Friday, November 28, 2014

Electronic and Open Government Initiatives in Kyrgyzstan

The overview of the United Nations E-Government Survey 2014 shows that Kyrgyzstan is losing position in the global ranking of e-government - it came down to 101-th place, while in 2012 it was on the 99-th and in 2010 it was on the 91-th place. Political instability, lack of coordinated policy and funding constraints are the main obstacles for development of e-government in the Kyrgyz Republic.

In 2002, Kyrgyzstan adopted a National Strategy of "ICT for development" outlining main directions of development of e-government. Action Plan has been established and gets updated in order to implement the strategy. The National ICT Council under the Office of the Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic exists for the same reason. Due to the lack of a separate executive body that would coordinate activities for the implementation of e-government,  the work carried out on e-government is very fragmented and does not reach its goals. Donor organizations play a huge role in the development of e-government by providing financial investment and resources outside the state budget. These efforts have led to isolated initiatives and became non- complex and unstable.

According to the model by the Department of Economics and Social Affairs of the United Nations, there are 4 stages of development of e-government - 1) common information services, 2) advanced information services, 3) transaction services, and 4) network services. Kyrgyzstan has now reached the 2-nd stage of development - when the government websites offer extensive unilateral or basic bilateral electronic services. (Brimkulov and Baryktabasov, 2013).

However, on November 10, 2014 the Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic signed a program of implementation of e-governance for 2014-2017, with the main focus on the development of electronic public services. Also, the program notes the need of Kyrgyzstan in entering in the "Open Government Partnership" initiative that will give additional impetus to ensure transparency and improve relations in civil society.

The Open Government Partnership is a new, global, multi-stakeholder effort to improve governments. The OGP aims to secure concrete commitments of governments to drive open government reform and innovation at the country level, in an effort to stretch countries beyond their current baseline in the areas of transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement. The OGP was formally founded on September 20, 2011, with 8 founding governments. Since then the partnership has grown to 64 participating governments. More information is available on the web-site -

The new Action Plan on e-government indicates that Kyrgyzstan will have all necessary documents to enter the Open Government Partnership ready by end of 2015. This Action Plan was presented by the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan during the Forum on e-leadership and e-government, which was  recently (November 17-18, 2015) held in Kyrgyzstan with the support or World Bank, UNDP and Open Society Institute. This action plan will also focus on creating a list or e-services and web-site on open data. All these will increase participation and innovation for using new technologies in the public sector.

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