Digital Iceland Strategy

December 2018

Strategies and Action Plans

The Digital Iceland strategy is a comprehensive initiative aimed at transforming public services, fostering digital literacy, and ensuring inclusive access to digital technologies. Spearheaded by the Ministry of Transport and Local Government, this strategy encompasses several key components and initiatives designed to position Iceland as a digital leader.

Objectives of Digital Iceland

The overarching goal of Digital Iceland is to create a digitally advanced society where public services are easily accessible, efficient, and user-friendly. The strategy aims to:

  • Enhance the digital literacy of Icelandic citizens.
  • Improve the accessibility and efficiency of public services.
  • Ensure equal access to high-speed internet across the country.
  • Foster innovation and economic development through digital means.

Key Components of Digital Iceland

1. E-Government Services: The development of e-government services is a cornerstone of the Digital Iceland strategy. This involves creating online portals and digital platforms to streamline access to government services, reduce bureaucracy, and improve service delivery.

  • Online Portals: The government has launched comprehensive online portals where citizens can access various services, such as tax filings, permit applications, and public records. These portals aim to provide a one-stop-shop for government interactions.
  • Digital Identity: A secure digital identity system allows citizens to authenticate themselves online, ensuring secure access to e-government services.
  • Interoperability Framework: Developing an interoperability framework ensures that different government systems can communicate and share data efficiently, reducing redundancy and improving coordination.

2. Digital Literacy and Skills Development: Improving digital literacy is essential for ensuring that all citizens can benefit from digital services.

  • Educational Programs: The government collaborates with educational institutions to integrate digital literacy into the curriculum, starting from primary education to higher education. These programs focus on developing basic digital skills as well as more advanced competencies required in the digital economy.
  • Public Workshops and Training: Various public workshops and training sessions are organised to help citizens, particularly older adults and those in rural areas, improve their digital skills. These programs cover topics such as internet safety, online banking, and using digital government services.

3. Infrastructure Improvement: Investing in infrastructure is critical to support the widespread use of digital services.

  • Broadband Expansion: Significant investments are being made to expand high-speed broadband access across the country, particularly in rural and remote areas. The government provides subsidies and incentives to telecom companies to extend their networks.
  • 5G Deployment: Iceland is working on the deployment of 5G networks to enhance connectivity and support the next generation of digital services, including the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart city applications.

4. Inclusive Digital Services: Ensuring that digital services are accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities and those with limited digital skills, is a key focus.

  • Accessible Design: Digital services are designed with accessibility in mind, following international standards to ensure that they are usable by people with various disabilities.
  • Support Services: Helplines and support services are available to assist citizens in using digital platforms. This includes technical support and guidance on navigating online services.

5. Innovation and Economic Development: The Digital Iceland strategy also aims to foster innovation and support the growth of the digital economy.

  • Support for Startups and SMEs: The government provides funding, resources, and mentorship for tech startups and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Initiatives include incubator programs, grants, and access to venture capital.
  • Research and Development (R&D): Promoting R&D in key areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and renewable energy technologies. Collaboration with universities, research institutions, and the private sector is encouraged to drive innovation.
  • Smart Cities: Implementing smart city initiatives to improve urban living through the use of digital technologies. Projects include smart transportation systems, energy management, and public safety enhancements.

Implementation and Governance

The implementation of the Digital Iceland strategy is overseen by a dedicated task force within the Ministry of Transport and Local Government. This task force coordinates with various stakeholders, including other government ministries, local authorities, private sector partners, and civil society organisations.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Regular monitoring and evaluation are conducted to assess the progress of the strategy and make necessary adjustments. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are established to measure the effectiveness of different initiatives.
  • Public-Private Partnerships: The strategy emphasises the importance of public-private partnerships in achieving its goals. By collaborating with the private sector, the government leverages expertise, technology, and investment to drive digital transformation.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Continuous engagement with stakeholders, including citizens, businesses, and advocacy groups, ensures that the strategy remains responsive to the needs of the community.