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Thinking about the past and future of digital transformation
The upcoming book by e-Governance Academy, “Twenty Years of Building Digital Societies”, brings into focus the role that digitalization played in Estonia, in the countries eGA has collaborated with – and what such expertise adds to the digital development strategies of countries worldwide.
Vision, sustainability, people, security. We take the long view here, in a publication absolutely not to miss, into both the past and the future of digital transformation.
A peak into it is offered today by Peeter Vihma, author and social scientist at the University of Helsinki. Join us to hear how the book came about, and what makes it a must-have for your changemaker’s reading list.
|May 23, 2023|
The collaborative road to innovation in Africa
For the first time, the 2023 e-Governance Conference is set to feature an all-African panel showcasing case studies from the continent. Exactly: both moderator and speakers will present examples of inter-sector cooperation from Namibia, Uganda, and the West African region. Collaborative partnerships for digital policy implementation are core to their experience, and there we stand to learn from them.
The African Union – European Union (AU-EU) Digital for Development (D4D) Hub is giving the floor to e-governance practitioners from a large and diverse continent. Helena Lepp, Digitalization Expert at the AU-EU D4D Hub, and Koffi Fabrice Djossou, Senior Programme Manager at the Western African Development Bank, join us in this podcast episode for a preview of the session – a long-time coming one.
|May 16, 2023|
Data policy in the era of artificial intelligence
The ongoing conversation and development around artificial intelligence are bringing data policy back into the spotlight, as we will explore in a dedicated session at the e-Governance Conference 2023. Perhaps it’s also a signal, an indicator of how much work and care is needed before AI starts convincingly scaling to the public sector.
Because while it is true that technological advancement can unlock new levels of digital governance, the great reliance of AI models on enormous amounts of information refocuses the importance of data quality, management practices, ways and purposes of use.
For an introduction to data policy and artificial intelligence in government, we are joined by Paul Timmers, Research Fellow at the University of Oxford and Senior Advisor, and Heiko Vainsalu, Programme Director on Technology. Plans, expectations, democratic legitimacy – how disruptive is AI set to become, exactly, in and to public sectors worldwide?
Interested in rethinking frameworks for data policy?
Join Paul Timmers, Heiko Vainsalu, Ott Velsberg – Government Chief Data Officer of Estonia, Claudia Oliveira – Programme Manager at EU Commission’s Department for Informatics (DG DIGIT), and Amos Mpungu – Principal ICT Officer, Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Uganda in the discussions “Data deluge – do we control data or it controls us?” at the e-Governance Conference on 31 May at 11:00 – 12:30. And whether in person or online, join us to build better and inclusive digital societies!
|May 10, 2023|
How to constantly develop and improve digital services
Not just talks and panels, at the upcoming 2023 e-Governance Conference. As always, we didn’t forget about the practical side of things – workshops. One of them will focus on the design of public e-services. Designing and re-imagining public services takes effort and knowledge, but it becomes less intimidating when expert show how much common sense actually goes into it.
Piret Saartee, Senior Expert on Smart Governance at eGA, joins us for today’s episode of the Digital Government Podcast, and is here to help. What makes for a good e-service? An introduction to the e-Governance Conference workshop, and things to know on the path to making citizens’ life easier in a digital society. Tune in!
|May 03, 2023|
All the lessons from cyber warfare in Ukraine
We are well over one year into Russia’s ongoing threat to Ukrainian state sovereignty. And from terrain to the digital sphere, it is now more evident than ever before that the aggression has been total. If, in the beginning, the war seemed to take on a more traditional, kinetic shape, cyberattacks have intensified with the passing of the months – and with the staunch resistance of Ukraine’s forces.
This postulates the key takeaway, for international observers and governments alike, that modern warfare features a digital dimension. And who better than e-Governance Academy’s Programme Director of Cybersecurity, Merle Maigre, to take stock of how things have changed for states’ cyber defence and what lessons they carry for governments worldwide. Tune in!
|Apr 25, 2023|
Digital vulnerability cannot be fixed in a boardroom
Nothing about us, without us. From foundational principle of representative democracy, to inclusive approach to service design. The journey of this quote is long and spans across centuries, but gains renewed relevance today – when digitalization is ubiquitous, and public services must be designed for all, not just the ‘most’.
Margus J. Klaar is a strategist, service designer, and founding partner of agency Brand Manual. Services that are accessible to the most vulnerable, improve usability for everyone else too. So where do we stand on the way towards that, and how much do we really listen to people’s particular needs?
More on this at the e-Governance Conference on 30 May. A wonderful preview, instead, in this episode of the Digital Government Podcast.
Who are we designing for?
At its very core, and applied to digital service development, the Latin maxim that inspires this session has a straightforward meaning: good design takes into consideration who you are designing for. So let’s imagine, with a practical example, that we are going to design a chair for our mother.
“Once you prototype a chair that does not fall apart, then you’ll ask your mother to sit on it and ask her if she likes it or not. You will take her comments and go back to the workshop, a little angry that you didn’t get it right the first time, and you are going to make version two. Then version three, four, five, until your mother says it’s perfect,” Klaar begins with.
“It is then, that you will have designed something, for someone who can use it the way they want to use it.” Maybe with some specific add-ons your mother might have asked for. But ultimately, that is the whole idea of inclusive design. “In service design, that means expanding the scope to target groups you are designing for, and involve them actively in the process of creating that solution,” Klaar says.
Consider the minority, and make better services for everyone
This does not mean that, so far, all service design has purposedly discarded the opinions of the most digitally vulnerablein society. But the tendency to focus on the better able mass, so to say, has definitely been there for long.
But there is a paradox here. “People who have specific problems or issues in using a product, however, do have definite opinions about it. Using the insight of these very specific and narrow user groups to fix the service in general, as a consequence, will make a service more usable for everyone else too.”
Through another example, let’s take how cityscapes have become more accessible, once vulnerabilities were taken into account. “When we started focusing on the most vulnerable, such as someone bound to a wheelchair, and made cities completely accessible to that person, then suddenly the city is accessible also to other sensitive groups to this issue. The elderly, little kids, people who walk without paying attention to the sidewalk.”
“If you make something vulnerability-proof, then that product or service is automatically going to be easier to use than before for everyone else too. But in order to do that, you need to involve and take into account in the process those vulnerable groups,” Klaar explains.
|Apr 19, 2023|
20 years of technological change and transformation
A review of technological change in the past 20 years, applications and narratives, sweet birthday wishes. We have it all in this week’s episode of the Digital Government Podcast, where we head to distinguished technology experts of e-Governance Academy (eGA) for another expert chat dedicated to eGA’s 20 years anniversary.
Programme Director Heiko Vainsalu meets Mark Erlich, Senior Expert on eID. From popularizing tech talk in government and society, to novelties and black boxes to unpack, the two experts take us through two decades of digital transformation. To see what’s changed in digital development worldwide and, always clearly put, what’s not. Coming up next?
For how surprising it may seem to the least aware, technologists as well have a life beyond development projects and digital solutions. “20 years ago I was completing my university studies, I wasn’t that aware of e-governance. To me, it meant public services for taxes and banking, simply because those were my two point of contacts with the topic back then,” Erlich admits.
And while we heard from eGA cyber and e-democracy experts in previous episodes what these two decades of change entailed, what about the technology domain?
“The core is pretty much the same as 20 years ago. What happened is a crucial shift from niche to popularity. From niche products used just in some specific business areas, to technology getting out to the public. It was something only true techies knew about, people in general didn’t know about cryptography or anything else like that,” Erlich says.
“Moving away from the core, a lot has happened in terms of technological application. We see many new technical solutions around us that are part of our daily life. All kinds of smart gadgets, from smartphones to household appliances. That has evolved indeed, and we are benefitting from such development not just from the development side, but also simply as common people.”
|Apr 12, 2023|
Building a crisis-proof digital society in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is all but new on the world map of countries that took digital transformation as a priority. Over there, in Central America, this relatively small nation started investing in digital-related development and education already more than 20 years ago. Almost similarly to Estonia – and as similarly, they have come to create a crisis-proof digital society.
