ADMINISTRATOR POWER: My Swiss colleague just mentioned digitization. USAID funded three-quarters of the [Ukraine] Ministry of Digital Transformation’s efforts to embrace initially a tool like that – which has been so incredible in India in getting benefits and transactions out to the most rural areas, out of the most impoverished communities, and has itself been a tool of economic growth and capitalization. That’s how it started in Ukraine, something similar. But now, the so-called Diia app, which is used by nearly 19 million of the 30 million eligible adults – just a single app – provides 120 government services.
And it’s not just that, right now there’s reconstruction, including that which Lugano helped spearhead – the Lugano conference. Every time there’s a construction project, that’s an opportunity for corruption. You go with your app – there’s a QR code on every permit on a construction site in Ukraine – you go with your app and the app takes you to the contracts for the individuals and the companies who are involved in the corruption. And then as a journalist or a civil society organization, you can dig into it. So even with this monstrous aggression, with apartment buildings and energy infrastructure obliterated on a daily basis, they’re still plugging away.
And we are now looking at taking this Diia app and seeing whether other countries where leaders were elected on anti-corruption platforms – in places like Zambia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador – whether this app can actually be exported and become a tool to not only provide social services, which is incredibly important in its own right because democracy must deliver for citizens, but also to give citizens this power vis-à-vis of either government so the middlemen are not there anymore and giving assurances you can see with your own eyes, you know, what does it work?