Future of Government Awards 2023: the winners

The Future of Government Awards banner

Earlier this week we announced the winners of the Future of Government Awards hosted in collaboration with our partners, UNDP and Amazon Web Services.

The Awards ceremony, which took place on Thursday, celebrated the practitioners, teams and leaders who are transforming people’s lives by applying digital solutions and leveraging technology to better shape the public sector for those it serves.

We were thrilled to receive 334 nominations from 63 countries across the 5 award categories: Digital Advocates, Open Source Creation, Open Source Adaptation, Lifetime Achievement, and Leadership

This celebration of success is intended not only to raise awareness of what’s possible and what good looks like, but also to encourage discussion, sharing, and ideally further reuse within the global public sector. These Awards serve to remind us that when one government does well, we all do well, and that public servants – no matter where they are based – thrive when they work in the open, share ideas and support others to overcome challenges.

The ceremony was hosted by Onyeka Onyekwelu (Principal Consultant, Public Digital) and Joe Hooper (Director, UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation, and Sustainable Development), and we had the pleasure of hearing from a host of other distinguished voices in the digital community, including UNDP’s Chief Digital Officer, Robert Opp. The Awards were attended by over 250 people from around the globe.

Below are the winners and highly commended candidates in each category.

Attendees and presenters at the Future of Government Awards ceremony
Attendees and presenters at the Future of Government Awards ceremony

Digital Advocates Award

This award recognised a small team that has achieved impact by championing digital transformation, and the shortlist included teams from the UK, India, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, Brazil, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Australia and the Republic of Moldova.


The Digital Identity Directorate Team from the Government of Brazil

This team implemented the GOV.BR Digital Identity which has revolutionised citizens' relationship with the public sector. GOV.BR Digital Identity is secure and interoperable, and, since it was released in 2019, it has become an indispensable service. It now has 155 million users. It performs 3 billion authentications every month enabling secure access to 4,500 digital services from over 1,000 public agencies.

Highly commended

1. The Envision team from Bangladesh

This team supports ministries to effectively plan for their service digitisation from analysis, design, procurement documentation, development, and implementation.

2. The Tekwill in every School Programme from the Republic of Moldova

This programme is an enormous driver of digital transformation in education in Moldovan schools, playing a significant role in shaping and retaining Moldova’s tech talent.

Open Source Creation Award

This award celebrates the innovators, developers, and leaders that are building solutions in government and making them available for others to re-use. The shortlist included teams from India, Bangladesh, Canada, the USA, the UK, Philippines, India and Mexico.


Bahmni from Bangalore, India

Bahmni is an integrated digital health solution. It connects a range of existing systems such as those managing non-communicable diseases, reproductive and child health, teleconsultation, and inventory management. Bahmni is designed to improve the quality of patient care in settings with limited bandwidth and infrastructure. Today, Bahmni supports millions of patients across more than 50 countries.

Highly commended

1. OpenSPP Social Protection Platform, from the Philippines

A digital social protection information system which is scalable, interoperable and provides the building blocks for effective program implementation and delivery

2. Hyperledger Aries Cloud Agent Python (ACA-Py) from British Columbia, Canada

A foundation for building decentralised ID applications and services running in non-mobile environments.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This award recognises an outstanding digital leader and innovator whose work has transformed the public service and who is considered to be a trailblazer within digital government.


Jennifer Pahlka

Jen was recognised as an innovator, a champion, and a catalyst in making government work for the digital age for over 2 decades. She founded Code for America in 2010, and in doing so, created a new model for how civic minded technologists can partner with government. She has since served in the Obama White House as U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer, and helped set up the US Digital Service. At the start of the pandemic, she co-founded the U.S. Digital Response, which helps the government meet the needs of the public with volunteer tech support. Her recent book, Recoding America, encapsulates the experience of so many public servants in the digital space: the need to fundamentally rethink and remake how government works in service of its citizens.

Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award: Jen Pahlka
Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Jen Pahlka

We had the privilege of hearing from Jen, in conversation with Emily Middleton (Public Digital), speaking about her contributions to digital innovation and her work in public service. Discussing the challenges government teams may face when trying to innovate and redesign services, she spoke about the need for endurance among public servants, and the value of strong communities of digital practitioners who can share their learnings and spur each other onwards. Quoting some words of encouragement from GDS founder Mike Bracken during Jen’s time establishing the US Digital Service, she surmised: "It isn’t complicated, just hard.”

