Chileans are a tuned-in and wired-up population, and the Chilean government is no exception: according to the most recent survey by the United Nations (UN), Chile is the leading provider of e-government services in the region.
The 2012 E-Government Survey ranked Chile number 39 in the world, making it the third best provider in the Americas – behind the United States and Canada – and topping the list of governments in Latin American and the Caribbean.
The annual survey analyzes government efforts to incorporate new information technologies – like Twitter, Facebook, and interactive, informational websites. In the introduction to the 2012 survey, the UN wrote: “Today, powerful new technologies can be used to advance sustainable development for all people across the world while including them in the process.”
“In particular, e-government can be an engine of development for the people. In delivering e-government for the people, public services are designed to be responsive, citizen-centric and socially inclusive. Governments also engage citizens through participatory service delivery processes.”
On a global level, South Korea was determined the leading provider of e-government services, followed by the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The report underscored the advances made by societies outside eastern Asia and Europe in approaching the level of development of e-government services, particularly with the use of consultation tools and social media.
Chile was mentioned by name as a notable “e-leader” in the developing world along with Colombia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Chile also made the short-list of countries using all available channels of e-government, alongside South Korea, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and other countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
“When it comes to serving populations with different visual abilities… it is not just Europe that carries the torch of innovation,” reported the survey. “Other countries from several regions of the world also offer services to read their government websites aloud via a speaker or headphones. Among them are Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates in Western Asia, Japan in East Asia, Malaysia in Southeastern Asia, and Chile in South America.”
Fellow regional leaders include Mexico – whose government website at gob.mx received a special mention for its search function that integrates state services, similar to leading search engine Google – and Colombia, which ranked sixth worldwide for citizen participation through consulting tools and social networks. In the latter category, Chile followed on Colombia’s heels, coming in at eighth place for social network use.