IDB helps to keep governments in LAC connected

WASHINGTON, DC, United States (CMC) – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says it has joined with a number of firms, including Microsoft, to provide governments in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) with immediate digital solutions, helping to ensure the continuity of administrative procedures during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It said that the Digi/Gob platform, which is also being developed with the assistance of everis NTT Data, and Microsoft have joined forces to provide governments in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in providing governments with a turnkey digital solution, free of charge, and will be sharing technical expertise, while the IDB works with governments on the ground to achieve rapid implementation.

Digi/Gob is an ad-hoc platform that can be rapidly customised to a country’s specific needs within two to three weeks to provide a digital government solution. It has been developed by everis in the Microsoft cloud as a means of enabling the electronic processing of public transactions and facilitating the continuity of operations during this drastic interruption of in-person interactions,” the IDB said in a statement.

It said that a key aspect of this partnership is its use of the cloud to enhance effectiveness and accelerate digital transformation processes in the public sector.

According to a 2019 study published by the IDB, only seven per cent of public transactions in LAC can be entirely completed online.

It said the social distancing measures adopted to address the pandemic have forced the closure of most government offices, thereby interrupting the delivery of public services to many citizens and companies.

“In this setting, Digi/Gob cloud services can enable digital transactions and eliminate physical interactions on the back- and front-end: citizens can request transactions through an online kiosk, and civil servants can complete requested services from their homes. Thus, the Digi/Gob platform can help governments continue providing public services in the short term, while paving the way for a more ambitious agenda on public sector digital transformation in the long term.”

The IDB said that as a cloud-hosted platform, Digi/Gob can be implemented in any country regardless of its level of digital infrastructure, adding that a standard customisation will allow governments to progressively incorporate as many public transactions as needed.

Overall, Digi/Gob can be rapidly implemented and scaled to ensure government business continuity during this crisis and beyond.

IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno said the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded the world of the critical role digital technologies play in their daily lives, while underscoring the essential nature of government services in times of crisis.

“This collaboration with everis NTT Data and Microsoft allows us to help our region’s governments serve citizens and businesses as they navigate the pandemic, while accelerating the digital transformation of our public institutions in the long term,” said Moreno.

President of Microsoft Latin America and corporate vice-president, Microsoft Corporation, Cesar Cernuda said that his company’s focus is on providing secure cloud technology and to deploy effective and viable solutions that ensure operational continuity for every sector.

“This partnership with the IDB and everis will help us enable one such solution for governments in Latin America, responding to a key need for the current situation and also contributing to the future digital transformation of government agencies and institutions,” said Cernuda.

The chief executive officer of everis, Americas region, Juan Yez said in the face of COVID-19, “it is our hope that this partnership will empower governments to operate effectively and efficiently as they work to minimise the negative social and economic consequences of this health crisis.

“And in addition, we believe these efforts can lay the foundation for the sustained digital transformations of these governments, ultimately setting them up to provide more modern and comprehensive services in the long term,” he added.

The consulting and cloud service support provided will last seven months and subsequently countries will take full ownership and responsibility for the solution, the IDB said, urging LAC countries to participate in the initiative.

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