The digitalization of the economy is essentially changing the way trade is controlled, optimized, shared, and deployed worldwide, and new "smart" digital networks are emerging in Azerbaijan as well. In this essence, GovTech is the key foundation of the strong digital economy leveraging government systems, tools, capacities, and incentives to present services to citizens and the private sector. Both the broader digital economy and GovTech agenda are essential to “Azerbaijan 2030: National Priorities for Socio-Economic Development” which is currently under preparation. The digital economy and its key foundation GovTech are a powerful driver in shaping and implementing the National Strategy. Open participation and discussion among citizens, the private sector, civil society, and academia in the digital ecosystem advance innovation, education, and entrepreneurship and also contribute to the development of a modern digital economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Key Findings: Achievements and Opportunities
Azerbaijan develops an ambitious national strategy to stimulate growth and competitiveness, predominantly focusing on faster, easier and simpler digital government services to be served in user-friendly ways to government, citizens, and the private sector. Some important progress has been made on three main aspects essential for user-centered design: a multi-channel approach, broad outreach, and marketing strategy along with easy and user-friendly accessibility to e-services.
A multi-channel approach to e-services is implemented through e-gov. az (my-gov.az), a government services portal that delivers information and access to over 430 digital services. The portal is also supported by “Asan Xidmət” - Azerbaijan Service and Evaluation Network. The portal is complemented by Asan centers located throughout the country. The centers are one-stop centers where government agencies partner with private companies to provide over 315 services. Services include the issuance and replacement of passports and driver's licenses, migration services such as residence permits for foreigners, customs services, and registration of business entities and taxpayers. A mobile application called “Asan Növbə” has been developed for online appointment booking. The automated payment system (Asan Pay) aids users to make secure payments with a two-step verification mechanism. Customer satisfaction with the quality of services is estimated through quarterly surveys, which reflect a high level of satisfaction. Access to e-services through the government portal is free and unconditional, including for people with disabilities.
Azerbaijan has achieved high results in the GovTech Maturity Index (GTMI) report prepared by the World Bank for the year of 2021. Index, which assesses 198 countries, ranks Azerbaijan second in terms of the level of GovTech, including it in the "high significant focus on GovTech " group of 59 countries, which includes only 30%. GMTI evaluates the main aspects of GovTech – a new term for government digitalization and assesses the level of digitalization and modernization of government in order to deliver transparent, convenient, and fast services to citizens.
The European Union’s EU4Digital Initiative supports the digital reform agenda in Azerbaijan with a range of actions to promote key areas of the digital economy and society in line with EU norms and practices, in order to bring economic growth, generate more jobs, improve people’s lives and help businesses.