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8.2. Digital service design and delivery

Digital transformation offers huge opportunities for the design and organisation of public services and processes. Governments have seen rapid technological progress as central to their modernisation strategies but the significant benefits are in shifting the focus to designing and delivering user-driven services, i.e. approaches that understand users’ needs, engage with them throughout the design process, and promote continuous iteration and improvement (OECD, forthcoming). Being user-driven constitutes a critical element of digital government. Indeed, improving outcomes also helps increase accessibility, transparency, responsiveness, reliability and integrity of public governance.

A single, consolidated list of digital services provided by the public sector is an important step toward digital transformation. As the channels through which governments provide public services can often be multiple and diverse, the presence of a clear and complete overview helps prevent government services from becoming incoherent or fragmented. Taking steps to deliver this list digitally makes it easier for users to see and access all services. While these are widely implemented practices in OECD (82%) and OECD-EU (74%) countries, only half among the Western Balkans have this list in place, and only Albania makes this list available online. Performance data about these services is also important for informing ongoing improvement and Albania produces reports on a regular basis on the fully transactional digital services as an important element of the implementation of the national digital agenda. The report includes list of all the e-services and their related statistics, including on the user registration, usage by the public administration and by businesses and citizens, etc.

Governments have been equipping themselves with enabling frameworks for further integrating government organisations and data to provide coherent, proactive services in support of a full transition toward digital government. Ensuring interoperability in this way supports the development of digital solutions for cross-sector and cross-level public services. This is particularly important in the case of countries where cross-border public services are needed to support the flow of goods and people as is especially the case in the EU area, and the ongoing ISA2 Programme on digital interoperability provides evidence. All Western Balkans have common interoperability frameworks, base registries framework and shared ICT infrastructure in place. Other enabling frameworks that are widely observed in the region include common data architecture and shared services. Such enabling frameworks could bring significant efficiency benefits through standardisation, simplification of access and processes for users as well as through facilitating the design of the new services and monitoring.

Another basic yet fundamental enabler of public services is the implementation and use of digital identity systems. Four of the Western Balkans have indicated to make available a single digital identity system at the central level. In comparison, all OECD countries, except for Greece and Sweden, do so at the central level. These systems however are implemented with uneven penetration and usage rates. Robust digital identity systems enable trustworthy and reliable remote access to public services, and better management and exchange of information and data. Thus, governments need to ensure citizens’ access and facilitate the use in order to fully reap the benefits of these systems especially on effective and tailored service delivery.

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Methodology and definitions

Data were collected through the 2019 Survey for the Western Balkans on Digital Government. The survey was completed in June 2019. The data for Bosnia and Herzegovina, due to the complex constitutional setup, reflect the consolidated responses submitted by the State level, based on the individual responses received from the State level, the Entities and Brcko District. Data for OECD countries are derived from the 2019 OECD Survey on Digital Government

Further reading

OECD (forthcoming), Digital Government in Chile – A strategy for improving public service design and delivery, OECD Digital Government Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris.

European Commission (2018), “Measures in support of a Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans”, Commission staff working document, ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/swd_measures_in_support_of_a_digital_agenda_for_the_western_balkans.pdf

Figure notes

Data for Australia, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States are not available.

8.4. After the data collection in June 2019, North Macedonia launched the national e-services portal (www.uslugi.gov.mk) in December 2019, and Serbia’s new eGovernment portal (eUprava) became operational in February 2020 where this list is made available.

8.5. The data for Bosnia and Herzegovina comes from the state level. In 2016, the Council of Ministers adopted an operational plan for implementation of an interoperability framework for the country. In the same year, the government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina decided to implement the decision on the interoperability framework. The government of Brcko district accepted an interoperability framework of the country and implemented an interoperability information system, which is ready but not yet in use.

8.6. In the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the entity of Republika Srpska has a single digital identification system. In the case of North Macedonia, after the data collection in June 2019, the single digital identity system was recognised and is being used on the national e-services portal.

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8.4. Central list with all fully transactional digital services provided in the public sector, 2019
8.4. Central list with all fully transactional digital services provided in the public sector, 2019

Source: For data on the Western Balkans, OECD (2019), Survey for the Western Balkans on Digital Government; For data on OECD, OECD (2019), Survey on Digital Government.

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888934129562

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8.5. Enabling frameworks for digital government, 2019

 

Common interoperability framework

Base registries framework

Shared ICT infrastructure (e.g. shared data centres, networks)

Shared services (e.g. joint software development)

Support for the use of open source software

Common data architecture/infrastructure

Albania

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Kosovo

Montenegro

North Macedonia

Serbia

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Source: For data on the Western Balkans, OECD (2019), Survey for the Western Balkans on Digital Government; For data on OECD, OECD (2019), Survey on Digital Government.

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888934129581

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8.6. Use of single digital identity system at the central government level, 2019
8.6. Use of single digital identity system at the central government level, 2019

Source: For data on the Western Balkans, OECD (2019), Survey for the Western Balkans on Digital Government; For data on OECD, OECD (2019), Survey on Digital Government.

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888934129600

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