In the framework of the Interview series “Let’s talk about digitals” launched by the UNDP in Turkmenistan and “SalamNews”
Interview with Mr. Farhad Artykov, Project Manager of the UNDP project “Promotion of Digital Public Services in Turkmenistan
June 30, 2022
Today we will speak with Mr. Farhad Artykov, Project Manager of the UNDP project “Promotion of Digital Public Services in Turkmenistan”.
Mr. Artykov, could you please familiarize our readers with the goals of your project and what results are expected from this pilot initiative?
The goal of our project is to provide technical support to the Ministry of Adalat of Turkmenistan in the digital transformation of the civil registration system. The team of IT developers, national consultants of UNDP in Turkmenistan, has developed software solution, that helps civil registry office employees to register acts of civil status and enter data into a Unified CRVS register, a centralized database. The project supplies necessary server equipment, special scanner for scanning archived records and conducts the training and consultations for technical staff, as well as consultancy on improving the regulatory and legislative framework to make this system operational.
Digital transformation of civil public services will improve the quality of public services, enhance the national capacity to ensure its preparedness and resilience to any types of crises and shocks.
The world is changing so does UNDP. We should work hard to stay ahead of the ever-evolving digital reality and ensure that digital future benefits all, leaving no one behind.
Can you please tell us about other projects UNDP implements in the field of digitalization?
To begin with, I would like to note that it would be more correct to use the term “digital transformation”. Although, at present, there is no commonly accepted definition of the terms “digitalization” and “digital transformation”. These are different phenomena, and it is extremely important to understand their differences. If you look at the context of an individual organization or a company - Digitalization is considered as an introduction of digital technologies. The depth and scale of its implementation may be different, but in general, the processes remain the same, and this is the most important thing. Digital transformation is a very deep and large-scale introduction of digital into traditional business. The acceleration of digital transformation brings your company competitive advantages, including the significant increase of efficiency compared to the period before the transformation. Work efficiency improves significantly, and your product or service can no longer be compared with the usual type of business, it becomes different and much more interesting for a consumer.
Currently, UNDP in Turkmenistan is working on several projects in the field of digital transformation. Among them are the projects on the development of a Single Window System for the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan, development of the Unified Business Register for the State Statistics Committee of Turkmenistan, development of the Unified Register of the Civil Registry Office, on Supporting Business and Digital Transformation in Banking for the State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan and other projects. I would also like to note that UNDP proposed its assistance in the development of Electronic Data Interchange system (EDI) in accordance with the” State Programme for the Development of the Digital Economy in Turkmenistan for 2021-2025”. Together with representatives of the Agency "Turkmenaragatnashyk" and other involved national entities we hosted a series of consultations on these issues with the participation of the international experts, who consulted our national partners about current trends in the digital transformation of public services and presented practical experience and lessons learnt from Estonia, which is one of the most developed digital states in the world. UNDP in Turkmenistan hopes for a positive decision on this proposal and is ready to make every effort to help our country to accelerate the digital transformation of its economy and public services sector.
Today we cannot imagine our life without Internet. The internet is a fascinating and phenomenal creation and is undoubtedly on great demand by people of our and future generations. Mr. Artykov, lately we hear a lot such team as cyber hygiene. What is cyber hygiene and why is it important?
Cyber hygiene is the knowledge and skills needed to protect yourself while using the systems, primarily Internet of course. This concept consists of several components: it is an understanding of the threats that are possible on the Internet or while using other digital tools, such as paying with a bank card, it is the basic knowledge of using antivirus for instance, how to manage your passwords, and so on. Please do not confuse cyber hygiene with cyber security. Cybersecurity is something for experts to study, while knowledge of cyber hygiene skills is necessary for everyone. And of course, an important component of cyber hygiene is the knowledge on how to keep our children safe. Since the children's and adolescent’s behavior online is different, it is important to focus on anonymity, privacy and reputation protection for them.
I would recommend our readers, especially those who have children, to explore this topic more, and here is an example of the good article on this topic:
Unfortunately only personal experience is the best teacher in cyber hygiene issues. Therefore, I would like to encourage our audience not to wait until something happens, but to actively learn how to protect yourself and your family online.
How does digital development accelerate the development of women and girls? Can you briefly tell us about STEM4ALL platform?
First of all, I would like to share my own personal experience on this. I have worked for number of big Technology companies as Huawei, Schlumberger and Microsoft. And I can say with absolute certainty that I have met a lot of truly gifted and successful female engineers and technical experts. Let’s also not forget that Countess Ada Lovelace is known as the first female programmer in the history. Specialists will probably also remember that one of the earliest programming languages, Ada, was named after her (29th place in the TIOBE index).
Secondly, let me remind your readers once again that UNDP and UNICEF created STEM4ALL (STEM-Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) platform dedicated to accelerating gender equality and breaking gender stereotypes in STEM.
The platform is a virtual public space for advocacy, research and knowledge sharing to encourage more women and girls to develop in STEM across the region and beyond.
Bridging the gender divide in STEM education and careers is vital to meet the demands of digital reality and achieving the Sustainable development goals.
You can find more about this digital platform on https://stem4alleurasia.org/
Studying STEM and in particular computer science and programming is a very good opportunity for anyone, at any age. This is an opportunity to get ready for an interesting and well-paid profession, with very good prospects for development. Let’s not forget that there is a wide range of jobs available in IT industry, ranging from a designer to a Data Scientist, from a Mobile application developer to a Mechatronics Engineer. You can choose one, which suits your interests best. The main thing is not to stand still and continue looking for yourself in the STEM field.
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