Estonia is a great place. I love it. One of the things I love most about Estonia is its youthful energy. There is a commitment to find new solutions to solve old problems. So, for example, Estonia has marketed itself as a global leader in “e governance”. And it operates the “e Governance Academy“. It also is an innovator in “e voting”.
But going “e” is not a quick fix. And committing to “e” systems to improve the performance of public institutions means ongoing learning. So, one might venture the question, “how is the learning going?”
Hmm … well, to be honest, I don’t know. I do know that in 2011 the OECD raised some issues in a rather long report. What issues? Boiling this down to the essentials, Estonia has not produced a unified approach to governance. To the contrary, the OECD analysis is about problems of fragmentation with two interesting case studies relating to (1) education and (2) the elderly. Ooops.
How to react? Not so smart people (those who are not committed to faster learning) might be offended. How dare the OECD criticize! I would react this way — the report is a nice resource. Will we use it? Stay tuned.
BTW, I am also taking a look at Estonian e voting and found this nice master thesis by Triinu Mägi where she compares Estonian and US systems. Triinu argues that the Estonian system is more secure than what one finds in the US. Well, the US systems are, of course, works in progress as the 2012 CalTech/MIT Voting Technology Project report shows rather well. And we are likely to see more US federal government involvement from the Obama Administration in his second term. In other words, there is a big and challenging learning agenda in the US on better securing the right to vote. But anyhow, I will be taking a closer look at the Estonian system over the next several months. Stay tuned.