Brazil sees surge in uptake of government services online

Covid-19 outbreak prompts citizens to rush to the platform, which has been expanded to support service provision during the crisis.

The Brazilian government has reported a massive increase in usage of its citizen services online platform during the Covid-19 outbreak.

According to data from the Digital Government Secretariat (DGS), the number of accesses to the Gov.br public services portal, which is currently being developed, has reached 9.4 million in the first half of April. This compares with the number of accesses to the platform in March (6.7 million) and February (4.1 million).

Citizen use of the government's single sign-on authentication method to access the Gov.br platform of over 800 services has also increased, reaching 54,5 million in March (up 10.8% in relation to February) and 31.7 million in the first half of April. Some 58,5 million Brazilians have signed up to use the services online so far.

Digital secretary Luis Felipe Monteiro told Brazilian newspaper O Estado de São Paulo that the spike was driven by the pandemic and that many of the searches performed in the government's websites in April were related to themes including the coronavirus outbreak as well as the emergency relief scheme for financially vulnerable citizens, which has promoted a massive wave of financial inclusion via a mobile-based account.

According to numbers from the DGS, the government has also accelerated the inclusion of new services in the Gov.br portal, with 218 new offerings added this month to support remote service provision.

Brazil's citizen portal has gone live in September 2019, after its announcement a few months earlier, in April. By December 2020, it is expected that all the 1,600 government sites will be integrated onto the new platform.