Estonia, the Baltic nation of 1.3m, has been pursuing a grand idea since 1997: putting their entire government online. But is the idea a grand one, or a complicated one?
We’ve all been there: standing in an interminable queue in a stark government building, staring into space, waiting for what seems like endless hours to fill out reams of forms at the tax office or department of motor vehicles.
How do you kill time during such a boring wait, only to do more boring tasks in a boring place? Most likely, it means scrolling through your phone, checking email, Instagramming, even tweeting about how you’re bored.
Could Estonia’s model even be replicated elsewhere?
So why can’t we just fill out all those forms (or run similarly bureaucratic errands) on that same smartphone? Why, in 2017, the year of cashless payments and fingerprint-locked gadgets and handheld video-chatting, can we not do all of our government-related tasks online, in one place and in one fell swoop?
In a certain Baltic country, you can: Estonia, the small nation of 1.3m nestled in the nooks of northeastern Europe.
The same country that gave birth to Skype has been pursuing a 100% digitised society with laser focus since the ‘90s. Experts far and away agree that the country’s online government initiative – an effort called e-Estonia – is the world paragon for how a government can successfully and conveniently move the bulk of its services to a single online platform.
Read complete article Could Estonia be the first digital country? | BBC