Introduction to e-Governance


Ingrid Pappel

Dr Ingrid Pappel (PhD), lecturer, has over 15 years of experience and has been active in different development projects related to e-governance solutions. Besides working as a project manager in several state projects it has been her privilege to lecture in many universities and colleges in Estonia since 2007. One of her biggest achievements in recent years and a crucial component for e-governance education has been the establishment of international Master’s programme e-Governance Technologies and Services ( within Tallinn University of Technology in cooperation with field experts and public sector facilities.This programme should enable to aggregate best-practice academic knowledge as well as the needs of the public sector and the experience of the private sector in the field of e-governance solutions. She is also an active entrepreneur - the partner, head of the records management department and the chief designer at Interinx ltd ( since 1996.

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A warm welcome to the "Introduction to e-Governance" course. In order to pass this course successfully and to enjoy the learning process, below is some basic information about:  
















    Course description 

    The course aims to explain and describe e-Governance. General info-political principles, organizational setup, management of e-governance, legal framework, financing of e-governance systems and services as well as technical architecture are discussed in this context.

    The purpose is for students to learn about more than just the technical aspects of e-governance. Importantly, at the end of the course students should be able to analyze e-governance concepts and frameworks and have the necessary skills for engaging in the e-Gov planning and development processes. 

    Structure and content

    This course will introduce the main areas of e-governance and its related fields.

    In each module, various e-governance experts and practitioners will cover some of the most important questions and issues in their area of expertise. The course is built on the experience of leading Estonian experts in this field and includes a lot of practical knowledge gained from different eGov projects. We’ll begin by trying to understand what information society is and how it has set the frame for e-governance.

    Then, we will give you the basic building blocks for e-governance – what its characteristic aims, initiatives and enablers are, and how it relates to other subjects and domains. We’ll spend the rest of the course gaining an introductory overview of several different areas of e-governance. As this field is very interdisciplinary, it requires cooperation with many domains whilst influencing the legal environment in addition to carrying out changes on the IT level


    Week 1 (20 Jan – 27 Jan)


    Ch 1. Introduction to Information Society

    1. Concepts and principles of information society, I. Pappel
    2. Different policies and approaches in e-governance development, S. Sikkut

    Ch 2. e-Governance terminology and the most common enablers

    Ch 3. Scope of e-Governance

    Task 1. Self-assessment on concepts and principles of information society

    Task 2. Self-assessment on policies and approaches in e-governance development

    Task 3. E-Governance terminology test

    Task 4. Anagrams related to e-Governance

    Week 2 (27 Jan – 3 Feb)


    Ch 4. Estonian e-Governance evolution, best practices and case studies

    1. Introduction into Estonia’s ICT development, A. Ott
    2. Building e-Identity in Estonia, M. Pedak
    3. X-Road architecture (technological approach), A. Kütt
    4. Estonian ICT Strategy, Agenda 2020, S. Sikkut
    5. E-Residency, T. Kotka

    Ch 5. Service orientation in the public sector

    1. The definition of service and different stage models, R. Sirendi
    2. Service-orientation in the public sector, R. Sirendi
    3. Main principles of service design, R. Sirendi

    Task 5. Self-assessment on Estonia’s ICT development

    Task 6. Self-assessment on e-Identity in Estonia

    Task 7. Self-assessment on X-Road architecture

    Task 8. Self-assessment on Estonian ICT strategy

    Task 9. Self-assessment on e-Residency

    Task 10. Self-assessment on definition of service, stage models

    Task 11. Self-assessment on service-orientation in the public sector

    Task 12. Self-assessment on principles of service design

    Task 13. Article on electronic services in the public sector

    Week 3 (3 Feb – 10 Feb)


    Ch 6. Legislative environment and its adaptability

    1. Legal framework and how to adapt it to the environment and society, K. M. Nyman Metcalf
    2. Data protection and citizen rights, K. M. Nyman Metcalf

    Ch 7. e-Democracy, including citizens in the decision-making processes, elections and voting

    1. The core principles of e-Democracy, R. Krimmer
    2. E-Participation and e-Democracy, R. Krimmer
    3. Introduction into electoral system and e-Voting, R. Krimmer

    Task 14. Self-assessment on legal framework and its adaptation

    Task 15. Self-assessment on data protection and citizen rights

    Task 16. Article on the opinion of the european data protection supervisor

    Task 17. Self-assessment on core principles of e-Democracy

    Task 18. Self-assessment on e-Participation and e-Democracy

    Task 19. Self-assessment on electoral system and e-Voting

    Week 4 (10 Feb – 19 Feb)


