Municipalities and regions are facing a radical digital transformation to meet the present and future needs of welfare services and other community services. The digitization index aims to compare how far different parts of the country have come in their digitalisation maturity.
The main objective with this pre-study is to define a methodology (the “index”) that measures and analyses how far different areas in Sweden (at municipal and regional level) have reached when it comes to digitalization, with the starting-point in the five themes of the government’s digitalization strategy, as well as other relevant aspects. To create a sustainable and efficient digitalization for the societal needs of today and the future, we need to consider how far we have progressed when it comes to e.g. policy and regulatory aspects, process changes and transformation of municipal and regional governments’ operations, availability and supply of fundamental e-services, and the presence of necessary infrastructure (communication networks). The index will not only cover how well municipal and regional governments’ operations succeed in their digitalization, but also how well society, including individual citizens, businesses and organizations are supported with digital means, e.g. e-services, support, simplified processes, education and the availability of open data.
The purpose of producing this index is multidimensional given the different target groups we have so far identified:
The idea is to identify and define what indicators are required for this, as well as to ensure data sources and data collecting methods in a reliable and comprehensive manner, where the ambition of the project is to utilise digital technology as much as possible (data-driven collection and analysis, utilizing e.g. big data/AI). The outcome of this will also allow us to identify the need for new data.
The index will link to relevant indices, tools and initiatives that are running in parallel, both in Sweden and internationally. More specifically, we will link the index to the EU Commission's DESI, with the variations required when moving focus from indicators at national level to local and regional level. When it comes to municipal and regional activities, we will use the eGov benchmark study from the EU Commission. We will also include the UN's e-Government Development Index (EGDI) and the OECD’s ICT indicators as reference. Digital competence, innovation ability and collaboration in ecosystems are also factors that will be taken into account. In this way, the index will complement the measurements and self-assessment models from initiatives such as the Innovation Barometer, eBlomlådan, eSam etc. We will also use the similar indeces for government agencies and for private companies as a reference (RISE already cooperates with Tillväxtanalys on an OECD project aiming to measure the degree of digitization in Swedish companies). Where relevant, we will create direct links to these indexes, to avoid having different benchmarks for the same aspect of digitalization being measured.
At the end of the pre-study, we aim to have a first preliminary version of the index ready to be implemented. During the pre-study, we will also investigate in which form and which actor is best positioned to operationally manage and develop the index.