UN: Demand to Accelerate Public Sector Digital Transformation has spiked

Leaders of the authorized bodies of the countries of the region, together with international experts from Israel and Estonia and leading UN specialists, presented innovative solutions in e-government development. The international online conference brought together more than 100 representatives of government agencies and organizations in e-government development, as well as international organizations, and universities from 20 countries of Europe, Asia and America.

By opening the conference, Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr. Bagdat Mussin said that “the pandemic not only revealed the weaknesses of the old approaches of the provision of public and social services, but also showed the importance of digital technologies for solving many challenges…”. “The results of the UN Survey demonstrate countries that have made significant progress and stepped forward towards digital transformation. Amid the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the effective interaction between countries is especially important” said Mr. Mussin.

In his welcoming speech, the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Astana Civil Service Hub Mr. Alikhan Baimenov noted that “the Covid-19 pandemic has repeatedly underlined the importance of public trust not only as a social value, but also as effective administrative capital, which is vital for the execution of any strategy, including the one on e-government”. He also stressed that “the use of new technologies must be accompanied by transparent and open decision-making exclusive of any possible abuse. It is crucial that the exchange of experiences concerns both the application of modern technologies and protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms in new circumstances”.

“The demand for accelerating digital transformation in public sector, as revealed in our recent e-Government survey, has spiked in recent months” – noted Chief of Digital Government, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations (UN DESA) Mr. Vincenzo Aquaro. According to him “pandemic has forced Governments and societies to turn toward digital technologies to respond to the crisis in the short-term, recover from repercussions in the mid-term, and reinvent existing policies and tools in the long-term”. “We need to build on this momentum, and advance digital progress further, keeping in mind also the imperative to bridge digital divides and leaving no one behind within and among countries” said Mr. Aquaro.

The key presentation was made by the Officer of the UN DESA Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government Ms. Arpine Korekyan, who presented the main results and trends of the UN e-Government Survey 2020. By presenting the key findings, Ms. Korekyan indicated that among 193 UN member states, about 126 states have high and very high levels of e-government development, the top 10 countries include Denmark, South Korea, and Estonia. Among the CIS countries, Kazakhstan has taken leading positions in the open government development index, the level of online services development and the index landlocked developing counties.

The best practices and experience in digital government, as well as unique innovative solutions for the effective provision of public services during the COVID-19 pandemic were presented by international experts as Acting CEO of Government ICT Authority of the National Digital Ministry of Israel Mr. Shahar Bracha, Director of Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Ms. Tiziana Bonapace, Executive Director and Chairman of the Management Board,  e‐Governance Academy of Estonia Mr. Hannes Astok.

Chairman of the State Committee of information technologies and communications of the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Altynbek Ismailov, First Deputy Minister of communications and informatization of Belarus Mr. Pavel Tkach, First Deputy Minister for development of information technologies and communications of Uzbekistan Mr. Oleg Pekos, Director of «E-Gov Development Center» Public Legal Entity of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Fariz Jafarov, Chairman of the Board “National Information Technologies” JSC of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr. Asset Turyssov and others shared their achievements and new challenges in e-government development.

The online conference on “Achievements and Challenges in the Development of e-Government in the Countries of the Region in the Context of the UN E-government Survey” is organized by the Astana Civil Service Hub, the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry of the RK, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the JSC “National Infocommunication Holding “Zerde”.

During the conference participants discussed the prospects of cooperation and the need to strengthen global and regional cooperation on this issue.


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