Learner’s Submission: Whole-of-Government and the UN e-Government Survey

23/05/2015

” Whole-of-Government

           Whole-of-Government is the concept that defines the way to achieve the integration of the sustainable dimensions. This way means that the governmental structures should avoid working solely within the organization; it should act beyond the limits of the organization in order to correlate with the capabilities of others. Supposing that the objectives of an organization represent a capacity, many governmental organizations should share their objectives for transforming them into a capability, given that a capability is a correlation between more capacities. Whole-of-Government tries to combine the results of more governmental agencies in order to transform a simple development into a sustainable one. Taking into account the objectives, strategies and products of other organization is more efficient for adapting to the organizational environment. This is valuable even if the organizations compete or cooperate each other.

In the context of e-Governance, Whole-of-Government is one of the six trends that struggle to increase the effectiveness of the government-citizen relationship. This approach follows not to avoid bad processes or procedures but to increase the quality of the services and the cooperation between citizens and public administration. For an effective e-Governance any user should receive the information in a friendly manner, concise and correct. For this the Whole-of-Government must enhance the inter-sectoral coordination. A well prepared program should attract the user, save his time and gain his trust. The portals need to be orientated towards effectiveness, simplicity, well defined sections and, very important, friendly. Other words, it should determine you to come again. The Whole-of-Government approach correlates the way to navigate through the websites, the available information and the effectiveness of e-services in order to obtain the best feedback from the users.

UN e-Government Survey

The e-Government Survey is a UN report that assesses the e-government development of the UN Member State. Started to assess the e-governance programs in 2003, with a pilot in 2001, by The Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM ) of UNDESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs), this biannual report is an instrument for the decision-making to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their own e-government programs. Thus the governmental officials can elaborate adequate strategies for improving the e-government programs. The interest in improving this must be as the importance of such program for a state, given that this can improve the confidence into the government. The survey uses three indexes (Online Service Index, Telecommunication Infrastructure Index and Human Capital Index) that indicates the e-government performance in services provided, infrastructure in which citizens can access the services and the educational base for citizens referred to e-services usage. The survey contains ranks of the 193 UN Member States and relevant analyzes for different indicators like online service delivery, e-participation, whole of government, channels for service delivery open government data and other. The report should stimulate the deciders to improve strategies and the way in which the ICT is used for sustainable development.” Stefan-Ovidiu Rosu – Brasov, Romania


Learner’s Submission: Knowledge Management implemented through NISG and TKDL

22/05/2015

” Introduction:

Government of India along with NASSCOM put together National Institute for Smart Governance (NISG) to improve service delivery in the exploding digital landscape. This institute utilizes Knowledge Management & Capacity Building along with other mechanisms to achieve the vision of making all public services accessible to common man.

This entails delivery of public services in a transparent way at reduced costs while minimizing overheads in an efficient and effective manner. In doing so, the government is trying to ensure all the benefits reach the intended recipients while reducing corruption. It is bringing in Industry to participate in this initiative by creating opportunities which in turn generate employment and secondary markets.

Here we look at top benefits for the three key stakeholders – Citizens, Government and Industry – who can reap the rewards of implementing such an initiative.

Benefits to Citizens

  • Multi-channel service delivery through internet, mobile, kiosks, ATMs, banks other than existing government channels removing waiting times saving countless man hours while reducing costs
  • Transparent mechanism help citizens track their services, complaints and requests in real time
  • Digital revolution creates empowered citizens who can be more engaging with the government and active in shaping nation’s progress
  • Reduced corruption means more hassle free day-to-day life for citizens without fear or favor
  • Better quality of life where citizens receive better outcomes of developments

Benefits to Government

  • Faster, effective, efficient decision making while mitigating risk helps create better policies
  • Enhances coordination and collaboration between various as federal & state departments thus reducing to and fro communication
  • Direct feedback from citizens, experts, stakeholders helps in fine tuning implementation mechanism of various policies
  • Higher productivity of government employees and effective management at granular level helps in optimizing scare resources in welfare of citizens
  • The monetary benefits thus accrued can be channelized into other key areas primary healthcare, education and nation building.

