Estonia’s Tremendous Progress
It’s been 28 years since Estonia restored its status as a sovereign nation. In that time, it has made incredible leaps and bounds and is now considered a world leader in digital government services.
That’s a far cry from its humble beginnings following Soviet occupation when, in 1991, Estonia had little technology. Less than half its population even had a telephone line. But the country decided to focus on Information Technology and the Internet as the cornerstones of its new economy.
By 1998, every school in the country had Internet access. By 2000, the government declared Internet access to be a human right for its citizens, resulting in a spread to rural areas.
In the process, there was a focus on delivering government services via technology. As a result, 99% of public services are available to Estonian citizens as e-services.
E-Government in Estonia
As we’ve described previously, Estonia has a multitude of government services such as e-Tax, e-Banking and e-Business Register.
But it goes much farther than that:
Parents can register their new babies online from home.
Citizens can order prescriptions online.
The Department of Motor Vehicles and even City Hall can all be accessed online.
Parents can check on the progress of their children’s homework online.
There are a handful of life events that the country has deemed important enough that they require in-person transactions. That includes getting married, getting divorced, and transferring property but almost every other transaction offered by the government can be completed online.
The Journey Continues
And now Estonia is planning to go even farther. In fact, the example of registering a birth will eventually be done automatically. It won’t be long before that child will be registered automatically, and parents can include the name; the parents will automatically be eligible for maternity leave and child support, and a spot in kindergarten will be reserved for the child.
Citizens have developed trust in the system because they can access their own data, and they can view if any public or private institution has accessed it.
The government has also protected itself by having data “embassies” in other countries so that they can re-boot their system from elsewhere if there are any issues.
Open For Business
Information and communications continue to be important facets of Estonia’s economy. That should continue to grow as the government establishes an e-residency program. This means businesses can register in Estonia in order to operate in the European Union.
The advances being made by Estonia has resulted in it being named by Index Venture as tops in the world for business startup friendliness.
And it isn’t just business that’s happy with Estonia’s progress. Citizens are benefiting too. Government’s increased efficiency has helped build trust with their citizens, and it has also let to better governance. Estonia’s population of just over 1 million citizens is benefitting from the array of digital government solutions.
Vivvo, as a leading digital government enabler, can help governments achieve their digital transformation and achieve cost efficiencies. We focus on simplifying citizen access to online services and applications with a focus on usability, privacy and security. To schedule an in-depth discussion on your digital journey visit https://www.vivvo.com/contact/