Estonia and EU to assist Ukraine implement a secure data exchange solution
The e-governance Academy, an independent Estonian mission-based non-profit think tank and consultancy organisation, founded in 2002 by the United Nations Development Programme, Open Society Institute, and the Government of Estonia for the creation and spread of knowledge and best practice concerning e-governance, e-democracy, cyber security and the development of open information societies, has completed its public procurement as a part of the EGOV4UKRAINE project of the Ukrainian U-LEAD administrative reform support programme, which will create an inter-institutional secure data exchange solution for Ukraine.
“By developing e-services, we are helping the Ukrainian Government reduce bureaucracy and the danger of corruption, as processing data will become more transparent and faster,” said Mari Pedak, Team Leader for EGOV4UKRAINE project of the e-governance Academy.
The data exchange solution will grant state authorities and service centres access to the information contained in national registers, and thereby will enable fast and high-quality provision of public services. The data exchange solution will be implemented by the end of 2017.
More than 500 public Ukrainian service centres would commence providing services to citizens on the basis of the inter-institutional data exchange solution. Authorities will also use the data exchange solution for creating e-services for Ukrainian citizens.
According to Aleksander Ryzhenko, Head of the State Agency for e-governance in Ukraine, the inter-institutional data exchange solution will serve as the fundamental infrastructure for providing e-services. “E-services will shape the economy of Ukraine, increase competitiveness and offer citizens the freedom to use public services 24/7 where it is most convenient for them,” said Ryzhenko. “Data itself should run, not people”.
The data exchange solution UXP (Unified exchange Platform) to be implemented in Ukraine is an improvement of the X-road solution that has been used in Estonia since 2001, and has so far operated without any interruptions. The same solution is used in Finland, Namibia and Haiti.
The platform was developed by the Estonian company Cybernetica, which has earned a reputation as a dependable provider of innovative e-government solutions, and known as a key player in several world-renowned egovernment projects. Cybernetica has developed the Internet voting software in use in Estonia, and the Estonian X-road platform, considered the backbone of e-estonia, which allows a nation’s various public and private sector e-service databases to link up and function in harmony. Xroad is also the first data exchange platform in the world that allows data to be automatically exchanged between countries.
According to the 2016 World Bank Development Report Digtal Dividends, The X-road is what allowed Estonia to become a truly digital society.
The system launched in 2003 with 10 participating institutions. By 2013, almost 900 had joined—70 per cent are national or local government agencies, and the remainder private firms. The annual number of queries through Xroad rose from half a million to 340 million.
The World Bank Development Report concludes that countries that complement technology investments with broader economic reforms, reap digital dividends in the form of faster growth, more jobs, and better services.
Riho Kurg, Project Manager of Cybernetica AS, that is implementing the Ukrainian pan-governmental data exchange solution, noted that Ukraine is so far the largest country to have ordered a inter-institutional implementation of the solution. “The Ukrainian project is a significant development for Cybernetica. UXP is a product with a very high potential and major projects amplify this potential even more. We are developing a separate encryption solution for the Ukrainian project that takes into account the specific character of the country of Ukraine. This will certainly provide us with valuable experience,” said Kurg.
The e-governance Academy conducted the public procurement for the inter-institutional Ukrainian secure data exchange solution in spring 2017 within the framework of the EGOV4UKRAINE project of the Ukrainian ULEAD administrative reform support programme.
The EGOV4UKRAINE project is led by the e-governance Academy. The implementation of the data exchange solution in Ukraine is supported by the European Union and Swedish and Estonian development cooperation programmes.
Since 2002, the e-governance Academy has trained 3,500 officials from more than 60 countries and has participated in more than 60 international projects on national, local and organisational levels.
The EGOV4UKRAINE project of the Ukrainian U-LEAD administrative reform support programme will create an interinstitutional secure data exchange solution for Ukraine.