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E-Government for Sustainable Development: Evidence from MENA Countries

Authors
  • Dhaoui, Iyad1
  • 1 Tunisian Institute of Competitiveness and Quantitative Studies,
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the Knowledge Economy
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
May 10, 2021
Pages
1–30
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s13132-021-00791-0
PMCID: PMC8107409
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

This research paper investigates the role of electronic government on various aspects of economic and social development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The paper uses a panel data of 15 MENA countries between 2003 and 2018. The paper examines, first, the effect of e-government on good governance. Second, it highlights the effect of good governance on sustainable development, and third, it assesses the effect of e-government development on sustainable development, i.e., the digital dividends. The race is between skills and technology, while the outcome will settle on whether the dividends from digital technologies are realized and the benefits widely shared. The results reveal that most indicators of good governance have a positive contribution to sustainable development. As for the impact of e-government development on governance indicators, findings show that digitalization improves control of corruption and government effectiveness, and to a lesser extent, regulatory quality. Contrary to what was expected, e-government-related variables exert an adverse effect on various aspects of sustainable development instead of being a catalyst for progress. Based on these findings, the paper provides some recommendations. Essentially, policies on the use of digital technologies need to be adequately embedded in public sector reform. MENA countries should promote competitive business environments, enhance accountability, and upgrade education and skills development systems. Our findings are then of great interest to policymakers to make the necessary reforms that reap digital dividends in the form of faster growth, better public services, and adequate environmental management.

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