This study is aimed at better understanding how innovation in the public sector, enabled by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), can transform governance systems and how governments can take advantage of emerging and future digital technologies to address systemic problems. The results of the study shall inform the development of a new conceptual framework for understanding the nature and characteristics of Digital Government Transformation in the EU; the various modes of organization and implementation in different Member States and the social and economic impacts such transformations enabled by ICTs can have on policy-making mechanisms, governance processes and service delivery.

The study is carried out in consortium with PPMI, RAND, POLIMI and Martel on behalf of the European Commission (DG JRC-IPTS). The project will start with a systematic review of literature and analysis of the state of the art of policy and practice in the broad domain of public sector innovation, with specific regard to digital government transformation. Built on that, the consortium will develop a new conceptual and analytical framework to assess the effects of Digital Government initiatives on governance systems and policy making. The conceptual framework will be used for the design and implementation of four case studies that will be conducted to illustrate, contrast and compare, the direct and indirect impacts of Digital Government Transformation in different contexts in the EU, in different phases of the policy-cycle and at different levels of governance. The test and analysis of the framework proposed shall adopt an experimental approach to better identify key determinants of successful implementation and the consequences of Digital Government interventions within the framework of public sector reform in the EU.

This exploratory study will inform the European Commission’s ongoing work on the evolution of Digital Government in the EU and contribute implementing JRC research in the area of Digital Government (D-GOV), as part of the flagship project on Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence (DT&AI).