05th June 2020
03:00 PM

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and persisting lockdown in Nepal, a lot of information was observed to be circulated in national portals and through other social media platforms.

In Nepal, over the past few years, along with the penetration of the internet and increased number of mobile technologies, the nation has shown that it is already inclined towards the use of e-services. However, as compared to the private sector, government sectors are seen lagging far behind.

As witnessed in COVID-19 scenario, it is evident that the government of Nepal needs to escalate the digital infrastructure by focusing on digital literacy. Instead of going to various offices, departments and ministries, it is a high time that we establish ‘one umbrella’ which can ensure non-stop (24-7) public services delivery.

Over the last half-decade, Nepal has made significant progress in ICT penetration by tapping the latest technology. In 2018, ‘Digital Nepal’ campaign was announced by PM Oli. However, despite the political will, things are moving at a very slow pace. Are we ready and prepared enough to change the public service delivery system?

If we look at the websites of many government agencies, it looks, they are still struggling in maintaining their websites. In many others, information is just one-way flow. It seems the Government sector is at the initial phase towards implementing the concept of e-governance.

The government services like birth, death and marriage registration, National ID cards and passports, driving licenses and notary services among others are some of the basics that need to be heightened up in Nepal’s e-governance framework. Implementation of e-governance in the full phase is thought to increase transparency and likely reduction of corruption.

However, there are existing challenges despite the willingness from the government side. Challenges are mostly associated with the digital divide that is induced by the socio-economic challenges like, lack of infrastructure, income-inequality and low digital literacy.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a demand for new needs in e-governance services of Nepal. On top of that, it has appealed more reforms on the existing services.

The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) is hosting a webinar on COVID 19 & Prospects and Challenges of E-Governance in Nepal on 5 June 2020. This webinar is looking for an insightful discussion concerning the present scenario and the likely future scenario concerning the e-governance in Nepal. It aims to identify the challenges and opportunities of e-governance in Nepal and lessions to be learned from world's leading e-governance systems.