The EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine have opened two pilot IT Solutions Centres in Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, and Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk Oblast.
The centres were opened under the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, with the financial support of European Union. Each centre has about 30 workplaces equipped with computers, laptops, graphics tablets, interactive whiteboards, projectors, audio centres, servers, routers, etc.
Martin Schroeder, Head of Local and Human Development Section at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, spoke of the importance of IT solutions designed to improve service delivery for local residents.
“I am pleased to see a tangible result of the digital component in our joint social and economic development programme for Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Two IT Solutions Centres, which we have launched today, will set up a learning platform for IT developers and users to benefit local communities and further support the digitalisation of services,” said Schroeder.
Each IT Solution Centre will give communities the opportunity to:
- develop technical tasks for the introduction of new software for digital interaction between the structural units of councils and eldership districts, government and citizens;
- receive services of interactive distance learning, advanced training, retraining, etc .;
- coordinate IT processes at the oblast level;
- participate in digital learning activities.
“Accelerating the implementation of digital solutions will dramatically improve local government responsiveness and efficiency in eastern Ukraine, helping overcome some of the administrative hurdles created by the conflict,” said Manal Fouani, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Ukraine. “At the same time, we also need to work to close the digital divide, ensuring that no one is left behind as we move forward with digital solutions.”
Fouani said the IT Solutions Centres are a new IT space that will play an essential role in the digital transformation of communities, “using the best tools and the most innovative approaches available to help close the gap between the digital haves and have-nots.”
The Centres will also serve as a platform for expanding cooperation between higher education institutions for IT professionals, provide students with internships, and implement an effective exchanging mechanism between state and local governments, the public, and the media to respond quickly to community needs.