Show the Thing 4: Diia.Education - Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation

This is part of a series of blog posts for Show the Thing. Hosted by Public Digital and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, Show the Thing brings together government digital teams from around the world. This month, we heard from experts in Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Transformation on its e-governance ecosystem and digital literacy initiative. 

Ukraine has a vision to become the most convenient digital state in the world. The formation of the government’s newest department The Ministry of Digital Transformation and its e-governance ecosystem, Diia, have been central in helping realise this aspiration.

To explain how the Ukrainian Government is continuing these ambitious digital reforms, even in the face of significant hardship and challenge, we had the honour and privilege of welcoming Valeriya Ionan, Deputy Minister for Eurointegration, to host our fourth convening of Show The Thing. She focussed on the criticality of education - and in particular, digital literacy - in building a well-functioning digital state.


Launched in 2019, Diia uses a mobile-focused approach to user-centred services cutting bureaucracy by, for instance, making digital passports equivalent to paper passports.

Digital projects have not been sidelined by the ongoing focus on defence. Instead, Diia has rapidly introduced new services to bring the government closer to citizens through technology. This is true both in day-to-day service provision (e.g.applying for bank accounts or paying fines), as well as services that specifically relate to the war effort (e.g. a chatbot to report enemy movements, and facilitating donations and the purchase of military bonds).

Whilst Ukraine has relatively good connectivity, a significant research project identified that 53% of Ukrainians had low digital skills. In order to provide services that deliver for all citizens, Ukraine’s government prioritised education delivery through the Diia.Digital education platform. Diia.Digital education has since evolved to reflect the country’s changing circumstances.

Diia.Digital education

Although edutainment is not a new concept, its application as a central tool for a government seeking to enhance digital literacy is certainly innovative.

In its initial phases, Diia.Digital education catered to specific groups by offering tailored sessions to address identified needs. For instance, the programme engaged the elderly through sessions hosted by well-known celebrities, while public servants benefited from modules hosted by expert practitioners. This approach aimed to bridge the digital literacy gap and make learning more engaging and relevant for targeted demographics.

It was further supported by the use of ‘offline hubs’ including in libraries, where efforts were made to encourage librarians to act as digital champions. Though this particular idea met with limited success, the effectiveness of the programme overall was clear. In 2021, a follow-up study was conducted that showed a 5% rise in digital literacy across Ukraine, amounting to more than 1.4 million people. Most of the improvement observed was among those with no digital literacy, who progressed to either a basic or higher level.

Digital response to crisis

The full scale invasion to Ukraine in February 2022 necessitated a significant transformation in the platform’s use and the leveraging of its capabilities to respond to a crisis.

Amongst the most significant challenges to address was the large number of displaced people and resultant increased unemployment. The platform continues to help citizens build digital literacy, but also transformed to Diia.Education and encompasses a wider range of learning modules, to help people upskill or reskill. It also covers a wide range of professions, as diverse as florists, tilers and digital marketing managers.

It includes material that permits a full end-to-end process for someone looking to, for instance, adopt a new vocation. Amongst the resources available are:

  • Edutainment modules - typically 5-7 minutes in length.

  • Tests

  • Immersive simulators - to build practical application of acquired skills.

  • Certifications

  • Integration with Ukraine’s largest recruitment platforms - allowing users to view and apply for opportunities.

Ukraine’s commitment to education hasn’t ended here. President Zelenskyy recently announced development of a new government app called MRIA - which translates to ‘dream’ - and aims to be the best government education app in the world. It intends to support all citizens from kindergarten to graduation and beyond by using AI and other emerging technologies to build personalised education services.

More information

Thank you

We would like to thank Valeriya for her exceptional presentation, as well as our wonderful hosts Onyeka Onyekwelu and David Eaves for facilitating the event and offering their expertise and insight.

We would also like to thank everyone who attended and appreciate your questions and feedback. Judging by our responses, I think we were all in awe of the inspiring resolve, commitment and optimism of Valeriya and her team in delivering such a valuable and innovative service to citizens in unimaginably testing circumstances.

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