The Governance Global Practice’s GovTech work is supported by the Public Administration and Institutional 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.
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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.
To support aspiring GovTech countries in adopting sound practices and solutions, and to ensure a broad global partnership for effective exchange and transfer of knowledge and good practice, the GovTech Global Partnership (GTGP) was established by the World Bank's Governance Global Practice in 2019. The governments of Austria, the Republic of Korea and Switzerland are supporting the GTGP through a multi-donor trust fund. The Partnership’s vision extends beyond the trust fund and includes partnerships and dialogue with advanced and aspiring GovTech countries, private sector, civil society organizations and others involved in GovTech domain. The GTGP supports analytical and advisory work, global public goods, convening and knowledge exchange as well as the implementation of GovTech solutions.
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.
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.
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.
Strengthening GovTech enablers, including work on how to build digital skills in the public sector and an environment that fosters innovation in the public sector.