《Global Issues for Public Administration ODA_3-1》 Digital Government
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《Global Issues for Public Administration ODA_3-1》 Digital Government
period - published by KIPA
volume Global Issues for Public Administration ODA 3-1 publish year 2023
sort Digital Government type Report
date 2024-03-20 read 38
keyword Public Administration ODA   Digital Government  

《Global Issues for Public Administration ODA_3-1》
Digital Government 


Myungjae Moon (Professor)
Department of Public Policy and Management, Yonsei University

As Korea has achieved unprecedentedly compressed economic growth and political democratization since the 1960s, it has changed from an aid recipient country to a donor country. Having brought economic growth and democratization after colonization, national division and war, the Korean development model is not only differentiated from the models of other developed countries, but is also highly acceptable to developing countries. The Korean development model has particularly selected and performed Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the public administration sector, linked to good governance, as one of the strategic areas of comparative advantage, in terms of emphasizing the importance of public administration in the national development process. 
Among public administration ODA, the digital technology-based administration efficiency and public service quality improvement related to the digital government project, actively implemented since 1990 as an extension of the construction and utilization of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, have been introduced to developing countries as a representative example of administrative innovation in Korea's public administration ODA. Korea's digital government project started in 1967 with the introduction of computers for statistical processing of census data. Since then, the digital government has shown remarkable changes in administrative efficiency and public service quality through ICT, as much as compressed economic growth. Having been internationally recognized as an exemplary case, the Korean digital government has been introduced as a representative example of Korea's administrative innovation that many developing countries want to benchmark against.
In particular, while building an efficient administrative system internally using digital technology, the Korean government set strategic priorities externally for public service systems for the people and companies, thereby swiftly establishing the foundation for digital government despite the financial crisis in the late 1990s. The introduction and operation of digital government in Korea was particularly carried out as a major policy promoted by the president, the top decision-maker, within the framework of the entire government reform, rather than as an individual project. It has effectively improved the quality and transparency of administrative services and increased citizen participation at the same time. As a result, it is recognized as a good governance model by developing countries as well as by international organizations seeking a sustainable growth model through government reforms. 
Korea’s digital government is an exemplary public administration ODA project. According to the needs and requests of developing countries, the projects have been performed in various forms, be it a grant or concessional loan, and produced outstanding achievements, such as the establishment of a digital government master plan, development of a digital administrative system (G2G) or digital public service system (G2C or G2B), and development of digital competency. Despite the accomplishment, however, digital government ODA sometimes faces new challenges, such as the disparity between ideals and reality due to a lack of consideration and understanding of contextual characteristics of recipient countries, disconnected system development or discontinuous digital competency projects, and changes in the technological environment caused by the rapid development of digital technology. Against this backdrop, the purpose of this chapter is to diagnose the status and trends of Korea's current digital government ODA, analyze the need to change digital government ODA according to digital technology development and emerging issues and suggest strategic directions for the future digital government ODA. 


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