Building a digital society by facilitating citizen interaction with the state using electronic solutions leading to higher work productivity
- e-Estonia¹ refers to a movement by the Government of Estonia to facilitate citizen interactions with the state through the use of electronic solutions.
- Estonia offers 600 e-services to its citizens and 2,400 to businesses, moving functions to an online environment, cutting down on bureaucratic red tape and making administrations work more effectively (e.g. taxes take less than an hour to file).
- In 2000, the government declared internet access to be a human right.
- To grow the digital economy, attract new investment and connect with new businesses, Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency – a transnational digital identity available to anyone interested in establishing and administering a location-independent business online.
- There are currently over 1500 e-Residents from 73 countries around the world.
- Striving towards an open and transparent government, Estonians have complete control over their personal data.
- By 1997, 97% of Estonian schools were online and in 2000, cabinet meetings went paperless.
- By 2002, the government had built a free Wi-Fi network that covered most of the populated areas and by 2007, Estonia had introduced evoting.
- In 2012, 94% of the country’s tax returns were being made online, taking users an average of five minutes to fill in the sections that had not been automatically completed, between the tax office and local banks.
- e-Estonia is made possible due to it’s infrastructure. Instead of developing a central system, Estonia created an open, decentralized system.
- X-Road that links together various services and databases using high standards of encryption.
- e-Estonia’s flexible component systems allows the government to add e-services in the future, enabling government systems to grow organically.
e-Estonia is one of more than 100 case studies identified as part of the World Economic Forum’s Digital Transformation of Industries initiative. An overview of the DTI program can be found here.
1. Source: e-Estonia, Wired, The Economist, WEF/Accenture Analysis