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APPENDIX B: Organizational Profiles of International Digital Government Research Sponsors

Organization Name:
 
United Nations - Division for Public Administration and Development Management (UN-DPADM)
 
Organization Type:
 
Intergovernmental Entity
 
Headquarter Location:
 
New York, with offices in Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi
 
General Focus:
 
Maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, harmonizing the actions of nations, and cooperation in solving international problems and the promotion of human rights.
 
URL:
 
United Nations: http://www.un.org/
Division for Public Administration and Development Management: http://www.unpan.org/dpepa.asp
 


The United Nations was established in 1945 by 51 countries committed to international cooperation and collective security. Today, virtually every nation in the world is a member of the UN; current membership totals 192 countries. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) within the UN Secretariat complies and analyzes a wide range of economic, social, and environmental data used by member states in reviewing common problems and formulating possible policy options; facilitates the negotiations of Member states in intergovernmental organizations on joint courses of action to address ongoing or emerging global challenges; and advises interested governments on ways and means of transforming policy frameworks developed in the UN into programs at the country level and, through technical assistance, helps build national capacities.

Within DESA, the Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) implements the UN Program in Public Administration and Development. Through the dissemination of information and knowledge, the delivery of technical and advisory assistance, and providing an international forum that fosters dialogue for the exchange of national experiences, the DPADM assists member states’ governments to ensure that their governance systems, administrative and financial institutions, human resources, and policy development processes function in an effective, participatory, and transparent manner. The DPADM also identifies and responds to emerging global trends and challenges, such as information technology and knowledge management, while maintaining a strong focus in traditional areas of public administration, governance, policy analysis, public economics, public finance, and private sector development.

DPADM specializes in three thematic areas; governance and public administration, socio-economic governance and management, and knowledge management. The central objective of the Knowledge Management Branch is to examine the role of ICT in promoting knowledge-based government; and the role of electronic and mobile government (e/m-government) by focusing on e/m-readiness, e/m-participation, and e/m-inclusion. DPADM produces a number of widely-read publications such as the United Nations Global E-government Readiness Knowledge Base, and the UN Global E-government Readiness Reports.

Organization Name:
 
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
 
Organization Type:
 
Intergovernmental Entity
 
Headquarter Location:
 
Paris, with additional offices in Berlin, Mexico City, Tokyo, and Washington
 
General Focus:
 
Bringing together governments of countries committed to representative democracy and the market economy to support sustainable economic growth, boost employment, raise living standards, maintain financial stability, assist other countries’ economic development, and contribute to growth in world trade.
 
URL:
 
 

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) originated in 1947 as the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) to administer American and Canadian aid under the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after the Second World War. In 1961, OECD took over the OEEC and extended its membership to include non-European states. OECD is funded by 30 member states: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. OECD members are committed to representative democratic government and a free market to support sustainable economic growth, boost employment, raise living standards, maintain financial stability, assist other countries’ economic development, and contribute to growth in world trade. In addition to the 30 member states, the OECD cooperates with over 70 non-member economies, and is currently discussing possible membership with Chile, Estonia, Israel, Russia, and Slovenia.

OECD is a provider of comparative data, analysis, and forecasts that are necessary for governments to compare policy experiences, seek solutions to common problems, identify best practices, and coordinate policies. By using its wealth of knowledge on a diverse range of topics, OECD works on global issues and seeks solutions to common challenges in: Economics and Trade; Society and Social Cohesion; Finance; Innovation; Sustainability; and Governance, which includes activities of e-government, regulatory reform, public sector budgeting and management, citizen participation, and fighting corruption.

OECD’s organizational structure consists of three main bodies, namely the Council, committees, and the Secretariat. The Council’s main objective is to set the oversight and strategic direction of the organization. Approximately 200 specialized committees, working groups, and expert groups comprised of subject-matter experts representing member states and invited non-member states focus on specific topics and global challenges. The Public Governance Committee is one example. Its main responsibility is designing and implementing a concentrated program that will: (1) identify the strategic challenges that governments face in modernizing public governance in a changing world, (2) assist members and non-members in achieving a more coherent and effective policy, and (3) promote key elements of a good governance framework to contribute to the improvement of the effectiveness, efficiency, transparency, responsiveness, and accountability of public institutions.

The OECD Secretariat is made up of approximately 2,500 economists, lawyers, scientists, and other professionals who support the activities of the committees, and carry out the work in response to priorities decided by the OECD Council. Two directorates within the OECD Secretariat focus on topics related to digital government, they are: the Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate (GOV); and the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (STI).

