Open Access
Issue
BIO Web Conf.
Volume 27, 2020
International Scientific-Practical Conference “Agriculture and Food Security: Technology, Innovation, Markets, Human Resources” (FIES 2020)
Article Number 00088
Number of page(s) 5
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/bioconf/20202700088
Published online 25 November 2020

© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020

Licence Creative Commons
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1 Introduction

Nowadays state and municipal authorities use the capabilities of information and communication technologies, including the Internet, for effective interaction with citizens and organizations. For this purpose, federal and regional portals of state and municipal services, websites of state and municipal authorities, as well as local self-government are actively used. Today, electronic state and municipal services are a convenient and modern form for making an appointment with a doctor, paying for utility bills, submitting tax reports, etc.

The digitalization process covers both large cities and small settlements. However, it is necessary to state that all the achievements of informatization of rural settlements and municipalities are reduced to informing citizens, however the rural population itself does not have the skills to work with information technology. At the same time, the gap in the field of informatization between cities and small settlements, and primarily small rural settlements, is growing.

More than 20 thousand (90%) of Russian municipalities has to work in the field of informatization by residual principle, as they are subsidized. A colossal gap has formed between large cities and rural settlements, which make up the overwhelming majority of Russian municipalities.

Table 1 presents in percents the data on the use of information and communication technologies by the urban and rural population of Russia for 2018.

The data characterizing the use of ICT in urban and rural areas show that the rural population is less provided with access to the Internet, including broadband. Only every second rural resident uses personal computer with

Internet access, while more than 70% of urban residents use the Internet to realize its potential in personal and professional activities.

Table 1.

Use of information technologies and information and telecommunication networks in households by type of settlement in Russia

2 Materials and methods

The inability of rural population to freely receive, use and disseminate information is Russia-wide problem that affects the socio-economic state. In this regard, a digital divide arises, that is, a situation in which a certain category of citizens has limited opportunities to use modern information and communication technologies. Digital divide can arise both on a national scale and within a region or even a city. It is dangerous because it creates a competitive advantage among the wealthy over the poor. Thus, the poor do not participate in the development of digital economy and worsen their position. The terms “digital inequality” and “digital divide” are synonymous and can be used equally.

The digital divide is closely related not only to the ability to access the Internet, but also to the skills of working with information technology tools. Table 2 provides a percentage comparison of PC skills of urban and rural populations.

According to Table 2, the rural population has a lower level of work with a personal computer. As statistics shows, currently only 26% of the working-age population of Russia has digital literacy (they can solve problems in a technologically rich environment). The digital literacy of the rural population requires further development. For this, the state should actively introduce educational courses with a focus on the rural population.

For example, 20.35 University and Russian IT companies have launched an educational resource “tsifrovayagramotnost.rf” (website for digital literacy education). With the help of this online portal, any resident of Russia will be able to learn the safe and effective use of digital technologies and services, learn about modern opportunities and threats of the digital environment, learn to observe digital hygiene and protect personal data by studying structured information in a micro-learning format for free.

At the moment, the users have access to the first pilot version of the project, which contains training videos and articles to develop basic digital skills for both beginners and advanced digital consumers. Starting next year, this portal will be filled with online lessons, tests and such auxiliary services as development trajectories, tests for self-assessment of literacy.

Table 2.

Share of population with PC skills by the type of settlement, 2018

3 Results

The purpose of this project is to double the level of digital literacy of rural residents of Russia by 2024. By this time, it is planned that rural users will undergo a variety of training and testing of the studied material on the portal, moreover training programs will be posted for various categories of digital consumers - from beginners to advanced users.

The main directions for the elimination of the digital divide between rural and urban residents were proposed in the Federal Law of July 7, 2003 No. 126-FL “On Communication”. The latest amendments to the law provide the organization of points of access to the network in settlements of 250 to 500 people and the organization of access to the Internet at a speed of at least 10 Mbit / s. In 2014, a ten-year contract for the provision of universal communication services was signed with Rostelecom.

