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eGovernance and ICT building blocks
How can technological standards be used to implement digital DC services more intelligently and efficiently?
Numerous citizens’ services and public administration processes, such as contract awards, patient files, agricultural market information systems, passwords, and the billing of health payments and utilities, cause an enormous volume of administrative IT work. Despite limited time and resources, however, sustainable implementation of digital projects in DC must have top priority. This sustainability of ICT services can be identified and exploited above all through synergies between departments, regions, disciplines and sectors.
What is often lacking in public sector development is a blueprint to guide the design of digital solutions. Only with this orientation aid can digital solutions be applied in a context-appropriate and cross-sectoral manner.
Following the Digital Investment Framework of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), we aim to identify (minimum) standards for technology-based services. This should enable our partners to push ahead with the digitalisation of public (DC) services across sector and country boundaries.
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Promotion of ICT building blocks
Together with the pan-African technology initiative Smart Africa, the BMZ is promoting a national approach to support the member states in developing effective, scalable, technology-based services (so-called ICT building blocks). Examples of concrete ICT building blocks include electronic registers, authentication and payment services or digital learning platforms. Each of these building blocks can be used variably in applications for different sectors. For example, a digital learning platform can be used to teach digital skills to schoolchildren or to inform farmers about new fertilisers. The harmonisation of digital DC service sharing makes it possible to reduce the costs of ICT services in the long term by means of a few standard technological applications. ICT building blocks thus directly promote the goals for sustainable development (SDGs).
Through our cooperation with Smart Africa, we promote the harmonization of standards for the most important ICT building blocks to make citizen services and administrative systems in developing countries safer, more citizen-oriented, cheaper and more integrated. In order to further advance the concretization and applicability, concrete project approaches with Smart Africa are being examined. Sustainable development of countries increasingly depends on their innovative use of ICT services. These digital services make existing programmes more effective and scalable and contribute to better provision for the population.
BMZ plans to support the broad use of ICT building blocks in four areas. This is intended to contribute to the approximation of technical standards in development cooperation:
In establishing ICT building blocks, the Digital Principles are also an important guideline for achieving a sustainable impact of technology-based services and reducing the obvious risks, such as interference with privacy and individual civil rights.