What is GovTech?

GovTech refers to technological approaches that make services and processes within public institutions, as well as interaction with citizens and companies or between donor countries and partner countries more efficient and transparent. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the reconstruction loan corporation (KfW) have developed a standard tool for the latter form of interaction: TruBudget makes flows of resources transparent and traceable at all times.

Video: GovTech (english subtitles available)

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GovTech in the Corona response

Governments can use digital solutions to coordinate relief efforts and medical device distribution, monitor disease spread, and warn people who have been in contact with infected persons. In addition, GovTech offers the opportunity to apply for economic support such as unemployment benefits, short-term loans or grants contactlessly and transparently, and to receive a fast-track approval.

Digital payments have proven to be a transformational solution in crisis situations (such as in the Ebola crisis of 2014). Expanding networks for digital payments, subsidizing commissions on transactions, reinforcing digital payments systems and fostering digital health behavioural change tools, can scale innovations that help contain or prevent COVID-19. By developing and strengthening e-commerce and door to door delivery systems with key stakeholders in the market people will reduce their movements and be able to live better during the confinement period.

Usage potential for our key topics

What are the advantages of GovTech for the German development cooperation?

Transparent public administration makes an important contribution to fighting poverty and creating integrative growth in our partner countries. At the same time, a lack of capacities in the development countries results in citizens and companies having insufficient access to state services. Utilising digital solutions in the public sector can make administrative actions quicker and less expensive. Therefore, GovTech is improving efficiency and transparency while increasing citizens’ trust in administration. That is why we want to promote the digitalisation of administrative actions around the world even further.

Many projects already use GovTech elements and provide governments in partner countries with different software, but not in a coordinated manner. This creates patchwork situations with many individual solutions, increased expenses in operations and maintenance, as well as communication problems at interfaces.

Uniform standards, interoperability and the open source principle need to apply in all projects supported by the German development cooperation (DC) so digital solutions can be used and further developed on a lasting basis. So-called ICT modules form the basis of all software solutions, and they are repeated in many program solutions, such as ID management systems and communication tools. At the UN level, parties are striving for uniform ICT modules that can be used by both the national regions and all donors on a long-term basis.