Next, we consider the use of the Internet by urban and rural population in the Russian Federation in 2018. The data is presented in Figure 1.

Urban residents are still more active Internet users, with 66% of the rural population actively using the Internet. In most cases, the Internet is used for entertainment and communication. Only 21.8% of the rural population order goods and services online.

Urban-type settlements and villages prefer wireless Internet, for them it is convenient to use social networks, but it is not very profitable to access more “heavy” resources. The rural population has the opportunity to pay for Internet services, but they can not connect to it. There is no network in many rural educational institutions, libraries, and even post offices.

There are rural areas that are not covered by a highquality mobile network. In 1343 small towns and villages there is no possibility to make a voice call over the cellular network. In many settlements, modern communications have not yet been installed.

To eliminate the digital divide in Internet access points, free access is provided to more than 2,000 information resources of the state authorities of the Russian Federation, the Unified Portal of State and Municipal Services, as well as to the media that publish official regulatory legal acts.

One of the advantages of Internet is the ability to receive state and municipal services in electronic form. State (municipal) services are services that are provided to individuals and organizations at their request by federal executive bodies, executive bodies of state power of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, governing bodies of state extra-budgetary funds of the Russian Federation or local administrations within their competence.

Today public services are provided in electronic form on the Portal of Public Services of the Russian Federation. It has the ability to submit electronic applications, receive notifications and extracts and pay state duties, taxes and fines.

Figure 2 shows the data on the use of the system for the provision of electronic state and municipal services to the urban and rural population.

The source for the calculation of the indicator is the “Questionnaire for a sample survey of the population on the use of information technologies in information and telecommunication networks”. Unfortunately, only 65.7% of the rural population uses the Internet to receive state and municipal services. This is also one of the indicators of the digital divide between rural and urban populations in Russia. In 2018, almost 56 million services were provided on the single portal of public services, which is 40% more than last year.

The portal currently contains more than 18 thousand different services of dozens of state institutions and departments for rural population.

The most popular services are:

  1. Registration at the place of stay / residence

  2. Information checking on enforcement proceedings

  3. Checking tax liabilities

  4. Payment for utility services

  5. Enrollment in kindergarten

  6. Vehicle registration

  7. Checking and payment of traffic fines

  8. Checking pension savings

  9. Submission of a tax return

  10. Registration of an international passport

The convenience of the electronic form of service provision is undeniable, especially for those who live in places far from the regional center. At a minimum, this is the provision of detailed information about what can be obtained and how, under what conditions, where to contact if necessary. It should be added that not all the settlements have all those state management and support bodies that are necessary.

For example, not all rural settlements have highquality medical care. In order to have a medical check, a rural person usually comes to the regional center, makes an appointment and waits for a doctor. In modern conditions, we can make an appointment online, and a person only has to come to the doctor at the appointed time. However, without sufficient knowledge of ICT, a person can not use the services that make his life easier.

In order to identify the factors that prevent the rural population from receiving state and municipal services in electronic form, Russian statistics service conducts a sociological study. The results are shown in Figure 3.

The revealed dispositions affecting the readiness of the population to use electronic services determine the desire of rural residents to use the system for providing electronic state and municipal services. 22.8% of the rural population faced problems in service provision.

This was mainly due to technical failures on the portal and insufficient and unclear information.

Figure 4 reveals the reasons for the refusal of the rural population to use the system of providing state and municipal services in electronic form.

thumbnail Fig. 1.

Use of the Internet by urban and rural population

thumbnail Fig. 2.

Share of people using the Internet for receiving state and municipal services, %

thumbnail Fig. 3.

Share of rural population facing problems to get state and municipal services through official websites and portals in the Russian Federation, %

thumbnail Fig. 4.

