The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (United Nations, 2015) are shaping the global agenda in multiple areas, including public opinion, policy, and research. The 17 SDGs, detailed in 169 targets, have an ambition of linking separate goals of sustainable development across different areas, into a unitary vision. At the heart of these goals are themes of poverty, inequality, health, discrimination, inclusion, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice. The main consequence of this new vision has been to move the focus beyond the individual instances of e.g., environmental impacts of human activities, or economic inequalities, and to link them in a coherent system within the framework of the Agenda for the Sustainable Development 2030 (United Nations, 2017).
Digitalization has the potential to represent an integral part of achieving sustainable development goals (Corbett & Mellouli, 2017; Medaglia & Damsgaard, 2020; Nishant et al., 2020). In particular, digital government can act as enabler to sustainability, equity and social inclusion (Estevez & Janowski, 2013) and it represents a cross-cutting objective across several SDGs at both sectoral and horizontal level, with a crucial importance in particular for goal 16 that aims to ´Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels´ (Medaglia et al., 2021; Misuraca & Medaglia, 2021). Information exchange between governmental organizations (G2G), between business and government (B2G) as well as between governments and citizens (G2C) can support the formulation and monitoring of policies to reach SDGs (Janowski, 2016). The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in the public sector, pushing governments to experience unprecedent challenges of data management, policy formulation, and citizen inclusion in a short period of time (Pan & Zhang, 2020). As we move closer to the 2030 milestone, we are only beginning to understand the implications of digital government initiatives on the journey towards sustainable development.
The goal of this Special Issue is to advance the understanding on the potential benefits, challenges, and theoretical implications of digital government in supporting the achievement of SDGs and on the role of digital technologies to sustain policy developments at both horizontal and sectoral level. As the sustainability agenda gains increasing attention worldwide, there is more than ever need for original, rigorous, and theoretically-informed research on how digital government can support or hinder SDGs.
We invite studies on the design, management and evaluation of policies and implementation of digital government strategies in relation to the UN SDGs at global, national, and local level. We welcome research from different social science perspectives, including Public Administration, Information Systems, Sociology, Information Science, and Management, that can combine relevant research foci, with rigorous methodological approaches. Interdisciplinary submissions are also encouraged, as well as submissions that are theoretical and/or empirically based.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- SDGs in digital government policy, design, and implementation
- Artificial Intelligence in government and SDGs
- The Internet of Things in government and SDGs
- Blockchain in government and SDGs
- Open Government Data and the SDGs
- Digital government infrastructure and SDGs
- Smart cities and SDGs
- Impact of technology on democracy in relation to SDGs
- Ethical implications of digital government and the SDGs
- Institutional/cultural change arising from digital transformation around SDGs
- Factors limiting digitally-enhaced sustainable development in government
- Critical perspectives on digital government and SDGs
- Long term consequences of government digitalization on SDGs
The Special Issue will apply a two-step reviewing process.
- In the first step, we invite the submission of an extended abstract of maximum 1000 words (excluding references) that presents the study’s research question(s), theoretical framework, methodology, preliminary and/or expected findings, and expected contributions to research and practice. This extended abstract is mandatory and will be used by the editors for selecting which abstracts will be invited to make full paper submission. The Guest Editors will make selections based on topic relevance, novelty, and potential contributions of the study.
- In the second step, the completed submissions will be managed by the Guest Editors, and will be reviewed by at least two expert reviewers per paper, in a double-blind process. The submissions will undergo a maximum of two rounds of review. Papers with a final acceptance are expected to be published online at the end of 2023.
- 1 October 2022: Deadline for extended abstract submission
- 1 November 2022: Notification for invitation to submit full manuscript
- 1 February 2023: Deadline for submission of full manuscript
- 1 February – 1 June 2023: Review process
- 1 July 2023: Final decision on manuscripts
- Anticipated publication: Fall 2023 (issue 4)
Format and guidelines
Extended abstracts are to be submitted to the Special Issue Editors at email@example.com as a Word document, double-spaced, non-justified, in 12-point font. The reference style to be followed is the APA 6thedition.
Completed papers may not exceed 8000 words (excluding references and appendices) and will have to be submitted via the journal online manuscript management system.
Submitted papers should not be under review for any other journal or conference, should be significantly different from previously published work (at least 60% unpublished material), and should present original contributions. Duplicate submissions will be rejected. In case the manuscripts are an extension of previously published work (e.g., conference article), the authors need to disclose all information about the previous work upon submission.
About Information Polity
Information Polity is a tangible expression of the increasing awareness that Information and Communication technologies (ICTs) have become of deep significance for all polities as new technology-enabled forms of government, governing and democratic practice are sought or experienced throughout the world. This journal positions itself in these contexts, seeking to be at the forefront of thought leadership and debate about emerging issues, impact, and implications of government and democracy in the information age.
More information: https://www.informationpolity.com/
Instructions for authors for manuscript format and citation requirements can be found at:
If you have questions or concerns about this Special Issue, please contact the guest editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corbett, J., & Mellouli, S. (2017). Winning the SDG battle in cities: How an integrated information ecosystem can contribute to the achievement of the 2030 sustainable development goals. Information Systems Journal, 27(4), 427–461.
Estevez, E., & Janowski, T. (2013). Electronic Governance for Sustainable Development—Conceptual framework and state of research. Government Information Quarterly, 30, Supplement 1, S94–S109.
Janowski, T. (2016). Implementing Sustainable Development Goals with Digital Government – Aspiration-capacity gap. Government Information Quarterly, 33(4), 603–613.
Medaglia, R., & Damsgaard, J. (2020). Blockchain and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Towards an Agenda for IS Research. PACIS 2020 Proceedings. https://aisel.aisnet.org/pacis2020/36
Medaglia, R., Misuraca, G., & Aquaro, V. (2021). Digital Government and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: Towards an analytical framework. DG.O2021: The 22nd Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, 473–478.
Misuraca, G., & Medaglia, R. (2021). Re-designing the UN e-Government Survey in light of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Towards a post-COVID digital society. ICEGOV. International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance, Athens Greece.
Nishant, R., Kennedy, M., & Corbett, J. (2020). Artificial intelligence for sustainability: Challenges, opportunities, and a research agenda. International Journal of Information Management, 53, 102104.
Pan, S. L., & Zhang, S. (2020). From fighting COVID-19 pandemic to tackling sustainable development goals: An opportunity for responsible information systems research. International Journal of Information Management, 55, 102196.
United Nations. (2015). About the Sustainable Development Goals. United Nations Sustainable Development. https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/
United Nations. (2017). Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Springer Publishing Company.