Jorge Mora Flores, now expert consultant and account manager in cybersecurity, is the former Director of Digital Governance in Costa Rica. In a podcast episode bridging across the ocean, he raises the curtains over the digital path of the country, and how resilience remains in focus after two decades of development.
Not to miss at the 2023 e-Governance Conference: “Crisis-proofing the digital society”, May 31. Hosted by Merle Maigre, eGA’s Programme Director on Cybersecurity, Flores will join Ministry of Defence from Montenegro Denisa Kurtagic to discuss preparedness and response in the face of cyber crises.
|Apr 05, 2023|
Digital innovation as catalyst for social change
Preparations for the 9th e-Governance Conference are well under way, for what has come to be one of the highest level e-governance events globally. In the past few years, we addressed ever-so-salient topics such as resilience and crisis management, with the pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine inevitably driving the agenda.
In the 2023 edition we look at what are the sustainable and distributed societal returns that come from technological development. “Digital Innovation as Catalyst for Social Change” is the umbrella for this year’s programme, and Senior Expert on e-Democracy Kristina Mänd joins us today for the appetizer, a preview of what to expect from the conference on May 30-31 in Tallinn and online.
This year’s e-Governance Conference features stories of digital transformation from all corners of the globe – from Costa Rica to Georgia, from Ukraine to Tonga. But the overarching scope lies on the long run, on how technology can serve lasting, viable social change.
“Because social change can be defined by human interactions and the relationships that transform our cultural and social innovations, and the impact they need to have,” Mänd explains.
In the past few years, digital development happened very quickly, so to say. “Now we are wondering what we can do in the field of healthcare, now in artificial intelligence implementation, now on improving this or that particular service. But the social change view needs to come along with that, to make sure that with those digital innovations we are not harming societies, the way they function, and the system of human interactions between people, and with the state.”
|Mar 29, 2023|
Two decades of lessons in digital engagement and new horizons
Digital development has gone fast in the past two decades. Largely on its own momentum, as tools and their applications come to impact both more deeply and extensively different spheres of life. Also, due to unprecedented events and circumstances – see, the pandemic – that sped up digital adoption.
The question is, what fell in the cracks of such transformation? Who, if at all, has been left behind?
Two of e-Governance Academy’s top e-democracy experts come together in this podcast episode – Kristina Mänd, Senior Expert on hosting duties, and Kristina Reinsalu, Programme Director. Twenty years of digital engagement and participation deepened ties between governments and citizens, but not without challenges and new, digital social risks to address.
There will also be an e-Democracy session at the upcoming 2023 e-Governance Conference entitled "Nothing for us without us: Empowering the digitally vulnerable".
Something that only effective engagement can support. “Because engagement makes us bigger, as a nation, culture, society.” The point of engagement, “is not to find a solution that makes everyone happy, but to take decisions that solve particular problems the best way,” Mänd concludes. “And it’s not just the result that you can be happy with, but the process too, how we get there.”
|Mar 22, 2023|
Internet voters are now the majority in Estonia
The last time we started with a question “Is i-voting here to stay?”; this one around, we move on from a strong statement. One week ago, national elections were held in Estonia, and more than a few important records have been set. Among these, the highest ever overall turnout, and the highest ever amount of people casting their ballots through the national i-voting system.
In this episode of the Digital Government Podcast, we welcome back Priit Vinkel, Senior Expert on Smart Governance. He worked 15 years in electoral management, of which six as the Head of the Estonian State Electoral Office. On the ins and outs of achieving such a key milestone, and more takeaways from a pivotal record in electoral history.
|Mar 08, 2023|
Resilience, protection, freedom – what the future holds for cybersecurity
How long do 20 years of cybersecurity actually feel? Quite intense and intensive, for sure. It’s unlikely that anyone thought that with the internet and ICTs would come no risks, no maliciousness, no actors aiming to exploit vulnerabilities of digital systems.
Two of e-Governance Academy’s own cybersecurity experts are here to remind us how far we’ve come. With them, we recap events and lessons learned on safeguarding digital spaces from two decades of activity. But also, how future strategies and actions should strike the right balance between protection and freedom. Tune in!
|Mar 01, 2023|
Digital government in Sweden is like a doughnut
Sweden is perhaps one of those countries that, in international rankings on government and digitalization, you sort of expect to do well – and indeed, so they do. Estonia figures among them as well, and we regularly see the interest this draws in understanding how development takes place, where, what’s next.
To take us there, and discover lessons learned, today we invite Johan Magnusson – professor, author, and Director of the Swedish Center for Digital Innovation (SCDI) in Gothenburg. Tune in!
|Feb 14, 2023|
Limited internet access can’t stop e-service development
It may sound like a paradox, but there is much, much more to it. In this episode of the Digital Government Podcast, we return to the Asian islands – southeast in the continent – to address public service development in Timor-Leste.
Piret Saartee, a Senior Expert on Smart Governance, was part of the team that drew up our study on the path to creating effective service centres in the country. With her, we dig into why limited network reach shouldn’t hold back e-governance projects, and how Timor-Leste aims to give its citizens one-stop shops to access services. Tune in!
|Jan 31, 2023|
All that matters to make Tonga’s cyberspace more secure
Making national cyberspace more secure does not pertain only to protecting it from cyber-attacks. It is a day-to-day job, a commitment to small best practices too that do make a difference – and help prevent disruptions in our work activities, and the functioning of the public sector.
Epp Maaten, Team Lead on Cybersecurity, joins us from Chișinău, Moldova, to explore how e-Governance Academy assisted Tonga in its digital recovery from a natural disaster and the place of cybersecurity within that unique context.
|Jan 18, 2023|
20 years of e-Governance Academy
That’s right. e-Governance Academy is turning 20 years old this year! Two decades of digital transformation; of understanding societies through the lens of technology; of advising governments worldwide on how to reap the benefits of digital development.
And who better than Hannes Astok, Executive Director at eGA, to draw a bit of a retrospective. In this episode, we take a look back, between personal memories and organizational milestones, to what has been a two-decade journey into the future of our digital societies. Tune in!
|Jan 04, 2023|
Let’s sum up the year 2022!
Another year has passed. Another year in which e-Governance Academy has been involved in digital transformation projects worldwide. Most might have expected calmer waters after exiting the emergency situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, with 2022 came a number of events that saw our experts at the centre of the international scene.
Executive Director Hannes Astok joins us to paint a picture of what year 2022 has been for our centre of excellence, and what topics defined it in the digital sphere. Tune in!
|Dec 20, 2022|
Digital skills for full-fledged digital society
Digital skills are essential for the development of a full-fledged digital society. We can – and should – expect both companies and governments to develop their services in the most user-friendly way, to actually serve customers and citizens. But how to empower people further, and give them the tools to navigate effectively the information age?
Kristi Kivilo, in-house Senior Expert on Smart Governance, joins today’s episode of the Digital Government Podcast to talk the skills people need in a digital society, and how to get everyone on board with online services. Tune in!
|Dec 06, 2022|
Digital transformation in Brazil, and how Estonia can help
Based on essentially all wiki facts and general information, Brazil and Estonia could not be more different. Geographically, culturally, and socially. And still, as we luckily very often saw happen in the past years, these too have a joint meeting point – digital transformation.
Interest in Estonia’s digital journey remains constant among policy and changemakers from the Latin American country, while Brazil’s own digital development probably picks up pace probably more than ever before. Raphael Fassoni, Co-Founder and CEO of Estônia Hub, gives us insight into the state of digitalization in Brazil and why Estonia remains a reference point across the ocean. Tune in!
|Nov 23, 2022|
Cyber attacks in the Western Balkans and the way out
It was just June that we were talking about improving cybersecurity capacity in the Western Balkans area. And a few months later, between August and September, the countries of Albania and Montenegro respectively suffered disruptive cyber attacks.
