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  • Writer's pictureDigital Team

Lessons from the Singapore Digital Government Blueprint


How Singapore is seeking to build a government that is ‘digital to it’s core’ and 'serves with heart'.

Singapore is frequently held up as an exemplar that is making rapid progress to transform its government through digitalisation. While having a strategic and forward-looking approach is nothing new for Singapore, its adoption of digital thinking is notable.

At the core of Singapore’s thinking is the Digital Government Blueprint, first published in 2018 (and refreshed in 2020). This key strategic artefact outlines Singapore’s digital government vision and the key components required to implement it.

The Blueprint emphasises that ‘Digital Government’ needs to involve all government agencies and have a clear focus on service delivery to its citizens and business. The Blueprint outlines the interdependent components that need to come together to implement it. This includes alignment between policy and operations, common platforms, resilience, technical expertise, and the right capability in the public sector.

The six parts of the Singapore Digital Government Blueprint include:

1. Integrating services around citizen and business needs;

The plan to digitally integrate services around the needs of Singapore’s citizens and businesses. This focus on the end user grounds all initiatives and guides design and delivery.

2. Strengthening integration between policy, operations and technology

Singapore has sought to integrate the policy, operational and technology communities around the digital government agenda. The focus of this integration of digital technologies that address national policy priorities.

Emerging technologies are identified for (joint) policy and operational focus. This includes examples such as the use of AI in government in high-impact areas including policy analysis, automating processes, and the provision of personalised and anticipatory services.

3. Building common digital and data platforms

In order to deliver ICT projects in a timely and cost-effective manner the systems need to be interoperable. Singapore has consequently sought to make use of common, open-source and commercial platforms, and only customise when necessary. Data standards and processes are also emphasized to ensure quality data is shared faster and in a secure manner across government.

Modern software development is a key enabler and Singapore is utilising CODEX (Core Operations, Development Environment and eXchange), a suite of enabling digital solutions that includes:

  • a Government Data Architecture for common data standards and formats to enable seamless data sharing between agencies;

  • shifting less sensitive Government systems and data onto the commercial cloud, enabling the use of leading-edge cloud tools to develop digital services;

  • a Singapore Government Technology Stack (SGTS) that includes a suite of shared software components and infrastructure to enable the efficient creation of digital applications.

4. Operating reliable, resilient and secure systems

Singapore is actively seeking to enhance the security and resilience of systems in order to protect data, and critical public services. This will include the development of a Cybersecurity Strategy for Singapore’s ICT and smart systems, a new audit regime, cyber security architecture for detection of threats, and raising awareness among government officials.

5. Raising our digital capabilities to pursue innovation

Singapore is following its mantra of “think big, start small and act fast” to create the enabling conditions and capability for innovation. This will include by the Government seeking to:

  • Better manage ICT talent within the public service and using the Government Chief Digital Technology Officer (GCDTO) as the Head of Profession to drive workforce and capability challenges;

  • develop leaders competent in policy and technical domains for leadership positions.

  • use the Smart Nation Scholarship to develop ICT engineering talent to fill technical roles.

  • train public service officers in basic digital skills.

  • establish a Digital Academy to help life the digital skills of the public service.

  • engage strategic partners for Smart Nation and Digital Government initiatives and ensure parallel R&D activities are aligned with digital government goals.

6. Co-creating with citizens and businesses

The Singapore Government is endeavouring to engage more actively with citizens and businesses around digital government and co-create solutions and services. This includes the Smart Nation Co-creating with Our People Everywhere (SCOPE) and Tech Kaki with its deep dive into specific products.

Singapore Government has also launched the Developer Portal (, which provides a means for developers to co-develop products developed by the Singapore Government.

Key performance indicators (KPI’s) used to drive Digital Government

A key lesson from the Government of Singapore has been the promulgation of a set of KPIs for Digital Government that reflect the desired future state. These KPI’s relate directly to citizens and businesses that require significant improvements in the delivery of digital services and new tools and platforms.

Examples of the Digital KPI’s are:

Examples of Digital Blueprint KPI's

These KPI's have provided focal points for the many components of the Digital Government Blueprint and serve to keep the government accountable to the core customers (citizens and businesses) and outcomes. By making these KPI's such an upfront and visible part of the Blueprint, Singapore has been able to drive the agenda, continually iterate, and show solid progress towards the vision.

This also further supports the credibility of the vision to have ‘digital to it’s core’ and 'serve with heart' because it reiterates the main purpose of developing digital technologies to serve citizens better and build trust.


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