18th Waseda University – International Academy of CIO World Digital Government Ranking 2023 Results Announced

18th Waseda University – International Academy of CIO World Digital Government Ranking 2023 Survey Results Announced

Download the 2023 Waseda IAC Digital Government Rankings Report (PDF)


The Institute of Digital Government at Waseda University in Japan, in cooperation with the International Academy of CIO (IAC) has released the 18th Waseda World Digital Government Rankings Survey 2023, which marks digital transformation in advanced digital 66 countries/economies. The Institute was established in 2002, and this ranking survey model was created in 2005 by Prof. Dr. Toshio Obi, a Founder of the Institute and President of IAC at the time of the First Ranking Survey. Dr. Obi was awarded a spot on “The World’s Most Influential 100 People in Digital Government in 2018” by “Apolitical”, a UK based Think tank and International Contribution Award on promoting “innovative digital society” by Japanese ICT (MIC) Ministers twice (2013 and 2015). In 2023, both the Institute and the ranking survey are mainly managed by Prof. Dr. Naoko Iwasaki of Waseda University. We hope this survey will be able to contribute precious value globally to all parties concerned. This edition is extremely significant in the process of UN SDGs, as well as being the 18th memorial anniversary ranking report for digital innovation. Especially the historical trends over 18 years show the remarkable and fruitful progress by digital innovation with 3A-accessibility, affordability, and accountability. The success of Digital Government is indispensable as a powerful engine for economic growth and strengthening international competitiveness. On this regard, Digital Government is required to act as a catalyst for administrative and financial reforms and contribute to significant cost reductions and administrative DX. Public and Private harmonization and open innovation via digitalization will support efficient government and moreover improve the healthy well-being for SDGs. We appreciate with thanks the research fellows at Institute of Digital Government at Waseda University heading by Dr. Nguyen Hien as well as APEC Digital Government Research Center under the guidance of Dr. Obi for their great contribution. Also, thanks for international experts in 8 worldwide universities of IAC.

Prof. Dr. Toshio Obi and Prof. Dr. Naoko Iwasaki
On behalf of the team of both Waseda University and IAC


The 18th Waseda-IAC Annual Rankings of World Digital Government Survey evaluated by the Institute of Digital Government, Waseda University established by Dr. Toshio Obi, has released the results of 2023 ranking survey as the 18th consecutive years. The evaluation has been conducted in cooperation with excellent academia group of major member universities in International Academy of CIO (IAC) as well as distinguished professors at Waseda University.

The 2023 Ranking Survey with 10 Indicators marks Denmark at first place as the same last year, followed by Canada in 2nd post. the UK ranks in 3rd, New Zealand in 4th, Singapore in 5th, South Korea in 6th, USA in 7th, Netherlands in 8th, Estonia in 9th, and Ireland ranks 10th in the top group.

This report provides various information and data on both Digital Innovation and Digital Economy as well. These become the key to economic growth and challenges in line with the objectives of Digital Government, which indicates warning signal against digital divide and innovation gap. It might be significant trend that many governments have worked on an early warning system against increasing both cybersecurity attacks and disaster breakout.

As a matter of fact, most governments above mentioned have increased their excellent achievements in both citizen-centric approach / demand-pull one stop services with pursuing “No one left behind” as SDGs slogan and usages of digital technologies such as AI,5G, Blockchain etc.

Ten main indicators below evaluate the process and achievement of Digital Government ranking in 2023. The 2023 rankings are summarized based on the fruitful results by a harmonized combination by many stakeholders during every year survey, and the team prepares the relevant reports with precious lessons from various international and regional conferences and meetings by international institutions such as APEC, ITU, World Bank and OECD as well as receiving the productive comments from variety of experts from IAC member universities, government, and business groups.

The 2023 rankings also point to significant trends in the usage of digital technologies such as generative AI in government activities. It seems that they will continue to grow strongly in the coming years. The difference between this survey and past surveys is the change of target countries. We added four countries including Uzbekistan.

An analysis for 18 years of the Waseda Digital Government Rankings Survey 2023 indicates the following 10 highlights of the current trends:

  1. DX Challenges for SDGs
  2. Human resources –Shortage of ICT engineer
  3. Green Transformation(GX) for climate change
  4. Digital Inclusion
  5. Data Driven Evaluation System
  6. Threats of Cybersecurity
  7. Applications of Digital Twin ,5G, Blockchain and AI for Digital Government

Although there are lots of differentiations in the usage of AI and other technologies, many governments in developing countries have not yet made much progress on the activities of the ideal digital government due to financial, technical and other constraints. A few countries have adopted generative AI to improve the quality of service and productivity of work, most of which are concentrated in ICT developed countries. Frankly speaking, the reality is that business sectors are advanced in the usage of technology and ICT workforce in comparison with government and public sector. Therefore, any government must catch up with the sectors, to avoid the digital gap between public and business sectors.

In addition to the above topics of the highlights, there will be five global socio-economic challenges for Digital Government to be solved. These are:

  1. Digital Innovation with Standardization-Cloud computing, IoT and AI applications,
  2. Ageing Society with skyrocketing population ageing,
  3. Shortage of CIO (Chief Information Officer) as ICT leader,
  4. Urbanization issues with rapid rise of Mega city and unbalanced harmonization of urban and rural communities” and
  5. Lack of Cooperation between Central and Local governments.

As for the UN’s SDGs, the useful utilization of Digital Government might be one of major objectives for stakeholders. On this regard, Digital Government could support the smooth digital transformation (DX) needed for each SDGs sector.

This survey is well conducted and edited by Prof. Naoko Iwasaki assisted by Dr. Nguyen Hien of Waseda University with energetic effort under the guidance of Prof. Emeritus Toshio Obi and the distinguished experts from Waseda University and 8 world-class universities under the umbrella of the International Academy of CIO in the field. These distinguished professors are Prof. Yang (Peking University, China,), Prof. Auffret (George Mason University, USA,), Prof. Sunkpho (Thammasat University, Thailand,), Prof. Suhono Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia,), Prof. Dahlberg (University of Turku, Finland,), Prof. Buccoliero (Bocconi University, Italy,), and Prof. Magno (De La Salle University, Philippines,). Thanks for their precious contributions to the multi-stages of the evaluation and analysis. Also, Appreciations for many professors and research staffs of Waseda University Institute of Digital Government, Tokyo, Japan for their engagement during the 18 years.

The team hopes that this report will be able to contribute excellent values globally to all parties concerned. We recognize now that the humanity unfortunately suffered from the serious COVID-19 pandemic all over the world for about 3 years as well as 2 on-going conflicts, and we are sure that Digital Government can offer effective and productive solutions on well-being/healthy quality of life over post-corona issues. It is well noted that this edition is extremely significant in the process of promoting SDGs as well.

In addition, we are convinced that the contents of 18th annual ranking report 2023 are well associated and harmonized with new trends of both digital transformation (DX) and innovation. Also, there are the country assessment reports of top 25 rankings.