Merle Maigre, Programme Director on Cybersecurity at eGA, joins us again to take stock of the situation. Together with Klaid Mägi, Cybersecurity Strategist at Estonian company RaulWalter, we explore the importance of investigating the attribution and consequences of such attacks, and what to do to increase preparedness and resilience. Tune in!
|Nov 09, 2022|
Digital identity – usage across borders, in the EU and beyond
Digital citizens in a digital Europe? We are not quite there yet, but significant steps forward have been made in recent years with eIDAS. And progress doesn’t stop at the borders of political Europe, as a bilateral agreement between the Union and Ukraine is set to enhance the mutual recognition of trust services.
We hear all the latest from Mark Erlich, eGA’s Senior Expert on Digital Identity, and Business Architect at the Electronic Identity Department of the Information System Authority of Estonia. Government-issued digital identity can work across borders – let’s see how, and where we stand today. Tune in!
|Oct 20, 2022|
Digital identity – types, approaches, lessons learned
We could never say it enough – digital identity is a must-have to make societies more digital. It has been around for some time already, so it is natural that types and approaches to its development vary, between contexts and country specificities.
To explore these, Mark Erlich is the speaker of choice for a mini-series of podcast episodes on digital identity. He is the Senior Expert on Digital Identity at e-Governance Academy. And with his 15-some years’ experience on the matter at Estonia’s Information System Authority, we take a deep dive into typologies and use cases of digital identity, and lessons learned from Estonia’s, – one of the most digital countries – own journey. Tune in!
|Oct 11, 2022|
Building a future-ready society in Sarawak, Malaysia
In Borneo Island, Malaysia, the largest of the 13 states making up the country has an ambitious plan – to turn the region into a digital economy powerhouse of the area. Through the works of the Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC) as its implementing agency, the government in the region is driving initiative to give the state a digital economy and society. During his last visit to Tallinn, we caught up with the Chairmen of the SDEC, Mohamad Morsidi, to hear about the premises and priorities of this transformative journey, and what inspires them in Estonia's digital journey. Turn in!
|Sep 28, 2022|
Mexico's take on digital transformation
Our interviews with Chief Information Officers continue, and after Siim Sikkut (former CIO of Estonia) and Barry Lowry (CIO of Ireland), we are excited to feature Yolanda Martinez on this podcast episode. Martinez held the national CIO and Digital Strategy Coordination posts in Mexico for six years – five for the first, one for the latter. During that time, the Mexican public administration achieved terrific results, to name (really just) a few, exponentially increasing availability and access to the Internet, and reshaping the digital provision and use of public services.
Today, she is Overall Lead for the GovStack initiative at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Let’s see how approaching public sector innovation through building blocks can help governments accelerate digital transformation. Tune in!
|Jun 29, 2022|
Why cybersecurity capacity of the Western Balkan countries should matter?
The Western Balkan Digital Security Forum took place in Tallinn and online on June 15, 2022, bringing together leaders and experts in cybersecurity to discuss developments and challenges on the topic in the region. Merle Maigre, e-Governance Academy’s own Senior Expert on Cybersecurity, joins us in this episode to explore some of the takeaways from the high-level meeting, and how to support six Balkan countries in building strategic cybersecurity capacity.
|Jun 22, 2022|
Why does digital vulnerability matter?
Let’s face it – we are more used to talk about the results achieved through digital transformation, its success stories and business cases, rather than drawbacks or failures. Despite, in any case, a growing trend of re-humanizing digitalization processes, with private change-makers and CIOs increasingly talking about drawbacks and lessons learnt too.
But some needs still might fall between the cracks of a bright narrative. That is why, both through our activities and at this year’s e-Governance Conference, we introduced the topic of digital vulnerability. Kristina Mänd, Senior Expert on e-Democracy at eGA, delves deeper into the theme in this podcast episode. According to her addressing digital vulnerabilities could be considered as a measure of government effectiveness and performance in delivering public services. The episode is hosted by Federico Plantera.
|Jun 15, 2022|
Tech beyond code with a digital sociologist
In today's episode, we invite you to explore the United Kingdom's government approach to designing public digital services for citizens with Lisa Talia Moretti. How do they design services that actually work for all – with their diverse needs, vulnerabilities, and behaviours in society?
|Jun 08, 2022|
Setting the digital agenda in Western Balkan countries
In the Western Balkans, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and governments are on a quest to increase civic engagement in the digital agenda. Take all the initials of this task, ICEDA, and you have the ongoing project that e-Governance Academy is currently involved in within the region.
Recently, stakeholders took the chance to visit Tallinn for a study visit. We caught up with two representatives from both sides, government and CSOs, to talk about the state of digitalization in the five subject countries: North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, and Albania.
Hear it from Snežana Nikčević, National Project Coordinator for NGO 35mm from Montenegro, and Admirim Aliti, Minister of Information Society and Administration from North Macedonia, in this episode. Tune in!
|Jun 01, 2022|
Making interoperability a reality in Djibouti
In the Horn of Africa there is yet another blue pin on the world map of interoperability supported by X-Road technology. The Government of Djibouti via ANSIE has recently completed the implementation of the data exchange platform, marking another step toward more efficient and effective public service delivery.
On e-Governance Academy’s side, Programme Director of Technology Heiko Vainsalu has managed and dealt hands-on with the project. In this episode of the podcast, we outline some insights into how the Djiboutian government did it, relevant points of strength, and recommendations to move forward. Sounds interesting? Tune in!
|May 25, 2022|
Five reflections on effective digital government from Ireland
In today's episode, we take a look at how does effective digital transformation look from above? From the perspective of those who need to inspire, guide, and organize teams so that plans become policies, and then action. We are talking about Government CIOs, a role whose specifics we explored already in an episode with Siim Sikkut on 27 April.
Let’s take now a look at five lessons learnt through the lens of Barry Lowry, Chief Information Officer of the Irish Government, and Chief Adviser to the government on all things digital.
One by one, we present the main takeaways from his experience, in a wide-ranging conversation from user journey design to tech, regulation, and the meaning of innovation.
|May 17, 2022|
What’s next for digital public services in Estonia?
The wait could not have been faster. Just one week to go to the e-Governance Conference 2022, to discuss resilient and seamless governance with high-level government representatives, experts, and academics. So let us do the honours with an introduction, and a look forward, from Estonia.
|May 04, 2022|
Lessons from effective digital leaders. Part one
Siim Sikkut barely needs any introduction. 17 years in the civil service, of which five as Chief Information Officer of the Government of Estonia. Throughout this time, many of our readers and listeners have had the chance to meet him, or hear from his team about what a constant process of digital transformation looks like.
At the upcoming e-Governance Conference in May, he will be among the changemakers to tell us what it takes to be effective digital leaders – based on his own and others’ experiences. Sikkut, in fact, has also spoken to 20 colleagues in leading digital government strategies and collected findings and reflections in a not-to-miss, upcoming book.
In the build-up to the e-Governance Conference, we caught up with him to give you an introduction to what is set to be one of the most interesting sessions on Day 2. In the episode, he shares also his two lessons for digital leaders. Tune in!
|Apr 26, 2022|
Why is Digital Sovereignty Important for Governments?
Less than a month to go to the 2022 e-Governance Conference. To mark this countdown milestone, we called back a known voice of the Digital Government Podcast and the Conference, introducing the ever-more-pressing theme of digital sovereignty.
Taking the floor is Paul Timmers, a scholar at various European universities and former director at the European Commission for e‑government, health and ageing, future cities, and many more things digital.
