Back in May, I had the chance to meet up in Palo Alto with Russian entrepreneur and Gov 2.0 advocate Alena Popova along with Sarah Granger, Tatyana Kanzaveli, Katie Stanton and other international e-gov advocates. Popova (below right, with Granger) had just wrapped up her Startup Women Forum in Moscow.
Recently, Alena shared her thoughts on eGov and Gov 2.0 in Russia, along with a new report on the sector.
"There is a persistence prejudice in the world that e-government development here in Russia has stalled, that Russia has no e-Government at all.
I have been actively involved in eGov development in Russia and let me break that constant myth. Russia has great possibilities – a large number of developers. Our IT could greatly improve the situation in the eGov sector.
We have now launched a united platform/incubator for e-government startups in Russia – Gov2Project.ru
As of today there is no perfect eGov model applied anywhere in the world, so we decided to collect all the social important projects that could be commercially successful and place them at one platform.
We collected and added to our list all of the existing projects to date in the history of Russia. Some of these projects require lobbying at the government level and it is necessary to create the system and strategic communications for such projects. Placing thsee project on the site includes not only involvement in the all-Russian Gov 2.0 movement, but also lobbying its interests at the state level and the inclusion in the folder of Russian examples which can be presented at the international level.
Moreover, we plan a number of offline activities to promote the projects and attract new developers.
In general, our site works under the scheme of incubator. We do not just collect the information about projects, we help them to find funding, to choose an adequate business model to create a network of partners, to bring the project to the international market (if the project is really a breakthrough and solves a problem existing in the external markets).
We want to create an environment, framework, working rules. We are engaged in active fundraising for these projects.
Let me show you some most prospective projects.
- The first great example are Russian-fires and holoda.info – crowdsource platforms that help people affected by fires or frosts to get help. Those who need help can report accurate data that they need. Those who want to help can find categories in which they can be useful, as well as determine the closest place where they can help. These are projects that make crowdsourcing in Russia more relevant and completely constructive;
- Another great example is StreetJournal project - an effective tool for citizens interaction with authorities, organizations and agencies that are responsible for a certain area in the city. Users can quickly post information about their problems on a map. It is a successful Russian analogue of SeeClickFix. Another similar Russian case is FixYourStreet;
- Ryazan’s bus62.ru project. There is a technology within the project that allows the monitoring of public transport movement equipped with GLONASS sensors. The technology is now polished and there is a big company interested in that startup;
- Academy of Sciences made the project of automatic sign language translation. If the project is going to be developed as a technology it could be sold to Finland where they have a commitment to develop projects for people with disabilities. Just one purchase by the Ministry could make the project commercially successful;
- «Gde Casino» or «Ot menta» are built on the principles of open source and crowdsourcing model, so they can easily scale very large;
- Shtrafy GIBDD. Traffic police fines – is a convenient interface to a standard public service, with additional opportunities. It allows you to find if you have any traffic fines outstanding and pay the penalties online;
- RosPil and RosYama. The first project fights with corrupted authorities officials who are using public procurements for their personal gain and the second is addressing poor road conditions, helping to direct road quality complaints, and further appeals to the Prosecutor's Office;
- IST-budget has been created to facilitate access to information for suppliers and principals. It is now free integrated information space to search and begin the process of obtaining public procurements information;
- “Pravo.ru” is an integrated aggregator of Russian regulatory documents. Users get free access to more than 5 000 000 Federal and local laws, regulations, court decisions, etc. They have developed iPhoneand iPad apps to ease the mobile access to information;
- “Pravovoe Gosudarstvo” project (Legal State) - bills and amendments proposal provided by Russian citizens. Crowdsourcing in the law;
- “Nepofigizm” brings citizens legal advice when there is concern that their rights have been violated;
- “Effective.RF” – an automated and complex system of public employees management competencies assessment to plan personal and group skills development;
- ”RusTurn” service helps in signing-up for appointment in the Russian consular offices in Italy and Spain; and
- “Every little helps,” the first Russian crowdfunding open platform."
You can find Alena's full list of eGov and Gov2.0 initiatives here.