Ukraine: Digitalization of the social sphere

New initiatives in the area of digitalization of social sphere in Ukraine

Olena Tarasiuk, Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine

Ukraine adopted the Concept of e-Government Development in 2017, which provides comprehensive development of e-services in accordance with European requirements.

On September 21, 2020 the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine presented a new Strategy for Digital Transformation of the Social Sphere, which will create a unified information environment of the social sphere and show how the government contributes to social cohesion by using digital technologies.

As part of the digital transformation of the social sphere, the ministry will create a unified register of providers and recipients of social services and benefits, as well as introduce a system for their verification.  The register will be based on existing information systems, in particular on the basis of the Register of Insured Persons managed by the Pension Fund of Ukraine.

The Unified information system is introduced into the country’s Social policy practices to address problems like:

  • Complicated access of citizens to receive social support, including
    • absence of remote access;
    • the same person should apply personally to different bodies for different types of social support (these are the Pension Fund, the Social Protection Fund for the Disabled, the Social Insurance Fund, Local Social Protection Bodies, which duplicate each other’s functions). Their separate information systems are not integrated with each other, and the processing of appeals is often time consuming;
  • Lack of proper information of citizens about their social rights and their implementation, in particular, regular information about the provision of social benefits and other types of social support;
  • Complex and non-transparent procedures for allocating and implementing social expenditures;
  • Huge paperwork and huge paper archives;
  • Lack of control over operational processes in the social sphere;
  • Weak, insufficient, and partial integration of social sphere information systems with other state information resources;
  • And finally, due to the inflated bureaucracy, the significant administrative costs incurred by the state.

It is also planned that the implementation of the Unified Information System of the Social Sphere (ESIS), through which all types of state social support should be administered, will ensure the appointment, recalculation and implementation of social benefits, as well as will allow:

  • to solve all questions concerning reception of any social benefit and support through the unified social web portal;
  • access to the service regardless of the place of residence (registration);
  • remote access;
  • the avoidance of corruption in the process of providing social support;
  • the opportunity to inform citizens about their social rights and proper protection of these rights;
  • the reduction of administrative spending and bureaucratic apparatus in the social sphere at least twice;
  • transparent distribution and control of state social expenditures;
  • streamlining the planning and implementation of social benefits and verification of their recipients.

Currently, the following electronic services are available online by the Ministry of Social Policy:

  • Assignment of childbirth benefit introduced on March 30, 2017; read here
  • System of pre-registration of documents for housing subsidies introduced in 2015;
  • Municipal nanny introduced on January 1, 2019. As part of the municipal babysitting service, targeted compensation payment for the care of a child under three years of age is paid monthly to one of the parents, adoptive parents or guardians for services provided by legal entities or entrepreneurs (municipal babysitter), which are legally permitted. Such compensation is equal to the official Subsistence Minimum for children under the age of six and is provided to each child in care on the basis of a duly executed contract.

In addition, on July 10, 2019, the complex service “eBaby” for parents of newborns in 11 cities of Ukraine was launched, which will be implemented during 2020-2022. The “eBaby” project significantly simplifies the procedure for receiving services related to the birth of a child, namely, it provides:

  • state registration of the child’s birth;
  • residence registration;
  • entering information about the child in the Register of Patients;
  • registration in the State Register of Individuals – Taxpayers;
  • appointment of state assistance at the birth of a child;
  • issuance of certificates of parents of a large family and a child from a large family;
  • the appointment of assistance for children raised in large families;
  • determination of belonging to the citizenship of Ukraine;
  • entering information into the Unified State Demographic Register.

Thus, with one application, it is possible to receive around 10 public services from different authorities at the same time. To get all the documents for the child in the traditional way, parents have to visit 11 different government agencies and spend at least 10 days on it. The eBaby reduces the number of institutions to 1 – all services can be ordered at once in the same place.

The comprehensive service eBaby is already provided in the mode of offline testing in maternity hospitals, Administrative Services Centers, and Departments of State Registration of Civil Status Acts. After the beta test, the service will be available to parents all over Ukraine and will be provided online on the Unified State Web Portal of Electronic Services “Diia”.

The information platform Help is nearby has been introduced from April 8, 2020 to create conditions for attracting charities, NGOs, businesses, volunteers to help lonely elderly people, people with disability, families with children, in particular with children with disabilities in the quarantine period.

This platform is filled with information on the needs/applications from single elderly people, people with disabilities, families with children, summarized by structural units for social protection of the population of regional and Kyiv city state administrations. The received applications are processed as executive bodies, local governments, charitable and public organizations, socially responsible business, volunteers. The need for assistance is formed at the request of citizens to telephone “hot”-lines that work for local authorities. So far, more than 600,000 citizens have benefited from the assistance.

Assistance for children to natural persons-entrepreneurs for the period of quarantine Such assistance was introduced from May 5 to September 1, 2020. This electronic service for children was introduced to individual entrepreneurs, who have chosen the simplified taxation system and belong to the first and second groups of single tax payers. The amount of assistance was set at the Subsistence Minimum for children of appropriate age groups: for children under 6 years – 1,779 UAH, for children from 6 to 10 years – 2,218 UAH. As of September 3, 2020, there were 88,687 families that have received such assistance (115,244 children, including 59,914 children under the age of 6; 55,330 children under the age of 10).

Registration of citizens’ appeals on issues within the competence of the Ministry of Social Policy. Work with citizens’ appeals to the Ministry of Social Policy is aimed at ensuring citizens’ constitutional right to appeal, creating appropriate conditions for exercising this right.

In addition, the web portal of electronic services of the Pension Fund of Ukraine provides remote services through the personal accounts of citizens and employers, such as:

  • A new model of applying for a pension was introduced, which provides for the submission of documents exclusively in electronic form with an application to the service center once upon receipt of a pension certificate.
  • The mobile application “Pension Fund” was introduced, which provides access to electronic services of the Pension Fund of Ukraine.
  • A Pension Calculator was created to forecast the future old-age pension. When calculating the length of service and salary, all data available in the Pension Fund of Ukraine are used.
  • A system of digitization (retroconversion) of pension cases was introduced. More than 10 million existing pension cases need to be digitized. The work is planned to be completed by 2024, which will allow, in particular, releasing of more than 40 thousand m2 of space occupied by paper archives.
  • The display of information on labor activity, formed according to the reports of employers since 1998 is available in the personal account on the web portal of electronic services of the Fund. This will make it possible to abandon the paper workbook. Users have the opportunity to submit scanned copies of paper workbooks through the web portal of the Foundation’s electronic services.