With increased digitalization, governments are met with new and changing sets of challenges – over trust, service delivery, and cybersecurity. Here is a sneak peek into what his keynote and the panel discussion he will moderate will sound like, with a great conversation on current and fundamental issues urging decision-makers to keep sovereignty in focus for the information age.
Interested in more? Join the e-Governance Conference on 10 - 12 May to listen to the keynote of Paul Timmers and panel discussion ' Next step: Digital Sovereignty – How Is it Possible?' featuring Michel Paulin, CEO of OVHcloud and Lisa Talia Moretti, Digital Sociologist at the Ministry of Justice of the United Kingdom.
|Apr 14, 2022|
Let’s hear it from African journalists: digital innovations in Africa
For this episode of the Digital Government Podcast, we figuratively fly with our microphones to Africa. Specifically, to Kenya and Nigeria – where winners of the first Africa D4D Journalism Competition are based. 175 journalists from 35 countries participated, signalling a great response to the call submissions made by the African Union – European Union (AU-EU) Digital for Development (D4D) Hub project.
Labour markets and tech talent, agriculture and climate issues, telehealth and maternal care. These were the topics of the articles that won the first three prizes, all with digital tools and technology as the common denominator. We caught up with the three winners – Daniel Adeyemi (Nigeria), Wesley Langat (Kenya), and Beth Karuana (Kenya) – to hear about their work and the topics addressed.
Interested in the digital development of African countries? Join the discussion 'Laying Ground for Digital Services: Case Studies from Africa’ featuring Khaled El-Attar - Vice Minister, Egypt and Afiss Bileoma Director of Departement, ASSI, Benin at the e-Governance Conference on 10 May 2022!
Register here! https://2022.egovconference.ee/
|Apr 13, 2022|
Designing for Complex Systems
In today's episode, we continue to introduce the speakers of the upcoming e-Governance Conference on 10 - 12 May. Vitaly Friedman is an author and UX designer who is right now involved in the navigation improvement of European Parliament websites - there are altogether 150 webpages. In this episode, we explore how design and clear principles can help public authorities ease citizens’ journey through the vast and deep sea of public data and information.
|Mar 30, 2022|
Will people make policy digitally?
Today's episode features Giovanni Allegretti, senior researcher and coordinator of the PhD programme “Democracy in the 21st century” at the University of Coimbra (Portugal). He has worked for over 20 years on citizen participation in budgeting and territorial management. Based on his abounding experiences, he casts light on how crowdsourcing, matched with technology, can enhance and amplify people’s voices in the halls of policy design.
|Mar 30, 2022|
Resilient and Seamless Governance
In today's podcast, Hannes Astok, a member of the e-Governance Academy Board, sheds light on the two main keywords that should describe the future goals of digital transformation for every government organisation - resilience and seamlessness. Tune in to the episode to find out why these features are critical for any digital government!
|Mar 23, 2022|
From Ukraine: Digital services keep working despite the war
Yurii Kopytin, Cybersecurity Component Leader of EU4DigitalUA project and general architect of Ukrainian data exchange platform the Trembita system, works now 18 hours per day by safeguarding the Ukrainian digital government, keeping the Trembita system functional and fighting with cyber attacks and fake news together with the government authorities of Ukraine.
|Mar 15, 2022|
Is cyber warfare part of Russia’s plans in Ukraine?
Something might have caught many observers by surprise in Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. After a solid history of cyber threats that could be linked back to the Federation’s territory, cyber warfare seems to not be playing a major role in the attackers’ plans this time. It hasn’t been the same in the past, and no one guarantees the current situation can’t change in a matter of weeks, or even days. Perhaps particularly when, on the ground, the Russian army appears to not proceed at the pace initially envisioned by the architects of the invasion.
Let’s look at what is happening in Ukraine now and how to be better prepared at all levels – personal, organizational, national – to protect our systems and data in the face of a cyberattack.
|Mar 09, 2022|
Ukraine is under attack, and our team stayed there
This week, the world looks quite different from what it used to. We’re here to talk about a tragedy taking shape just before our eyes – the war in Ukraine. Oleh Burba is not a war correspondent, but a Component Leader in our EU4DigitalUA team in Kyiv, Ukraine.
International Red Cross, https://www.icrc.org/en
Doctors Without Borders, http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
United help to Ukraine, http://www.unitedhelpukraine.org/
Ukraina heaks, https://www.ukrainaheaks.ee/ (in Estonia)
|Mar 01, 2022|
To be an e-citizen or not to be
Can a digital society exist sustainably without e-citizens? Who are the e-citizens - the user the e-services or something more? This is a topic we will discuss today with e-democracy expert Kristina Reinsalu.
|Feb 23, 2022|
What will post-pandemic school look like?
In today's episode, IT-visionary Linnar Viik talks about the post-pandemic trends of teaching and learning at schools, and shares with us the findings from the survey he conducted among teachers and parents in Estonia. Listen to the discussion and find out how did the schools in various countries react to the lockdowns and how did the experiences that we gained from lockdowns change the expectations towards teaching and learning at schools.
|Feb 16, 2022|
How ready is your country for the next step in digital transformation?
Every digital transformation journey needs a good place to start from. What’s the first step? Understanding where you stand, what are your valuable assets, how to move forward from there, and what to focus on first.
The Digital Readiness Review does just that. For a long, e-Governance Academy has been offering this analysis to both governments and businesses – to pinpoint strengths, and weaker spots to work on.
With Marit Lani, Programme Director of Smart Governance, we take a look at how both public and private sector organizations can benefit from it and become more digital. Tune in!
|Feb 09, 2022|
How to make people more cyber-wise?
Behind a successful cyber attack, it is very often the poor cyber hygiene of internet users or employees of an organisation, as revealed by the analysis of cyber incidents. Thus, the demand of being cyber-wise concerns every citizen, and the government as well.
In this episode, Lauri Tankler, lead analyst of the Estonian Information System Authority, and Merle Maigre, senior expert on cybersecurity and former director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, shed light on what mistakes people make the most in cyberspace, what is the government’s responsibility in raising peoples' awareness of cybersecurity, and what could be done better based on the experience of the EU Member States.
Moreover, Lauri Tankler tells us in more detail how Estonia is raising cyber-wise people and what are the challenges they face. Tune in!
The discussion is based on the report 'Raising awareness of cybersecurity' that presents case studies of the EU Member States and provides recommendations for the experts of the National Authorities responsible for the design and the implementation of cybersecurity awareness-raising campaigns, in the following four areas: building capacities for cybersecurity awareness, regular assessments of trends and challenges, measuring cybersecurity behaviour and planning cybersecurity awareness campaigns.
Explore more of the report compiled by eGA experts within the project ‘ENISA: Research of Awareness Raising Activities‘!
|Jan 31, 2022|
AI to empower data-driven decision making in the public sector
AI is one of the technologies that influences the public sector service provision and also our expectations towards it. In today's episode, we invite you to explore how are governments approaching the use of artificial intelligence in public service provision. Consider Estonia, as a case study – and let Ott Velsberg, Chief Data Officer of the Estonian Government, be our guide.
The country’s AI plans are rooted in words and deeds that started already in 2019. The AI strategy aims to make the government more proactive, seamless, automated. The end goal is zero bureaucracy, and AI plays a key part in moving meaningfully in that direction. So far, 80 case studies have been completed, with an additional 30 ongoing, and will soon be channelled through Bürokratt.
What tasks has the Estonian public sector entrusted to AI already? And what is the Bürokratt - the new tool of making bureaucracy more efficient and citizen-friendly?
|Jan 25, 2022|
Which trends should governments follow in their digital transformation plans?
Today we invite you to follow the government CIO’s special edition! Two former leaders of digital transformation, Siim Sikkut from Estonia and Randall Brugeaud from Australia, cast light on the trends that governments should follow in their digital transformation activities to benefit from pandemic lessons learned.
