I Like the UK’s e-governmnet motto “Digital by default“. It shows real commitment to take government services to the people, not the other way round.
We have an e-Governance Secretariat established by the government of Kenya (http://www.e-government.go.ke/). The main objective in the website was to
oversee conceptualization, design and coordination of implementation of information technology activities in the civil service that are geared towards realization of full e-Government in public service delivery.
Essentially, the term e-Government also known as Digital Government, refers to
‘How government utilizes IT, ICT and other telecommunication technologies, to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness in the public sector’ (Jeong, 2007)
The government of Kenya approved a national ICT policy in consultation with relevant agencies which recognized the problems of the different disjoint government systems, duplication and lack of enabling infrastructure. Since then the government has created systems for applying for public service jobs (is it working?), tracking status of passports (dead), exam results notifications (working), a government procurement portal, and submitting tax returns and declaring customs online (perfect). Many other services are still at infant stage but it is still a step in the right direction.
Other successful e-government strategies by the government are:
- Establishing a data center and implementation of a shared services platform where common services are integrated and managed centrally to improve services, reduce overhead costs and duplications as well as for optimal utilization of the ICT human capital.
- Laid fiber optic cable through the nation but they have not yet provided last mile connectivity to government offices or other users.
- Released Open Government Data through opendata datasets concept. The data includes: various dimensions of population data; local and national government authority expenditure; public health indicator data and statistics including hospital locations; education data such as enrollment rates and school locations; parliamentary proceedings (digital Hansard); weather information and detailed census statistics on topics such as access to electricity, water and sanitation. https://www.opendata.go.ke/
- The government each years offers Local content grants to about 20 developers and artists of up-to $50,000 per project through a competitive process. http://www.ict.go.ke/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=356&Itemid=301
- Promoting BPO/ITES activities in the country. The Hallmark is the establishment of the grand Konza Technology Park which is billed as the next African Silicon Savannah. http://www.konzacity.co.ke/
- And finally, entrepreneurs are given loans to start Digital villages code named Pasha (meaning disseminate). This initiative aims at establishing Cyber Cafes that providing internet access and various online
services at the grassroots. http://pasha.co.ke/
The initiatives are more that what I’ve outlines, and can be a good basis for a Masters or PhD dissertation. I did a slideshare presentation a years back with the same theme, but different components. You can access the link herehttp://www.slideshare.net/lordmwesh/e-government-7203413
Is our e-government strategy working? Are we “more talk and no walk”? What can be done to push the stalled projects forward?