The overall objective of GOV is to support countries in adapting their public sector governance frameworks to the changing needs of society and the economy. Its E-Government Project was created in 2001 to study how countries are implementing e-government initiatives, and how they will affect governments in the future. The project goals are to help policy makers identify key challenges, impacts, and possible strategies that are necessary to take full advantage of the benefits of e-government, as well as to support them in exploiting information communication technologies (ICTs) as a means to embed good governance principles. Through outreach programs, GOV provides forums for countries to exchange ideas and challenges related to governance. The output of this work is available to policy makers, academics, and practitioners worldwide through publications of country studies, analytical reports, and policy briefs.

STI provides governments with analytical tools for policy formulation and advice on the scientific, technological, and industrial environment, as well as their relation to growth, employment, and citizens’ well-being. The Information Economy Unit within STI is responsible for examining the economic and social implications of the development, diffusion, and use of ICTs. STI also analyzes ICT policy frameworks that influence the economy, productivity, and employment and business performance.

Organization Name:
 
World Bank Group
 
Organization Type:
 
Intergovernmental Entity
 
Headquarter Location:
 
Washington DC
 
General Focus:
 
Helping developing countries and their citizens alleviate poverty by focusing on building an environment for investment, jobs, and sustainable economic growth.
 
URL:
 
 

The World Bank Group was formally conceived in 1944 by delegates of 44 governments at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference – commonly known as the Bretton Woods conference. Today, membership stands at 185 countries. The World Bank Group’s headquarters are located in Washington, D.C. and it has more than 100 field offices located throughout the world. The Group is staffed by more than 10,000 employees – consisting of economists, educators, environmental scientists, financial analysts, anthropologists, engineers, and many others – coming from about 160 different countries. More than 30% of the Group’s staff members work in their overseas offices.

The World Bank Group is comprised of five organizations. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) provides loans and development assistance to middle income countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. The International Development Association (IDA) provides interest-free loans and grants in the poorest countries. IBRD and IDA are commonly referred to as the World Bank, or the Bank for short. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) promotes growth in developing nations by financing private-sector investments, and offering technical support and advice to governments and private businesses. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) encourages foreign investment in developing nations by providing guarantees to foreign investors against loss caused by non-commercial risks. The International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) acts as a mediator for settling investment disputes between foreign investors and their host countries.

The Group is the largest multilateral financier and provider of ICT policy in developing countries. The Group has provided more than 3 billion in US dollars in over 80 countries focusing on strategies to broaden and deepen public sector and institutional reform, improve access to information infrastructures, support human capacity to exploit ICT, and support ICT applications across a broad range of sectors. The Global Information and Communication Technologies Department (GICT) is a joint department of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (another member of the World Bank Group). GICT promotes access to information and communications technologies in developing nations. By working with both public and private sectors, GITC is considered the Group’s core department of research, policy, investments, and other programs related to ICTs. GITC fulfils its mission by offering policy advice to the ICT sector, loans to governments to subsidize private providers of ICT infrastructure, investment capital for private provision of ICT infrastructure services, and grants for innovative projects. GITC coordinates the Group’s relations and partnerships in the area of ICT for development with other donors and international organizations such as the International Telecommunications Union of the United Nations. GITC emphasizes sector reform; strengthening regulatory structures; internet, convergence, and e-strategies; access in remote and rural locations; IT-enabled industry development; postal service; knowledge sharing; and e-government.

Information for Development (infoDev) is a multi-agency partnership coordinated and served by an expert Secretariat housed in GITC at the World Bank, one of its principal donors and founders. Similar to the efforts of GITC, infoDev’s mandate is to help developing countries and their international partners maximize the impact of ICT on development and poverty reduction. They provide research and analysis, support innovative pilot projects, and produce toolkits designed to help development leaders turn knowledge into action.

Organization Name:
 
European Commission – Directorate-General for Research and Directorate-General for Information Society and Media
 
Organization Type:
 
Government Agency
 
Headquarter Location:
 
Brussels
 
General Focus:
 
Research and technological development in Europe
 
URL:
 
European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/
Directorate-General for Research:
Information Society and Media Directorate-General: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/information_society/index_en.htm
 

In March 2000, the Lisbon Agenda was set by the European Council to transform the EU into a competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy, capable of sustainable economic growth. Together with the European Research Policy implemented in 1984, the Lisbon Agenda focuses on achieving these goals by investing in knowledge and R&D efforts. The key instrument of the European Research Policy is the Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development (FPs), each covering a period of five years, with the last year of one FP and the first year of the following FP overlapping. The key entity responsible for managing the FPs is the Directorate-General for Research whose mission is to develop the EU’s research policy, coordinate research efforts, support EU policies that affect research, and promote a better understanding of the importance of science and research-related activities. These FPs are designed to complement individual member states’ research programs – helping Europe pool its resources. The two main strategic objectives of the FPs are: to strengthen the scientific and technological base in Europe, and to encourage international competitiveness, while promoting research that supports EU policies.