'COVID proved things can be done very quickly, Estonia also had overnight solutions developed to react to the pandemic. But fatigue is now kicking in a bit, so it is on us as gov CIOs & digital transformation authorities to make sure that new normality will stick, ' said Siim Sikkut.
Tune in and get some inspiration to continue the digital transformation in your country or organisation! The discussion was moderated by Linnar Viik and live at the e-Governance Conference 2021.
|Jan 19, 2022|
Let's sum up the year 2021!
With the year-end approaching, we could not let this opportunity slip for a proper wrap up of 2021. Hannes Astok, Executive Director at e-Governance Academy, gladly bears the weight of this responsibility in the latest episode of the Digital Government Podcast.
Remote work and cybersecurity are the topics that dominated the digital transformation landscape this past year. While flexibility is the keyword for the former, enhancing the safety of operations on the internet is the command for the latter. This pertained not only to the work of the e-Governance Academy but also that of the government organisations and partners – who have been facing similar and further challenges.
Achievements, announcements, pre-holiday wishes. In this lightweight episode, we salute the year that has gone by and give you all a recommendation: mark May 10-12, 2022, on your calendar, as the e-Governance Conference makes its return both offline and online!
|Dec 08, 2021|
The next big turn in digital transformation
The number of mobile users is already exceeding 7 billion worldwide, and 3 billion of them are using smartphones. The rising mobile penetration has pushed governments to develop services that could be used via mobile phone. On the other hand, more and more governments are exploring how to benefit from AI by providing public services. In this episode, we will explore with Margus Simson, the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) at Komerční Banka, how these two developments change online service provision and should they be reflected in government digital strategies.
According to Margus, from 2025 and beyond, the new standard in digital service should be the significant inclusion of AI/ML. "It will beef up the intelligence efforts, and take companies and customers to personalization levels and business opportunities that have never been seen before. Mobiles are definitely crucial for customer service and digitalization, but honestly, it is already 10 years too late. Instead of mobile, simplicity should be the core strategic direction of transformation stories."
In the discussion, he reflects on developments that are taking place already in the private sector, and based on that, he predicts the future of developments for the public sector.
More precisely, Margus will cast light on
>what horizons in service provision have AI and ML opened?
>what could we expect as customers?
>what changes should governments make in their digital transformation strategies to keep up with the technological developments?
|Nov 22, 2021|
Freedom of expression in the digital age. A lost battle for truth?
The problem with fake news is becoming more and more topical for every public organisation. Due to that, we invited Dr Katrin Nyman-Metcalf, the Senior Expert on Legal Framework to the Digital Government Podcast to cast light on the freedom of expression in the digital age and the problem of fake news from a legal perspective.
Can we "regulate away" misinformation?
What are the lessons learnt from the countries that have such legislation?
What would be the key points to keep in mind if and when regulating this issue?
Should not the big platforms like Facebook take responsibility primarily - as it is largely via them that misinformation is spread?
Turn in to find out whether there is still hope or if the battle is indeed lost!
|Nov 17, 2021|
The ethical challenges of fully automated public services
Based on what trends we have witnessed in advanced digital societies - the next level of public services will be fully automated services that are based on AI and Machine Learning. In this episode, a distinguished legal expert on digital governance topics Katrin Nyman-Metcalf covers another side of the coin - essential and ethical dilemmas behind that process/development. She says that the key decisions on how, when and whether to automate are not technical, legal, nor practical - they are essentially strategic, political decisions about what kind of society we want.
But what kind of society do we want? That raises a lot of questions. For example, what is the role of public officials while machines are putting together facts and providing public services? What is the role of the state and the state administration? And how will society and citizens react? Will the norms change in society? Are we obliged to love robots? Is the challenge of transforming into a fully automated society a generational issue?
Listen to this episode to find out!
|Nov 16, 2021|
Digital government leadership throughout the crisis
Despite a continued global vaccine rollout, COVID19's shadow remains large and limiting for all government bodies around the world. The need to cut through COVID fatigue with strong leadership has never been more urgent. Now the government leaders themselves play a crucial online role in shielding teams and policies from criticism and misinformation.
|Nov 09, 2021|
How can civil society organisations enhance digital responsibility of the government?
The pandemic caused countries around the world to employ digital solutions, which they had been ignoring or postponing, almost overnight. Such rapid development also raises several questions related to digital responsibility and accountability.
|Oct 29, 2021|
How does the digital responsibility of companies impact our future?
The rapid digitalisation of societies introduces new expectations towards tech companies. People expect companies to take care of their ecological footprint, support free expression, respect privacy and develop a more secure cyberspace.
|Oct 26, 2021|
Is i-voting here to stay?
Estonia conducted i-voting for the 12th time, in the recent local elections on 11 – 17 October 2021. In this episode, we cast light on these election results and explore with Priit Vinkel, the former Head of the Estonian Electoral Office and one of the implementers of the internet voting system in Estonia, what are the lessons learned from i-voting, both for Estonia and as well as for other governments who want to implement i-voting.
|Oct 20, 2021|
Is digital only the next normality for governments?
Today we invite you to listen to the episode on the next normal of digital transformation featured by futurist Thrond Arne Undheim and the former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves. Follow their discussion on what have the governments learned from 2020 and what they have refused to learn. Moreover, the guest will talk about the trends that will influence digital transformation the most in the future, and how the "Digital Only" approach will guide the way of administration and interaction. Do we see the governments controlling the e-governance of the future or is that something we are having an hopeless situation about?
|Oct 11, 2021|
Does technology increase or decrease democracy?
In today's episode of the Digital Government Podcast, you are welcome to meet our distinguished e-democracy expert Liia Hänni, who recently celebrated her 75th birthday! Known as the "mother" of the Estonian Constitution, she has had a massive impact in the design of Estonia's democratic face and digital society.
|Oct 05, 2021|
The pains of using tech buzzwords
In this episode, Heiko Vainsalu, a Senior Expert on Technology at the e-Governance Academy, debunks the most viral tech myths. These myths, expressed by buzzwords, are accompanying us while we are talking or listening to discussions on digital transformation and government innovations.
Tune in to see through the buzzwords!
|Sep 28, 2021|
E-hääletamise uuendustest, turvalisusest ja heast tavast
Tänavu 17.oktoobril toimuvad kohalikud valimised, mille eel on kõigil soovijatel juba 12. korda võimalus e-hääletada. Pühendame oma saate e-hääletamisele ning e-riigi akadeemia eestvõttel loodud e-hääletamise heale tavale.
The principles of fair i-voting were born from an initiative, of the e-Governance Academy in cooperation with political parties, in 2005, when i-voting took place for the first time. The aim was to cooperatively think through the specifics of i-voting, compared to traditional voting, and to ensure the smooth implementation of the new solution.
Liia Hänni, one of the developers of the principles, and Priit Vinkel, the former head of the State Electoral Office and current senior expert at the e-Governance Academy, talk about the i-voting process and innovations, voters’ and parties’ behaviour, i-voting principles, and finally, they predict how many citizens will cast their votes via the Internet. Just as a reminder, in the last European Parliament’s elections in 2019, 46.7% of voters used the opportunity to vote online, and in the Riigikogu elections of the same year, more than 247,000 voters cast i-votes.
Listen to the throwback of the i-voting experiences and the results of the Estonian local elections in English, on 20 October!
|Sep 17, 2021|
Will e-census be our next normality?
