British Government Supports Serbia’s Digital Transformation

British Government Supports Serbia's Digital Transformation Denis Keefe Mihajlo Jovanovic

Mihailo Jovanović (Associate Professor, PhD), director of the Office for Information Technologies and e-Government and H.E. Denis Keefe, British Ambassador to Serbia, presented today “Digital Transformation in Serbia” project, funded by the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Government of the United Kingdom through the Good Governance Fund, and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Government of the Republic of Serbia participates in the project with more than 3.2 million EUR, while the Government of the United Kingdom has donated 2.1 million EUR for the improvement of e-Government in Serbia.

“The ‘Digital Transformation in Serbia’ project was one of the first to be initiated by the Office for Information Technologies and e-Government last year, with the aim of developing e-government and IT entrepreneurship in Serbia. The results of this project are already reflected in the implementation of two rounds of IT re-trainings for 800 participants. Out of 100 participants from the first round, 30% already work as software developers, while out of around 700 participants from the second round – currently undergoing vocational practice – 50 are already being employed as developers. Finally, starting September, we are launching the third round of IT re-trainings for 500 participants who are currently employed, but want to change profession. Another initiative within this project is a programme of support to Serbian companies that want to bring foreign IT product development and startup growth experts. The Good Governance Fund of the British Government recognized the importance of digital transformation agenda of the Serbian Government and donated 2.1 million EUR of additional funds towards implementation of the ‘Digital Transformation in Serbia’ project. These funds will be used to support the new e-government strategy, development of e-government infrastructures, an introduction of new electronic services for citizens, businesses and government institutions. In this regard, we would like to thank the Good Governance Fund and the British Embassy for significant financial contribution in the realization of this project”, said Mr. Jovanović.

He added that within this project, the first concrete activity financed from the Good Governance Fund, is the procurement of consulting services for strategy and concept development of the Government Data Centre/Disaster Recovery Facility, to be built in Kragujevac. The Government of the Republic of Serbia designated construction of this facility as strategically important for the Republic of Serbia.

“With this donation of 2.1 million EUR for the ‘Digital Transformation in Serbia’ project, as well as other donations, the British Government has provided 5.2 million EUR in total towards the development of e-government in Serbia and has become the largest bilateral donor in this field”, said Ambassador Keefe. Mr. Keefe added that Britain is ready to support Serbia in its reform priorities, aiming to create a more efficient and transparent public administration. Ambassador Keefe outlined the example of “Baby, Welcome to the World” e-service and the Open Data Project as good examples of cooperation with the Government of Serbia in the field of e-government.

The “Digital Transformation in Serbia” project comprises five segments and will be implemented over the next three years.

The first three segments, funded by the UK Good Governance Fund, include support to the Office for IT and e-Government in:

  • Implementing the e-Government Strategy and supporting other institutions in the implementation of e-government services
  • Developing e-government infrastructures, including government ICT network, government cloud, government service bus for data exchange between institutions, and government portals – and
  • Improving e-government services through cooperation with professional associations and end-users

The fourth segment, funded by the Government of the Republic of Serbia, includes support for the implementation of activities from the plans of the Ministerial Council for IT and Innovative Entrepreneurship, the Coordination Council for e-Government and the Creative Industries Council. Among the activities financed under this component is the national IT re-training initiative (which is being implemented since 2017), as well as the programme of support to domestic companies in bringing foreign IT product development and startup growth experts.

The fifth segment includes support for the rollout of capital ICT infrastructure projects and will be financed by the Government of the Republic of Serbia.