Benefits to Industry

  • Investing in KM systems can help create an ecosystem for R&D technologies which in turn creates IPR based innovations and inventions
  • Market penetration through new products for current markets or creating future markets
  • Increasing growth by implementing new business models thereby creating new revenue channels leading to greater employment and driving demand for more products/services
  • Better training leveraging the accumulated knowledge leading to higher skilled resources
  • Reduced corruption brings in more investment, creates more entrepreneurs, reduces business risk and improves overall economy of the nation leading to holistic growth

Next example is about not having Knowledge base. This lack of an integrated system to capitalize on traditional Indian knowledge as Intellectual Property Rights can be found in the patent cases of Neem, Turmeric, Jamun, Karela, etc. Products created from these traditional formulations have been patented in other countries resulting in loss of IPR, revenue, employment and creation of new industries.

This highlighted the need to consolidate, protect, preserve and propagate such ancient knowledge. Government entities like Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR); Ministry of Science & Technology; Department of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homoeopathy (AYUSH); Ministry of Health & Family Welfare came together to form Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL).

TKDL developed an innovative structured classification system for the purpose of systematic arrangement, dissemination and retrieval has been evolved for about 25,000 subgroups against few subgroups that were available in earlier version of the International Patent Classification (IPC), related to medicinal plants, minerals, animal resources, effects and diseases, methods of preparations, mode of administration, etc.

This initiative will help fight future cases of bio-piracy, related legal issues and easy processing of patents based on this traditional knowledge. Additional benefits could be the preservation of such ancient wisdom gathered across the nation for future generations to cherish and make the best use for greater good.” – Soumitri Murthinty, Maharashtra, India

References:

http://nisg.org/page/8

http://www.tkdl.res.in/


Learner’s Submission: Social Media Channels Used by Government of India

21/05/2015

“Our Government of India is using lot of social media channels nowadays for spreading the news from different corners for the citizens of India as well as for the whole world.  It can be mentioned over here like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc.  Anyone can also create a personal blog in these social media channels for his/her communication in general.  As for example, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal is maintaining a personal profile and giving lot of important messages for the people of West Bengal.  The said Hon’ble Minister is not only giving important messages, but also providing good suggestion to the people in emergency situation like the natural calamity of earthquake, flood, heavy storm etc.  So the social media channels are very beneficial nowadays and the popularity is increasing day by day.

Lot of good administrators of India and VIP and VVIP personnel are using these social media channels for their message to the concerned people at the existing era of communication.  They are highlighting their important voices through these social media channels so that the large number of common masses can easily know the information within a very short span of time and may initiate action for the said voice, if required from time to time.  It is highly desirable for the people at this time and we cannot think about the lack of information from any corner as we are living in the world of information technology.

Strategic Intelligence is a tool which is used for analyzing or collecting or disseminating the intelligence from time to time and it needs to be communicated also for the group of people who are actually going to initiate any action plan for the sake of national or international level.  Of late, it’s use is highly observed in case of military communication in defence ministry of the Government of India.  Hence, the Government is trying to motivate the citizens of India to use the social media channels specially for safety measures of any place or establishment or property so that everything can be safeguarded in the easiest manner and if any abnormal scenarios found, anyone can communicate with the concerned personnel or authority for handing such type of situation as soon as possible through these communication channels.

Though it is an open source media of communication through network operation, but still it is the only source of inspiring people to be attached with the information world for gathering abstract information rapidly.  These social media channels provide the scope of collecting and analyzing the fact on the basis of information provided and can lead the people to make appropriate decision in a lucid manner in time bound scenarios.

So the social media channels are the only basis/routes/avenues through which not only people can be safeguarded among themselves, but also the people can create an environment for sustainable measures in the near future.  It is a very popular media of communication which subserves the common goal of the people as well as of the Government of a country.  Hence the importance of social media channels is very much remarkable in communicating diversification among people of the world.” – Tapas Kumar Debnath – West Bengal, India.


Learner’s Submission: What needs to be done by top leadership to align Human Resource Capacity Development to the development vision of the country?

20/05/2015

“In 2009, Jamaica adopted a new National Development Plan, Vision 2030, which aims to transform the country into the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business by the year named in the title.  The overarching goals of Vision 2030 are that Jamaicans be empowered to achieve their fullest potential; that the society be safe, cohesive and just; that the economy be prosperous; and that the nation enjoy a healthy natural environment. [i] Human resource capacity development (HRCD) will equip individuals and organizations to deliver services to the standard required for the vision to be realized.