Open Source Adaptation Award

Open source adaptation is often happening quietly behind-the-scenes. Building on and adapting proven and successful digital components, products, and services, that are working in different countries or contexts. This Award aims to shine a spotlight on this important part of digital development. Highlighting the need to build for re-use, so other people and places don’t need to start their digital journeys from scratch.

The shortlist included teams from Canada, Armenia, India, Mexico, Uganda, Philippines, Kazakhstan, India and Ukraine.


The PhilSys team from the Philippines

The Philippine Identification System, better known as ‘Philsys’, is an adaptation of an open source solution called ‘MOSIP’. The Philippines has over 110 million citizens who are spread across thousands of islands, making centralised registration very difficult. The PhilSys team worked with MOSIP and a range of partners to build special field kits that let enrollment officers travel door-to-door to collect people’s information. The team also worked with MOSIP to make the ID credential a digitally signed QR code so it could be verified offline. 79 million people are now registered with PhilSys.

Highly commended

1. The Smart Data Ukimet team from Kazakhstan

Smart Data Ukimet is designed for collecting, storing and analysing public sector data in information systems, providing government agencies with an analytical platform.

2. The Trembita team in Ukraine

Trembita allows the central and local government in Ukraine to securely and conveniently access and exchange data.

Leadership Award

This award celebrates leaders who empower their teams and organisations to create significant positive change.

Teams can only achieve success when they have the space to explore and learn, fail then iterate, and focus on what matters most. The most capable leaders are those that unblock challenges and remove distraction so that their teams can focus on delivering real and important value to people.


Mr. Abhishek Singh

Abishek is President and CEO of National E-Governance Division (NeGD), Managing Director and CEO of Digital India Corporation, and CEO of Karmayogi Bharat. It is thanks to his leadership that much of India's digital public infrastructure is thriving. This includes DIKSHA (digital infrastructure for national school education); Karmayogi Bharat (governance reforms through upskilling and lifelong learning of government officials); CoWIN (digital platform which facilitated the vaccination of 1 billion people against Covid-19); and DigiLocker (digital wallet enabling the sharing of 6 billion electronic documents).

Highly commended:

1. Deputy Prime Minister Tamara Duisenova from Kazakhstan

One of Kazakhstan's leading political figures who has pioneered an environment favourable to the digitalization of the social protection sector.

2. Jamila Aka-Aga Ade, Head of the Cyber Crime Unit in Nigeria’s Department of Public Prosecutions

A leading figure in the Federal Civil Service of Nigeria who has made outstanding contributions to tackling cyber crime.

Thank you

Throughout the ceremony, our winners and presenters spoke about the transformative impact of digital services in reaching millions of citizens, as well as the incredible challenges government teams face in their efforts to innovate services. The strongest message, however, was around the value of collaboration in the public sector: the benefits to be reaped from connecting with other practitioners, learning from their work, and exchanging inspiration and encouragement.

As well as an opportunity to celebrate the best of digital government, we hope these Awards enable members of the global community of digital practitioners to forge new connections of their own, and be spurred on by the successes of their peers.

We would like to congratulate the winners, highly commended candidates, and all nominees of this year’s Future of Government Awards, and extend our thanks to Amazon Web Services and UNDP for collaborating with us to make the event possible.

Thanks also to our selection committee, and to our wonderful presenters and speakers: María Inés Baqué (AWS), Daniela Gasparikova (UNDP Moldova), Carlos Arboleda (UNDP Brazil) Lauren Kahn (Public Digital), Emily Middleton (Public Digital), Katarzyna Wawiernia (UNDP Kazakhstan), Jaco Cilliers (UNDP Ukraine), Robert Opp (UNDP), and James Stewart (Public Digital).

From the hundreds of nominations we received, there are many more stories of success that we, UNDP and AWS will be aiming to tell in the coming months.

For more information visit https://futureofgovernment.com/en

From our partners:

AWS Public Sector: Future of Government Awards 2023 celebrate use of technology to transform people’s lives

UNDP: Celebrating the future of digital government

public digitalThe public digital logo

Head Office

Clerks Court
18-20 Farringdon Lane
London, UK

Our positions

Our values expressed in action and outcomes.

Read them here


A monthly scan about digital transformation and internet-era ways of working around the world.