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The National Digital Program of the Government of Israel

Chapter 1 -The Digital Israel Initiative Operating Model and Scope

The activity scope included in the National Initiative is broad and encompasses a wide range of areas at two levels, core areas and horizontal areas:

Besides the areas included in the activity scope and advanced in the framework of the National Initiative, the purpose of the National Digital Program is to serve as a digital compass for all ministries and auxiliary units, including those that do not utilize the assistance of the Bureau. The aim of the Program is to help and direct all entities in formulating a digital strategy and to advance digital projects. Therefore, these entities will act in accordance with the guiding principles of the National Initiative and the principles for formulating ministry digital strategies. Accordingly, the activity scope of the National Initiative is expected to be updated when additional activity areas will be defined as the Initiative progresses. 


Core Areas

Core areas are specific fields in which it is possible to achieve a very significant quantum leap by harnessing the digital revolution and by developing and providing innovative, quality and efficient public goods. In the first stage, and by virtue of Government Resolution No. 1046, it was decided to establish implementation teams in the Ministries of Education, Health, Social Affairs and Social Services and Economy and Industry (including SMEs). The Local Government Administration in the Ministry of Interior, as well as the Justice Ministry, the Tax Authority and the National Insurance Institute were added at a later date.
 

Schooling and Education

Integrating technology in the educational field, as well as in the vocational and technological training field, will bring about a quantum leap in their quality, while streamlining the system, adapting its contents to the 21st century and equipping its graduates with competencies needed in the modern age. This area will be advanced by the Ministry of Education and the CHE and PBC as well as by the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services, in coordination with the Bureau, and is detailed under the strategic objectives: "Bringing the Geographic and Social Periphery Closer to the Center" and "Improving Public Goods".
 

Labor and Social Services

Digital tools have the potential to streamline the social services area in Israel, while reducing the bureaucratic burden and increasing right realization. This will improve the lives of all citizens, with an emphasis on weakened populations. Various digital tools enable diverse audiences to expand their employment options, by improving employee competencies and ridging distance, time and information access barriers. This area will be advanced in cooperation with the Bureau, by the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services, the National Insurance Institute, local government and additional entities. This area is detailed under the strategic objectives: "Bringing the Geographic and Social Periphery Closer to the Center", "Rights Realization", "Developing the Employment Market in the Digital Age" and "Improving Public Goods".
 

Health

ICT tools can improve the quality of health service in Israel, increase efficiency and accelerate innovation in the health system, thus improving quality of life and saving costs. This area will be advanced by the Ministry of Health in cooperation with the Bureau and with the assistance of the health system, and is detailed under the following strategic objectives: "Improving Public Goods" and "Bringing the Geographic and Social Periphery Closer to the Center".
 

Justice

Digital transformation in the activities of the Ministry of Justice will enable the streamlining and shortening of service processes provided by the Ministry, will help reduce the bureaucracy and allow for the provision of improved service quality to citizens and businesses in Israel. In doing so it will be possible to ease doing business in Israel, to advance the rule of law and human rights and to maintaining the public interest, and finally to increase public trust in the justice system and in the government. This area will be advanced in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and is detailed under the strategic objective: "Accessibility of Government and Local Government".
 

Housing and Real Estate

Information and communication technology can help ease the housing crisis and improve the implementation of government policy in the housing market. Combining focused digital efforts in the housing area may shorten planning and licensing processes, which will lead to increased supply of apartments in Israel. This will improve access to information for effective policymaking and will help lower housing prices. This area is detailed under the strategic objective: "Reduce Cost of Living and Housing Prices".
 

Economy and Finance

Digitization has enormous potential as a growth engine for the economy by expanding the use of ICT tools in business, advancing digital based industries and developing digital competencies in the workforce. Furthermore, expanding use of technology in the financial system, promoting digital tools to improve accessibility and streamlining the interface with financial institutions, along with increased transparency and competition in this area will enable the provision of online, inexpensive and competitive services. This area is detailed under the "Primary Goal – Accelerate Economic Growth", and under the strategic objective: "Reduce Cost of Living and Housing Prices".
 

Local Government and Smart Cities

Information and communication technologies enable the streamlining of the work of local government, improving its interface with the public and developing smart, efficient and cost-saving public goods while integrating tools from the Internet of Things. The Smart Cities area will be advanced in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, the Center for Local Government and other relevant entities. This area is detailed in length under the strategic objective: "Accessibility of Government and Local Government". 

 

E-Gov

Expanding the use of Information and communication technologies in the public sector holds huge potential for making government innovative, smart and friendly to citizens, while reducing bureaucracy, improving public goods and services, increasing budget savings and improving the lives of all citizens in the country. This area will be advanced by the Government ICT Authority and the various government ministries in cooperation with the Bureau, and is detailed in length under the "Primary Goal – Friendly and Smart Government".
 

 

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The Operating Approach in the Core Areas

Advancing the core areas is based on the activities of the implementation teams established in the relevant government ministries for each area. The teams are responsible for formulating a ministerial strategic digital program according to the guiding principles set out in the National Digital Program. The teams are also charged with accompanying and integrating the program into the ministry’s.