    Ch 8. e-Government implementation and change management

    1. How to carry out changes in the public sector on a local and national level, M. Lauk
    2. Carrying out changes and main issues in change management, M. Lauk
    3. Main factors of e-Governance implementation, I. Pappel

    Ch 9. Change measurement and evaluation

    1. Metrics, indexes and how to carry out auditing practices in e-Governance, M. Lauk

    Task 20. Self-assessment on changes in the public sector on a local and national level

    Task 21. Self-assessment on carrying out changes and main issues in change management

    Task 22. Self-assessment on main factors of e-Governance implementation

    Task 23. Self-assessment on metrics, indexes, and carrying out auditing practices

    Task 24. Article on crucial factors for e-government implementation success and failure

    Task 25. Article on blockchain and the future of governance


    Teaching and learning methods

    Teaching is based on lecturers sharing their experience though short video lectures and practical assignments. We have divided this course into 9 chapters. Each chapter consists of 1) a short description of the field, 2) lecture notes and reading suggestions, 3) expert videos, 4) self-assessment tasks.

    Participants are encouraged to have open discussions in the blog about the topics in each chapter. The idea behind the course is also knowledge sharing between the participants. 

    During this course you will spend about 20 hours on reading materials, and approximately 160 minutes on 18 video lectures, as the estimated time per one video is 7 minutes. Every chapter consists of self-assessment tests on the lectures and some chapters also include tests based on reading assignments.

    To get a free certificate for passing this course, you have to complete 85% of the assessed tasks.

    The course will be open from 20 January until 19 February (4 weeks). 

    The deadline for the assignments is on 26 February at midnight, one week after the end of the course. 



    Dr. Ingrid Pappel, Head of the curriculum "e-Governance Technologies and Services"

    After working as a software designer and project manager in several state projects connected to implementation of digital records management systems, such as DEC and PDIS, it has been my privilege to lecture in many universities and colleges in Estonia since 2007. In 2010, I started to develop the curricula in e-governance field and today I am planning in cooperation with Mektory and with different state agencies to kick off with the eState laboratory. The latter should enable to aggregate best-practice academic knowledge, as well as the needs of the public sector and the experience of the private sector in the field of e-state solutions.

    Partner, head of records management department and chief designer in Interinx.



    Dr. Arvo Ott, Director, Estonian eGovernance Academy

    Arvo Ott is the Executive Director of Estonian e-Governance Academy.

    Dr. Arvo Ott joined the e-Governance Academy on November 1st, 2005. His main responsibilities include the coordination of e-governance studies (eGovernment and eDemocracy aspects) and general management. Prior to joining the e-Governance Academy Dr. Ott served as the Head of Department of State Information Systems (head of eGovernment office) at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications for 12.5 years. He was responsible of Estonian Information Society and eGovernment strategy planning and implementation.

    Last several years Arvo Ott took part in many international projects and programs on eGovernance (information society policy and eParticipation advise, eGov interoperability aspects etc).



    Siim Sikkut, Adviser, Republic of Estonia Government Office

    Siim Sikkut serves as Digital Policy Adviser in Government Office of Estonia. His role is to coordinate digital policy planning and execution across the government, plus advise Prime Minister on e-governance matters and oversee strategic initiatives in the area. Siim is one of the founders of Estonia’s groundbreaking e-Residency programme. Previously, he worked as economic policy and public governance expert in Estonian Development Fund, a public economic foresight think-tank. His experience also includes Estonian Ministry of Finance, in areas of governmental strategic planning and public financial management.

    Siim Sikkut graduated in 2005 from Princeton University, USA with B.A. degree in public and international affairs. He also holds a M.Sc. in International Management in China from University of London. Siim is a Board Member at e-Governance Academy, an Estonian-based e-governance think-tank, consulting and training NGO.



    Andres Kütt, Estonian Information System Architect

    Andres Kütt is currently the head architect of Estonian information system. Over the past two decades, he has played a range of roles in both public and private sector with his professional and academic interests gravitating towards various aspects of system architecture.






    Mari Pedak, e-Identity Expert, e-Governance Academy

    As a Senior Consultant  of the Estonian e-Governance Academy her main tasks are planning and implementing activities of e-government and e-identity programs, participating in related international projects, consulting in the fields of e-government and e-identity in many countries and international programs.