If Jamaicans in general and public sector workers in particular are to achieve their full potential in keeping with the first goal, there must be enabling policies and legislation to promote equality of opportunity in learning, skill building, and other aspects of human resource development.  The Ministry of Education must lead in regulating program offerings at all levels so as to guarantee continued relevance. To assure safety, cohesiveness and justice for the populace, HRCD programs must emphasise fairness in recruiting practices and in access to training and benefits.  In addition, staffing needs in the justice sector and national security should be thoroughly assessed, persons trained and positions filled, perhaps with funding assistance from multilateral sources. Appropriate accommodations are also needed. Economic prosperity is built on the foundation of competent workers and therefore all properly organized and executed HRCD programs will facilitate this outcome.  Still, it is also necessary to focus on training in areas that encourage innovation, such as science, technology and entrepreneurship.  Finally, HRCD can aid in promoting a healthy natural environment if top leadership ensures that employees in institutions that regulate land management and environmental protection are exposed to international best practices and that institutional arrangements supporting HRCD take account of environmental imperatives and climate change.

In Jamaica, leadership in respect of HRCD resides in more than one public service entity.  The Cabinet Office has responsibility for three sector-wide programs, namely, Public Sector Transformation; Performance Management and Evaluation; and Public Sector Modernisation.[ii] The Public Service Establishment Division in the Ministry of Finance and Planning has charge of, inter alia, employee relations, industrial relations, the size of the public sector, and scholarship and training assistance.[iii]  These lead institutions, as well as senior political actors and administrative personnel, must fit HRCD initiatives to the goals of the national development vision. Furthermore, top leadership must promote a holistic approach to HRCD that incorporates appropriate infrastructure and institutional arrangements to enable the application of newly acquired skills.

High-level personnel should act as change managers who inspire workers to adopt new behaviors and attitudes and to adapt to their modified professional environment.  To this end, they should ensure that in addition to being optimally aligned to the goals of Vision 2030, HRCD activities conform to the principles of good governance, including, participation, democracy, and accountability.” – Tracy Cohen, Kingston Jamaica

[i]http://www.vision2030.gov.jm/Portals/0/NDP/Vision%202030%20Jamaica%20NDP%20Full%20No%20Cover%20(web).pdf

[ii] http://www.cabinet.gov.jm/

[iii] http://www.mof.gov.jm/public-service-establishment/units-sections.html


Learner’s Submission: Social Media Channels Used by Ethiopian Government and its Importance

19/05/2015

“Now a days social media is one of commonly used words as various social Medias are getting more popular. We can define social media as a group of internet based application through which individuals, groups, governments or other entities share pictures, videos, music, send messages, and email to each other. Consequently, those features helped to overcome the limitation of other media and dearth of media content diversity encountered citizens to blog, chat, and use other user generated contents. For the reason of its quality, simplicity, immediacy and other unique feature it composes, people prefer it. Actually, becoming more superior compared to other media channels.

The need for better way of living within advanced information and communication technology incited the society to look for vital information. Where those information are about their country as well as phenomenon happening worldwide. So to fulfill the need of its citizen, Ethiopian internet service provider Ethiotelecom is working hard by allocating huge resources. This support to realize the goals targeted on GTP.

Particularly, social Medias like Facebook, YouTube, twitter and Skype are widely used in the country. Others like Gmail, Yahoo mail, online news of different stations, online newspapers, and online magazines are also popular, but not for youths as previously mentioned sites. Majority of users are youngsters where they support or oppose ideas, post images and videos implying diverse issues which allow them to express their feeling (emotion). By realizing its significant advantage plus mind-blowing nature, non-government institutions such as Banks and government institutions are using web based sites to address their services, to render their services and to get comment on the services they provide. In addition, to inform its citizens regarding new technologies. For instance, as reported by Addis Fortune “The Ethiopian Revenues & Customs Authority (ERCA) introduced a web-based customs valuation database, replacing its previous CD-based valuation for the price of commodities”. Generally, issues related to social, economic and political condition of the country are started to be addressed to the people in recent years by means of the above listed social Medias.

