Developing a National Policy for Introducing IT in the Work of the
Government of Ukraine
Ukraine faces great challenges in the rapid introduction of an “information
society” and in building on the achievements and leaving behind the outmoded
ideals of industrialisation. Along this path, Ukraine has experienced great
difficulty in transforming its post-industrial society, despite its great human,
scientific, and institutional potential, in the area of information technologies
(ІТ). So far, national policy in this area has been based on the old,
sector-oriented divisions of the economy that were relevant to the industrial
society model. The continued reliance on this old institutional structure has
eased the pressure on inefficient sectors and redistributed limited social
resources to their benefit. At the same time, IT sectors have not been
sufficiently represented in the process of developing state policy. Moreover,
policymaking mechanisms do not take into consideration public participation in
the policy process that could take advantage of information technologies.
As a result, only about 370,000 Ukrainians (0.8% of the population) have
constant access to the Internet, according to the State Statistics Committee; by
contrast, according to the International Union for Electronic Telecommunications
(МСЕ), this figure in Poland is 7%. МСЕ also states that in Ukraine there are
only 7 web-hosts per 10,000 population, while there are 22 in Russia, 88 in
Poland, and 248 in Germany.
Modern communications (first of all the Internet) can potentially play an
important role as an institution of Ukrainian civil society by (1) providing
Ukraine’s citizens with better access to information, (2) giving them additional
possibilities of free public expression and interaction, and (3) facilitating
their participation in the public policy process by making the work of
government more transparent.
According to the President’s Address to the Verkhovna Rada “On the domestic
and international situation of Ukraine in 2000”, Ukraine has established 62
servers, which are used to inform citizens about the activity of government
agencies. Among those with their own web-pages are the Administration of the
President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada, and the Cabinet of Ministers, the
Council for National Security and Defence, the Higher Court of Arbitration, and
11 ministries, 17 state committees and other central executive government
bodies, and 6 oblast and 10 municipal and raion state administrations.
During the last year several improvements have been made, among them:
- the Cabinet of Ministers has started to publish an agenda of its meetings
beforehand, making the work of the government more transparent (http://www.kmu.gov.ua).
- an open discussion of the Tax Code drafts has been launched on the
web-site supported by the Cabinet of Ministers (http://www.tax.com.ua).
However, the information content on these sites often does not correspond to
the needs of users, and feedback mechanisms are weak. Moreover, government
bodies do not, in fact, use the Internet to provide any of their services, or to
involve citizens in the process of developing policy. Actually, the problem is
not so much in the absence of funding to ensure the technical equipment for such
work; rather, the old totalitarian procedures and means of communication of
government bodies are incompatible with a democratic informational society.
The main problems that hinder the growth of Internet usage in Ukraine are:
- relatively low levels of personal incomes;
- technical ignorance of many citizens, caused by inadequate levels of
education in the area of computers and Internet usage;
- lack of legislative acts necessary for development of e-commerce and
e-government (especially a law on electronic signatures).
Nevertheless, the Ukrainian share in the Internet is increasing quickly, with
the number of hosts increasing by 29% in 2000, while revenues from ISP services
jumped by 76% compared to 1999, making up 2.1% of all revenues from telecoms
services (1.6% in 1999). According to the State Statistics Committee, as of the
start of 2001 information resources in Ukraine were offered on 9,268
web-servers, while at the start of 1999 the number of servers did not exceed
This dynamic testifies that even in the absence of a comprehensive state
policy on developing an information society, the attractiveness of the market
combined with increasing demand and existing human resources potential are
promoting the rapid development of ІТ in Ukraine. Such favourable conditions
should be supported by a state policy directed at transforming Ukraine from an
industrial to an informational society.
The aim of the project is to increase the effectiveness and transparency of
government activity by introducing ІТ in its work, which can become a modern
informational and technological foundation for the administrative reforms being
carried out in Ukraine.
Using modern ІТ in the public administration system should ensure public
access to government bodies and their participation in policymaking, as well as
being able to receive required information and services. In turn, this will
promote improvement of the investment climate, as well as increased flow of
capital from domestic and foreign sources into the Ukrainian economy.
- Developed recommendations on a comprehensive policy for “informatisation”
(automation) of Ukrainian society and introduction of ІТ in the work of the
- Development of the capacity of government bodies to more effectively carry
out their functions, using modern IT;
- Informing Ukrainian politicians, experts, and the public about various
alternatives for social development, the costs and benefits of transforming
Ukraine into an informational society, and international experience in similar
- Report on the research on the strategy for achieving the “informatisation”
of Ukrainian society (in the form of a White Paper).
