UNDP E-Government Promotion Project Presented Results for 2016

Dec 9, 2016

On December 9, 2016, the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications of the Republic of Uzbekistan hosted a Project Board Meeting of the UNDP Project "E-Government Promotion for Improved Public Service Delivery". The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the project's results in 2016 and plans for the next year.

The event was attended by Mr. Stefan Priesner, UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan, Mr. Sherzod Shermatov, National Project Coordinator, the First Deputy Minister for Development of Information Technologies and Communications of the Republic of Uzbekistan, representatives of MITC, E-Government Development Center, UZINFOCOM Center, Chamber of Commerce, State Tax Committee, Tashkent State Law University and UNDP Country Office in Uzbekistan.

Welcoming the participants, Mr. Priesner congratulated the management of the MITC on achieving impressive results in the field of e-governance in 2016, including improvement of Uzbekistan’s ranking in the UN E-Government Survey, entry into force of the law on e-governance, promotion of open data. He stressed an important role played by the project in supporting the Government's efforts to enhance the efficiency of public administration and improve the quality of public services, as well as in promoting the objectives of the UN Development Assistance Framework for the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2016-2020 (UNDAF). E-participation is becoming an important component of the project, especially in the context of announcing the year 2017 as “The Year of Dialogue with People and the Human Interest”, - he noted.

First Deputy Minister of MITC Mr. Shermatov in his welcoming speech also noted the significance of the project in the promotion of e-government in Uzbekistan. As he stated, e-government involves not so much information technology, as reforming public administration and civil service. The importance of this policy issue has been highlighted by the new reform agenda, announced by the newly elected President of the country in his election program and Constitution Day speech on December 7, 2016. In this context, the Ministry of ITC is interested to continue cooperation with the UNDP to learn and apply in Uzbekistan best international practices in areas ranging from public administrative reform and enhancing public services quality to e-participation and e-consultation.

Bunyod Avliyokulov, Project Manager, has briefed the participants on the results attained by the project in 2016 and key areas of activity planned for 2017.

One of the project’s bright achievements this year was the improvement of Uzbekistan's ranking in UN E-Governance Survey. The republic has joined the group of countries with high level of e-governance and was ranked 80th in the world, which is 20 positions higher than the previous ranking (#100 in 2014). Significant progress also has been made on E-Participation Index, which assesses the effectiveness of government’s efforts in using ICT to communicate with citizens. Uzbekistan has increased its e-participation ranking by 24 positions and became #47 in the world. Thus, already in 2016, Uzbekistan has reached the UNDAF target on e-government ranking planned for 2020.

This year the project’s activities focused on institutionalizing and promoting the concept of business process reengineering in Uzbekistan. This resulted in the adoption of the Cabinet of Ministers Resolution on streamlining the procedures of e-government services in June, and the beginning of practical work on reengineering the most demanded public services. UNDP has been closely involved in efforts to redesign G2C services of income tax declarations and property registration. The project has developed proposals and drafted normative acts aimed at making these services more transparent, convenient and accessible to the public. Also, a roadmap to optimize and digitalize five most demanded public services has been prepared (admission to kindergarten, school, university, car registration and payment of fines for traffic violations).

In June this year, the important Law "On electronic government" has come into force. In order to further develop the legal framework for e-governance and public services, a number of governmental decision have been adopted – on measures to implement the law on e-government and the methodology to assess the quality of online services. As a result, the national legislation has been extended with concepts of "transaction services" and "e-participation", national monitoring and evaluation framework has been enhanced to better assess e-government development and implementation of quality online services for citizens and businesses. Work is underway on drafting an important law on administrative procedures, which is expected to become another crucial step in reforming public administration in Uzbekistan.

The project continued its efforts to enhance government openness and transparency. In particular, a comprehensive M&E framework to assess and facilitate openness of public bodies has been established. It is expected that this framework will lead to the publication of openness ranking of government agencies.

To further promote open data, e-participation and data journalism the project has conducted thematic workshops, trainings and master-classes for government agencies, universities and journalists, as well as the second open data hackathon of Uzbekistan – MIT.UZ Open Data Challenge 2016.

Supported by three UNDP projects – EGov, LGSP and RIA – a scholarship program to facilitate research on administrative law and public administration was implemented in 2016 in cooperation with the Tashkent State Law University. The winners were awarded scholarships to write scientific articles on pressing issues of administrative law, public administration reform and e-governance.

The project places great emphasis on strengthening the institutional capacity of e-government. In this context, several knowledge, visual and outreach products were developed by the project on various aspects of e-government promotion in Uzbekistan. Some of them are research paper on key issues of developing public services institute, guideline on e-governance for government agencies, infographics and social videos on open data, e-participation, e-services, and other topics.

Mr. Avliyokulov also announced key areas of the project’s activities in January-July 2017. They are:

1.       Preparation to the second phase of the project, consultations with partners to identify priorities;

2.       Support further improvement of Uzbekistan's ranking in the UN E-Government Survey 2018 via engagement in the interagency working group on the ranking’s OSI component;

3.       Support improving the procedures for the delivery of public services (BPR) and ensuring interoperability of the e-government information systems and databases;

4.       Further improve e-government legislation;

5.       Promote the e-participation concept in Uzbekistan;

6.       Support open and transparent government concept, including the creation of a national portal for monitoring the SDG goals, working with government agencies to improve the quality of open data, and supporting the winners of the "MIT.UZ Open Data Challenge 2016" hackaton;

7.       Strengthen the capacity of civil servants on e-governance, including the organization of study tours to the UK and Latvia;

8.       Raise awareness of e-government by implementing the e-government communication strategy and media plan, developing articles, infographics, information bulletins, and social videos.

Remarks on cooperating with the project were made by the representatives of the E-Government Development Center, Chamber of Commerce, Asian Development Bank and others. All speakers noted the fruitful and effective cooperation with the project in 2016.

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Priesner thanked the participants and the project team for the presented project activity results and noted that UNDP is fully supportive of the idea to extend the project into a second phase, as the goals and objectives of the project are closely aligned with the new reform agenda of the government.

Mr. Shermatov, in his turn, stressed that in 2017 the role of the project will increase as e-government is an important tool in facilitating an effective dialogue of government and people. For this reason, he recommended to align the project’s activities with the priorities voiced by the head of state, and wished the project achieving new sustainable results in the coming year.

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