Published on 10 July 2019
Share Tweet  Share

From City to Nation: Digital government in Argentina, 2015–2018

Authors
by Tanya Filer, Antonio Weiss and Juan Cacace

Synopsis

In 2015, voters in Argentina elected Mauricio Macri of the centre-right Propuesta Republicana (PRO) as their new President, following a tightly contested race. Macri inherited an office wrought with tensions: an unstable economy; a highly polarised population; and an increasing weariness towards the institutions of governance overall. In this context, his administration hoped to harness the possibilities of digital transformation to make citizens’ interactions with the State more efficient, more accountable, and ‘friendlier’. Following a successful tenure in the City of Buenos Aires, where Macri had been Mayor, Minister Andrés Ibarra and a digital government team were charged with the project of national digital transformation, taking on projects from a single ‘whole-of-government’ portal to a mobile phone application designed to reduce the incidence of gender-based violence against women. Scaling up digitisation from the city to the national level was, by all accounts, a challenge. By 2018, Argentina had won global acclaim for its progress on key aspects of digital government, but also increasingly recognised the difficulties of digitisation at the national scale. It identified the need, as observed by the OECD, for an overarching strategic plan to manage the scale, diversity and politics of federal-level digital transformation. Based on interviews with key stakeholders, this case discusses the country’s digital modernisation agenda from 2015 to 2018, with a primary focus on service provision projects. It examines the challenges faced in terms of politics and technology, and the lessons that Argentina’s experience offers.

Key themes:
digital government; scalability; politics of modernisation; user-centricity; organisational cultures

About Digital State Cases:
Digital State Cases are designed to promote discussion among policymakers and researchers as well as students of public policy. They bring to light empirical examples of some of the core challenges of the digital transformation of public sectors today, and highlight how practitioners are tackling them in different local, national, and international contexts.

Authors

Tanya Filer

Dr Tanya Filer

Affiliated Researcher

Dr Tanya Filer leads the Digital State Project at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy. Her work focuses on GovTech (government technology) innovation ecosystems, and on digital government more broadly....

Related Research Projects

Register your interest

Let us know if you’d be interested in reading more about this and related research by submitting your details below.

By submitting this form, you will be supplying us with your personal information so that we may contact you.

Previous publication

Next publication

Back to Top