“WHY IS DIGITALIZATION IMPORTANT FOR NORTH MACEDONIA? DANILOVSKA: THE BENEFITS ARE ENORMOUS…” – KDPolitik.com
“The benefits of the electronic services, in contrast with waiting for them in the offices, for the citizens are numerous …” Josifovska Danilovska stresses.
Author: Enis Shaqiri
In the last few years, the digitalization and the digital transformation are among the main priorities of the government of the Republic of North Macedonia and the local self-government units. According to the study of Friedrich Naumann and Metamorphosis foundations (Analysis of e-services in municipalities iofthe Republic of North Macedonia), the vast majority of the beneficiaries of these services see big benefits from such a way of organizing and rendering services.
The study indicates that the requirements and the expectations of the citizens from the local self-government units in this regard are very important and highly prioritized.
Mila Josifovska-Danilovska, Program Manager for Social Accountability and Human Rights on Internet in the Metamorphosis Foundation for KDP stressed that nowdays digital technology is the main tool for building a bridge between the institutions and the citizens. She noted that through the e-governance, both transparency and efficiency of the public administration were secured, but also the accountability of the institutions before the citizens also improves.
”Digital technology is one of the most important tools for building a bridge between institutions and citizens, as well as for increasing efficient performance of state institutions and their accountability before the citizens. Through e-governance the transparency is secured by increasing the opportunities/channels for communication of the citizens with the institutions, thereby improving the efficiency of public administration and making the institutions more responsible to the public. Indeed, through the Internet, citizens would have greater participation in the political processes. Increased transparency implies more efficient access to information regarding the general operation of the public administration, to strategies, plans, budgets… and this is extremely remarkable since it essentially contributes to the prevention of corruption and accelerates trust in the institutions” – stressed Josifovska-Danilovska.
Today, digital transformation is imposed, above all, as citizen’s need. This process of digitalization ensures transparency, inclusion and openness, thereby fulfilling the prerequisites for good and efficient governance.
ACCORDING TO THE STATE STATISTICAL OFFICE, IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2022, 86.6% OF THE HOUSEHOLDS HAD ACCESS TO THE INTERNET AT HOME. IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2022, FROM THE GENERAL POPULATION IN THE AGE RANGE 15 – 74 YEARS, 88.3% USED INTERNET, WHILE 73.9% USED INTERNET SEVERAL TIMES PER DAY.
The process of development of e-governance on central and local level in North Macedonia (formerly “Macedonia”) started at the end of the 20th century, but more serious implementation followed after the drafting of the National Strategy on Information Society Development and the 2005 Action Plan of the Republic of Macedonia, as well as the established partnership with “Microsoft” which resulted with the creation of the portal www.uslugi.gov.mk
According to the research, service delivery on e-governance in North Macedonia is lower than the EU average achieved in 2010. This was due to the fact that the citizens very often did not have enough information about the e-services.
From the viewpoint of specific benefits, Josifovska-Danilovska claims that citizens profit from the digitalization process, because it means non-selective provision of public services, no queueing in front of offices, support for the so-called green economy, as well as skipping various bureaucratic processes. According to her, digital transformation in all areas and for all societal groups (with no exception) is an efficient facility for improving the welfare of the citizens.
”The benefits of the electronic services, in contrast with waiting for them in the offices, for the citizens are numerous – from saving time and avoiding various bureaucratic processes that takes the citizen from one office to another, to saving their internal budget, at least those costs of going from one to another institution and all the way to the health protection etc. In ideal circumstances, with well-established interoperability between institutions and with most sophisticated electronic services, citizens will need to spend only a few minutes to receive a given electronic service from the institutions instead of waiting for days, and in some cases, for weeks and months. Offering electronic services means greater transparency of public processes and leaves little space for corruption. Instead of citizens going from one office to the next dealing with civil servants and looking for someone to “get the job done quicker”, they will get the electronic service through a system that is the same for everyone and renders the service automatically”, said Josifovska-Danilovska.
The digital transformation enables local and central authorities to transform their working patterns, to create digital infrastructure and incite new and more efficient processes, to generate greater value and facilitate the new digital products and services, with the so-called e-services.
E-services implies more than just an active website – it implies the introduction of practical ICT solutions that facilitate access to services for citizens and their everyday life. Most importantly, once these solutions will be made possible and integrated, sustainability of their management and maintanence will be required.
Link to the original text: WHY IS DIGITALIZATION IMPORTANT IN THE RNM? DANILOVSKA: BENEFITS ARE ENORMOUS…
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