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Agenda 2023

The Digital Summit addresses some of the biggest challenges facing public sector heads of digital around the world

16 October

All times provided are local (Barbados, AST)

Monday 16 October

12:00 – 14:00


Formal welcome, speeches and networking, followed by lunch 

Monday 16 October

14:00 – 15:30


Many governments have similar ambitions for their digital capabilities – but a digital strategy is only as effective as its delivery plan, and too many skirt around the complexities of implementation. To drive change, strategies must detail not only the goals to be achieved, but also who’s responsible for delivery and how they’ll be funded, empowered, supported, and held accountable. This session will consider the key requirements of effective delivery, covering topics such as resource allocation, performance metrics, incentives and the role of the centre.

Followed by group discussion, including presentations from:

Nicola Callender, Chief Digital Technology Officer, Ministry of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology, Barbados

Kevin Cunnington, Former Director General, Government Digital Service (GDS), United Kingdom, and Expert Advisor, Global Government Forum

Kartik Mehta, Chief Solutions Architect, NETCLUES

Session followed by refreshment break

Knowledge Partner

Monday 16 October

16:00 – 17:30



When public bodies share a single digital ID verification and log-in system, citizens enjoy easier access to public services, while providers can more easily coordinate service delivery, share data and cut costs. Indeed, a digital divide is emerging – with countries operating such a system tending to achieve more rapid and widespread transformation than those without. Drawing on GGF’s Digital Leaders research and recognising nations’ very different starting points and operating environments, this session will explore how civil service leaders can best design, develop and introduce digital ID systems.

Followed by group discussion, including presentations from:

Keisha Grant, Senior Manager – New Systems Development, Ministry of Digital Transformation, Trinidad and Tobago

Mark Sullivan, Director, Digital Services, Canadian Banknote Company Limited

Session followed by an opportunity to retire

Knowledge Partner

Monday 16 October

18:00 – 20:00


Informal Networking Reception

Co-hosted by the Government of Barbados and Global Government Forum

17 October

All times provided are local (Barbados, AST)

Tuesday 17 October

09:00 – 10:30


Finding the funds – and spending them

Alongside leadership and skills, funding plays a crucial role in deciding the success of digital transformation programmes. So it’s important that, for example, central spending decisions are linked to departments’ progress against strategic goals; the aims and requirements set out by international funders such as development banks are aligned with governments’ own priorities; and commissioning and procurements systems meet the unique needs of digital technologies. This session will explore how to ensure that the ways in which money is allocated and spent support rapid progress on the digital agenda.

Followed by group discussion, including presentations from:

Marlon Narcisse, Director, Public Sector Modernization, Ministry of Public Service, Home Affairs, Labour and Gender Affairs, Saint Lucia

Femi Badejo, Head of ICT Department, Sint Maarten

Session followed by a refreshment break

Tuesday 17 October 

11:00 – 12:30


Governments’ digital workforces have developed rapidly over the last decade, but their ambitions on digital transformation are growing even faster – and many are struggling to compete against private sector employers in tight jobs markets. This session will consider how civil services can best develop their digital capabilities, focusing on two key issues identified in Global Government Forum’s Digital Leaders research programme: the strengthening of cross-government workforce management and talent development; and the recruitment and retention of senior digital leaders.

Followed by group discussion, including presentations from:

Cheryleann Pemberton, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communication Technology and Posts, Saint Kitts and Nevis

Colin Fergus, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communication, Works, Labour and Energy, Montserrat

Session followed by networking lunch

Tuesday 17 October 

13:30– 15:00


Today’s digital technologies can radically transform service delivery – but few countries are starting from a blank slate, and many find their options limited by legacy IT systems. Replacing these outdated technologies is a complex and expensive task, with risks around service continuity; but meanwhile, the maintenance costs, security vulnerabilities and service delivery constraints of ageing legacy systems continue to grow. In this session, digital leaders will consider how to secure the funding, build the capabilities and secure the support required to successfully replace legacy systems.

Followed by group discussion, including presentations from:

Rodney Taylor, Secretary-General, Caribbean Telecommunications Union

Carol Robertson, Senior Business Development Partner & Caribbean Government Lead, Cable & Wireless

Peter Spratt, Regional Director, B2B Solutions, Cable & Wireless

Shamar Ward, Head of Experimentation, United Nations Development Programme

Knowledge Partner

Tuesday 17 October 

15:00 – 15:15

Summary and thanks

Tuesday 17 October 


End of Summit