Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) play a pivotal role in Digital Government Transformation (DGT) of countries.
SDIs constitute one of the main building blocks for effective data sharing and their development in the past years has taught some important lessons to public authorities in terms of collaboration across sectors, centricity of users’ needs as well as the usefulness of platforms and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
However, the specific analysis of the role that SDIs play in Digital Government Transformation has not been the object of many studies so far. With practitioners and academics acknowledging more and more the links between these two concepts, there is a need to provide an initial picture of how SDIs have contributed to Digital Government Transformation until now and what could be their role in the future.
The present study is a first attempt to examine this relationship and develop a methodology for apprehending the role of SDIs in the Digital Transformation of the public sector.
- It first develops an analytical framework for examining different aspects that can provide an explanation of the relationship between SDIs and DGT and notably institutional aspects, technical aspects and impact aspects.
- It then tests this framework on twenty-nine countries (all European Member States plus Norway) in order to assess the validity of this instrument for the collection of data as well as for the wider understanding of this topic. From these analytical and data collection efforts, it emerged the strength of the relationship that SDIs and Digital Government Transformation entertain and the variety of ways in which countries have understood and cultivated it.
- The study also provides an attempt to link the OECD Recommendation on Digital Governments with the SDIs and Digital Transformation experience of the countries in scope.
The study helped to understand that SDIs already significantly support Digital Government Transformation, even from the OECD perspective, and that this relationship will only be stronger in the future.