As part of the Toolkit development, three countries were selected to pilot the methodology and questionnaires – Serbia, the Philippines, and Zambia. These countries were identified and selected based on local government interest, geography, and differences across a variety of country-level statistics. The goal of the pilots was to test the toolkit as thoroughly as possible, and then make refinements based on lessons learned.
The three countries that participated in the pilot sound very different on paper. Serbia is just starting to build a central data center and many ministries have their own small data centers. The Philippines already has multiple national data centers; however, they handle only a fraction of the government’s overall ICT operations. Zambia has less than 20% of their government buildings connected to the internet and is just beginning to centralize all ICT activities under the aegis of the data center of the Center of Excellence for E-Government and ICT (COEEGICT.)
However, the final score actually finds the three countries to be within about 20 points of one another. This is a significant gap, but not as great as might be expected. This is mostly due to the fact that the assessment helps identify gaps that exist in the overall infrastructure and governance framework that could cause future problems. Each country has unique gaps but also similarities such as a large number of paper processes, a limited number of available skilled resources, and a major upcoming election.