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GovTech: Putting People First

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What is GovTech?

GovTech is a whole of government approach to public sector modernization. GovTech emphasizes three aspects of public sector modernization: citizen-centric public services that are universally accessible, a whole-of-government approach to digital government transformation, and simple, efficient and transparent government systems.

The World Bank

Core Government Systems - Client demand for modernization and integration of core government systems is an entry point for strengthening the GovTech approach, especially in projects and dialogue on next generation digital solutions for central and local government (e.g., GGP is focused on better public financial management, human resource management, tax administration, public procurement and public investment management systems). These interventions also include the development of an overarching digital government transformation strategy and set of principles to foster effective use of digital platforms and data that are interoperable and secure, as a part of the whole-of-government approach. 

Public Service Delivery - In collaboration with other groups in the Bank, the GovTech agenda supports the design of human-centered online services that are simple, transparent, and universally accessible. Special attention is paid to services that are accessible by low-cost digital solutions, such as mobile phones and free open source applications, tailored to the digital literacy and reaching all intended beneficiaries and users.

Citizen Engagement - Developing and deploying CivicTech tools including citizen feedback and complaint handling mechanisms can be done in high and low connectivity countries, using simple technology and free open source aplications. Activities also focus on accountability tools such as service charters and service standards with enforcement and monitoring mechanisms, and the use of technology to advance government’s efforts at greater transparency. 

GovTech Enablers - Strengthening GovTech enablers includes work on how to build digital skills in the public sector and an environment that fosters innovation in the public sector.

The World Bank

The GovTech agenda also encompasses effective use of disruptive technologies (such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud computing and the internet of things), public data platforms (promoting the use of open public data by individuals and firms to create value), local GovTech ecosystem (supporting local entrepreneurs and start-ups to develop new products and services for government) and greater use of public private partnerships to draw upon private sector skills, innovations and investments to address public sector challenges.

Our Structure

The GovTech agenda is supported by the GovTech Global Partnership (GTGP), a multi-stakeholder initiative that includes advanced and aspiring GovTech countries, development partners, private sector, academia, civil society, and others involved in the GovTech domain. The GTGP welcomes new partners to join in the initiative. See more here. The GovTech Global Solutions Group (GSG)and Governance Global Practice (GGP)lead the agenda while bringing together other global practices within the Bank, including those working on digital development, payment systems, data governance, and sector specialists. This work is also supported through the GovTech Working Groups and the GovTech Innovation Lab.

Governance Global Practice - Public Administration Reform Unit

The Governance Global Practice’s GovTech work is supported by the Public Administration Reform Unit. As a central unit, it helps coordinate and develop the agenda with analytical work and policy guidance, global public goods, convening and knowledge exchange as well as knowledge management and skill development. It directly works with World Bank task teams to help develop and conceptualize new projects and implement and oversee existing projects. The unit also engages in outreach and partnerships with external institutions, partners and experts. As part of its work, the unit coordinates the GovTech Global Solutions Group and the the GovTech Global Partnership.

Contact:  Roby Senderowitsch, Practice Manager

GovTech Global Solutions Group

The GovTech Global Solutions Group (GSG) was established in 2020 to create a network of technical staff across the Bank to facilitate knowledge generation and dissemination. The GSG is responsible for new knowledge generation and ensuring this is translated into operational guidance for task teams. The GSG is currently led by Kimberly Johns and Cem Dener (the Global Leads report to the GGP Director and Practice Manager) and includes a group of 11 WBG experts located in DC and country offices. The GSG members provide support for: (i) technical quality assurance; (ii) strategy, innovation and business development; (iii) country and global engagements; (iv) intellectual leadership; (v) mentoring staff and bringing on new talent; (vi) generating new knowledge and learning materials; and (vii) partnerships and outreach with other agencies.  

Working Groups

The Bank launched GovTech Working Groups to provide thought leadership, facilitate the exchange of ideas, and support the development of sound GovTech solutions. Community building and impact-driven collaboration are the core objectives of this initiative.

Through these Working Groups, the Bank convenes experts from governmental and non-governmental stakeholders worldwide. Working Group members co-develop knowledge products that assemble and advance experience and expertise on a technical GovTech workstream. Products may include playbooks, how-to-notes notes, surveys, and benchmarks.

Currently, there are three working groups, each arranged around a technical GovTech workstream: the Cloud Computing Working Group, Interoperability Working Group, and Mobile Government Working Groups

Contact: João Ricardo Vasconcelos


GovTech Innovation Lab

GovTech Innovation Lab aims to provide a safe and hands-on exploratory environment for testing and learning innovative technologies to solve problems, specifically focusing on GovTech focus areas, at both country and global levels.

Over the past years, the GovTech Innovation Lab (the Lab), a joint initiative between the GovTech team and the ITS Technology and Innovation Lab (ITSTI), has supported the exploration of emerging technologies to address development challenges. While the Lab has provided technical assistance to some countries during the design and implementation of their innovation projects, it has also led two global initiatives leveraging AI and Machine Learning: the GovTech Advisory and Guidance Tool (GTAG) and Synthetic Data to Support Tax Administrations. More details can be found here.

The Lab plans to launch an open innovation program, namely a Challenge Competition, at the country level to strengthen the operational connection. This approach offers countries an additional option to advance their GovTech agenda by tapping into external expertise, fostering solution development, and scaling up through the World Bank’s future lending operations.

Contact: Asami Okahashi  (Task Team Lead)



The World Bank

GovTech: Putting People First

GovTech is a whole-of-government approach to digitalization that promotes simple, transparent, and efficient government. GovTech supports digital transformation to deliver simple, transparent, universally accessible services, promote civic participation, accountability, and trust, and modernize core government operations.


  • Public Administration and Institutional Reforms Unit
    Roby Senderowitsch, Practice Manager, Governance Global Practice, Europe and Central Asia, World Bank (West), Governance
  • GovTech Global Solutions Group
    Cem Demer, Global Lead
  • Kimberly Johns, Global Lead
  • GovTech Global Partnership
    Reinhard Haslinger, Program Manager
  • Contact
    Lara Saade