US will help to export Ukrainian Diia app to other countries

As USAID Administrator Samantha Power told Axios, the US wants to help to replicate the success of an e-governance app used in Ukraine in other countries. It is about Diia app that became a subject during World Economic Forum‘s annual meeting in Davos.

About Diia app

Diia app was launched in Ukraine in 2022. It provides Ukrainians with ID documents, allows them to register businesses, and obtain various government services online. The participants of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting also became interested in the use cases of Diia app during the full-scale was. In particular, eVorog, a chatbot that helps to inform about the locations of occupation troops.

According to Ukrainian officials, nearly 18.5 million people, and it’s more than half the adult population, were using the latest version of the mobile app as of the end of 2022.

Diia app is developed by Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation under the support of USAID. The organization also invested $8.5 million in expanding the app’s services during the war, Power said. So now Ukraine wants to share its successful experience with other countries, and the US is ready to help.

How the US will cooperate with Diia

It must be understood that this is not talking about the immediate implementation of Diia app in the American public administration or even elsewhere. Currently, USAID is initiating discussions with other countries regarding the potential use of Diia analogs for the development of their e-government systems. The discussions started on January 18 in Davos. Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov will further discuss the idea of scaling the app with potential private sector partners.

The project is in its infancy, Power says. So far, $650,000 has been allocated to conduct feasibility studies in countries that have expressed interest, including factors such as smartphone penetration and regulatory issues.

This initiative is part of the US effort to build democracy in the world, so participating countries will be selected accordingly. Among them, in particular, is Moldova, which is currently headed by a young reformist government. The implementation of the Diia e-governance approach is also offered to the countries of the East.

Earlier, Estonia also announced plans to build a national mobile application based on the Ukrainian Diia app. In Davos, it once again confirmed the intentions.

“Estonia, one of the most digital countries in the world, announced that its Government app would be based on Diia, Ukrainian government app, because Diia is the best such app in the world,”

Konstantin Magaletskyi, investor, vice president of IT-association in Ukraine, wrote on LinkedIn.

Some experts hesitate whether Diia is sufficiently protected and whether it does not pose a threat to the security of the personal data of citizens, taking into account the degree of its penetration into public administration. Power noted that USAID has “eyes open on the risks inherent in technology and governance, to put it mildly.” However, she believes that replicating Diia’s model in other democracies will be useful for modernizing access to services, economic growth, and government transparency.