Estonia is preparing for its first e-census or register-based census, where all Population and Housing Census data will be compiled from the data of the national registers. About 24 national registers will be included, and they involve data on many fields of life. Only the information that is not available in registers will be asked from people. The e-census will take place at 00:00 on 31 December 2021.
|Sep 17, 2021|
Pros and cons of using biometric data
While we approach the international identity day on September 16, we are addressing the topic that concerns our identity and its use, online or offline. In today's episode, we explore with Kaija Kirch, Head of Digital Identity Technologies at Cybernetica AS, the pros and cons of using biometric data in identification and providing access online or onsite. In particular, you will learn
|Sep 15, 2021|
State's sovereignty in the digital age
The globalisation of economies, technologies and communication has challenged country sovereignty relative to actions and protection. In the global scene, we can witness every day how fake news attack democracy, and how hackers do the same to supply chains, electricity networks or hospitals. The problem of one country concerns simultaneously other countries too, as we all are connected to each other.
|Sep 08, 2021|
Digital Skills 3.0
At the beginning of the school year, it is timely to talk about digital skills development since digital skills are one of the most critical enablers of digital transformation. In today's episode (a recording from the e-Governance Conference 2021), Kristo Vaher from Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication of Estonia, Cigdem Ertem (INTEL) and Kristel Rillo shed light on what kind of digital skills governments need to lead through digital transformation programmes, and who's the responsibility it is.
What does it mean to the government that aims for digital transformation? Tune in to find out!
|Sep 01, 2021|
Cyber exercises - the best way to train your cyber muscles
Cyber attacks are becoming a natural part of our digital life. Hence it is wise to know how to defend your data and infrastructure to avoid losses. In today's episode of the Digital Government Podcast, we invite you to explore how governments and organisations can be better prepared for cyber attacks. Two distinguished cyber experts Ragnar Rattas, from CybExer Technologies, and Merle Maigre, from eGA, talk about the cyber exercises, their kinds, features, and benefits. They also cast light on the recent cyber exercise held for Ukrainian cyber experts, and explain how to conduct them in a meaningful and efficient way. Interested in exploring more? Tune in!
|Jun 09, 2021|
How do Finland and Estonia benefit from the cross-border secure data exchange?
In this episode, Ville Sirviö, the CEO of the Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions (NIIS), casts light on how to get digital data securely running between two countries, based on the X-road trust federation, and how citizens of Finland and Estonia have benefited from it. As we know, Finland and Estonia are exchanging data of their population and business registers, and also their tax boards. Moreover, the information of medical prescriptions is also available across borders. Ville explains the enablers of making such data exchange happen and NIIS's role in all of this. Wondering how many countries have already functional X-Roads, or is the X-Road functional in your country as well? Tune in to find out!
|Jun 02, 2021|
The role of civil society organisations in a digital society
In today's episode, Urmo Kübar, the former advisor to the Estonian President and the Executive Director of Praxis, talks about the role of civil society organizations in a digital society and explains how can they benefit from digital tools for building a more seamless society. Being involved in the Estonian civic society development for more than 20 years, he is the right person to cast light on the topic.
|May 24, 2021|
Towards greater digital responsibility with governments and civil society organisations
This year’s e-Governance Conference – A Digital Decade in One Year – looks at the implications of the accelerated digital transformation resulting from the pandemic. The programme creates space to explore the new normal in which we find ourselves today, and the next normal that we are entering. In the build-up to the Conference, our podcasts will introduce some main speakers and topics that will take part in the programme.
|May 12, 2021|
Digital transformation trends for governments entering the next normal
This year’s e-Governance Conference – A Digital Decade in One Year – looks at the implications of the accelerated digital transformation resulting from the pandemic. The programme creates space to explore the new normal in which we find ourselves today, and the next normal that we are entering.
In the build-up to the Conference, our podcasts will introduce some main speakers and topics that will take part in the programme. With Siim Sikkut, CIO of the Government of Estonia, we explore Estonia’s experience in adapting to the new normal and consider what the next normal has in store for national digital transformation plans. Tune in!
|May 04, 2021|
What is an e-government without interoperability?
This year’s e-Governance Conference – A Digital Decade in One Year – looks at the implications of the accelerated digital transformation resulting from the pandemic. The programme creates space to explore the new normal in which we find ourselves today, and the next normal that we are entering.
In the build-up to the Conference, our podcasts will introduce some main speakers and topics that will take part in the programme.
In today's episode, interoperability expert Heiko Vainsalu invites you to explore interoperability, and why countries need it when developing e-government. Heiko shares some insights into various ways of reaching interoperability, and explains on what the approach should be based. Moreover, he sheds light on why some countries succeed and others not. More closely he discusses Mongolia's approach towards interoperability.
Join us at the e-Governance Conference https://2021.egovconference.ee/ to hear more about what helps countries become digitally interoperable! The session 'Lessons on How to Make Data Run, Not People' will feature
Ville Sirviö – Chief Executive Officer, Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions,
|Apr 27, 2021|
Futurist Trond Arne Undheim on the e-government of tomorrow
This year’s e-Governance Conference – A Digital Decade in One Year – looks at the implications of the accelerated digital transformation resulting from the pandemic. The programme creates space to explore the new normal in which we find ourselves today and the next normal that we are entering.
In the build-up to the Conference, our podcasts will introduce some of the main speakers that will take part in the programme. One of the keynotes will be delivered by Trond Arne Undheim - futurist, investor, author and entrepreneur. Together we discussed the future of e-governance and the considerations for leaders preparing for the next normal. Tune in!
|Apr 21, 2021|
Four years that laid the groundwork for the Ukrainian digital transformation
For more than four years, the e-Governance Academy's team has assisted digital transformation in Ukraine by creating the conditions for digital services' provision. In this episode, our Ukrainian team leader, Mari Pedak, casts light on the technical developments within the EGOV4Ukraine project, the organisational developments in the Ukrainian government, and the changes in Ukraine's officials' and citizens' attitude towards digital solutions and services during the last years.
|Apr 14, 2021|
How to raise trust towards vaccine certificates?
With the COVID19 vaccines developed and immunization campaigns being rolled out, governments and international organisations are now seeking a way to harmonize how to exit the crisis with vaccine certificates.
|Apr 06, 2021|
Challenges and opportunities of cross-border health data exchange
In this episode, we invite you to listen to the topical discussion on cross-border health-data exchange challenges due to the new vaccine certificate. We examine the challenges and opportunities from the perspective of hospitals, governments and worldwide organisations as the World Health Organisation. How could we benefit from the health data exchange between countries? Why it is so hard to reach? Will the Global Trust Framework led by the World Health Organisation make it happen?
|Mar 30, 2021|
How to make IT systems and e-services more secure?
Cyber threats and attacks are part of the daily management of IT systems and e-services. Usually, we, as regular users of e-services, do not know about attacks as long as the e-service is available and working. In this episode, Epp Maaten, Programme Director of Cyber Security, talks about how to secure e-services, IT systems or even networks from cyber attacks. She casts light on a process called 'penetration testing' that will give an overview of vulnerabilities in the targeted cyber environment and the risks associated with it. Close to hacking, penetration testing is a very useful method to keep IT systems and e-services safe.
|Mar 24, 2021|
Digital health security and vaccination certificates
The COVID19 pandemic has created a new reality for the healthcare sector, globally testing its limits. The European Commission, along with the World Health Organisation, is looking for a scalable digital infrastructure for secure vaccination certification to help governments to reopen societies and economies.
In this episode, Merle Maigre, the organizer of the Digital Transformation Talks introduces the digital health security discussions that will take place on 24 March online. The discussion will focus on digital health solutions and the challenges governments and the health sector is facing. “For credible future digital health solutions, we need people to understand better both the medical and the cybersecurity challenges,” is she convinced.
The podcast is hosted by Federico Plantera.
For more information about the event, visit the Digital Transformation Talks’ website ega.ee/ehealthsecurity .
|Mar 17, 2021|
Addressing the demands for digital responsibility
Digital technologies have become ever more embedded in our everyday lives, introducing topical questions over their fair and ethical use. Openness and transparency in service delivery enable such requests. But, also, these trigger a change in values and attitudes that intensify pressure on governments and companies to be more accountable for the impact of their activities.
