Panel on digital governments at the Brazilian Innovation Week 2023
Since 2018, the Brazilian government has been working on upscaling its digital services. In 2020, the Secretariat of Digital Government (SGD) released the first Digital Government Strategy (EGD) to digitalise federal public services. SGD focused on expanding the digitalisation of public services to subnational governments.
SGD is currently developing the National Digital Government Strategy (ENGD) to guide local policymakers in using digital tools to create more inclusive and citizen-centred governments. To support SGD’s efforts, the Secretariat for the Brazilian-German Digital Dialogue carried out a study to compare best practices from countries that digitalised their local governments successfully.
At the Brazilian Innovation Week, the Secretariat for the Brazilian-German Digital Dialogue organised a panel to present the study's findings and exchange with Brazilian stakeholders from civil society and academia. The Brazilian innovation week is the largest event on innovation in the public sector in Latin America.
International best practices on digital government
Nilson Borges, a digital government expert from Ekeep consultancy, explained that he and his team interviewed representatives from the public sector of Denmark, Estonia, Spain and South Korea. The interviews allowed them to comprehend the factors behind the successful digitalisation of local governments.
The initial findings revealed the need for an effective dialogue with all stakeholders involved in digital governance, meaning citizens, the government and the private sector. Borges also highlighted the crucial role of skills and training in the public sector.
Insights from panel speakers
After the presentation of the study findings, the panellists shared their views on the topic. Larissa Pedroso, Deputy Manager of the Innovation Laboratory of the Public Prosecutor's Office of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Inova MPRJ), stressed the importance of supporting municipalities while considering their diverse contexts. She also warned of the risk of digitalisation overshadowing other challenges that may be more pressing for local policymakers.
Manuel Bonduki, public policy lecturer at Insper University, emphasised the need for a strategy that accounts for Brazil's diversity, considering the many degrees of digitalisation across states. He suggested establishing a basic set of rules for subnational governments, such as joining the GOV.br platform.
According to Daniel Annenberg, advisor at the NGO Instituto I and former member of the City Council of Sao Paulo, municipalities should collaborate with citizens to create more efficient solutions. He reiterated that citizens should always be the focus of digital governments, which hold immense potential to reduce inequalities and tackle structural issues.
More interesting news
On 14 September 2023, high-ranking government officials from Brazil and Germany reaffirmed their commitment to digital policy cooperation. Alongside representatives from business, civil society and academia, they assessed opportunities for joint cooperation activities. The Annual Meeting was complemented by a diverse programme that included meetings and visits to prominent companies and public agencies.
In collaboration with key stakeholders from the initiative “Data Spaces in Brazil”, the Secretariat for the Brazilian-German Digital Dialogue promoted a series of discussions on data spaces. Three technical workshops took place in Porto Alegre, São Paulo and Brasília. They highlighted the potential of data spaces to foster innovation and enhance the data ecosystems in Brazil and Germany.
From 9 to 13 September 2023, a delegation from the German Ministry of Digital and Transport (BMDV) visited São Paulo and Brasília. Benjamin Brake, Director General Digital and Data Policy at BMDV, led the delegation. The visit aimed to foster cooperation and exchange of knowledge in digital transformation between Germany and Brazil.
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