Center of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR), Islamabad organized a virtual conference on Digital Governance, titled “Reimagining the Government in the Digital Age”

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Center of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR), Islamabad organized a virtual conference on Digital Governance today, titled “Reimagining the Government in the Digital Age”. The panelist of the webinar included two experts on digital governance, namely Prof. Robert Krimmer and Mohamed J Sear, and Advisor of COPAIR Mr. Khalid Latif. A number of people from different walks of life, such as human rights advocates, digital transformation leaders, academia, and students from across the country joined the riveting discussion. The one-and-a-half-long session was organized to gather insights about digital governance, to highlight the opportunities and challenges, and further the agenda of digitalization of public services in Pakistan.

Awais Siddique, a Research Associate of COPAIR, was the moderator of the session and after the introduction of speakers, he set the baseline of the webinar by sharing few thought-provoking statistics about Digital Governance in Pakistan in comparison to the developments happening across the globe.

Prof. Dr. Robert Krimmer was the first speaker of the session and he holds the ERA-Chair Full Professorship of e-Governance within Skytte Institute at the University of Tartu in Estonia. While sharing the experiences and lessons of Estonia, which is a developing nation is a role model for the digital transformation of government services for the world, he told the audience about digital identity, internet voting, e-residence, and other such programs of Estonia’s digital government. He shared six steps, following Estonia’s digital transformation model, namely, developing locally; cleaning up the administration; making clear identification; data protection; providing citizens with means to enforce it, and providing a data integration layer to allow real flushing and dynamic digital government.

Mohammed J Sear, a Digital Government & Public Sector Consulting Leader, was the second speaker of the session who shared his shrewd insight on digital governance while emphasizing the case of Pakistan. He was of the view that despite its efforts, Pakistan’s standing in digital governance vis-à-vis other states has worsened and it is due to the fragmented and soiled approach, digital skill gap, lack of cybersecurity, data privacy and trust, and most importantly, the limited citizen participation. He said that we need to go beyond digitizing and make a paradigm shift by reimagining the role and model of government.

Approximately 200 people from Pakistan and abroad, including representatives of the public and private organizations and students attended the one and a half-hour-long session virtually.

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