Reaping the Low-Hanging Fruits

Digital transformation has helped many countries leapfrog development milestones, and Pakistan can course a similar trajectory. However, this will require a prioritization of domains that can undertake digital acceleration. Digital investments have been made across South Asia and the globe with results that strengthen a new digital social contract. Pakistan also needs a radical change — a new digital social contract that puts a premium on digital transformation for its human development.

Digital transformation is an accelerant, it can either accelerate past deprivations or accelerate its benefits to transform a country’s future. Pakistan’s major challenges lie in economic stabilization; political commitment for structural reform; declining human development outcomes – often at par with low-income countries; widening social and economic inequality, climate stress reversing growth; and political polarization that impedes democratic dividends. Digital technology presents an opportunity to address these challenges with greater efficiency, speed, and reach.

Accelerate is the NHDR 2023/2024’s fourth and final A recommending prioritized developmental pathways for Pakistan. This section identifies and recommends the below interventions in select national sectors where digital dividends can be generated in the near to mid-term for improving Pakistan’s HDI indicators.
A. E-Government and E-Governance
E-Government is the first domain where digital acceleration is needed. A slight distinction needs to be made here between e-government and e-governance, both of which are essential for digital acceleration. The U.N. describes e-Government as the usage and application of information technologies in public administration to streamline and integrate workflows and processes; to effectively manage data and information; enhance public service delivery, as well as expand communication channels for engagement and empowerment of people.

E-Government hinges on electronic interactions of three types: government-to-government (G2G); government-to-business (G2B); and government-to-consumer (G2C). Through innovation and e-government, public administrations around the world can be more efficient, provide better services and respond to demands for transparency and accountability, as well as assist governments go green, stimulate economic growth and promote social inclusion for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
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