- A pool of specialists who are interested in the development and
introduction of state policy on transforming Ukraine into an informational
- Discussion of various alternatives for the “informatisation” strategy for
society, and distributing the results of the research to all interested
parties and the public at large.
During the project we plan to apply the most effective and tested approaches
to analysing state policy:
- determining social goals in the sphere of state policy;
- defining the problems hindering the achievement of these goals;
- prioritisation of the problems;
- defining decision alternatives;
- analysis of the consequences, plusses, and minuses of each option.
Project implementation will be based on the following principles:
- studying the interests and positions of all interested parties;
- representing all positions and analysing them in the research
- independence of the research results.
We plan on dividing the project into the following stages:
- creating a group of experts;
- conducting preliminary research;
- organising a seminar for all interested parties and taking into account
their proposals in the final report;
- supplementary analysis and report preparation;
- presentation of the report;
- preparation of proposals on introducing the recommendations, applying the
methods of public policy.
- determining sources of information
- determining the pool of experts, and talks with them
- developing the general framework for the research.
- determining the analytical approach which will take into account existing
knowledge gaps and establishing spheres for making strategic recommendations;
- determining the strategic goals for the state policy on the
“informatisation” of society and the key problems hinder the achievement of
- studying international and regional experience; resolving problems and
achieving the aims of the policy;
- collecting and analysing information—working with sources;
- collecting and analysing information—interviews with experts;
- processing the materials received and preparing a preliminary report.
- define interested parties;
- distribute preliminary report among interested parties;
- present preliminary report;
- discuss specific questions in working groups;
- collect information for the final report.
Preparation of report on research results
- take into account the results of the expert seminar;
- develop and analyse possible consequences of strategy options for
informatisation of Ukrainian society; compile recommendations;
- obtain commentary on specific questions from interested parties;
- prepare final version of the final report and publish it.
Dissemination of final report
- prepare a distribution list and disseminate the report;
- conduct a presentation seminar on the final report, inviting the press and
- post the report on a web-page.
Preparation of proposals on implementing recommendations
- analyse reaction to the report;
- develop proposals on implementing recommendations, using public policy
- prepare a plan for informing the public at large and interested parties on
the informatisation strategy for Ukrainian society.
Overall duration of the project
The overall term for all project stages will be 10 months.
Key questions to be answered in the report (preliminary view)
- How to increase competition in the ISP market
- What are the legal and regulatory barriers for conducting business using
- How to apply national ІТ regulations and e-business to international
standards being currently developed for Ukraine
- How to increase public access to the Internet at home, at the workplace,
and within communities
- How to introduce educational programmes on information and communications
technologies in the educational system and training programmes to requalify
- How to ensure information security in networks
- How to increase the motivation of people to use the Internet to satisfy
their social and cultural needs
- How to assist small business to use the potential of ІТ and the Internet
- How to promote the availability of the greatest scope of government
services via the Internet
- How to liberalise access as much as possible to state information via the
- How to conduct government procurement and tenders using the Internet
- How to assure knowledge and information exchange between government
agencies by using ІТ and the Internet
- How to increase the participation of citizens in democratic procedures
(e.g., elections) and in developing state policy using the Internet
- How to create and introduce a reliable system for identifying persons
while providing government services in the Internet and exchanging information
within the government
- How the state can promote increasing the informational content of the
Ukrainian segment of the Internet network
- How to introduce a strategy for transforming Ukraine into an information
- How to co-ordinate efforts of central and local government bodies in the
informatisation of society
- Description of the nationwide campaign for informatisation of Ukrainian
society, who is to finance and organise it, and how to assess its
- How to measure the informatisation of society and its consequences for
prosperity and satisfying social demands of citizens, and how to assure the
veracity of these indicators.
Recently the President of Ukraine signed a decree establishing a working
group whose objectives include:
- setting up mechanisms for government bodies to provide informational and
other services, primarily those concerning the realisation of their
constitutional rights and satisfying their needs and interests;
- determining effective mechanisms for involving the public in processes of
forming and implementing state policy, preparing and adopting draft laws and
other normative-legal acts and decisions of government bodies, as well as
feedback on the work of said bodies on implementing adopted decisions;
- providing support on creating and developing informational and consulting
centres in government bodies, and also a national component in the global
Internet network, ensuring broad access to this network in Ukraine.
During the research conducted for this project, I plan to work in close
contact with the members of this working group, as well as with the IT
Department of the State Committee for Communications and Automation, in order to
ensure that the results of the research can be directly submitted to the
officers responsible for developing policy in this area.