The United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine (UNDP Ukraine) has conducted the first comprehensive assessment of use of e-government tools by regional state administrations and local governments in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
The study assessed the prospects for reforming administrative and territorial governance. To this end, the analysis focused on the practices of regional state administrations, amalgamated territorial communities (ATC), and local self-government bodies that are to become ATC centres in the future.
Conducted in April and May 2018, the assessment was intended to quantify basic indicators of development of e-government in the region. It was equally important more broadly to draw the attention of the target authorities to e-government development. Therefore, the study was carried out in the first half of the year, in order that the officials responsible could shape their vision of e-government before programme documents were drafted for the next year.
The assessment covered six indicators:
· organizational capacity and technical infrastructure;
· the content of official websites;
· use of e-participation tools;
· access to public information (open data);
· access to administrative services in electronic form; and
· introduction of an electronic document management system.
The analysis revealed that most local self-government bodies in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts had no focal persons responsible for e-government development. Some target authorities included e-government development activities in some social and economic development programmes. However, in most cases no programme documents or regulations focused on development of e-government. This shows that local authorities do not have comprehensive strategies for e-government development.
The local self-government bodies in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts do not provide sufficient access to information through their websites. For example, most of them do not publish information on municipal property and land, minutes of local council commission meetings, and information about deputies.
The analysis revealed some issues with regard to the web content. For instance, 72 per cent of websites of the target local authorities in Donetsk Oblast did not have accessible versions for people with visual impairments, while half of the websites were not adapted for mobile devices. The situation in Luhansk Oblast was similar.
There are significant barriers to access to public information in the form of open data, and to providing administrative services in electronic form. Meanwhile, because of low use of electronic document management systems, paperless exchange of documents is not feasible for the time being.
The research revealed significant discrepancies between the practices of local authorities regarding the use of electronic tools. Some of the target authorities used comprehensive electronic document management systems, had introduced the option of cashless payment for public transport, developed electronic voting systems, and had broadcast meetings of the local council online. Meanwhile, not all local self-government bodies have websites or web pages.
At the time of this assessment, approximately a third of the target local authorities of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts had introduced or planned to introduce e-government tools at local level.
UNDP will use the results of the study to inform its further support to development of e-government in eastern Ukraine.
The detailed assessment results are available through the links below:
Donetsk Oblast (in Ukrainian)
Luhansk Oblast (in Ukrainian)
The study was conducted with the financial support of the European Union under the Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme.
The views expressed in this publication are solely those of its authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the international organizations that funded the study.