The government of Azerbaijan is set to inaugurate an ASAN Service public services center in Shusha city in 2024. The launch of this cutting-edge service is a pivotal step in the restoration of Azerbaijani public services in territories liberated from Armenian occupation in 2020.
Ulvi Mehdiyev, Chairman of the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of Azerbaijan, reported that preliminary work for the ASAN Service launch has already commenced, according to local media.
He mentioned that the all-in-one public services hub will be rolled out across the liberated lands in phases, concurrent with restoration and reconstruction activities that will facilitate the return of former IDPs.
The inaugural presentation of the ASAN Service in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan occurred in August 2022 when a service kiosk was launched in the Aghali village, Zangilan district. In April 2023, a Mobile ASAN Service bus provided express public services, including the issuance and replacement of identity cards, civil passports, and driver’s licenses, to residents of the liberated Talysh village, Tartar district.
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories, including Shusha. Azerbaijan regained sovereignty over the city on November 8, 2020, during a 44-day-long counter-offensive operation from September 27 through November 9, 2020. The liberation of Shusha played a crucial role in the retreat of Armenia’s forces and the cessation of hostilities.
Before liberating Shusha, the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan reclaimed more than 300 settlements in the Karabakh and East Zangazur regions, including four cities.
Since the end of 2020, extensive restoration efforts have been underway in Shusha. Shortly after its liberation, President Ilham Aliyev declared Shusha the “cultural capital” of Azerbaijan. By the end of 2023, the Azerbaijani government plans to relocate the first group of former IDPs to the city.
The ASAN Service and Assessment Network, or ASAN, which translates to “easy” in Azerbaijani, is a comprehensive service network designed to simplify access to public services and enhance communication between the government and citizens. The network offers a wide range of services, making it a one-stop-shop for citizens seeking public services.
ASAN Service (ASAN Xidmət in Azerbaijani) was initially introduced in 2012 and has since expanded to 26 centers across Azerbaijan, providing over 360 services through its comprehensive hi-tech system grid. These services include birth, death, and marriage registration, ID and passport issuance, migration services, driver’s license issuance, real estate records, and electronic visa processing for foreigners, among others. ASAN also offers 55 utility services through three cutting-edge centers, further enhancing government-to-people interaction. Additionally, for those residing in remote areas, ASAN provides a “service on wheels” option through ten fully-equipped buses and a train, collectively known as Mobile ASAN.
Between 2012 and 2023, ASAN Service centers processed more than 63 million applications. Over the same period, the ASAN Service’s “service on wheels” buses also handled nearly 3 million applications from citizens in remote areas. The satisfaction rate of the ASAN Service among Azerbaijani citizens is currently an impressive 99.8 percent.
In 2015, the UN acknowledged ASAN Service as the best “Public Services Concept.” In February of this year, ASAN was awarded the title of “Best Government Service in the World” at the 10th World Government Summit held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The network won the award over contenders from 80 countries in the Global Government Excellence Award Program.