According to the Estonian “Digital Society Development Plan 2030,” there is a lack of necessary knowledge and skills in the public sector to successfully implement substantial digital changes. While not every employee needs to be proficient in advanced data analysis programs or programming, it is important to have a basic level of digital skills and understanding of how technology can contribute to the provision of public services. Pihl and Krusell (2020) found that the essential digital competencies for mid-level managers in public administration should include awareness of technology trends and opportunities, organizing digital transformation within an organization, customer-centric (digital) service development, data utilization, and the ability to ensure cybersecurity. 

So far, increasing the competencies that support digital management and development has not been systematically organized across the Estonian public sector. In order to create an intervention that systematically enhances the digital skills of Estonian public sector employees, we are researching how this has been done in other countries and whether and how these interventions could be applied here. 

The aim of this research project is to provide a comparative overview of interventions in various countries for developing the digital competencies of central and local government employees. Based on the overview, we will analyze the possibilities of transferring and/or implementing policies in the Estonian context, in order to design an intervention that meets the specific needs of Estonia. 

The project focuses on non-IT positions in the public sector. In this project, we are going to: 

  • map IT skills development programs in five countries (Denmark, Italy, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Singapore) through document analysis. 
  • interview experts involved in these interventions (coordinators, implementers, methodologists). 
  • analyze the potential for transferring and/or adapting these interventions in the Estonian context.