Sarajevo, 12 June 2020 - The first online conference entitled “Governments in BiH on the Digital Transformation Journey” was held on 10-11 June, involving over 130 international and domestic experts and decision-makers at all levels of government who shared experiences in using new technologies in a response to COVID-19 and discussed opportunities for an accelerated enhancement of quality of public services and public administration.
The conference was organised by UNDP in BiH and the British Embassy aiming to provide space for dialogue and exchange of experiences and best practices and to encourage digitalisation of administration, the fostering of digital economy and encouragement of development of the information society. Over the past months, a leap forward has been made in the area of digitalisation and e-governance towards more efficient, inclusive and transparent administration and public services.
“We have gained many new knowledges and insights into certain opportunities for making a long-lasting change and reforms. In this difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have clearly seen that digital transformation is not only desirable but absolutely necessary for efficient and functional public sector. The crisis has only emphasized how important and inclusive digital services can be, especially for marginalised groups that are affected most”, said H.E. British Ambassador Matt Field.
“Our wish is to open a dialogue and exchange of knowledge among institutions at all levels of government and experts. We are satisfied, because during these two days the participants heard numerous examples from BiH about the significant digital transformation that has been successfully implemented just in a few weeks in the fields of education, public services and the functioning of public institutions. It is encouraging that despite the challenges of the pandemic, using technology and digital solutions proved to be simple and efficient”, said Steliana Nadera, Resident Representative of UNDP in BiH.
Exchange of knowledge and best practices is a step towards improving the current processes and systems and fast implementation of innovative solutions to assist society, administration and the economy in overcoming the current and future crises by using technology to find positive solutions.
“A change has begun but we are not anywhere close to reaching the goal. This process should be strategic, comprehensive and useful, led by the BiH authorities and implemented by public officials, that is, with support of your leaders”, H.E. British Ambassador Matt Field said.
The global experiences show that technology can significantly reduce the burden and costs of public service delivery. By using technological solutions, the UK Government optimised its performance and successfully responded to a 600% increase in public service requests during the pandemic.
“UNDP’s global approach promotes smart growth and the use of digital solutions to overcome crises. Together with the UK Embassy and other partners in BiH, we remain committed to providing support to all relevant and key institutions so that e-governance and e-services become part of our everyday life as soon as possible. I would like to invite all to work together on accelerated digital transformation”, Steliana Nadera, Resident Representative of UNDP in BiH, concluded.
In order to create a collaborative platform which will be used to discuss visions, experiences and solutions for a new generation of administration in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the establishment of a network of government representatives and digital transformation experts, as a joint initiative of UNDP and the British Embassy, was presented during the conference.
The conference “Governments in BiH on the Digital Transformation Journey” attracted over 130 participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, European countries, international institutions and PricewaterhouseCoopers as a partner in this process.