IGF 2023 Lightning Talk #125 mCitizen as a digital assistant of every citizen

Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 (00:50 UTC) - Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 (01:20 UTC)
SC – Room H

Data Governance & Trust
Data Free Flow

Data Governance & Trust

The Ministry of Digital Affairs
Michał Kalinowski, Center for Informatics Technology, Director of Department of Digital Channels, Plenipotentiary of the Minister of Digitization for application mCitizen (Poland), Eastern European Group


Michał Kalinowski, Center for Informatics Technology, Director of Department of Digital Channels, Plenipotentiary of the Minister of Digitization for application mCitizen (Poland)

Rafał Sionkowski, Center for Informatics Technology, Team Leader (Poland)

Onsite Moderator

Mariusz Przybyszewski, Ministry of Digital Affairs

Online Moderator

Mariusz Przybyszewski, Ministry of Digital Affairs


Mariusz Przybyszewski, Ministry of Digital Affairs



Targets: The individual areas are implemented as follows: 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels - The mObywatel application provides citizens with access to information collected in state registers, such as the number of penal points, information on health services. 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels - Changes in the area of mCitizen are implemented in the course of consultations with stakeholders – both from the administrative sphere and from among citizens. Citizen submissions also have an impact on the roadmap being built. 16.9 By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration - A new identity document (mDowód) will be introduced, which can be used using the mCitizen application. The topic of notifying the birth of a child has been included in the roadmap and will be developed in the future. 16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements - As part of mCitizen, it is planned to make the application code available to the public in order to increase the transparency of the implemented activities. We provide citizens with documentation describing the services they can use in the application. 17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships - Build a new, secure way to verify identity that commercial companies can implement to verify the identity or age of citizens.


Onsite and online presentation with participants interactions.

Duration (minutes)



In order to verify their identity and rights, every citizen has an identity card, driving license, school card, senior card or local resident card. In order to use e-services, you must log in to the website of the Ministry of Finance, the Social Insurance Institution or another state institution. What if he didn't need a whole wallet of plastic documents? What if you could access the services from a single application? In the speech we want to present the mCitizen (mObywatel) application, which has been developed since 2017. Initially in the form of only one document (mIdentity), however, over time it was integrated with other state registers, which made it possible to add further documents and e-services (such as driving license, Vehicle Card, school and student ID, or large family card). During the Covid-19 pandemic, it was in the application that we put the EU Covid Certificate, which was used by citizens on the territory of the country, as well as when crossing borders. On the other hand, in 2022, we introduced a separate document Diia.pl, which could be used by refugees from Ukraine, to confirm their legal stay on the territory of Poland and to enable them to travel within the European Union, as well as to cross its external borders. This made it possible to provide express and multidimensional assistance to war refugees. Currently, the application has already been downloaded more than 10 million times. This year, thanks to legislative changes and comprehensive modernization, we are opening a new chapter in the life of the application. From the middle of the year, the mID (mDowód), which will appear in the application, will be a completely new identity document. Our goal is to establish more and more cooperation with other entities, including municipalities. Thanks to this, the application, which until now was a document wallet for citizens, will become their digital assistant. We will also present our further development plans for the application, which include, among other things, adapting to the eIDAS 2.0 standard as well as ensuring compliance with the European Wallet standard.

All participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and comment on presentation. Participants' comments will be moderated by onsite and online moderator.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

1. mObywatel 2.0 is an evolution of the well-known mObywatel application. This means a evolution from the previous concept of a digital wallet for documents, a significant change in functionality and purpose towards services.

2. Transition to Agile (Scrum) Methodology: The organization recognized the need for a change in their project management approach and shifted from the traditional waterfall method to the agile Scrum methodology. This transition was driven by the need to respond quickly to changing business requirements, involve stakeholders, and engage citizens in the development process.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

1. Prioritize the evolution and adaptation of existing digital services to meet citizens changing needs and expectations. At the same time, ensure compliance with European regulatory standards to simplify data exchange. By implementing new functionalities and goals, you can significantly increase the value provided to users.

2. Build a Skilled and Diverse Team: Invest in assembling a team with the right mix of skills and expertise required for your projects. A well-rounded team can contribute to the success of your projects.

Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions


The initial part of the presentation covered the core concepts of the new app version and the fresh identity document.

The objective is for the mObywatel application to become the citizen's primary point of contact with the government, effectively functioning as a digital assistant. The new application version is a response to citizen's needs. Every service and feature underwent usability testing, and we continued to make changes and enhancements until reaching version 2.0. The most significant change involves introducing a completely new identity document known as mDowód.

New Digital ID card

mDowód is entirely new, electronic identity document that differs from an standard ID card in terms of its series and number, date of issue, and expiration date. Thanks to the new law, it will be possible to use it to confirm identity in almost every place - for instance, at the office, in court, at the clinic, at the post office, or with a notary.

Document Verification

The first method utilizes device-to-device verification, utilizing QR codes and cryptography to enhance security. The second includes visual verification on mobile phones, integrating dynamic elements like flags and dates to prevent screenshot fraud. The third is specifically designed for system integration and is primarily focused on meeting the requirements of financial institutions, improving the accessibility of remote verification processes.

The second section of the presentation elaborated on the operational methods and the shift towards agile methodologies.

Why is Agile used in the public sector?

A flexible approach was required to quickly adapt to changing business needs. In this Agile framework, stakeholders were involved, and regular feedback was obtained in short cycles. This approach helped in keeping a close eye on progress and making the project responsive to stakeholder needs. Emphasis was placed on transparency, allowing citizens to observe the work in real-time. This demonstrated a commitment to openness, responsiveness, and delivering valuable services to the public.

Change in the release management process

A change in the release management process was implemented for greater efficiency and responsiveness. The release process for both mobile apps and backend services was automated. This allowed for swift development and testing of 30 to 40 versions of mobile apps every day. A new application with new features and improvements was released to citizens every two weks. 

Involving citizens

The input of citizens is highly valued and is an integral part of product development. Comprehensive research is conducted on products and features, including usability testing, where products are actively used to identify issues and enhance the user experience. In-depth interviews are conducted to gain a deeper understanding of user opinions and experiences. Observations of user behavior are used to identify patterns and issues. Focus groups are organized to engage in moderated discussions with users to gather a wide range of opinions and ideas about products and services. All of these methods ensure that citizen feedback is prioritized, and continuous improvements are made to their offerings.