Importance of social media channels to the Ethiopians was very significant. First of all, information on social media are fresh or on time. In their characteristics social Medias are the best in supplying information quickly. This means that you are not forced to wait an hour to listen to news if you missed it. Secondly, to be informed about phenomenon that happens worldwide through pictures or videos which are not maybe reported on TV because of age consideration or disturbing images. Thirdly, it also used for promotion purpose. Companies advertise the services they render and products they produced to the vast users through those internet based apps. Now a days social Medias are becoming suitable destination for advertising entities to catch the eye of intermediate and ultimate customers. Prominent social Medias generate large amount of revenue from advertising products of organization ranging from small ones to the multinational organizations.

To sum up, while the core beneficiaries are citizens, social Medias facilitated knowledge transfer from generation to generation. Still Ethiopian government is working hard to satisfy the thirst of its nation by implementing advanced information and communication technology directing attention mainly to internet and mobile services by provision of vital knowledge source for strengthening development and growth line the state has taken so far.” – Ashebir Nigussie – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Learner’s Submission: Whole-of-Government Approach in the Context of E-Government

18/03/2015

“Whole-of-government approach is when government agencies and organizations share objectives across organizational boundaries, as opposed to working solely within an organization. A government is a system of interdependent subsystems that pursues interrelated goals generated from a common mission and vision that is often intended to guide a given society into prosperity through continuous improvement of social, economic and political welfare. This generates the need for the establishment of a framework that ensures unity of purpose and goals amongst the stakeholders that act as pillars in the development of such a society. The involvement of all the interested parties in decision making calls for establishment of appropriate mechanisms that accommodated all the parties without discrimination or exclusion. In order to achieve such a state of inclusiveness, it’s of great benefit for a given government to embrace the use of information and communication technologies to address the vast interest of all the stakeholders so as to ensure that there is not only free access to government programs and project but also ensure that there is availability of information relating to short term, midterm and long term plans that a given government seeks to undertake in the allocation, utilization of all the resources and that there are well outlined processes and procedures that allow all the parties that may be affected directly or indirectly by such plan to participate in formulating them. In order to attain such status, it is important for any government to use whole of government approach which is one of the trends in e-government. One of the benefits of whole of government approach is that it facilitates increase in the effectiveness of government responses as well as improved efficiency by reduction of processes and procedures in program management. Apart from that, there is better service delivery by integrating services and thereby saving time and resources. Moreover, there is increase in public value by promoting collaboration and coordination with private sector and civil society. In order to promote the whole of government, the existing government should ensure that there exists user friendly portals as well as websites, existence of links to other ministries and institutions, ensure that search results remain in government sites and also there is well defined sections such as e-services, and social media. This will facilitate social cohesion as well as improve inclusiveness in decision making.

Explanation of UN E-Government Survey

The UN e-government survey is the only report in the world that assesses the e-government development status of the 193 UN member states. The survey serves as a tool for decision makers to identify their areas of strength and challenges in the e-government and to guide e-government policies and strategies. Moreover, the survey provides a systematic assessment of the use of ICT to transform and reform the public sector by enhancing efficient, effectiveness, transparency, accountability, access to public services and citizen participation. The survey is produced by the division for public administration and development management (DPADM) of UN department of economic and social welfare (DESA). DESA publishes the UN e-government survey every two years. The survey began in 2003 with pilot in 2001. The survey is prepared by a DPADM team based at the UN headquarters in New York, USA, with support of researchers around the world. Over 95 researchers took part in the 2014 survey. DPADM survey team won the 2013 UN ‘online volunteering award’ for its collaboration with researchers around the world where the use of hash tag #UN go survey for the 2014 edition of the survey reached more than 3.6 million people.

The ultimate goal of the survey is to provide incentives for capacity building and also to provide policy guidance and serve as in impartial reference on how to utilize ICTs to transform governments and to enable sustainable development. It is from this background that the survey is used as a benchmark tool to measure e-government development and for capacity development, policy recommendations and good practices around the world. E-Government is the use of ICT and its application by the government for the provision of information and public services to the people. The use of e-government enables sustained development through greater efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery, better access and quality of services, enhanced citizen participation, increase transparency through open data and accountability as well as enhances economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. The surveymeasures e-government development in all 193 UN Member States through the E-Government Development Index. This development index focuses on three components which include; online service index, the telecommunication Infrastructure Index and finally human capital Index.

Online service index is based upon four stages model starting with emergency presence, enhanced presence, transactionalpresence, and the connected presence. Human capital index has four indicators among them is the expected year of schooling, mean year of schooling, adult literacy as well as enrollment ratio.

