Policy dialogue and e-governance

© GIZ/Dirk Ostermeyer

Digital information and communication technologies improve transparency in governance and facilitate participation by citizens.

Media, communications and the digital transformation of the public sector are central to promoting a constructive partnership between state and society.

Independent and viable media have a key role to play in societies’ democratic development. This is particularly the case with the growing influence of social media that gather and use data. As a country’s ‘fourth estate’, the traditional media are called on to track and to question social changes, providing information, analysis and debate.

It is essential that state institutions address their target groups. For example, they must communicate to citizens why reforms are necessary and what change these reforms are designed to achieve. State agencies must respond to uncertainty and doubt on the part of citizens and create dialogue opportunities to balance interests and de-escalate social conflict. Another important aspect is that such opportunities for dialogue boost people’s trust in the state.

E-governance has a major role to play here. E-governance means the use of digital technologies by agencies to engage in processes and communicate with citizens. The use of these information and communication technologies boosts the efficiency and effectiveness of governments and local administrations. It also improves the relationships between state and non-state agencies, thanks to the greater transparency, products and services tailored to people’s needs, and greater scope for co-determination. E-governance therefore also means e-participation, with both approaches influencing each other.

GIZ supports its partner countries in developing or maintaining fair, transparent and efficient structures. In so doing, it follows the 2030 Agenda (the Sustainable Development Goals/SDGs). For example, GIZ briefs its partners on the role of the media and provides advice to governments that wish to reform their communications work. Digital applications have a special part to play: they improve exchanges within the government and administration, as well as the dialogue with citizens, the private sector and civil society.

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