Digital Communication Network begins the series of publications on Digital Challenges in the Time of COVID-19 Crisis.
Research Paper by Natalie Gryvnyak
Digitization processes in Ukraine and their development during Covid-19
The effect on the working market saw digitization processes speed up due to the pandemic lockdown. One of the Ukrainian goals over the last few years was the development and spread of national digitalization both in the private business and government sectors. In 2019, the new President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy had declared an initiative to create “The country in the smartphone” program, with the aim to create the Ministry of Digital Transformation, which was opened at the end of 2019. The new ministry initiated programs in the realms of education, government services, career and employment support and the development of business initiatives. All those programs support the increasing need for digital literacy, and business and the government digital needs have merged to best provide services to the public that are needed because of the impact of Covid-19. Aleksandr Bornyakov, Deputy Minister of IT development in the Ministry of Digital Transformations sees Coronavirus as a positive impact on the digitisation processes not only for businesses but also for government institutions to change the daily habits of Ukrainians:
“We have online court hearings that were unimaginable before, we have installed an electronic management system between institutions that provides the possibility to use my electronic signature to sign documents outside of the office or abroad. Paper documents have been changed to digital. All of that will be available after the lockdown. A good example of how digitalisation in the government affects the daily habits of people is the employment agencies. Before applicants had to go and fill in the documents manually. No one actually took care of this. But, recently people understood that people can do this online. Right now since there is an increase of applicants, we have a Diya app — you can apply online if you are looking for a job. You don’t have to do anything else. We have created a form that guides you through the process, which is the most advanced that I have seen anywhere in the world.”
Interview with Aleksandr Bornyakov
An app mentioned “Diia”- was launched in early February. It is supposed to be the channel of digital communication between the government and the country’s citizens by combining all of the digital documents. Within a week, it had been installed by more than one million Ukrainians and for a while the app was leading the app download charts. For the moment, the “Diia” app offers storage of digital driving licenses, ID for domestic flights, Digital passports; possibilities to open private businesses and making a court claim. During the Covid-19 outbreak, the app creators added mailing lists with information about virus spread, and specialized Push messages with government decisions and recommendations.