Advantages and opportunities of blockchain technology for the provision of public services considered in Uzbekistan
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- On 8 June 2021, a joint project of the Agency for Public Services under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan and UNDP in Uzbekistan "Improving the provision of public services and increasing the level of governance in rural areas of Uzbekistan", funded by the European Union, began its work on the topic "Advantages and opportunities of blockchain technology for the provision of public services in the Republic of Uzbekistan."
The current situation in connection with the pandemic caused by Covid-19 and other global crises and their consequences has given new impetus to governments to introduce new digital technologies. Globally, Blockchain technology has become a strategic tool for innovation and productivity growth in the public sector, as blockchain is considered a tool for public efficiency, performance, innovation and growth. In particular, technology has the potential to transform the public sector by reducing bureaucracy, improving data exchange and interaction between the institution, citizens and other stakeholders, and by increasing transparency and reducing fraud and corruption.
These advantages are related to three main properties of blockchain technology: (1) decentralization and distribution for storage and integrity; (2) irreversibility and immutability of each transaction; and (3) exclusion of intermediaries to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.
The aim of the seminar is to explore the possibilities of transforming public services and government by addressing the following issues:
1. Why is blockchain technology an interesting technology for the public sector?
2. What opportunities and benefits does blockchain technology offer to the public sector?
3. What risks can arise when using blockchain to provide government services?
During the seminar, invited international experts shared their best practices in the application of blockchain technology, as well as the possibilities of introducing this technology into the public sector of Uzbekistan. In particular, Tatiana Zalan, Professor of Management at the American University of Dubai, spoke about new developments, future prospects and opportunities for the public sector using blockchain technology.
Enrico Ferro, Head of Business Model Innovation at LINKS Foundation, in his presentation highlighted the main advantages and problems of blockchain technology, as well as possible risks when using it. Zoran Giordanoski (Ph.D.), Senior Research Fellow at UNU-EGOV presented the legal and regulatory uncertainties of blockchain technology. Ivo Hyuninck, Innovation Advisor to the Chief Information Officer of the City of The Hague, introduced the participants to the use of blockchain technology in Holland.
Renske Stumpel, EU Counselor in the Municipality of Groningen, Netherlands presented the BLING ecosystem, which is based on digital transformation and the application of blockchain technology in government. Eric Zweigzne, Vice President for Product Innovation at Convergence.tech, a blockchain-focused company, spoke about the introduction of blockchain technology into the civil registration system of Uzbekistan. Sumaya Ben Dhau (Ph.D.), UNDP international consultant working on the implementation of blockchain technology in Uzbekistan, made a presentation on the possibilities of this technology in transforming the provision of public services.
Blockchain technology can be used in existing systems to eliminate inefficiencies and improve the reliability of public service delivery, as well as to streamline processes and increase government and public sector transparency and accountability. Moreover, blockchain can provide continuous and timely recording of information in real time, while making it impossible to make changes. All of this reduces the likelihood of fraud and error, thereby increasing accuracy and simplifying internal processes.
Since 2020, in cooperation with a leading Canadian technology company, within the framework of the Joint Project, the possibility of integrating blockchain technology into the civil registration system of Uzbekistan is being developed. This will be the first real information system in Uzbekistan based on blockchain technology for the provision of public services. All registry office services throughout the country will be provided online, quickly, without bureaucracy and queues. Thus, it will increase the quality and efficiency of public service delivery in Uzbekistan and, in particular, will benefit more than 15 million citizens living in rural areas and vulnerable groups such as women, youth, the elderly and people with disabilities from remote regions of the republic.