You may have heard of the D5 or D7 or D9, only to find that it is not entirely clear what it is or why the name keeps changing. Even a quick Google search does not provide a solid answer. Is it a military tank? A group of European countries? A 1990’s wrestling move? In this case, none of the above.
The D9 (Digital 9) is a network of the world’s leading digital governments and yes, we are working on our online presence. Together, Canada, Estonia, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay collaborate on common projects, champion growing digital economies, and identify how digital governments can provide the most benefit to citizens.
An admittedly eclectic group, the D9 embodies an increasingly common form of international engagement, minilateralism, where small groups of states cooperate on specific topics with a global impact. Our membership is inspired by the collective goal to harness the power of digital technology in government rather the size of economy or population.
D9 members lead by example, creating and sharing best practices. For instance, Israel has adapted the United Kingdom’s Gov.uk code, and Mexico has tried out Canada’s algorithmic impact assessment tool. We organize annual summits to hold Ministerial discussions, specialized workshops and informative presentations on themes such as artificial intelligence, digital rights and innovation.
Future of the D9
The value of the group resides in the opportunity to do things together. In this spirit, and in the name of sustained progress, we established a Secretariat to work on behalf of all nine nations, with Canada graciously offering to be the first host.
Now would be a good time to introduce myself – I’m Jordan Storozuk, the D9 Secretariat!Much to the delight and relief of overworked members, I assumed this role at the 5th Ministerial Summit in Israel, in November 2018. My previous experiences – professional and academic, political and non-partisan, Canadian and international – will hopefully serve me well in this new and challenging role.
Maintaining a neutral position as the Secretariat, I served this year’s group by setting the agenda and ensuring decisions were implemented. Members shared their ideas, perspectives and advice for the new role in bilateral meetings, WhatsApp messages, and on-stage presentations.
I was thrilled to see such highly-motivated, intelligent and ambitious individuals working tirelessly to prepare their governments and citizens for the incoming tsunami of digital change. The ideas, projects and policies pursued by D9 countries, whether in Tallinn or Montevideo or Seoul, are truly world-class. I am convinced of this minilateral group’s outsize potential.
My continuing role as Secretariat will involve middle-of-the-night conference calls, a hectic travel schedule, and occasionally wondering what I signed up for. Though only one person, I’m prepared to do what it takes to help D9 countries realize their joint potential as international leaders for digital governance. It says so in the job description!
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Submitted by Bev matthews on December 21, 2018 - 12:15 AM