with 0,8571 points. The country is thus positioned within the most developed group, with a percentage of use that reaches 86.05%. 

Digital participation is "one of the key elements of governance and one of the pillars of sustainable development", insofar as ICTs contribute to the "involvement of people in decision-making, administration and service delivery". Its "intrinsic value" lies in its potential for building "an inclusive society through citizen engagement", the report stresses. 

In this sense, Uruguay demonstrated its avant-garde character, being the first country in the world to implement the Plan Ceibal (One Laptop per Child program), among other public policies, which allowed it to universalize access to technology and knowledge, as well as to significantly reduce the digital gap, since in ten years the difference in access between the poorest and richest households went from 35% to 8%. 

The third ranking in the report is the Open Government Information Index (OGDI), in which Uruguay obtains the highest score and is placed in the group of nations with the best performance. 

Uruguay is one of the most advanced countries in digital procedures in Latin America, according to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). In the report entitled "The End of the Eternal Process", the country is taken as an example by the different initiatives and policies deployed to favor the digital transformation, a vision that has earned it "a solid, sustainable and coherent growth of its digital government and has led to unprecedented results in the region," according to the report. 

In this line, the country implemented the Uruguay Digital Agenda 2020, which integrates different initiatives to underpin the digital transformation in an inclusive and sustainable way, making intelligent use of technologies. One of the program's goals is for the country to have 100 percent of its procedures online by 2020, which is currently 84 percent. 

Another of the initiatives that respond to this strategy is the Salud.uy Programme, aimed at promoting the intensive use of ICTs in the health sector, to improve the quality and continuity of care for citizens. Within this framework, a large number of projects have been deployed, such as the National Electronic Health Record, which makes it possible to unify and make available all the health user's clinical information before an assistance event, among other actions. 

An attractive destination for IT companies to expand their solutions globally

The modern technological infrastructure positions Uruguay as the most advanced country in Latin America in the development of ICTs. Thanks to important investments, it stands out for its achievements in this area: it is part of the Digital Nations (the most digitalized nations in the world), it has the highest level of broadband Internet penetration in Latin America and the highest percentage of companies and homes connected by optical fiber, it is the leader in the ICT adoption rate and it was the first country in the region to begin the deployment of the 5G network, among others. 

Its leadership in the area, added to its political and social stability, qualified talent in STEM areas, a coordinated and accessible technological and business ecosystem, a favorable regulatory framework that promotes the internationalization of technology companies, access to markets and quality of life, makes it an attractive location for technology companies to expand their solutions globally using the country as a platform. 

To read the full UN report, click here