Stefan Priesner: Welcoming words for ICT Week

Sep 20, 2016

A very good morning to all of you and greetings on behalf of UNDP.

I would like to commend the Government of Uzbekistan for excellent organization of the ICT WEEK UZBEKISTAN 2016, and express my appreciation for being co-organizer of this important event, which brings together leading experts from various countries in the area of ICT and e-government to discuss solutions, exchange ideas and promote prospective areas of cooperation.

We all are aware that ICTs are developing at a breathtaking rate. As an interesting comparison if housing had developed in the last 30 years at the same rate as computing we would already be able to build skyscrapers up to the moon.

ICTs are already influencing all spheres of our life – the smart phone revolution to have triggered the quickest change of human behavior in the history of mankind!

In this context from a UN point of view it is the focus on people that is paramount. You are all aware that the UN is about enhancing the dignity and well-being of people and we think that everything else is a means towards this end. This is why we find it important to support the link between ICTs to e-governance that is people centered!

In this context I would like to extend my hearty congratulations to the Government for the excellent performance in the E-government ranking as measured by the UN E-Government Survey 2016. Uzbekistan ranked the 80th in the world in 2016, which is 20 positions higher than two years ago. Such international assessment is the result of special attention the country's leadership pays to development of ICT and e-government, openness and transparency, public participation and cooperation (all elements of people-centered governance).

According to the survey, improvement in ranking can largely be attributed to recent advances in the areas of Open Government Data, E-participation, enhanced on-line presence - those area where – we are proud to say - UNDP was actively involved through supporting the Uzbek Government in policy formulation and implementation strategies.

Indeed, UNDP is a long-standing partner of the Government of Uzbekistan in introducing e-government tools in the public administration and judicial systems and shares the pride for the recent achievements.

1.    Key messages

a)     Importance of  coordinated Government approach in achieving e-government development

I would like to appreciate coordinated Government approach adopted by GoU in advancing e-government through creation of the Inter-Agency Working Group.

Many public services are complex in nature - many actors participate in their delivery -therefore, further strengthening of inter-agency cooperation is important to solve common bottlenecks in public service delivery such as integration of back offices for joint service delivery and optimization of administrative procedures.

b)     The role of one-stop (multichannel) delivery mechanisms in advancing e-government

I also want to underline importance of multichannel service delivery systems such as integrated online services portal (my.gov.uz), Single Window centers, info kiosks and call-centers. This helped to enhance service orientation to the public. To increase effectiveness of these channels better integration with back offices is needed.

c)      Openness and Transparency in advancing e-government

UNDP advocates for wider introduction of e-participation tools (on-line polls, e-forums, e-petitions) in governance processes, since it creates an environment that provides transparency, accountability, responsiveness of the national government, speeds up the decision making process, and creates more space for open information exchange.

2.    UNDP has been a proud partner to support national priorities

a.      E-participation:

-         Modernization of the Regulatory Impact Assessment platform (regulation.gov.uz), which has been serving as an effective e-consultation mechanism between government and private sector on enhancing regulations since 2015;

-         Promotion the use of social networks by government agencies for better communication with people, and as an effective feedback mechanism;  

b.     E-justice:

-         National Electronic Case Management System E-SUD (www.esud.uz), in cooperation with Supreme Court of Uzbekistan;

-         audio-video system for recording of trials in the economic courts.

c.      E-transparency:

 

-         open data portals at national level and the pilot areas,  Government openness assessment methodology;

-         anti-corruption expertise of legislation and Regulatory Impact Assessment of legislative acts;

Future collaboration on E-governance reform will include the following areas:

ii.      Optimization of administrative procedures to provide client-oriented public services;

iii.      Further promotion of release of high-value government data, support creation of users eco-systems;

iv.      Inter-operability framework for back-offices of government offices providing e-services to businesses and citizens;

v.      Policy advisory services on introduction of user-friendly e-services for citizens and businesses based on the international best practices.

In conclusion, Uzbekistan has adopted regulations and programmes to bring information technologies not only into the economic and educational sectors, but also to enhance the responsiveness of public administration and to bring public services closer to the people.  Good progress has been made, but this is a long journey and UNDP stand ready to support the next steps to implement people-centered e-governance at all levels of state administration. 

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