Sri Lanka ranks first among South Asian countries in the latest E-Government Development Index conducted by the United Nations.
“Sri Lankan government has made a substantial effort to develop its online portal which now ranks 74th in the world”, the UN said. Sri Lanka ranked 115 in 2012.
The online portal offers A-Z government web indexes, 108 e-services for citizens, 51 e-services for businesses and 10 non-residence related e services. The portal also offers extensive mobile and SMS services, an e-participation portal, government forms easily accessible online, a developed open data portal with data available in various formats, as well as a whole-of-government strategy.
According to the Government Information Center (GIC) Sri Lanka’s e-government policies have been geared towards including all segments of the population and offering services to everyone, regardless of their IT literacy levels or access to the internet. With mobile usage rates in the country exceeding 100 per cent and even the poorest people today having cell phones, albeit basic, Sri Lanka offers many m-government services.
The GIC is now providing more than 65 online services through basic phone calls, such as train schedules, job opportunities abroad, flight schedules, exam results, economic indicators, medical services and contact details.
Even though the IT literacy rates jumped from 9.7 per cent in 2004 to 40 per cent in 2012, the numbers are still not high enough to allow maximum utilization of the e-services the government provides. With the GIC, all-inclusive e-services can be delivered to the rich and poor alike and hence everyone can become a beneficiary of the digital advancement in government.