Models of E-Government Development
Two models of cooperation can explain the character of relationship between GovTech startups and the governments.
In the first, open, model, GovTech startups are invited to contribute their technologies and ideas, to propose initiatives and implement them. As PwC states, GovTech is “created by entrepreneurs, innovators and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) – often people who have worked in public services and can see exciting new ways of delivering improved outcomes and more efficient public services.” This model is designed to develop connections between two parties in order “to explore new ways of bringing small businesses and technology driven innovation to public leaders and policy makers.“ The best examples of this approach are US, UK, and some of the EU countries.
Experts widely support the idea that GovTech is a local phenomenon. Universalism is not acceptable, as technological solutions fully depend on political context, population size and diversity, stability, etc. Indeed, companies acting in accordance with the first model, are predominantly local, operating under the local law.
The second model, closed (or traditional), is described by PwC as follows: “Traditionally government and public sector systems have been built in-house or by large IT companies. Data has been stored, and software developed, on proprietary platforms and very few are designed to share data or talk to each other.“
The typical example of this is Smart Nation and Digital Government Office in Singapore, which unites the CEOs and experts in government body with the purpose of transforming the public services delivery. Initiated in May 2017 under the Prime Minister’s Office, SNDGO established digitalisation as a core agenda for the Singapore Government and underscored its importance as a pillar in driving public service transformation efforts. Over the course of the year, GovTech has continued to make progress in implementing Strategic National Projects, delivering citizen-centric services and building technology capabilities in government agencies.
In other words, under this model the government agency develops and implements all the services. The same can be observed in Estonia where government had developed services, while IT corporations and startups had developed the tools.
Both open and closed models pursue building public-private partnerships under which government orders unique solution/product for its specific needs.