COVID-19 is an opportunity to bring services closer to people
The outbreak of COVID-19 has become a window of opportunity to accelerate the digital transformation of the healthcare system and social services in Azerbaijan. With social distancing in place, government agencies, businesses and civil society are looking for new ways to interact with people. This is timely, as improving public service delivery has been identified as an ‘SDG accelerator’ that can boost progress across the whole 2030 Agenda in the country.
Together with the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, UNDP has created a digital platform with all e-services available in Azerbaijan during COVID-19. This one-stop shop covers more than 250 resources across health, education and social services – including telemedicine, virtual schooling, crowdfunding campaigns, food support for vulnerable groups and services to older persons – all provided by micro, small and mid-sized enterprises as well as by grassroots organizations.
UNDP is also helping to develop digital tools, including a mobile app, online courses and a video platform to support medical personnel make decisions based on the latest research and bring doctors to people’s smartphones. Bots take part in this integrated digital strategy – ‘Shefa’, a self-checker bot, helps free up resources so medical professionals can look after patients in need of critical care, while a WhatsApp bot helps raise awareness of COVID-19 prevention.