The 14th edition of the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance – ICEGOV 2021 – focuses on Smart Digital Governance for Global Sustainability in a challenging social, political, economic, and environmental world. For over half a century, digital governance, or the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) in public administration and society, has allowed governments to change how they make decisions, engage with stakeholders, operate, produce, and provide public services. The opportunities of digital governance have been emphasised by past and current crisis, as a way to manage pandemic, economic and environmental emergencies and recovery, but also to address social and political challenges faced in a rapidly changing world.
With that in mind, the conference welcomed the submission of papers for 14 Conference Tracks through a Call For Papers (15 January – 1 June) and a Special Call for Short Papers (25 April – 1 June), this last more focused on COVID-related submissions. Both Calls are available for download below, as well as some statistics regarding paper submission, authors, and countries.
Papers and Tracks
A total of 167 papers were submitted for 14 thematic tracks, of which the majority were research papers. However, a significant number of ongoing research and short papers were also submitted, showing that while ICEGOV is mostly an academic conference, it also successfully targets non-academic fields.
- Research papers: 85 [51%]
- Ongoing research papers: 42 [25%]
- Short papers: 40 [24%]
As for the thematic tracks, Track 7: Digital transformation of public services and administration saw the biggest amount of submissions (31), followed by Track 6: Digital governance assessment methods and Track 12: Industry and Public Sector, with 21 papers each. The remaining tracks had a good balance of submissions, including themes as diverse as smart cities and regions, blockchain and emerging technologies, privacy, security, and legal informatics, post-pandemic challenges, open and collaborative governance, among others.
Looking at the authors, a total of 381 submitted their work for this year’s conference, which averages 2.3 authors per paper. Universities and research centres represent, as is usual, the majority of submissions, while government officials and people from the industry sector come afterwards with similar numbers. International organisations, mostly from the United Nations system and the European Union, represent about 5% of the authors. The remaining are split between non-governmental organisations and authors without affiliation.
- Academia: 301 [79%]
- Government: 27 [7%]
- Industry: 20 [5%]
- International Organisations: 19 [5%]
- NGOs: 7 [2%]
- Other: 7 [2%]
The balance between developing and developed countries (according to the data from The World Bank), which over the past years tended more towards the developing side, saw a shift this time around, most likely due to the adverse effects of the pandemic: 240 authors (63%) are from developed countries, while 141 authors (37%) are from developing countries. Nonetheless, 50 countries (29/21 split) are represented overall, covering all five continents and yet again showcasing the global aspect of ICEGOV.
Europe topped the charts with 220 authors (58%), while Asia and the Americas followed behind with 69 and 63 authors (18% and 16%, respectively). Africa and Oceania came pretty much together and represent 5% and 3% of all submissions, respectively. Finally, the top five of authors (country-wise) is shown below.
- India: 44 [Asia]
- Greece: 42 [Europe] (host country)
- Portugal: 34 [Europe]
- Brazil: 32 [Americas]
- Estonia: 17 [Europe]