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2018 Waseda – IAC Digital Government Rankings Released

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Countries in all regions of the world are continuing to make strides in efforts to enhance Digital Government and foster digital innovation according to a new report launched today by The Institute of D-Government at Waseda University, Tokyo in cooperation with the International Academy of CIO (IAC).

The Institute of Digital Government, Waseda University headed by Dr. Toshio Obi, published the results today of the 2018 Waseda-IAC International Digital Government Ranking Survey. This is the 14th annual survey with the first published in 2005.

The 2018 ranking survey marks Denmark jumping to first place, followed by Singapore in 2nd, the United Kingdom in 3rd, Estonia in 4th, the USA in 5th, South Korea in 6th, Japan in 7th, Sweden in 8th, Taiwan in 9th, and Australia ranked 10th.

“Most governments have increased their excellent achievements in citizen-centric approach and demand-pull online services,” says Dr. Toshio Obi, professor at Waseda University’s Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies and director of the APEC Institute of e-Government at Waseda University. “This report also provides an early warning signal against increasing digital gap and innovation among nations,” he added.

Dr. J.P. Auffret, President of the International Academy of CIO and professor at George Mason University notes that ”many countries have increased their focus on Digital Government and the application of technology to foster economic growth and their efforts are reflected in the Rankings. For example Kazakhstan has moved from 24th in 2017 to 18th in 2018, UAE from 40th to 34th, Hong Kong from 24th to 18th, Finland from 18th to 13th, Norway from 16th to 11th, Switzerland from 23rd to 12th and Malaysia from 36th to 25th.”


The 2018 rankings also point to significant trends in the usage of ICT in government activities. The report shows that there are some new trends which will potentially have major impacts in the coming years. These include:
(1) Re-definition of e-government to Digital Government
(2) Usage of AI and IoT for Digital Government
(3) Expanding the Scale of Smart City and e-local government
(4) Blockchain Technology for Digital Government
(5) Digital Government for AntiCorruption.

In addition to the above trends, the report noted six challenges for Digital Government to contribute to addressing. They are digital innovation with cloud computing, IoT and AI; ageing society; globalization of open innovation; digital divide for global and local communities; urbanization with mega smart cites; and cooperation between central and local governments.

This survey is conducted by the distinguished experts from Waseda University and ten world-class universities under the umbrella of the International Academy of CIO. These institutions are Waseda University (Japan), Peking University (China), George Mason University, (USA), Thammasat University (Thailand), Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia), National University of Singapore (Singapore), RANEPA (Russia),University of Turku (Finland), Bocconi University (Italy), Taiwan e-Governance Research Center (Taiwan) and De La Salle University (Philippines).


Ten main indicators and 35 sub-indicators were utilized in developing the Digital Government Rankings in 2018. The survey continues as in 2017 by considering 65 countries (economies). The indicators include: Network Preparedness, Management Optimization, Online Services, National Portal, Government CIO, D-Government Promotion, E-Participation / Digital Inclusion, Open Government, Cybersecurity and Use of Emerging ICT. As an example, for the Indicator of “Use of Emerging ICT,” the leading five countries / economies are: Singapore, Denmark, UK, USA and South Korea.


For the details, a full ranking report on 2018 Rankings with all 65 Country Reports can be found at: and also on the IAC homepage at:

About the International Academy of CIO (IAC): Founded in 2005, the International Academy of CIO (IAC) is an international NGO headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The IAC fosters the exchange and adoption of best practices on CIO and IT executive leadership, as well as with IT organizations and government IT institutions. The IAC promotes and facilitates CIO and IT executive leadership education; government CIO and IT governance legislation and institution building; and global standards for CIO education. The IAC has 15 country chapters; active participation from governments, private sector and universities in more than 50 countries; and partnerships with World Bank, APEC, OECD and U.N. University. For more information: