Podcast 🎧 & blog: Data and services run fast in digital Ukraine

06.03.2024 | Federico Plantera


Ukraine’s journey towards digital transformation has been marked by significant achievements, notably through the development and implementation of Trembita, the nation’s data exchange layer, and the Diia app. These tools have revolutionised the way citizens interact with government services, making them more efficient, transparent, and accessible.

Zooming out, though, the context and circumstances within which this rapid development took place would make most of us go red. If there’s one – next to many more – story of unlocking digital success while taking a big leap among extreme hardships, digital transformation in Ukraine then ranks high on this chart.

Illya Rodin is the Chief Solutions Architect at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. Oleh Burba is Component Leader of the EU4DigitalUA project and Senior Expert in Digital Architecture at e-Governance Academy. In this three-voice episode of the Digital Government Podcast, we delve into how Trembita and Diia complement each other, to provide Ukrainians with easy access to an ever-growing number of digital services.


Trembita: the backbone of digital Ukraine

Trembita, the data exchange platform developed by Cybernetica and implemented in collaboration with eGA experts and the Ministry of Digital Transformation, has served as the foundation for digital governance in Ukraine since its launch in 2020. By 2023, Trembita facilitated over 5 billion transactions, connecting more than 100 registries and enabling over 350 types of electronic interactions. Record numbers indicate a cultural shift towards the reliance on digital services among Ukrainians.

Why stressing the cultural aspect of such change? Because it happened under martial law, where accessing services digitally becomes a crucial need to fulfil as well. Enabling critical transactions, such as those related to internally displaced persons and damaged property, showcasing resilience and adaptability in times of crisis.

“Trembita plays a crucial role in daily governance, ensuring simplicity, security, and comfort in service provision. Its design for automation and technological support of electronic data exchange has become a cornerstone of Ukraine’s digital infrastructure, and the number of transactions is a testament to that,” Burba proudly explains. Trembita is good for the government too, of course. “Government agencies benefit immensely from Trembita, as it facilitates secure and fast data exchange, streamlines processes, and enhances data quality, particularly evident in the Ministry of Defense’s use to improve register accuracy,” Rodin highlights.

As Burba argues, “through Trembita, citizens enjoy enhanced efficiency and convenience in accessing services. Notably, comprehensive services like the ‘eBaby’ streamline processes for parents of newborns, demonstrating the platform’s role in simplifying service delivery.” For the actual delivery of the baby, that still happens offline.


Diia: a gateway to public services

The Diia app instead, as explained by Illya Rodin, serves as the user-friendly interface for Ukrainians to access public services – streamlined by Trembita’s backend capabilities. This synergy has enabled seamless access to a wide range of services, from business registration to social benefits, all while ensuring data security and combating corruption through transparent and automated processes.

In this sense, the Diia app exemplifies how technology can simplify interactions with the government, offering everything from ID services to business registrations through a single gateway. As the user-friendly face of Ukraine’s digital transformation, it bridges the gap between citizens and government services, contributing as well to a more inclusive and accessible digital ecosystem.

“Trembita and Diia have been fundamental in overcoming war challenges in service provision, ensuring swift and secure assistance to those affected,” Rodin says.


Two pillars of e-governance working together in practice

We must elaborate further on such complementarity – something that governments might struggle to set up, even in peaceful times. Trembita and Diia instead, together, exemplify a successful model where infrastructure and user interface work hand in hand. Trembita’s secure and fast data exchange capabilities have laid the groundwork for Diia’s accessible and intuitive service delivery. All to the end of streamlining governmental operations while improving the citizens` experience, making public services more accessible and trustworthy.

Moreover, integrating these systems simplifies bureaucratic processes, reducing the opportunity for corruption and making government services more transparent and efficient. In particular, the contribution of these two pillars of digital Ukraine to combating corruption is key. By facilitating secure and transparent data exchange, the platform has allowed significant advancements in areas notably susceptible (anywhere) to corrupt practices. “Trembita significantly aids in the fight against corruption by automating processes and minimising human intervention, thus enhancing transparency and efficiency,” Burba says.

A case in point is the Ministry of Finance’s use of Trembita to monitor social payments to prevent fraud and ensure the right use of budgetary resources. The oversight mechanism is digital, but it helps enhance public trust and accountability in governmental operations in the offline world.


Next developments. In the very near future

Overall, by making services more accessible and efficient, Ukraine has taken significant steps towards building a more transparent, service-oriented government. The synergy between Trembita and Diia does set a benchmark for digital transformation in governance, and not just within the country’s borders. As elsewhere, but with the non-negligible specificity of facing military aggression, it demonstrates the power of digital solutions in transforming the relationship between citizens and the state.

As Ukraine continues to develop through modern governance and understanding of societal needs, the roles of Trembita and Diia are set to evolve. “Looking ahead, Trembita is set to expand its capabilities with the development of Trembita 2.0, increasing interaction speed and launching a subsystem for monitoring personal data access, further empowering citizens,” Burba explains.

Diia’s journey in 2024, on the other hand, “includes exciting developments like open-sourcing parts of its service cloud, improving infrastructure, and experimenting with AI technologies to enhance service delivery and user experience,” Rodin concludes. One key to unlocking digital success is clear: don’t stop and stare when success has already been achieved. As technology and users’ needs change, crafting efficient practices of service delivery and an effective user experience becomes a constant exercise.


Interested in getting more insights into Ukraine’s digital developments and lessons learned? Join us at the e-Governance Conference on 22-23 May 2024! Check the programme and get your tickets at egovconference.ee


Listen to all episodes of the Digital Government Podcast here!

New episodes will be launched on Wednesdays.