Digitization is the present and the future, considering Albania’s reforms and progress in this direction, the faster countries digitize their public services, the better and easier it is for citizens to receive them. This form also reduces corruption.
This was the main conclusion of civil society organizations in the regional dialogue about the Digital Agenda in Tirana, with a focus on the challenges, capacities, and readiness of the institutions for online services. The event was organized by the Metamorphosis Foundation in cooperation with the “Mjaft” (Enough) movement from Albania, within the framework of the project “Increasing civic engagement in the Digital Agenda – ICEDA”, reports Portalb.mk.
The digital revolution in Albania, which started in 2013, is one of the few reforms that are going well, but which were not at all easy for the institutions and civil organizations, emphasized Romina Kostani, director for innovation of the government’s IPA programs from the National Agency, in her presentation for the information society.
She says that the result itself shows that the country has made progress in this direction, considering the fact that in 2013 Albania had only 14 electronic services, while today there are 1,225. According to her, this kind of result is achieved when the leaders are committed to working in that direction.
“The main driver of the digital transformation was the prime minister himself; he was very interested in digitization everywhere in the public administration, and this is important because it is the leaders who actually lead the digital transformation,” said Kostani.
Albania has so far digitized 95% of public services, with 27 million online applications as of 2017.
Kostani emphasized the optimization in the ratio of time versus costs for digitization, whereby only for the period 2020-2022, 9 million euros and 990 years of waiting in line were saved, taking as a benchmark 15 minutes of waiting for a citizen to receive a service.
Albania also created the Digital Agenda for the period 2022-26, which costs approximately 250 million euros and is based on four pillars: digital governance, digital business, digital citizens, and also digital education and digital skills.
However, as Kostani emphasized, the challenge in this direction continues, so we are constantly working – there are many cyber-attacks, but we still react in time.
The participants and partner organizations shared the experiences of their countries and emphasized that through such events and discussions the best practices can be transferred to the countries of the region, and we can all move forward towards digitization and the future.
They also emphasized the importance of involving citizens in the policy-making process in the digital sphere.
From North Macedonia, Mila Josifovska – Danilovska from the Metamorfosis Foundation, Fisnik Xhelili from Portalb.mk, Kristina Petrovska from the Directorate for the Management of Registers and Liliana Jonoski from the Rural Coalition participated in the discussion.
The event served as a space for discussion about the electronic public services offered in the Western Balkans region, the challenges for a full transition from counters to providing online services, and the capacities, readiness and practice of public institutions to provide online public services.
The project “Increasing civic engagement in the digital agenda – ICEDA” is implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation (North Macedonia), the e-Governance Academy (Estonia), and the Movement Mjaft! (Dosta) (Albania), Partners for Democratic Change (Serbia), NGO 35mm (Montenegro) and ODK – Open Data Kosovo (Kosovo). The project is implemented with the financial support of the European Union.
Link to the original article: https://meta.mk/konferencija-na-iceda-mora-da-se-zabrza-procesot-na-digitalizacija-na-javnite-uslugi/