Finally, the survey also focuses on the trends in e-government which are whole of government approach, e-participation, multi channel service delivery, expanding usage, digital divide and vulnerable groups as well as open government data.” – Joseph Macharia Kimani – Nairobi, Kenya


Learner’s Submission: Online Public Service in India

17/03/2015

“Service: Integrated Transport Management System

Domain: Surface Transport, India

Area: Toll collection for using road network

Activity: Travel within country

Introduction:

India is a subcontinent with large road networks. Government is presently working to expand and upgrade the roadways in a big way. This move is welcome however it also needs to address various related challenges upfront at the planning stage itself. Here we are trying to address some key issues faced by road users who primarily travel on holiday or pilgrimage.

Though there are many experts who can pin point the challenges in the road infrastructure, here we are highlighting a few along with the possible suggestions to make the everyday users’ life better.

Top 5 challenges to end users:

  • Frequent cash payments of various denominations leading to shortage of smaller currency
  • Lack of single payment facility
  • Unable to validate whether the toll collection booths are legitimate or fake
  • Long waiting times leading to higher fuel consumption and frustration
  • Multiple helpline numbers cause confusion as there is no single mechanism to handle road emergency

Some of the other challenges that can be addressed simultaneously are

  • No feedback mechanism
  • No single channel to address tolls spread across multiple regions
  • Lack of verification mechanism to address legitimacy, security& authenticity concerns
  • No clarity in terms of start and closure of the toll roads
  • Paper wastage due to issue of paper based permits, receipts, certificates, etc.
  • Details of the use of the funds, duration of collection of fee, responsible stakeholders, etc. are not easily available
  • Checking of cargo vehicles by RTA at entry/exit points of provinces blocks the roads and increases travel time
  • Updates on road conditions, changes in fees, change of helpline numbers, etc.

Top 5 requirements of end users:

  • Simple, robust, easy to use, fast and handy system preferably mobile based as it is widely in use
  • Support multiple languages for greater penetration and ease of usage
  • Secure payment mechanism supporting multiple channels
  • Reduce waiting time & resultant frustration when people cut lines to get ahead
  • Value add in terms of ascertain authenticity of toll booths, traffic updates, complaint & feedback mechanism directed to right point of contacts and helpline numbers to reach out in case of different type of emergencies

Suggested solution:

The solution is for developing a mechanism which brings together disparate agencies under one environment by providing a seamless and single window service which is simple, fast, secure and easy to use.

Top 5 benefits that can accrue through it would be

  • Reduced fuel consumption leading to higher savings and reduced crude oil imports saving precious foreign exchange
  • Reduced greenhouse emissions and lower carbon footprint
  • Brings together vehicles, road users, payments and security under a single system thus creating an ecosystem which all the other stakeholders can take benefit from to come up innovative solutions to address existing or future challenges
  • Empowering users to choose from multiple channels to pay for the road fee as convenient to them including pre-paying thus reducing waiting time at toll booths
  • Reduced paper wastage leading to lower deforestation

Indirect associated benefits, which are often ignored, are

  • A nationwide integrated transport network as envisioned under the Digital India movement
  • Linked to all RTA of all provinces thus tracking the status of vehicles, avoiding duplication, status of various vehicle certificates
  • When linked to Homeland Security, this can track suspicious persons escaping the area of crime and direct nearest patrol for interception
  • Can be linked to existing Payment Gateways to leverage the infrastructure available for online payments via web or mobile channels
  • A mobile based app can help sync with Google maps to accurately track the vehicle and provide real time requisite updates
  • Since bar code readers are already existing, an electronic or printable copy of a single page can quickly scan to confirm the pre-payment and reduce waiting times
  • Having the system catering to regional languages will help cover all provinces to make the investment viable and increase the penetration

Conclusion:

By creating an information technology based environment can open plethora of opportunities for all stakeholders to come up with new or improved services which addresses current and future needs in a quick and simple manner.

The points noted here would immensely benefit regular road users like transport and logistic companies. All stakeholders putting their weight behind such an initiative would make life better for all.

A service can only become great when the elements of planning, design, infrastructure, implementation, training, operation and maintenance are done in time and with right quality.” – Soumitri Murthinty – Maharashtra, India


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