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Smart Taiwan: A Model of Democracy

Taiwan’s broadband as a human right policy allows anyone to broadcast live from Jade Mountain, the country’s highest peak. An ultra-low barrier to Internet access serves as a rock-solid foundation for the ongoing advancement of one of the world’s most free and open societies.

Taiwan’s successful experiences in digital democracy range from public affairs dialogue to cross-departmental joint efforts. Among the finest examples are the country’s internationally recognized response to COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021, including the Mask Map and 1922 SMS Contact Tracing initiatives.

In the face of a scourge of disinformation, civil society took the lead in quarantining falsehoods and paying special attention to the impact of information manipulation. This enabled Taiwan to combat the infodemic with no takedowns.

Through the DIGI+ Plan running 2017 to 2025, the Executive Yuan is strengthening Taiwan’s digital ecosystem. Tangible dividends extend to the country’s appearance on the world’s top four extremely inventive nations list for the past two years.

On this basis, the 2021 Smart Taiwan Plan continues expanding digital development. Taiwan’s digital application successes are world-leading. From community to industry and cooperation to invention, they set a benchmark for the pro-democracy camp’s technology community.

The Ministry of Digital Affairs(moda), responsible for driving Taiwan’s digital development, will connect citizens and technology, improve industry and security, fulfill the goal of a smart country and continue to lead the world via the Taiwan model.

Only a solid digital infrastructure can ensure digital applications in everyday life function as intended. The moda will continue improving the broadband application environment, shaping a diverse innovation ecosystem, and promoting and establishing standards and self-regulation mechanisms allowing anyone to access public services. This will facilitate smooth interdepartmental communication and promote further realization of equality and democracy.

Given the Internet’s decentralization and fast iteration, the government is taking a different approach to algorithm and data regulation. The moda will support civil servants in developing the necessary digital competencies, while using the current ethos of open government and citizen participation to provide flexibility. At the vanguard of these efforts are the people-public-private partnership ecosystem championed by the Presidential Hackathon. Maintaining ongoing real-time cooperation with residents serves as a motivator for policy innovation and a glue for social mutual trust.

A good innovation environment is an opportunity for the industry to sustainably develop in the digital age. The Administration for Digital Industries(ADI) will fast-track related processes of innovation and transformation, optimize overall quality, make full use of diverse talents and improve the efficiency of resource utilization. For the emerging needs of the digital age, the ADI will also adjust relevant regulations and policies to spur innovative practices, expand cross-border services, open up more business opportunities and build digital economic development for the digital era. Taiwan’s unique political situation makes the security of information transmission a matter of global concern. With the "Cyber Security Is National Security" undetaking, the newly elevated Administration for Cyber Security (ACS) oversees managing the government’s total information security efforts and associated resources. With active defense as a primary approach, the ACS will substantially boost Taiwan’s overall information security fitness and construct a cross-domain joint defense system by preventing threats and tracing the origins of assaults.

The moda is committed to promoting suitable digital tools and open mindsets through building resilience and co-creation, powering Taiwan’s shift from a digital island to a global model of digital democracy and innovation.

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