Learner’s Submission: Online Public Services in Bangladesh

07/07/2015

“Bangladesh has already started her journey for Digital Bangladesh. This journey has changed the entire country. It is a movement for openness and connecting peoples, more citizen engagement to development. It ensures more access to information to the citizens. We use online public services every day in many areas, in many cases. Here are two important services facilitated by the Government of Bangladesh are described before all of you.
1. National Web Portal
Government of Bangladesh has inaugurated national web portal http://www.bangladesh.gov.bd. It combines about 25,000 web portals including portals of 61 ministries, 345 governments departments, 7 administrative divisions, 64 districts and 4550 unions. It makes a common platform where citizen can easily navigate to concerned portals and get opportunities accessing to information and services.

1.1 Services link available from National Web Portal
1. Application form for Passport
2. Income tax registration
3. Online birth and death registration
4. Online Visa check action
5. Download link of all government form
6. e-health care
7. e-book
8. Online Agriculture Call Centre
9. e-tender and e-GP
10. Application form for driving license

2. Union Digital Center and Union Web Portal
Union Council is the lowest local government unit in Bangladesh. We have total 4550 Union Councils in our country. Each Union Council has a web portal and a Union Digital Centre (UDC). UDC is directed by two entrepreneurs, one is male and another is female. Government decorates UDC with two laptops, internet modems with SIM, multimedia projector, photocopier, camera, printer, etc. It is a public private partnership; Government has made UDC supported with all modern ICT based equipment and it is operated by two entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs of UDC run maintain and update Union web portal.

2.1 Services given by Union Web Portal
Union Council web portal has published its organization, composition, budget, five year plans, tax policy, periodical report on tax collection, citizen charter, annual development plan, status of developmental works, profile of Chairman and Councilors, its communication map, infrastructure and way of communication, its population regarding each village, tourist spot. Here is some sector based services for the citizens published by Union Web Portal.

2.1.1 Agriculture
1. List of fertilizer dealers within the union
2. Information on food productions
3. Agriculture Information Service (AIS)

2.1.2 Lands
1. Union Land Office
2. Information regarding lands
3. Major functions of land office

2.1.3 Health Services
1. Hospital / Health Centers
2. List of health workers
3. List of health programs

2.1.4 Educational institutes and other institutes
1. List of Schools, colleges and madrashas
2. Bank and other financial organizations
3. Insurances
4. Non-governmental organization (NGO)
5. Mosques, Churches other religious institutes

2.1.5 Social safety net programs
1. List of poorest citizens
2. Vulnerable group feeding (VGF)
3. Motherhood allowances
4. Forty days’ work creation programs
5. Test relief
6. Local Governance Support Project II (LGSP II)
7. Freedom fighter allowance
8. Older people allowance
9. Disabilities allowance

Rudaghara Union Parishad is one of 4550 Union Councils situated in Dimuria Upazila, Khulna District. The web portal of Rudaghara Union Parishad is http://rudaghoraup.khulna.gov.bd/.

2.2 Union Digital Centre
Peoples have a direct access to each Union Digital Centre. It has provided opportunities to the citizens easy and cost effectively access trade information and services that affect their daily lives. At present, a farmer in a distant location can find out about appropriate fertilizer and pesticide use for his crops; a victim of domestic violence can access information on legal measures; a villager can apply for his land records, and people living from distant part of a backward village can access banking services from Union Digital Centre.

2.2. 1 Services given by Union Digital Centre
1. Public examination results
2. Government forms download
3. VGD/VGF card database
4. Online university admission
5. Data Entry
6. Birth and death registration
7. Trade information
8. Employment information
9. Visa processing /visa form printing
10. E-mail and Internet browsing
11. Video conferencing
12. Mobile Banking

Conclusion
Government of Bangladesh and its various institutions are now offering a lot of online services through their web portals. It has increasing more citizen engagement in governance. It also facilitates more efficient and effective service delivery to the citizens.” – Md. Aminul Islam – Khagrachari Sadar, Bangladesh


Learner’s Submission: Fighting Corruption

06/07/2015

“Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon which is fundamentally due to the lack of ethical behaviors. I think firmly that this problem is the most important factor that makes our country among the third world countries, given that most developed countries managed to eradicate corruption relatively.

So, how can we root out such a serious problem that is still threatening our economy and society?

First of all, I believe that making a reform starts by changing thoughts rather than behaviors, in other words: people in general and workers in particular should be sensitized about the seriousness of corruption, furthermore, Secondly, there’re various circumstances that provoke corruption, take for example the lack of anti-corruption associations which are the most important element that can participate in fighting corruption. So, such associations should be encouraged by the government in order to disclose the activities of criminal organizations and corrupt workers.

Thirdly, there’re several forms of corruption, the most spread one is bribery, and one could argue that bribery can be sometimes a necessity rather than a form of corruption.

In short, fighting bribery is not only the duty of government, nor is it only the duty of anti-corruption associations; it’s also the duty of every honest citizen who wants to participate in building his country.

The stated about corruption in another state. Censorship either done their job or been accused of corruption and become a casualty of the ever matter. We have faith that the first collective will is the only way in promoting our country and our people and making a better life and the dignity of the nation and citizens. I call upon every lover of the nation to look at Georgia and its revolution.