The most recent FP is the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), which will last for seven years (2007-2013) instead of the traditional five with a total budget of EUR 53.3 billion. One of the prerequisites of FP7 is that any activity funded under this program must incorporate “European added value,” in which transnationality is a key aspect. The five major categories of research within this framework are Cooperation, Ideas, People, Capacities, and Nuclear Research. Cooperation consumes the largest portion of the budget (EUR 32.4 billion). Its main focus is to foster collaborative research across Europe and other partner countries in areas such as health, and information and communications technologies. The Ideas category supports “frontier research” solely on the basis of scientific excellence, the People category provides support for research mobility and career development. The Capacities program strengthens the research capabilities that are needed to become a thriving knowledge-based economy. Nuclear Research, focuses on training, technological developments, international cooperation and dissemination, and exploration activities.

The Information Society and Media Directorate-General is central to supporting the research and development efforts in the domain of information and communications technologies (ICT), including e-government. Research sponsored by the Directorate-General falls within the Cooperation category of FP7 and takes up the single largest portion of the budget, currently EUR 9.05 billion. Network and service infrastructure stability and security, performance and reliability of electronic systems, and digital content management are a few of its research areas. Ares include supporting ICT innovation, R&D, and competitiveness within the EU; defining and implementing a regulatory environment to foster competition that supports investment, economic growth, the creation of job opportunities; encouraging the widespread availability, and accessibility of ICT-based services that impact the quality of life of EU citizens; and representing the EC in international dialogue and negotiations within the domain of ICT.

Organization Name:
 
US National Science Foundation (NSF)
 
Organization Type:
 
Government Agency
 
Headquarter Location:
 
Washington, with offices in Paris, Tokyo, and Beijing
 
General Focus:
 
Education and fundamental research in all scientific and engineering disciplines with the exception of medical sciences
 
URL:
 
 

In 1950, the U.S. Congress created the National Science Foundation, the only independent federal agency committed to the support of education and fundamental research in all scientific and engineering disciplines except medical sciences. NSF is one of the largest funding sources for research in the US with an annual budget of about $6.06 billion, supporting approximately 20 percent of all federally-supported basic research conducted by US colleges and universities. It supports research in many fields such as mathematics, computer science, and the social sciences, and funds the discovery of new knowledge that leads to societal benefits. The director, the 24 member National Science Board (NSB), and the deputy director serve six year terms, and are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

The Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE) promotes the development of an integrated, Foundation-wide international strategy, and manages international programs that are innovative, catalytic, and responsive to a broad range of NSF’s interests by: serving as a focal point for international science and engineering activities both inside and outside NSF; facilitating collaboration between the science and engineering communities of the US and the rest of the world; serving as a liaison between the NSF and agencies, institutions and researchers throughout the world; and monitoring and reporting on science and engineering developments and policies worldwide.

NSF’s research program is organized into seven directorates that encompass the wide-range of science, technology, and engineering research and education: Biological Sciences; Computer and Information Science and Engineering; Engineering; Geosciences; Mathematics and Physical Sciences; Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences; and Education and Human Resources.

The NSF Digital Government (DG) Research Program operated as a stand-alone program under the Computer and Information Science and Engineering directorate from 1991-2005. As of 2006, the NSF has awarded over $70 million for more than 170 DG research projects, of which seven projects totaling more than $7.4 million, were either international or comparative in nature. Examples of project areas that are of particular interest to the Digital Government Research program include: intelligent information integration, digital government comparative management models, electronic transaction and electronic commerce technologies, drug interdiction, comparative privacy policies, information services for citizens, and natural language processing across different languages. In addition to funding research projects, NSF also sponsors workshops and community building programs to help identify and present key issues within the domains of government that benefit from formal research partnerships between universities and government agencies at the national, state, and local levels.

The NSF DG Research Program is now incorporated into a broader cluster of programs called Information and Intelligent Systems. Multidisciplinary approaches are encouraged and partnerships with government agencies are required for most projects. Funded projects range in size from small exploratory research grants or workshops of less than $50,000 to projects that exceed $1 million. Investigations vary in length from a few months to two-three years. The DG research agenda is not directive, that is, it does not specify questions, methods, or outcomes (beyond the expectation of generating new knowledge useful to government). Instead, the research agenda has been built over time by the topics of interest to proposers as well as by NSF-funded workshops organized by researchers in a variety of fields.