This impact might be social, economic, environmental, technological – and still, falling under the wide umbrella of the consequences of digitalisation. So how do we define this new set of expectations?
Linnar Viik, Programme Director of Smart Governance at e-Governance Academy, introduces us to the vibrant debate on Corporate Digital Responsibility. The episode is hosted by Federico Plantera.
|Mar 08, 2021|
Opportunities and challenges of using AI/Kratt for public service provision
In this episode of the Digital Government Podcast, our guest Marten Kaevats, the National Digital Advisor of the Estonian Government, will shed light on why and how to deploy artificial intelligence for public service provision. Is AI a viral buzzword or a beneficial tool to make public service provision smarter and more efficient?
He familiarizes us with the new creature, the ‘Kratt’, that assists the Estonian government in deploying public services. And last, but not least, he shares with us how the engagement of AI will shape public sector thinking and procurement habits.
|Mar 03, 2021|
Why Estonia succeeded with its digital transformation?
On Estonia's Independence Day on 24 February, we are glad to share with you the secret behind the digital transformation success story of Estonia. So, why did Estonia succeed?
|Feb 23, 2021|
Among the giants – Governments and regulation in a digital economy
By now, we have become familiar with how the relationship between big tech firms and governments has largely been portrayed in the media. So often it looks like a clash between opposing factions – the first standing on its ground to keep the market as free as possible, with the latter proposing laws to holding these companies increasingly more accountable.
|Feb 17, 2021|
Where to start the public e-service development?
Welcome to our 26th episode of the Digital Government Podcast! In today's episode, Janek Rozov, Strategy Director at the Information Technology and Development Center of the Ministry of Interior and the former Chief Digital Officer of the Estonian Government, clarifies the questions that should be answered before going digital with public services. We talk about the value of e-services, the legislation behind it, and the connectivity and social context of public e-services. Tune in!
|Feb 10, 2021|
The digital transformation challenges of Pacific Islands
What comes in your mind when you hear someone mentioning the Pacific Islands? Probably sandy beaches, palm trees and sunshine. In this episode of the Digital Government Podcast, we go beyond the tourist attractions and take a look at the digital side of these countries. Today's guest, Hannes Astok, sheds light on how the governments of Kiribati and the Kingdom of Tonga are resolving the main challenges that are holding back their digital transformation. But he also shares his dreams on what horizons the better internet connectivity and IT-wise officials could open for the people of the Pacific Islands. Tune in!
|Feb 02, 2021|
What makes online voting secure?
Do you know how old is the concept of online voting? It comes back to the 19th century when Thomas Alva Edison introduced it to the US congress. Why then, even two centuries later, are there so few countries that use online voting to ensure equal access for their citizens to express their democratic rights? Even in today’s world, where due to pandemic it would be safer to vote remotely, staying at home?
In this episode, cyber security experts Liisa Past and Jan Willemson from Cybernetica Ltd talk about the historical and cognitive aspects of online voting and explain how technology and maths ensure the requirements of voting freedom and competitiveness, thus making online voting a secure and trustworthy solution.
Liisa Past introduces the talk as the followings: "Historical experience and constant practice make relatively static paper elections predictable and therefore safe. The dynamic digital world requires new approaches to the elections and a new risk assessment. Election organisers alone cannot operate in a much more dynamic digital world; they must be supported by scientists as well as cyber security guards and communicators."
According to Jan Willemson: "The reason why we consider paper elections to be safe is due to historical experience, but not always due to rational risk analysis. The danger here is that the historical experience is valid in a historical environment, but the environment is currently changing very rapidly. Therefore, the security level of paper elections should also be reassessed in the context of current rapid technological development. The benefit of mathematics is that it allows us to make stronger claims for online voting, than what you possibly have about paper voting."
What are these claims? What makes online voting secure? Tune in to find out!
|Jan 26, 2021|
Digital tools in the global battle against corruption
“Corruption as a disease, for which transparency is the cure” is a politically popular analogy, that surely resonates when trying to capture such widespread, global challenge all countries continue to face today. But researchers contend that the actual manifestations of corruption are far too complex to fit into the simple frames built by this parallel.
If we build a conceptual bridge with healthcare, the analogy holds more easily. The sector has been long benefitting from technology and emerging innovation – can the same happen to the fight against corruption?
Together with Carina Paju, Executive Director at Transparency International (TI) Estonia, and Kristina Reinsalu, Programme Director of e-Democracy at e-Governance Academy, we explore some of the latest digital tools deployed to combat corruption. Tune in!
|Jan 20, 2021|
Lessons learnt from the digital transformation journeys of various countries
At the beginning of the year, we summed up our lessons learnt from the digital transformation journeys of various countries. Our team has been on these journeys for the past 18 years and obtained useful lessons that could benefit every country that starts or continues its digital transformation.
|Jan 13, 2021|
Trends to watch out for in 2021
The year 2020 became definitely a crossroad in digital transformation. Has it been any easy, with all the pain this pandemic caused? Absolutely not. But, on the flip side, the digital way has been now internalised as a must and a necessity by everyone like never before.
This year, what awaits is a systematisation of all the disruptors that shaped new normality. With Linnar Viik, Programme Director of Smart Governance at e-Governance Academy, we shed light on the digital trends set to shape transformative projects in the public sector in 2021. Tune in!
|Jan 05, 2021|
Lessons learned from 2020 for governments
What lessons learned should governments and public officials take away from this year? In this year’s final episode of the Digital Government Podcast, former President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves shares his hopes, fears and criticisms on how governments have coped with the pandemic challenges.
As expected from the former President of Estonia, his recipe for governments to challenge the pandemic is to go digital and enhance cooperation. In the episode, he highlights the need for cross-border interoperable data exchange to track the coronavirus and share vaccination information. Moreover, he points out the bottlenecks that don't allow us to fully benefit from technology. Tune in!
|Dec 15, 2020|
Participatory budgeting: a powerful tool to improve engagement and policy design
In a democratic society, the quality of the relationship between governments and citizens is a key talking point – and if not, most probably it should. Across the layers of governance, municipalities certainly represent the closest governmental actor to citizens. Such proximity not only works as the testing ground for state-to-people interactions but also as an incubator for innovative ideas directly sourced from the citizenry.
|Dec 09, 2020|
Does privacy and human rights matter while governments are combating Covid19 and tracking the pandemic?
In the light of the ongoing pandemic, today's Digital Government podcast addresses one of the most sensitive topics - privacy and human rights while governments are combating COVID19 and developing tracking apps.
|Dec 02, 2020|
Benin has taken off on its digital journey
In today's Digital Government podcast we invite you to Benin, a West-African country with more than 10 million inhabitants. Our collaboration partner Serge Adjovi, Director General of the National Information Systems and Services Agency (ASSI), and our Project Manager Marit Lani talk about the lessons learnt by the Beninese government, gained through the implementation the Estonian-origin backbone for government e-services - the secure data exchange platform - and the development of the citizen portal for the provision of government services.
|Nov 25, 2020|
The challenges of secure elections
Recent elections in the US and in other countries raised a lot of claims that election results might be manipulated. Our CyberConf2020, to be held online on 24 November, dives deep into the topic of how to secure elections in the digital era. In today's Digital Government Podcast, Mr Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former President of Estonia and a speaker at the conference, sheds light on the ways countries are struggling with the integrity and trustworthiness of elections. Tune in!
|Nov 18, 2020|
Investing in people and the economy for a digital society
In parallel with a crisis of public health, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused great damage also to the national economy of most countries.
Regardless of how hard these have been hit in terms of casualties and infection rates, lockdown measures have been enforced to different degrees almost everywhere in Europe and around the world. As a consequence, an unprecedented economic crisis has disrupted jobs, incomes, value chains, requiring governments and international organizations to act fast and channel funds into domestic markets to stay afloat.