Reasons for the refusal of the rural population from Internet use when receiving state and municipal services

4 Discussion

The rural population of the Russian Federation follows the established traditional model of communication with the authorities, despite the innovative forms of interaction actively introduced by the state.

The popularization and expansion of positive experience of the use of electronic environment for interacting with government agencies are relevant in the context of the data presented on the reasons of refuse from the Internet when receiving state and municipal services.

According to the federal target program “Electronic Russia (2002-2010)” and the Concept of reducing administrative barriers and increasing the availability of state and municipal services for 2011-2013, the infrastructure of public Internet access and services for the provision of state and municipal services was organized in rural areas. Such points operate in post offices, rural libraries and local government offices.

In addition, regional executive authorities and local self-government bodies providing state and municipal services are legally obliged to provide applicants with access to complete, relevant and reliable information on the provision of state and municipal services, including in electronic form.

In the buildings of the Executive Committees of rural settlements, it is necessary to place posters containing brief information:

  • on the advantages of receiving state and municipal services in electronic form and the difference from traditional way;

  • on the lists of state and municipal services available for receipt in electronic form;

  • on the schemes for registration and identity verification when registering at unified and regional portals of public services.

It is recommended to place demos with changeable demopanels in the public reception room, informing citizens about:

  • state and municipal services available for receipt in electronic form;

  • the stages and channels of receiving state and municipal services in electronic form;

  • the registration and leveling up the account at unified and regional portals of public services;

  • identification when registering at unified and regional portals of public services;

  • making payments at unified and regional portals of public services;

  • other information materials aimed at informing citizens about the benefits of receiving state and municipal services in electronic form.

The next direction of the popularization of electronic public services provision is the introduction of training and educational courses as a part of digital literacy development of rural population.

The authors propose to develop a specialized course “Digital literacy receiving electronic state and municipal services.” This course is an adaptation of digital literacy courses specifically for rural population and is aimed at developing initial competencies in the field of working with unified portal of public services. The course will cover the basic topics that are required to safely and efficiently use digital technologies and Internet resources to get services.

The course “Digital literacy receiving electronic state and municipal services” is relevant during the solution of problems of social adaptation of rural population to the modern information environment. Due to the training, they will get a general understanding of a personal computer, rules and safety measures when working in the Internet, learn how to type and format texts, handle files and folders, independently access the Internet, use state portals, websites and applications.

This course can be online on the basis of the educational resource “Tsifrovayagramotnost’.rf” or offline in rural libraries and schools. The teachers of the course can be representatives of higher and secondary vocational agricultural educational institutions, as they have a greater understanding of the specifics of rural life.

5 Conclusion

The process of digitalization of rural settlements and the training of rural population in information technology skills contributes to the diversification of local economy, the formation of expanded sources of income for villagers, the development of self-employment and the approach of urban living standards to the countryside. The implementation of the popularization directions will increase the level of loyalty of rural population to the system of electronic public services. It can be implemented at the local level of districts and scaled up at the level of a region and the country as a whole.

References

  • N.A. Safiullin, G.R. Valieva, D.I. Faizrahmanov, L.N. Savushkina, C.M. Kurakova, Quality assessment of electronic state and municipal services using the example of the ministry of agriculture of the Russian Federation, BIO Web of Conf., 17, 00143 (2020) DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/bioconf/20201700143 [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
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All Tables

Table 1.

Use of information technologies and information and telecommunication networks in households by type of settlement in Russia

Table 2.

Share of population with PC skills by the type of settlement, 2018

All Figures

thumbnail Fig. 1.

Use of the Internet by urban and rural population

In the text
thumbnail Fig. 2.

Share of people using the Internet for receiving state and municipal services, %

In the text
thumbnail Fig. 3.

Share of rural population facing problems to get state and municipal services through official websites and portals in the Russian Federation, %

In the text
thumbnail Fig. 4.

Reasons for the refusal of the rural population from Internet use when receiving state and municipal services

In the text

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