New Economy Forum: GovTech: Future Outlook

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How will emerging trends in digitalization/fintech change future fiscal operations and policies? What risks, challenges and dilemmas will arise for governments? How can bureaucracies harness the potential benefits from information? What are new, unexplored opportunities for fiscal policy design and operations?

 

Moderator
Herve Tourpe
Head of Digital Advisory Unit, IMF

Panelists


Dr. Ihab Abouais
Vice-Minister of Finance for Public Treasury, Egypt

Dr. Abouais holds a BA degree on Business Administration, MSc on Financial Management of Financial Institutions, and a PhD on Financial Services from Nottingham University Business School 2001. In 2005 he got the Fulbright visiting scholars and research grant in George Washington University. He is Professor at Business Administration Department, Faculty of Commerce, Cairo University and has a large number of published research and studies on international journals and conferences. 

Before being appointed as Vice-Minister of Finance for Public Treasury in June 2018, he served as Vice-Dean for Postgraduate Studies, Research, and International Affairs from September (2014), and Dean of Faculty of Commerce, Cairo University from June (2016). Professionally he serves as Member of Board of Directors on a number of Private and Public Companies, as well as Public Authorities and Agencies. 

 

Morten Meyerhoff-Nielsen
EGOV Adviser at UN University

Morten Meyerhoff Nielsen is an EGOV Adviser at the United Nations University, Operating Unit for Policy-Driven Electronic Governance, an international think tank on digital transformation of the public sector in Portugal. 

He is responsible for multiple digital transformation projects on strategy development, performance and data management, user centric service design, eParticipation, and capacity development China, Georgia, Uganda, and Saudi Arabia. With the International Social Security Association, Morten is leading the research on the impact of the digital transformation of social security, and how improve the digital inclusion of marginalized communities including women and children. 

Morten regularly run executive training on digital transformation of the public sector in internationally and is a guest lecturer at several European universities.  

Past employment includes the Danish Agency for Digitisation, Danish Technological Institute, European Institute of Public Administration, Centre for the Development of Enterprise; European Commission, and University of KwaZulu-Natal. 

Morten is educated in Denmark, South Africa, and the UK, and holds a ph.d. at Tallinn University of Technology. He is the author and co-author of various publications, a reviewer various journals and on multiple conference committees. 

 

Julia Glidden
Corporate Vice President Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft

Dr. Julia Glidden is Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, for Microsoft Corporation, where she is helping to deliver on Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. An internationally recognized expert on Digital Government, Dr. Glidden specializes in identifying and piloting emerging technologies such as AI, Cloud and Blockchain in the GovTech space. Julia pioneered the concept of Cognitive Government and has delivered many of Europe's leading innovation projects. She is currently serving as an expert advisor to the United Nations, the World Economic Forum and the European Commission. In addition to being named in Apolitical's inaugural list of the Top 100 most influential people in digital government, Julia was recognized as one of the Top 40 GovTech Influencers in the 2019 eGovernance Global Industry Landscape Overview.

 

Huda AlHashimi
Chief Government Innovation, UAE

Seminar Report


Emerging trends in digitalization/fintech are likely to change future fiscal operations and policies. The panel discussed the evolution and outlook of GovTech, and how governments could harness the benefits from digital transformation for policy design and operations.

Key Points:

  • Digitalization and the pandemic: Panelists noted that the pandemic has accelerated pre-pandemic trends on GovTech and digitalization. Glidden cited the importance of fintech and disintermediation, referring to the M-PESA project in Kenya, and Abouais highlighted the digital transformation projects in Egypt, including modernizing of the tax and customs administrations. Meyerhoff-Nielsen pointed to lagging innovation in public institutions, especially in areas of service delivery and organizational change.
  • Challenges to digital economy: Panelists noted the importance of addressing digital divides and enhancing security. Glidden noted that the large part of the digital economy remains inaccessible for many as, globally, 2 billion people remain unbanked. Meyerhoff-Nielsen emphasized that 1 billion people do not possess IDs and Glidden and Meyerhoff-Nielsen underscored the importance of upskilling and reskilling.
  • Making digitalization a success: Several panelists called for increased public-private partnerships. Glidden noted that it is crucial not to rely on regulatory intervention, focusing instead on agility, “sandboxing,” and piloting. Abouais suggested careful assessment of the implications of new technologies. Meyerhoff-Nielsen stressed the ethical dimensions of digitalization and suggested that legislation on technology should leave no room for misinterpretation.

Quotes:

The golden rule with the general public is don’t overpromise and then underdeliver.” Ihab Abouais

Some argue that we have gained 10 years of development in the last two years, but it has also cemented and widened a number of existing divides within communities and within and between countries.Morten Meyerhoff-Nielsen

The future is bright, fascinating and interesting, but there are some areas we need to be cautionary about: how much personalization, privacy, security, and true accessibility as we move to this brave new world.Julia Glidden

Contributor: Mentor Mehmedi, IMF Secretary’s Department

Photos