The US hopes to replicate the success of Ukraine’s Diia e-government program in other countries, USAID Administrator Samantha Power said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, according to Axios.
Ukraine launched the Diia app in 2020 to allow citizens to access identity documents, register businesses and receive various government services from their smartphones. Since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, the app has been expanded to include additional tools, such as reporting damage from Russian strikes.
As of last month, the latest version of the mobile app was used by nearly 18.5 million people — more than half of the adult population.
Power also reported that USAID provided funding to the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine to develop Diia and improve cyber security, and also allocated another $8.5 million to expand services during the war.
Ukraine is ready to share its approach and technologies with other countries, and USAID plans to start discussions with countries about potentially using Diia as a template for creating their own applications, Power added.
Samantha Power sees the project as part of a broader effort to help democratic reformers around the world, and says countries will be selected accordingly:
“We want to look at the bright spots, at the countries that are committed to transparency and an anti-corruption agenda, that are bucking the global trends,” Power said.
She noted that the reformist government of Moldova has already expressed interest in the Ukrainian approach to e-governance.
Samantha Power also hopes to partner with countries in the Global South. Given the current economic hurdles, she said, even leaders working to end corruption and improve governance can find it difficult to improve the lives of their citizens. An app that allows citizens to pay taxes or obtain birth certificates without waiting in line for hours could be one of the tangible improvements, she believes.
Samantha Power noted that the project is at an initial stage. $650,000 has now been allocated to carry out feasibility studies in countries that express interest, including on factors such as smartphone penetration and regulatory issues.