On October 21-27, the representatives of 14 Ukrainian cities visited Estonia within the frames of a study tour organized by PLEDDG. The participants had an opportunity to get familiar with specific features of the implemented e-governance reform and special software aimed at optimization of local governance processes and improvement of the administrative services provision quality.

Ukrainian delegation had a series of meetings with Minister of Public Administration, Mr. Jaak Aab, mayors of Estonian cities, and shared experience with specialists from city councils and relevant departments.

– E-governance implementation is a vitally important reform that allows to improve the work of public bodies and local authorities as well as to simplify the state-citizens-business interaction through transition to a whole new level of public services provision. Estonia is a prominent example of a country which has managed to implement informatization of public and municipal administration and services efficiently at all levels. An insight into the experience of this country will help us to have a better understanding of such process and initiate the implementation of e-governance fundamentals in Ukrainian cities considering our local context. Moreover, the study tour gave the participants an opportunity to evaluate the importance of e-governance in terms of open governance support at all levels, – Ihor Lepyoshkin, Senior Expert, Head of Experts Group, commented on the study tour results.

The process of receiving public services in Ukraine is closely intertwined with the phenomenon of bureaucracy. The meeting with Deputy Mayor of Tartu, Mr. Madis Lepajõe demonstrated that introduction of the e-services can solve this problem and simplify management in cities.

The sphere of e-services is an important area of e-governance that affects every citizen. The application of e-solutions in this sector was discussed on the meetings with Mayor of Viljandi, Mr. Madis Timpson, and Chairman of the Viljandi Rural Municipality Council (an administrative territory in Estonia), Mr. Kaupo Kase.

During the meetings with the Head of Viljandi Police Station, Mr. Margus Sass, and Deputy Head of Tartu Service Bureau, Mr. Lembit Sokk, the Ukrainian delegates got familiar with the peculiarities of identity documents application process, latest solutions for e-registrations of vehicle and the process of driving license issuance.

Also, Ukrainian delegates had an opportunity to see the benefits of informatization in the sphere of professional education during the meeting with Chairman of Põhja-Sakala Municipal Council and Olustvere School of Service and Rural Economics director, Mr. Arnold Pastak.

While visiting Cleveron company, a well-known distributor and leader in relevant software and hardware development, the parties discussed innovations in retail sector.

The study tour was an opportunity for the representatives of Ukrainian cities to develop their knowledge about the best practices of e-governance and e-services and think over the adaptation of such instruments to the Ukrainian context.

A feedback from study tour participants:

– Plenty of interesting things can be said about Estonia: advanced e-technologies, preservation of cultural and historical heritage, entrepreneurship development for exporting goods and services to global markets, renovation of buildings, strong education system … But how much time did it take Estonians, and what price did they pay for this! It took them more than 10 years to reform the system. And what we’ve been most impressed with is their responsible attitude to everything. They have managed to stand together to build a better future, they have changed their mindset and succeeded!, – Tetiana Yurchenko, Poltava Deputy Mayor, said.
– A small country with giant opportunities for its citizens. This was our trip expectations that came true. Of course, it is not only digital system that made Estonia one of the most comfortable European countries. This excellently organized tour (thanks to PLEDDG and the host country) gave us a chance to see and “touch” everything: from the capital to the smallest village, from administrative reform to peripheral systems, – Ihor Kudria, First Deputy Mayor, Energodar City Council, said.
– Innovative e-solutions are applied everywhere. We can see how they managed to simplify their citizens’ life! The small seaport town Pärnu showed us programs and instruments used for the improvement of management and provision of high-quality public services. But most importantly is their will to improve citizens’ lives!, – Tetyana Pecherytsya, Director of the Department Center of Administrative Services in Kremenchuk, noted.