The Joint Research Centre (JRC) proposes an API framework to support governments in improving their organisational processes.
The digital transformation of society obliges governments to evolve towards increasingly complex digital environments. Although these environments require strong coordination efforts, the integration of digital components is often done on an ‘ad hoc’ basis, disregarding the potential value-added for the whole digital environment.
Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the connective nodes of digital components that can enable the necessary synergistic integration. The Joint Research Centre (JRC), part of the European Commission, created a framework for a cohesive API adoption in government environments. The framework is distilled from the analysis of an extensive literature review conducted on government API adoption practices to date. The output of this analysis identifies actions to be taken by governments to improve their API infrastructure and related organisational processes.
The framework offers 12 ‘proposals’, arranged around four organisational pillars:
- Policy support;
- Platforms and ecosystems;
- People; and
Also, given that the maturity of digital government structures is uneven, the framework has been designed to be flexible enough to help governments identify the specific actions they need to focus on. The work outlines the basis of an API maturity assessment tool.