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Digital Leaders
Research and events programme

Our Digital Leaders research programme identifies the biggest challenges you face – and shapes events to help you address them

Around the world, civil service digital leaders have similar ambitions – aiming to strengthen the evidence that informs policymaking, the tools provided to civil servants, and the efficiency, accessibility and targeting of public services. And with countries at very different stages of development, national digital chiefs can learn a huge amount from one another about how best to pursue those common goals.

Since 2019, Global Government Forum has run the Government Digital Summit to facilitate that mutual support: bringing together national and departmental digital leaders from around the world, the annual Summit provides a space for open discussion, information-sharing and contact-building. And since 2021, we’ve been carrying out research to strengthen our offer to senior digital professionals.

We aim to explore and explain the nature of effective digital transformation, enabling us both to provide helpful advice and solutions for digital leaders, and to target our events programme more closely at their needs. Working with Kevin Cunnington, former director general of the UK’s Government Digital Service, we have delivered a research programme that has now produced two major reports and helped to shape a series of workshops and summits for senior civil servants. 

For our first report, ‘Asking the experts: What do digital leaders need to succeed?’, we interviewed the central digital leaders of seven middle- and high-income countries. This report identified some of the most common obstacles and flaws in digital reform programmes, and set out seven key messages on the requirements of effective digital transformation.

The report’s findings shaped four workshops for digital leaders working in particular fields, and were fed into our summits for national heads of civil service, digital leaders, and the heads of finance ministries and treasuries. We used these events – along with a series of interviews with digital leaders – to research our second report, which shifted the emphasis from challenges to solutions.

Taking the seven key findings of our 2022 report, the new Digital Leaders report presents further research and analysis on each topic, and provides three solutions addressing some of the barriers to progress within the field. 

We hope you find these reports useful in your work to realise the potential of digital technologies. If so, watch this space for further developments in our Digital Leaders research programme.