Applied Research by CITIS

CITIS team together with the JRFs from the ECePS ERA Chair is engaged in applied research projects under our three key domains that would enable unique access to data sets to develop solutions to solves specific real-world problems.  

In the Pro-Active Public Digital Services domain we have developed an unemployment risk scoring machine learning application called OTT, which is being used by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (EUIF) to provide active labour market services to roughly 70 000 people annually. In September 2021, EUIF contracted with CITIS to maintain the machine learning model and seek to develop new functionalities and analytical models that can be embedded into the digital service. OTT was selected as the best data driven service in the Estonian public sector in 2021 ( and has also been referenced in the JRC AI landscape report 2022 (  

The personalisation of services around citizen life-events and pro-active pushing of services is a major new development in digital public service delivery, but one with many technical, legal and organisational challenges that must be addressed. Through a service contract signed with the Nortal company in March 2022, we are exploring how to meet these challenges in the Estonian use case by developing a pro-active life-event service delivery platform commissioned by the Estonian State Information System Authority (project acronym RIA/NORTAL). Through this project, we will gain invaluable knowledge and new empirical material as it demonstrates what new service designs are possible given the advanced level of the Estonian digital state.

In the Cross-Border/Service Impact Assessment domain a number of papers and conference papers on enabling cross-border services were published by the team focusing on the preconditions of the SDGR stipulated service list and the barriers that exist for effective cross-border service delivery. We were also commissioned to do a study for the Nordic Interoperability Institute (NIIS) outlining the state of the art of different interoperability solutions which would enable cross-border services. This study has been published as a report ( and the team is working on paper drafts based on the findings of the report.

In addition, we were awarded a grant to work with Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and University of Ljubljana to develop methods to automate the evaluation of micro-level impacts of cross border services. Such a solution would enable continuous evaluation of policy effects, enabling more agile, evidence-based decision-making. The project will result in at least three joint research papers on the state of the art of impact assessment as well as on micro-level data usage in a cross-border setting. We have also been awarded a framework service contract to develop the services stipulated by SDGR in Estonia under the auspices of the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Communications. Working in cooperation with Nortal, we will explore IT development commissioned for real-time economy (RTE) applications.  

In the Internet Voting domain, the main focus is on internet voting, as the group has a competitive advantage in that domain by being responsible for running the biggest European internet voting conference, E-Vote-ID, as well as conducting the long-term Estonian internet voter study 2005-2023. This research stream is also supported by the mGov4EU project which will culminate in running an internet voting pilot with the cross-border mobile-based technology developed as part of the project.