The World Bank’s 2022 GovTech Maturity Index for Digital Transformation in the Public Sector ranked Lithuania as one of the world leaders, rising from the 39th to the 8th place. South Korea was ranked the 1st, whereas Estonia took the 6th spot and neighbouring Latvia was ranked in the 27th place.
The GovTech Maturity Index (GTMI) is one of the World Bank’s most comprehensive tools for measuring digital transformation in the public sector. It aims to complement the existing country measurement tools and diagnostics by providing a basis for assessing GovTech maturity and identifying the areas for improvement. The Index assesses 4 key indicators of countries’ digital transformation: mainstreaming citizen engagement, enhancing service delivery, fostering GovTech enablers and supporting core government systems.
The first GTMI was released by the World Bank in 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. In that year, Lithuania was ranked much lower, in the 39th position.
The indicator where Lithuania performed the best was public service delivery. One of the good examples that helped to achieve the rise in the index was the upgraded tax return system by the State Tax Inspectorate, launched in 2020. This convenient tool, which replaced dull manual tables, allows residents to easily view and validate their tax returns at the touch of a few buttons.
Another indicator that has improved significantly over the last few years, and, according to the data provided, has pulled Lithuania up to the 8th place, is the fostering of GovTech Enablers. In Lithuania, the GovTech Lab team under the Innovation Agency Lithuania has been working in this area for three years. It is this team that has significantly improved Lithuania’s score.
“Although three years do not seem like a long time, we can already witness how immensely the public sector has changed – it is experimenting more and more with the latest technological solutions and is more willing to cooperate with innovative companies. The GovTech Lab’s activities also contribute to cultural changes by raising the public sector’s innovative skills to help organisations implement digital projects. It is encouraging, that this is appreciated by such organisations as the World Bank,” says Romualda Stragienė, Director of the Innovation Agency Lithuania.
The other two indicators where Lithuania was evaluated in the context of digital transformation were citizen engagement, where the ePilietis.lt platform was assessed, and the support for core government systems, where the cloud of state information resources, the ePaslaugos.lt platform and other systems were evaluated.