Es­to­nia and EU to as­sist Ukraine im­ple­ment a se­cure data ex­change so­lu­tion

The Baltic Times - - UKRAINE AND EU - Michael Mustillo

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.

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