Seoul Achieves Top Ranking in Rutgers-Newark Municipal E-Governance International Survey for Sixth Consecutive Time

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(NEWARK, NJ) — For the sixth consecutive time since 2003, a global survey of city websites has identified Seoul, South Korea as the top-ranked city in the performance of municipal e-governance. This research study was conducted by the E-Governance Institute in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark.

The Global E-Governance Survey evaluates the status of e-governance in the largest municipalities in 100 of the world’s most “wired” countries in terms of privacy, usability, content, services, and citizen and social engagement, and ranks cities on a global scale. Co-sponsored by the Public Technology Institute, the study lists the following cities among the top 5 in digital governance: Seoul, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Yerevan (Armenia).

Seoul retains its top ranking in municipal e-governance, similar to the 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011-12 survey results. As a direct result of innovative uses of e-governance, Seoul continues to provide its citizens with opportunities to participate in governmental processes, including well-organized and systematic opportunities to submit ideas and suggestions on proposed policies via policy forums. This enables government administrators and elected officials to respond directly to citizen initiatives when establishing public policies. Seoul also ranked first in four of the five categories of Privacy and Security, Content, Services, and Citizen and Social Engagement. Seoul ranks third in Usability.

The City of New York is ranked second overall, reflecting its significant effort to improve e-governance and provide efficient, and effective government online. New York is also ranked third in Services, fifth in Content, and seventh in Privacy & Security and in Citizen & Social Engagement. Information and services are provided in many convenient ways, and diverse social media are utilized by New York to better engage citizens. In the third place is Hong Kong, which has continually ranked in the top five positions since 2009. Hong Kong provides an excellent example of using Apps to provide information and services. Singapore ranks fourth overall and was also ranked among top positions in our previous surveys. The website of Singapore offers users an excellent online platform (eCitizen Portal) for providing suggestions to government. This is followed by Yerevan and Bratislava in the fifth and sixth positions respectively.

Although governments across the world increasingly offer their services online, studies evaluating the performance of such online services (broadly referred to as “e-governance”) primarily focus on federal, state, and local governments in the United States. Only a few studies have produced comparative analyses of e-governance in municipalities worldwide. This particular e-governance survey, first conducted in 2003 and repeated in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011-12, and 2013-14, represents a continued effort to evaluate e-governance in large municipalities globally. The study systematically utilizes the comprehensive Rutgers E-Governance Performance Index by classifying 104 measures into five categories: privacy, usability, services, content, and citizen and social engagement. Evaluating each municipality’s website in its native language to examine how the local constituency perceives their government online, the survey highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each municipality in terms of the five subject areas and then ranks the municipalities on an overall basis and within each category.

The e-governance study underscores the increased attention spent on usability, as the percentage of cities with official websites increased significantly around the world. Oceania was the top-ranked continent, followed by Europe and Asia. The top-ranked cities for each continent are Johannesburg (Africa), Seoul (Asia), Bratislava (Europe), New York (North America), Auckland (Oceania), and Sao Paolo (South America). Bratislava replaced Madrid as the highest-ranked city for European municipalities, and New York switched places with Toronto as the highest-ranked city in North America.

According to Professor Marc Holzer, Dean of the School of Public Affairs and Administration and Executive Director of the E-Governance Institute at Rutgers-Newark: “The E-Governance Performance Index used for the survey is a set of benchmarks that spotlight high levels of performance throughout the world and foster high expectations for improved web-based municipal service delivery in the near future, in all countries. Partnering with the Public Technology Institute helped to improve the survey methodology.”

The continued study of municipalities worldwide, with a seventh evaluation planned in 2015-16, will further provide insight into the direction and performance of e-governance throughout the regions of the world. Rutgers’ E-Governance Institute also conducts a United States States/Cities E-Governance Survey that evaluates the status of e-governance in all 50 states and the two largest cities in each state. The E-Governance Institute is a program of the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University in Newark, which U.S. News & World Report recently ranked 4th in Information and Technology among graduate programs in public affairs and administration in the United States.

Visit the E-Governance website at to access Digital Governance in Municipalities Worldwide (2013-14) after October 1, 2014 as well as the latest reports, articles, and publications on the best practices of e-governance around the world.

About Rutgers-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA)

The School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers-Newark educates and motivates students to choose careers in public service and administration through its innovative and comprehensive undergraduate, Master of Public Administration (MPA), Executive MPA, PhD, and professional and graduate certificate programs. The school’s faculty generates knowledge and best practices in public service and administration, and collaborates with public and nonprofit sector organizations and professionals throughout the U.S. and the world. Guided by the principles of knowledge, competence, diversity, and service – with an emphasis on public service values and competencies for effective performance – SPAA promotes accountability, transparency, and performance in the public and nonprofit sectors.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the Rutgers University-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration as 7th nationally in Public Management/Administration, and:

4th nationally in Information and Technology Management
10th nationally in Public Finance and Budgeting
11th nationally in City Management and Urban Policy
18th nationally in Nonprofit Management
23rd nationally in Public Affairs
24th nationally in Public Policy Analysis

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Marc Holzer, PhD
School of Public Affairs and Administration
Rutgers University-Newark                                                                ; 973-353-5268

Yueping Zheng
Senior Research Associate
E-Governance Institute