Announcing the winners of the inaugural Future of Government Awards: Celebrating digital transformation initiatives around the world
Today, Liam Maxwell, director of government transformation for Amazon Web Services (AWS), announced the winners of the first Future of Government Awards during a virtual ceremony. The Future of Government Awards recognize the people and projects leading public sector digital transformation around the world. The awards are co-sponsored by the AWS Institute, a thought leadership and executive education program to accelerate digital transformation in the public sector; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the leading UN organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change; and Apolitical, a global network and learning platform for government with a mission to build 21st century governments that work for people and the planet.
“Open source solutions help governments accelerate their transformation. These innovations all have at their heart the belief that digital government services must work for all citizens,” said Maxwell during his remarks.
This year’s awards received more than 150 nominations from 52 countries across three categories:
- The Digital Innovator of the Year Award recognizes individual public servants who have successfully championed digital transformation
- The Open Source Creation of the Year Award celebrates government organizations that embody open government through the development of open source solutions
- The Open Source Adaptation of the Year Award honors government organizations that have made great strides in reusing open source solutions
From these nominations, shortlists of 10 were selected for each category and an independent selection committee then chose the winners and special mentions. Meet the winners and learn their stories below.
Digital Innovator of the Year Award
Winner: Mykhailo Fedorov, Vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation
In 2019, Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation was established and Mykhailo Fedorov was appointed minister to lead his country’s digital transformation. He is the youngest minister in the political history of Ukraine. His immediate priority was to create the “State in the smartphone” – so people could communicate directly with the state via their smartphones.
Under Fedorov’s direction and with UNDP support, the ministry developed the Diia service which includes a mobile app and web portal (diia means “action” in Ukrainian and is an abbreviation of “derzhava i ya,” or “State and Me”). Mostly developed in urgency during the pandemic, the portal enables Ukrainian citizens to register a place of residence, apply for a pension, generate a COVID certificate, apply for a housing loan for internally displaced persons (IDP), obtain a certificate of birth, sign documents, submit a single taxpayer declaration, apply for unemployment benefits, register a real estate ownership, attain extracts from the registers, and much more, with all of it online from the safety of their homes.
“Millions of Ukrainians use Diia every day, in war time and in peace time, for essential services like welfare payments and digital passports,” said Maxwell.
When Russia invaded and millions of Ukrainians fled their homes, Fedorov’s Ministry of Digital Transformation developed services to enable displaced Ukrainians to access humanitarian and other supporting programmes. For example, people can apply for IDP status, locate shelter, and receive direct monetary assistance via cash transfers on the Diia app.
Digital Innovator of the Year Award special mentions:
- Dedeh Suatini – Committee Member, West Java Teachers Association, Indonesia
- Prof. Dr. Zudan Arif Fakrulloh – Director-General for Population and Civil Registration, Ministry of Home Affairs, Indonesia
Open Source Creation of the Year Award
Winner: IO, the app for Italian public services – PagoPA S.p.A., Italy
Italian citizens typically need to navigate through dozens of platforms in order to access public services or manage their obligations to the State. The open source app IO was launched in early 2020 by PagoPA, a state-owned company created to spread digital services in Italy, to overturn this paradigm by putting simple and user-centered public services into the citizens’ pockets.
After registering, citizens can receive communications and complete in-app payments. IO has been adopted by approximately 7,200 local and national institutions to provide more than 90,000 services. The app has been downloaded more than 31 million times since its launch and is used weekly by almost two million users.
The major initiatives that supported IO’s growth were:
- Cashback, a 10% cashback on purchases with payment cards registered on IO, as part of the “Italia Cashless” plan promoted by the government. IO processed more than 822 million transactions by almost nine million participants.
- EU Digital COVID Certificate, with more than 245 million certificates obtained through IO since June 2021.
- Carta Giovani Nazionale, a card with initiatives dedicated to Italians and residents between ages 18-35 and used by more than 2.3 million users.
Open Source Creation of the Year Award special mentions:
- BA Obras – Buenos Aires Ciudad, Argentina
- Lukim Gather – Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority, Papua New Guinea and UNDP
Open Source Adaptation of the Year Award
Winner: Cambodia Data eXchange (CamDX) – Techo Startup Center (TSC), Cambodia
CamDX adopts the model of Estonia’s X-Road and is a unified yet decentralized data exchange layer between information systems that offers a standardized and secure way to provide and consume services. CamDX supports confidentiality, integrity, and interoperability between a multitude of different data exchange parties. The main goal of CamDX is to build an infrastructure that allows for establishing effortless access to data in government databases, like public services, without compromising the security and ownership of the data, and with minimal technical changes in the existing information systems.
“CamDX’s adaptation is right at the core of how to modernize the state,” said Maxwell.
CamDX has supported significant digital transformation and accelerated innovation in Cambodia. Currently, the Online Business Registration (OBR) system powered by CamDX makes the online company registration process both simpler and faster in Cambodia. OBR uses CamDX as a backbone for exchanging data between related ministries and institutions. As of October 2022, there are 17,872 successful businesses and 11,750 reserved business names registered via the OBR portal. So far, there have been more than 10 million transactions on the CamDX platform.
Open Source Adaptation of the Year Award special mentions:
- BERDI – Canada Energy Regulator, Canada
- Children’s Social Care Data Validation in England – Data to Insight, Wigan Council, and Social Finance
Thank you to all nominees and congratulations to our winners. We look forward to seeing the impact these transformational people and projects have, and what they inspire around the world. Categories and timelines for next year’s Future of Government Awards will be announced in the second quarter of 2023.
Learn more about open source solutions for governments
Are you curious about how open source solutions can help governments save time and money while still providing innovative services for their constituents? Get started with open source today through the Open Government Solutions repository, a growing collection of no-cost open source solutions designed specifically for government services, curated by the AWS Government Transformation team. View open source code for digital services, standards, practices, and more implemented by governments around the world.
Find more digital transformation insights through the AWS Institute and visit the Future of Government Awards website to learn more about the selection criteria and see the shortlisted nominations for each category.
More resources from the AWS Institute for government innovation:
- How governments can transform services securely in the cloud
- How human-centered design can help public agencies design better digital services
- How governments can benefit from open source solutions to solve common challenges
- Getting Started with Cloud: The Use What Works video series
- Video: AWS Institute Transformation Inspiration for public service leaders – Buy Better
- Governments look to digital ID to modernize services and boost growth
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