The teams are appointed by the Director General of the relevant ministry and their activity is consolidated by the “digital program leader” who is responsible for heading the team’s activity and integrating the ministry’s digital projects. The “digital program leader” works directly with the ministry director general or deputy director general, as well as with representatives of the ICT Authority when necessary. The Bureau accompanies the teams on an ongoing basis and assists in coordinating and integrating their work and in carrying out the ministry’s digital programs, using the toolkit at its disposal.

photo: Coordination and consolidation by the  Digital Israel Bureau

The digital programs of the various ministries will be designed according to the guiding principles of the National Initiative and based on a structured planning methodology that includes analysis of the current situation in the ministry, involving relevant stakeholders and the public, conducting an international comparative study in selected areas in order to identify successful case studies (best practices), and initial planning of the steps to be taken based on identified needs and gaps. The projects will be defined and prioritized in congruence with the primary goals and strategic objectives of the National Program.

Horizontal Areas

Within the framework of the said government resolution, and as part of the definition of areas to be addressed by the National Initiative, it was decided to advance areas that cut across this National Initiative. These are mainly cross-government areas that will create the infrastructure and the supporting environment for realizing the goals of the National Initiative and promoting the digital revolution in Israel.

Human Capital

Human capital with high digital skills and an innovative character is the vital factor for success in integrating the “digital revolution”. As part of the National Initiative, skills and ICT competencies needed in the digital age in the public and private sector will be developed. This area is detailed under the strategic objective: "Developing the Employment Market in the Digital Age and Innovative and Effective Government".

Regulation

Regulation that is not up-to-date or not adapted to the digital world and to current rapid technological changes may obstruct or delay the beginning of the “digital revolution” in government, society and the economy. Creating a supporting regulatory ecosystem will be advanced under the National Initiative, to enable innovative digital activity contending with the challenges and opportunities posed by the digital age. This area is detailed extensively under the strategic objective: "Support Infrastructure Development".

Procurement

To enable the integration of innovative technologies in government work, procurement mechanisms must be adapted to encourage innovation, efficiency and use of advanced ICT tools by the ministries. This area is detailed extensively under the strategic objective: "Innovative and Effective Government".

Rights Realization

A comprehensive cross-governmental measure to simplify and ease realization processes of social and economic rights by creating cross-governmental information sharing mechanisms and unified online platforms. This area is detailed extensively under the strategic objective: "Rights Realization". 

Technological Infrastructures

Optimal use of the most innovative information and communication technologies in the hands of all citizens and entities in the country requires extensive deployment of advanced and rapid communication infrastructures, while increasing fixed-line and cellular speed throughout the country. This area is detailed under the strategic objective: "Support Infrastructure Development and Accessibility of Government and Local Government".

Digital literacy

Digital infrastructure in itself is insufficient for the success of the “digital revolution”. The aim must be to integrate the entire population of the country, with an emphasis on weakened segments of the populations. At present, 25% of the population in Israel does not use the internet. The more advanced the digital services and capabilities, the more this population group lags behind, while social and economic disparities grow. In the framework of the National Initiative, several programs will be offered to impart “digital reading and writing” abilities to weakened population groups in Israel. This area is detailed extensively under the strategic objective: "Bringing the Geographic and Social Periphery Closer to the Center".

The Operating Approach in the Cross-Government Areas

To advance these areas, cross-government projects requiring in-depth change are needed, that in most cases are not under the responsibility of a single ministry, but rather include a wide range of relevant partners. Each of these areas will be individually addressed in the National Initiative, as part of a dedicated strategic program, a government committee or government taskforces, that will enable execution of programs or projects in these areas. The Bureau will lead these areas in cooperation with all relevant entities within and without the government – in the aim of advancing the required infrastructure for the National Initiative . Thus, for example, the procurement area is advanced through a committee headed by the General Accountant in the Finance Ministry who is responsible for adapting procurement to the digital age, with assistance of the Bureau, the Government ICT Authority and the Ministry of Economy and Industry. The purpose of the committee is to promote a cross-government solution to enable adaptation of the government procurement policy, so that government offices can purchase innovative solutions and goods, and formulate solutions adapted to the National Initiative.
For the cross-government areas or inter-government projects headed by the Bureau, it is developing a digital strategy by harnessing government and multi-sector partners (sometimes with the assistance of the inter-government steering committee), and providing assistance in developing annual work plans to advance the initiatives. 

photo: Led by Digital Israel Bureau

Additional significant projects are relevant to several government offices and involve several “key actors”. For effective cooperation, a leading and integrating entity is needed that will be responsible for optimal coordination and synchronization - the Bureau fills this role for these projects. Thus for example, an open digital platform, “Campus”, was developed for digital studies and training in a variety of subjects. This project, and the courses it offers, are designed through cross-government and cross-sector cooperation, for example in cooperation with the Education Ministry, the CHE/Israel Council for Higher Education, Science Ministry, Justice Ministry, Economy and Industry Ministry, the Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services Ministry, the IDF and the Civil Service Commission, with the Bureau serving as the initiator and project leader. Additional cross-government projects headed by the Bureau are the rights realization project and the project for advancing digital literacy. 

Furthermore, complex projects that involve converting inter-government processes into digital format are conducted by professional cross-government digital “transformation” teams headed by the Bureau in cooperation with the ICT Authority. The “transformation” teams are responsible for generating in-depth change in bureaucratic processes at the basis of cross-government services, and transforming them into user-friendly digital services according to the principles of the National Initiative.

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