How tech innovations have made Estonia an e-government leader (free PDF)

Estonia has earned a reputation as an e-government pioneer and leader. This ebook outlines the initiatives, successes, and setbacks that have made it a premier provider of digital governmental services.

From the ebook:

The European country of Estonia is steeped in history—it’s home to the best-preserved medieval capital in Northern Europe. But in the 21st century, Estonia is perhaps most famous for looking to the future, thanks to building an impressive system of e-government.

Estonia is among the elite group of countries in the highest echelons of the UN’s E-Government Development Index (EDGI), with its citizens and public servants able to access a wide range of services online using secure digital IDs, including making payments, accessing full health records, and internet voting.

Estonia has been building out its e-government since the mid-90s, not long after declaring independence from the Soviet Union. The program continues to make headlines with bold new digital initiatives, such as its e-residency program, which enables anyone living anywhere in the world to receive a government-issued digital ID and full access to Estonia’s public e-services.

Today, 99% of the public services are available online 24/7, 30% of Estonians use i-Voting, and the country estimates the reduced bureaucracy has saved 800 years of working time.

Estonia’s success in reinventing itself as an e-government powerhouse is testament to the work it did assembling the building blocks in the late 1990s and early 2000s, said Arthur Mickoleit, senior principal analyst at Gartner who specializes in digital government.

“Estonia really got the foundations right quite early in the process,” he said. “Whenever you look at modernizing an administration, providing digital government services, or just providing better services to citizens, you need to put several things in place, which they did early on.”

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