eGovernment Working Group
We are working towards digitally transformed governments for the benefit of our citizens and businesses
Digitalization is the core driver for achieving more efficient and widely available public services for citizens and businesses. It inevitably changes the way society functions.
We in eGovernment Working Group support digitalization among Western Balkan governments by e-services developments, focusing on open data and new IT technologies usage. Also, we support the development of electronic and informative services which improve the accessibility of information and raise awareness about the public services and procedures as well as the importance of the cybersecurity.
eGovernment Working Group, composed of senior professionals, decision-makers and experts, is devoted to facilitating regional cooperation by building trust and collaboration among the WB governments and end-users. We are focusing on the process of transition of our beneficiaries from Information Society to Digital Society through eGovernment development.
To provide high-quality services, we rely on our prominent partners from Academia, CSOs, the Business sector as well as other organizations such as UNDESA / UNPAN, UNDP, OECD, EBRD, World Bank, Open Contracting Partnership, RCC, etc.
Through various networking events, seasonal schools and developing regional research analysis, we support WB governments to increase their internal capacities and contribute to the digital transformation of public administration and public services.
Also, we develop research documents which include key findings and valuable recommendations for the formulation of the public service digitalization in the WB governments. Among many prominent studies, we emphasize Comparative Study on Service Delivery as well as From E - to Open Government, Abuse of IT for Corruption, E-Participation Guidelines developed based on global trends and those relevant at the EU level. Those studies include activities related to building capacities in WB countries to improve open data.
Ever since we had started a collaboration with the Open Governments Partnership (OGP) in 2016, we have devoted to exploring and exchanging ideas on how to make the WB governments more responsive, more open and inclusive. The emphasis of the OGP is on the active participation of citizens and CSO (Civil Society Organizations) in the decision-making processes. In other words, it is all about putting people first and transforming the governance systems based on the principles of openness, accountability and transparency. The OGP brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more responsive and accountable. We have organized many activities for enabling close cooperation with international key players.
One of the last consultative processes in 2019 reconfirmed that open data remains one of the priorities in the region. Hence, we develop the Zero Open Data Guidelines to offer the national administrations coherent definitions, standards and guidelines for Open Data, customized to the needs of the Western Balkans region. This Guideline is a precondition for further Open Data development on the national and possibly regional level.
It emphasizes the comparative review of the current state of affairs in our member countries: an overview of the policy and legal framework, national action plans for opening the public data, implemented technical solutions for national Open data portal, examples of the apps and systems being developed on the open data infrastructure. Also, it provides an overview of the knowledge and practices in the domain of use of open data in the region and operational support for the creation of comparable open data initiatives on the national levels.
In September 2019, we organized The Seasonal School, which focused on Digital Transformation and gathered senior public servants responsible for Public Administration, Human Resource Management, eGovernment, Quality Management, and Policy Development. The main goals of the School were to improve knowledge and professional skills of participants who are exposed to the process of so-called "T" profile design and who will become familiar with Agile process and product leadership and management, lean development, learning and growth mindset, exploration, experimentation and codification with the prototyping process.
Seasonal School on Rapid Innovation Lab 2020 aimed to provide to the Western Balkan Public Administration teams meet and connect online, collaborate across silos, share ideas, and discuss current and future issues public administration and to tackle in particularly in the extraordinary situations. Seasonal School particular emphasis gave to the following modules and topics: StrengthsFinder, Human Ware, Human-Centered Change Management, Agile, Iterative Methodologies&Mindset, Product&Quality Management, Resilience&Wellbeing, Remote teams, Crisis Communication, Data Science&Journalism.
As a unique response to the Covid-19, our Working group has initiated the COVID-19 Western Balkans Digital Collaborative Platform – linkovati stranicu kad se postavi to support WB governments in overcoming detected challenges caused by the pandemic by providing new ways of convening, talking and learning. We brought together WB digital service teams to share, learn from and support one another during the pandemic, and finally to use the Digital Collaborative Platform as connective tissue between the WB countries, USA, and our European partners. As a response to detected needs, we have summarized forms of interventions such as coaching, mentoring, webinars, in-country supports and hackathons that we will organize together with our prominent partners such as CHHS, OECD/SIGMA, RCC, UNDP, etc. inclusively and holistically.
In July 2020ReSPA& OECD/SIGMA jointly initiated Public Administration Awards 2020 in the Western Balkans, aspiring to highlight the most effective and efficient practices among the Western Balkans governments. Aimed to motivate the Western Balkans governance initiatives which demonstrate adaptability and successful responses to COVID-19 crisis to apply, PAA2020 highlight government efforts that advance, promote and anchor innovative, effective, inclusive and adaptable tools and systems in the Western Balkans public administrations to deal with extraordinary situations.
Being aware of the importance of the digitalization of public services, we will continue to have a strong intermediate role among the WB governments by providing innovative forms of intervention and exchange of know-how.