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Our study visit to the e-Governance Academy was a really impressive experience. We learned how Estonia managed to build a citizen-centric government that works for the people and this was an enormous take away for us. In the 21st century, citizens need to be at the center of government planning and they have to come first. So, a national ID database has to be the hub for all of public services. X-Road facilitates the sharing of information between databases. Citizens only have to provide information once and without fear of losing their information ownership rights.
Sometimes we tend to overthink before taking action and one of Estonia’s great lessons to us is that they often take action first and then legislation catches up. From a strategic perspective, Estonia did not always pursue a top-down planned strategy. Innovators had enough room to experiment and learn from mistakes. This was instructive for us because we now understand that e-governance is not a straight line, we need to give ourselves room to try, to learn, to make mistakes, to grow and to allow our own strategies to emerge and not just have everything pre-planned.