The foundation Tallinn Development and Training Centre organized from the 23rd of September to the 30th of September 2018, a study visit to Tallinn and Estonia for six Ugandan state and local municipality representatives within a framework of a developmental co-operation project “Establishing service centres (one-stop-shop centres to provide public services) in Uganda and building their capacities on the example of Tallinn”. The visit took place in accordance with an approved action plan of the developmental co-operation project and participants of the project were high officials from the Public Services Ministry of Uganda (MoPS), the Civil Service College of Uganda and a representative of Mbale City Government. The delegation was led by the Permanent Secretary of the MoPS Mrs. Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire.
The purpose of the Uganda-Estonian developmental co-operation project’s visit was to introduce experiences of providing public services, organization of various service areas, document management systems and ICT solutions used in Tallinn, other Estonian municipalities (Pärnu and Audru) and state institutions. In addition, Ugandan guests were provided with a comprehensive overview of both e-governance and various e-services used Estonia and Tallinn.
During the planned activities of the visit’s program in Tallinn, members of the Ugandan delegation met with the Chairman of the Tallinn City Council Mr. Mihhail Kõlvarti and Mayor of Tallinn Mr. Taavi Aas, who both expressed their gratitude over the ongoing project. They were pleased that this is already the second developmental co-operation project between the City of Tallinn and Uganda to introduce and use best experiences of the City of Tallinn for the development of Ugandan public services.
The guest were thoroughly introduced to the service hall of City Government of Tallinn – its launch, development and problem solving methods of everyday issues. Project experts Toomas Sepp, Tallinn City Secretary, and manager of the service hall Elle Veltmann, supported by project experts Ülle Purga, Jana Viital and Kalle Sepp, carried out corresponding presentations and trainings. Head of District of Nõmme Grete Šillis, district’s administrative secretary Kersti Põierpaas, project expert and manager of the service hall Jana Viital introduced the new service centre of the District Government of Nõmme and public services offered there. They also introduced the structure and principles of the document management system (DMS and EDMS) of the City Government of Tallinn.
To give the guests a broader view of Estonia’s various service halls and public services provided there, they also visited the Government Office, where Head of the Government Secretariat, Mr. Aivar Rahno introduce the functioning of e-government. At the Tax and Customs Board, Head of Services Division Triin Raaper and chief specialist Roman Spasjuk introduced the functioning of their service centres and the principles of developing e-service. At a meeting in the Ministry of Finance, Marlen Piskunov, Head of the Department of Public Administration and Public Service and her team introduced the principles of the so-called “state houses” project and issues related to their implementation in Estonia. They also discussed further on the reform of Estonian civil service and the development of document management. The Chancellor of the MoPS also met with her colleague, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Finance Veiko Tali.
The members of the delegation from Uganda met with the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ External Economic and Development Cooperation Department Jüri Seilenthal, head of department Ann Hänni, specialist Annika Leek and Jaanus Varu. Members of the Ugandan delegation with the head of the delegation at the forefront gave an overview of the results of the previous joint developmental co-operation project and its follow up activities in Uganda, as well as on the activities and results of the ongoing developmental co-operation project. They also talked about knowledge and experiences gained during the ongoing visit to Estonia and further activities and developments of the Estonian-Ugandan developmental co-operation project.
Due to the wish of the project partners in Estonia/Tallinn to give the guests an overview of offering public services outside the capital city, the Ugandan delegation visited the City and County of Pärnu and service centre of Audru. Deputy Mayor of Pärnu Marko Šorin and chief specialist of information management service Birgit Sild introduced the principles of the implementation of public services and document management of Pärnu. Priit Annus, Head of the Audru Rural Municipality District, presented their service centre and the principles of its operation.
The Ugandan guests gave an overview and interview about their doings and experiences learned in Estonia and Tallinn to newspapers “Pärnu Postimees”, “Nõmme Sõnumid” and Raepress, who provided the relevant information to the website of the City of Tallinn, as well as to other media channels. The Ugandan delegation’s visit was reflected in a separate news section in Tallinn TV. In social media channels, the Uganda delegation’s visit to Estonia was reflected on the facebook pages of the City of Tallinn, District Government of Nõmme, City of Pärnu, Rural Municipality District of Audru and the intranet of the Tax and Customs Board.
In the framework of the training visit, members of the Ugandan delegation went on sightseeing tours to Tallinn and Tallinn Old Town, Pärnu and the County of Pärnu and several other important and memorable sight of Estonia.
During the study visit’s conclusive meetings, consultations and discussions with Estonian/Tallinn project experts, future joint activities of the developmental co-operation program were discussed and agreed. Among them establishment and development of service halls providing public services in Uganda, implementation of the principles of document management system of Estonia in Uganda and selection of future training topics with materials prepared by the project experts from Estonia/Tallinn.
The co-operation partners agreed that the visit of the delegation of experts from Tallinn to Uganda will take place from the 6th to the 15th of January 2019. During the visit, in accordance with the developmental co-operation program, the experts from Tallinn will meet with senior officials and specialists of the MoPS and as agreed carry out trainings and consultations to specialist dealing with service centres in the MoPS, the Ugandan Civil Service College and municipalities involved in the developmental co-operation project.
Collaborative project funded by the Estonian Foreign Ministry’s Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid funds.