In today's episode, Linnar Viik sheds light on how governments can shape their post-pandemic labor markets and economies. His main suggestion is: shift the focus from public services digitalisation to the economy and society as a whole. The digital DNA of companies and societies is very much needed during these times. But how is it gained? The talk is lead by Federico Plantera. Tune in to find out!
|Nov 11, 2020|
Why governments do not want the Internet to be free?
In the Digital Government Podcast Episode, the previous contributors to the report "Freedom on The Net", Linnar Viik and Katrin Nyman-Metcalf, shed light on this year's Internet Freedom Index global report. They clarify two different views on freedom of expression, which is one of the cornerstones of Internet freedom, and answer the question of why governments don't like the Internet to be free.
|Nov 04, 2020|
Let's talk about cyber hygiene!
At times of COVID-19, cyber hygiene became particularly important. Being more cyber aware and practising healthy cyber hygiene is what will ultimately help you keep your business or administration continuity when you need it. In this episode, our senior cybersecurity expert Merle Maigre shares best practices of cyber hygiene from France, Estonia, the UK that is useful for every Internet user and organization. Tune in!
|Oct 28, 2020|
Do you know how prepared is your country for a cyber attack?
In today's episode, we focus on cybersecurity, as October is European Cyber Security Month. Epp Maaten, Programme Director of Cyber Security at the e-Governance Academy peeks into the main features and goals of the National Cyber Security Index (NCSI) to explain how it serves as a fundamental tool for governments to advance their cybersecurity capacities and protect their cyberspace.
|Oct 21, 2020|
Risks and opportunities in voting on the internet
When it comes to political participation, elections represent something that most countries have in common, but that differentiates them between each other at the same time. All democratic nations set rounds of voting to renew people’s representatives in national assemblies; however, almost all nations vary in the ways elections are carried out.
From registration to counting and publishing of the results, there are many opportunities to implement electronic means to facilitate and streamline the process of voting. But moving parts of this process to the cyberworld, of course, carries related risks.
The speakers of today’s issue of the Digital Government podcast have a far-reaching background in electronic voting and the risks connected to it.
Liisa Past, outgoing Chief Cyber Risk Officer for the Government of Estonia, was also one of the driving forces behind the Estonian Comprehensive Risk Assessment of Elections, as well as the Compendium on Cyber Security of Election Technology. Epp Maaten instead, currently Programme Director of Cyber Security at eGA, has served in the Estonian National Electoral Committee and as Deputy Head of the Electronic Voting Committee.
Listen to the podcast to delve deep into the challenges and breakthroughs of making digital solutions common practice in elections!
|Oct 14, 2020|
What should governments do to secure their national cyber space?
Much as in the fight against Covid-19, prevention proves to be a key determinant of our safety on the internet. However, deliberate threats to both citizens and organisations still hide just around the corner. Despite our individual care and attention towards cyber behaviours, malicious actors might intentionally try to hijack personal data or information systems.
As a discipline, cyber security taps into the gaps left uncovered by ordinary cyber hygiene – cybercrime, or the protection of critical cyber infrastructure. Consequently, governments must provide protection against such threats as a way to shelter the public good online, letting citizens and businesses sleep well at night with regard to their internet assets.
Raul Rikk, National Cyber Security Policy Director at Estonia’s Government CIO office, speaks of what defines the role of government in ensuring cybersecurity for everyone.
|Oct 07, 2020|
Podcast: Assessing digital maturity for effective e-government roadmaps
Where do we come from? Where do we stand? And where to go from here? Though the feeling might be that of a high-school psychology blog, there is no existentialism in these questions – at least in the current case. In order to formulate with efficacy digital transformation roadmaps for governments, policy makers must first understand the digital maturity of their own institutional environment.
Linnar Viik, Programme Director of Smart Governance, presents here a government digital maturity assessment. As a stepping stone towards conscious e-governance development, the analysis works as a tool to identify bottlenecks and opportunities in moving towards a digital process management. Tune in and find out how does it work!
|Sep 30, 2020|
Legal obstacles to e-government (that don’t exist)
To many, the road to e-governance may seem rocky. Not only during some client meetings, but also in seminars and just conversations in general, an age-old question is often brought up: “Digitalization, okay, great. But there are too many legal obstacles to implement it in our country.” Today, we get this one off the board too.
Katrin Nyman-Metcalf, Senior Expert on Legal Framework at e-Governance Academy, addresses the legal obstacles to e-government that, as it turns out, basically do not exist. Easier said than done?
|Sep 23, 2020|
How to boost your country's digital transformation remotely
Are you interested in starting your country's digital transformation despite the pandemic? Wondering where you should begin? Listen to our new episode of the Digital Government podcast where Annela Kiirats, Programme Director of e-Governance Training explains the benefits of the e-governance training group courses, offline and online, where all team members are included.
|Sep 16, 2020|
The magic behind e-participation
In this podcast, Kristina Reinsalu, e-democracy programme director, sheds some light on e-participation. She explains what makes ‘e-participation’ similar to ‘participation’ and why they differ. The use of ICT-solutions in decision-making processes is more and more popular in the world, but does it motivate people to participate more and are they heard by the government? She shares examples of various countries on how to make people’s engagement in decision-making processes more efficient and enjoyable for both citizens and officials.
As the UN e-Government Survey 2020 was recently published, Kristina digs through the e-participation rankings and explains what the survey measures. You will hear why the countries at the top have reached these positions and what the Estonian government has done differently to be ranked first in e-participation. Additionally, you’ll be aware of why there are only European, Asian and North-American countries at the top, but no African or South American countries. Does the ranking describe the local reality truthfully?
And as the cherry on top, Kristina lists e-participation best practices from Finland, Spain, USA and the UK.
Tune in and find out why they are worthy to be followed by your government!
|Sep 09, 2020|
Ukraine's digital transformation: successes & setbacks
eGA's Digital Government Podcast is focusing today on Ukraine’s digital developments. Linnar Viik and Hannes Astok shed some light on the latest digital developments and challenges in one of Europe's biggest countries. In the last few years, Ukraine’s government has endeavoured incessantly to detach itself from paper-based procedures, to enable and provide e-services, and to reduce corruption with the help of IT-solutions and of the secure data exchange platform 'Trembita'.
|Sep 02, 2020|
What makes us worry and what makes us happy reading the latest DESI report
Hannes Astok and Linnar Viik continue examining the DESI - the Digital Economy and Society Index. This time they focus on how citizens use internet services, how businesses are moving towards digital, and on the development of e-government in different European countries. They look behind the numbers and explain where EU's national governments have succeeded and where they have failed.
|Aug 26, 2020|
A deeper dive into digital skills and connectivity of EU countries
There are many ways to measure the progress and impact of digital transformation in societies. Today, Hannes Astok and Linnar Viik make a deeper dive into DESI - the Digital Economy and Society Index. They look behind the numbers and explain where EU's national governments have succeeded and where they have failed. In this episode, they focus on digital skills and connectivity in EU countries. Moreover, Linnar explains what the European digital paradox is. Tune in to find out!
|Aug 18, 2020|
The world's best driver of digital transformation
In today's episode, Hannes Astok and Linnar Viik shed light on the world's best driver of digital transformation - the COVID19 pandemic. They talk about the main obstacles in the way of epic digital transformation in many countries. We know that paper-based public services are practically useless when whole countries are shut down because of the pandemic. Why does it require governments so much effort to start providing public services online? How can governments build on the momentum?
|Aug 12, 2020|
A Brief History of E-government (4 decades)
In this week's intro episode Hannes Astok and Linnar Viik take you through the last four decades that shaped Estonian e-governance, share flashbacks about the early years and take a peek into the future.
Tune in every Wednesday to hear our experts' insights and worldwide examples on how digital technology could benefit every society.
|Aug 05, 2020|