    Before that, she was a top civil servant in Estonian Government for 22 years, including the Director General of the Citizenship and Migration Board for a long time. Under her leadership and participation Estonian identity and authentication policies were developed and digital identity card was introduced in 2002. In 2007 the consolidation of ICT services of the Ministry of Interior was carried out and the largest ICT authority of Estonian public sector - ICT and Development Centre of the Ministry of Interior - was created under her leadership.



    Regina Sirendi, Lecturer, e-Governance Technologies and Services, TUT

    Regina Sirendi is an e-governance lecturer at the Tallinn University of Technology on an international Master’s programme E-Governance Technologies and Services. She is also a PhD student on a joint programme between the Tallinn University of Technology and Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

    By combining her academic work and PhD studies she focuses on designing proactive public services by using agent-oriented modelling as proposed by Prof Kuldar Taveter and Prof Leon Sterling.






    Prof. Dr.Katrin Merike Nyman-MetcalfHead of the Chair of Law and Technology, TUT

    Professor Katrin Nyman Metcalf is Professor and Head of the Chair of Law and Technology at Tallinn Law School, Tallinn University of Technology. She lectures in public international, EU and comparative law with a special emphasis on communications law. She has a PhD (1999) in Public International Law (the law of outer space) from Uppsala University, Sweden. Professor Nyman-Metcalf´s research interests include how law and technology meet especially in the sphere of ICT and e-governance, including privacy and freedom of expression. Apart from her academic work, Katrin is Head of Research for the Estonian e-Governance Academy and works as an international consultant in the area of ICT law and e-governance. She has worked in more than 40 countries all over the world, including many developing and post-conflict societies. 




    Prof. Dr. Robert Krimmer, Professor of e-Governance, Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance, TUT

    Prof. Dr. Robert Krimmer is Full Professor of e-Governance within Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance at the Faculty of Social Science, in Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia. He is focusing on electronic voting and democracy, the transformation of the public sector, and all issues further developing a digital society. Associate Editor of the international scientific journal Government Information Quarterly (GIQ). Teaching on e-Governance, Open Data and Government, e-Democracy, e-Voting as well as End-User Management Information Systems at Tallinn University of Technology, University of Applied Sciences Hagenberg, Danube University Krems, and WU Vienna University of Economics and Business. Mentor of more than twenty graduation theses. Author and/or editor of ten books/special issues of scientific journals, and he has authored some 120 articles. 


    Mihkel Lauk, Consulting Manager at PwC Advisors

    Mihkel is PricewaterhouseCoopers Estonian firm Manager. His specialization is process improvement and information technology governance. Mihkel earned a Master’s degree in IT management from the Estonian Business School (EBS, 2007). He has been active in the ICT area since 1996. Mihkel has set up Estonia’s largest web company ADM Interactive which exports its services to 32 countries across the world. He has been in charge of Hewlett-Packard Internet marketing in the Baltic States and developed web applications in EMEA region.

    Mihkel has been involved in many projects in various industries and Public Sector. He has obtained extensive experience in development of Public Services, incl. e-Services since 1998. Mihkel is also experienced business analyst with proficiency in UML and Requirements Management. He is excellent liaison between business and technical people. Mihkel’s skills and experience help to ensure a high-quality input into process and service development.



    Taavi Kotka, Deputy Secretary General for Communications and State Information Systems, Ministry of Econimic Affairs and Communications

    Taavi´s previous experience comes from the IT-sector where he was an entrepreneur and a CEO in one of the largest and most rapidly growing software companies in the Baltics – Nortal AS. Today, he acts as the Deputy Secretary General for Communications and State Information Systems at the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, and is a Special Advisor on Digital Single Market and e-Governance issues to the European Commission´s Vice-President, Mr. Andrus Ansip. Taavi is an expert committee member at SmartCap, focusing on seed and follow-up investments, and as one of the authors of the national e-residency project, is head of the Estonian e-residency program council.

    Awards: one of the most influential Technology Leader by Computerworld (2015); European CIO of the year by ICT Spring (2015); Estonia’s Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young (2011)


    Technical team

    Ailin Gayibli, Tallinn University of Technology

    Please contact her at about any questions you may have regarding the course.


    A special thank you to the original course developers:

    Karin Oolu, Project Manager, e-Governance Technologies and Services, Tallinn University of Technology

    Kalev Lepik, Video Director, Tallinn University of Technology

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