The Institute of Digital Government, Waseda University headed by Dr. Toshio Obi, has released the results of 2018 Waseda-IAC International Digital Government ranking survey for the 14th consecutive years.

Executive Summary

(Edited by Prof. Dr. Toshio Obi)

14th Annual Survey with 10 Indicators (35 sub-Indicators)

The Institute of Digital Government, Waseda University headed by Dr. Toshio Obi, has released the results of 2018 Waseda-IAC International Digital Government ranking survey for the 14th consecutive years. This survey is conducted by the distinguished experts from Waseda University and ten world-class universities under the umbrella of the International Academy of CIO in the field. These Institutions are Waseda University (Japan), Peking University (China), George Mason University, (USA), Thammasat University (Thailand),Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia), National University of Singapore (Singapore), RANEPA (Russia),University of Turku (Finland), Bocconi University (Italy), Taiwan e-Governance Research Center (Taiwan) and De La Salle University (Philippines).

Thanks for their contributions to the multi-stages of the evaluation and analysis. Both Digital Innovation and Digital Economy become the key to economic growth and challenges in line with the target of Digital Government.

Warning Signal against Digital Divide and Innovation Gap

The 2018 ranking survey marks Denmark jumping at first place, followed by Singapore in 2nd which was the top position last year, the United Kingdom in 3rd, Estonia in 4th, the USA in 5th, South Korea in 6th, Japan in 7th, Sweden in 8th, Taiwan in 9th, and Australia ranked 10th as the top group.

As a matter of fact, most governments have increased their excellent achievements in citizen-centric approach and demand-pull online services. This report provides an early warning signal against increasing digital gap and innovation among nations.

In the middle of overall ranking, there are many countries which increased or decreased their ranks compared to the ranking in a few years. Ten main indicators and 35 sub-indicators evaluate the process of Digital Government ranking in 2018. In addition, we keep some countries for the evaluation target is 65th countries (economies). The 2018 rankings are summarized based on a combination of Waseda University and IAC (International Academy of CIO), during one year survey, and we prepare the relevant reports from many international conferences and meetings with institutions organized such as APEC, ITU, and OECD, as well as receiving the comments from experts of IAC member universities.

This report contains Chapter II [Ranking by indicators and Sector Analysis] with ten indicators, Chapter III, IV, and V, as rankings by organizations, size of population and ii GDP and Regions, and Chapter VI [New trends and Highlights], Chapter VII for comparison among others ICT rankings, Chapter VIII for methodology. Chapter IX shows a contribution list, Chapter X is for professor Obi as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government, Chapter XI is the International Academy of CIO and Capacity Building for ICT Leaders (2004‒2017), and Chapter XII is 65 country reports.

Emerging Technologies-AI, Blockchain for Digital Government

The 2018 rankings also point to significant trends in the usage of ICT in government activities. The report shows that there are some new trends and they continue to grow strongly in the coming years. An analysis for 14 years of the Waseda University – IAC Digital Government Rankings Survey indicates the following five highlights of the new trends: these are (1) re-definition of e-government, (2) Usage of AI and IoT for Digital Government, (3) Expanding the Scale of Smart City and e-local government, (4) Blockchain Technology for Digital Government, and (5) Digital Government for AntiCorruption.

In the context of continuing ICT development, especially the rising of AI, IoT, Big Data, and Cloud Computing, the development of destructive technologies has some impact on the promotion of Digital Government in 2018. Although there are lots of fluctuations in the usage of AI and other technologies, these have not yet made much progress on the activities of the digital government. Few countries have adopted both AI and IoT to improve the quality of service and productivity of work, most of which are concentrated in developed countries such as Denmark, top of the ranking 2018.

In addition to the above topics of highlights, there will be six challenges in Digital Government to be solved. They are “Digital Innovation-Cloud computing, IoT, AI applications”, “Ageing Society with skyrocketing population ageing”, “Globalization of Open Innovation”, “Digital Divide for global and local communities”, ”Urbanization with Mega-Smart city-harmonization of urban and rural communities” and “Cooperation between Central and Local governments”. The UN’s SDGs do not mention on Digital Government. However, Digital Government could support the smooth digital transformation needed for each SDGs sector.

For the details, a full ranking report on 2018 Rankings with all 65 Country Reports is attached, and also you may access to the IAC homepage ( or contact with Institute of Digital Government, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan (