Thursday, December 1, 2022

United States

DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR COLEMAN: Well, thank you so much for having me. And it's wonderful to be here virtually with you. I'm sorry, I couldn't be there in person.

But let me just start out by recognizing, at the outset, remarkable resiliency that Ukraine has demonstrated over the last eight years. The entire country has stepped up to defend their home and their identity in the face of relentless and indiscriminate attacks. And I think it's a direct result of the strength, the spirit, and the pride of the Ukrainian people.

And as my Estonian colleague just mentioned, digital transformation happens. It's a process of change. And you saw that change begin in Ukraine really, with average citizens demanding reforms to root out corruption and enhanced transparency. And following the Maidan Revolution, the Ukrainian government responded with investments in digital government to make that possible.

Since 2016, the U.S. has supported Ukraine's digital transformation – supporting a portfolio of programs across health, and economic growth, and democracy sectors. Specifically, USAID has supported programs that encouraged decentralization to give citizens more say in local budget priorities. We've done an eHealth platform to provide increased transparency and accountability. Media programs to give a greater voice to journalists. Support for rational pricing of electricity, as well as targeted anti-corruption activity to support anti-corruption champions. So, it's been a range of programs across the board.

When President Zelenskyy took office in 2019, we began supporting the new Ministry of Digital Transformation, MDT, to create the DIIA platform, which has really been a groundbreaking way for citizens to engage with government and access critical services. And we've just heard from Deputy Minister Ionan, who has given a great list of things that people have been able to do with the DIIA platform. I would just add two more to her very extensive list, things that are really remarkable, but it's allowing citizens to report damaged property for possible future compensation, and I understand to date more than 255,000 reports have been filed. And I understand it even allows citizens to donate to the army. So DIIA has been a really all purpose system as you've heard previously, and it is platforms like DIIA that, frankly, is saving lives in Ukraine.

And so, how can we export this to the rest of the world? I would just say follow Ukraine's lead. Its courage in taking the transformational steps, the change that its undergone. Supporting policies on transparency, accountability, civil society, creating the environment that incentivizes participation, and disincentivizes corruption.

And GovStack is a part of that. I think it's really a fabulous initiative, and it's why I'm so pleased to announce USAID’s intent to join GovStack initiative today, and stand with our partners in Ukraine, Germany, Estonia, the ITU, and the Digital Impact Alliance. So in the coming months, we will work to sign a joint declaration of intent and look forward to joining you all on this important work.

Thank you.

Isobel Coleman Ukraine
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