The World Bank approved a 26.5 million euro loan for Armenia to improve the country’s public sector performance through digital solutions.
The project is the fourth in a series of public sector modernisation projects in Armenia and will assist the government in improving the efficiency of, and access to, selected government services for businesses and citizens.
The loan is provided with a 14.5-year grace period and a total repayment term of 25 years. The government contribution is 5.3 million euros.
“Accessing many public services in Armenia still requires the physical presence of citizens. This is most apparent in rural areas. Challenges also exist for citizens to access already existing digital services,” the bank said in a press release and added that the World Bank ICT survey found that only five percent of Armenian citizens and businesses currently use online government services.
The government has prioritized the digital economy as a key pillar of economic growth and GovTech. The project recognises that a whole-of-government approach is needed for digital transformation to promote simple, efficient, and transparent government systems and public services. The digitalization strategy for 2021-2025 lays the foundation for the development and implementation of this approach.
“Modernisation of public administration and efficient delivery of public services can foster inclusive growth and reduce inequalities,” Carolin Geginat, the World Bank Country Manager for Armenia said. “Streamlined and digitized business processes promote resource efficiency and improve the productivity of public services. A more effective public sector, capable of delivering efficient and accessible services, also provides greater equality of opportunities for citizens and supports the productivity of the private sector.”
The project will support the government’s approach to public sector modernisation, through three components anchored in public administration, data management, and digital service delivery systems. The first component focuses on the overall efficiency of public administration and supports the improvement of the productivity of the Civil Service Office, public service administration, the Ministry of Justice.
The second component supports digital public service delivery, with a focus on modernizing tax and customs administration systems to improve the efficiency of revenue mobilisation and strengthen government service delivery. Support of local governments, through the piloting of activities related to re-engineering databases, data infrastructure and computing systems, will align them with the business processes of central government agencies.
The third component supports the underlying technological foundations needed for the successful implementation of the project, by improving and strengthening data governance and management, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.
Since joining the World Bank in 1992, and IDA in 1993, commitments to Armenia have totalled approximately $2,477,870 million.