This new report by the World Bank today called the fight against corruption in public services, he said: history of reforms in Georgia Georgia’s experience in the fight against corruption has achieved a unique success and can be adapted many of its aspects and its application in the country face similar challenges in tackling corruption pervasive in the public services.

The report tried to answer questions about the experience since the Rose Revolution witnessed by Georgia in 2003, through case studies built on data taken from selected elements of the equipment on public services, and the IRS, customs, power supplies, and government actions Organization for Doing Business, civil and public records, and tests to qualify for the University, and municipal services, as well as interviews with government officials, current and former.

The report noted that the measures that the government began to be taken in the framework of packets policy and zero tolerance led to a severe contraction in the spread of bribery in different public services with the approach of most indicators now from levels that have become the European country most advanced were bribes necessary to get the most services public, such as extracting a driver’s license or passport, as well as to register property or start-up companies or building homes or join one of the public universities.

The report emphasized that inclusive and bolder, and rhythm and sequence of reforms to make Georgia a unique story shattered the myth that a culture of corruption, and gave hope for all policy-makers, government officials and citizens who are affected by the problem in many countries aspiring to cleanse the public services sector.

I see that citizens have a very important role in anti-corruption. Awareness Georgian government used a wide-range media campaign, public debates, were adults and criminals officials arrested, and placed signs along highways carry phone numbers to call in case of corruption, was used for technology efficiently in order to facilitate communication between the administrator and the citizen, as well as to follow up and to ensure accountability, and to confirm the idea that no one is above the law, and also confirmed that the government is serious about the decisions taken, have been achieving some of the goals which earned the people’s trust in the government’s work.

That civil society is possible that the constructive roles to monitor corruption cases, and that corruption is not just a money laundering or tax evasion, and corruption is facing the specter of the Egyptian citizen in his daily life. That will lead to engagements in society reform; improving the quality of civil society’s policy dialogue with Parliaments; and monitor progress of their implementation. This is why you, representatives of civil society, are so incredibly vital to the success of the Partnership.” – Ali Adel Ali Ali Ibrahim – Dakhlia , Egypt

REFRENCES:

  • Website : nbe.com , ANNUAL REPORTS
  • Fighting corruption in public services [electronic resource] : chronicling Georgia’s reforms
  • Transparency International: Georgia 51st in 2012 Corruption

Learner’s Submission: Online Public Service in India

31/05/2015

” Yes, my country, India has made online public service in different segments of the society.  Now a days the Government of India takes lot of initiatives itself and jointly with other organizations as well.  Nowadays, lot of collaborative approaches are found in our country for electronic form of public service.  In public distribution system as well, it is found for the common masses of India including the whole world.  At present, we are getting lot of information from different Government Departments in the form of news, reports, bulletin etc. publicly.  As a result, we, the people of India are aware of knowing different information regarding our republic India.

In every year when the budget report is published by the Government for our social development of the nation countrywide, the people may know the information regarding this at the earliest electronically in different Government websites.  There are lot of wings of Government Departments in our independent India and they are publishing the important reports and also updating the information for the masses of India from time to time.  Any kind of information when updated by the concerned officials, it is published rapidly through websites of their concerned Government Departments nowadays.  As a result, the citizens of India are getting updated by information and now I do believe that there can’t be knowledge gap for information from both sides i.e. by the Government as well as the citizens of India.

On the other hand, the electronic form of Government Departments of India has arranged for query resolution system through their websites and these system takes the feedback also from the people of India.  As for example, If any employee of a private company would like to know his balance of Providend Fund (EPF) in any moment of time, he/she can raise a query through the Employees Providend Fund website of India for his query resolution.  Apart from this, he/she may also raise query/grievance for the settlement of his Employees Pension Scheme (EPS) amount if the settlement amount is not refunded properly.

At present, all the Government Departments of India are trying to update their information sharing through electronic formation but sometimes it is getting failed due to some abnormal scenarios like inadequacy of funding, ill-infrastructure of establishments, untrained human resource, insufficiency of workers etc.  But still the Governments (Central and State) are trying to resolve all these problems as much as they can and fixing a target level achievement periodically for the development of electronic form of establishment for the common masses of India.

In this way, we, the people of India is getting facilitated by the electronic form of Governments either Central or State and we are happy nowadays by standing in this present era of civilization and it is really desirable from our Indian Government Departments for electronic formation of all Government Departments at the existing age of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization.” – Tapas Kumar Debnath, West Bengal, India


Learner’s Submission: Access to Data Experience in Brazil

30/05/2015

“The Brazilian Government has recently issued Regulation establishing the National Action Plan on Open Government, in order to promote actions and measures aimed at increasing transparency and access to public information.

It was told to be issue in order to improve the provision of public services and the strengthening of public integrity.

The claimed main objectives of the program are increased availability of information about government activities, including updated data on expenditures and performance of actions and government programs, promotion of social participation in decision-making processes.

The objectives also are encouraging the use of new technologies in the management and delivery of public services, which should stimulate or promote the development of innovation, strengthen public governance and increase transparency and social participation.

In order to increase transparency of processes and access to public information, government has also encouraging the use of technology to support those demands for information access.

Also recently published in 2011, a federal Law regulates access to data and information held by the government and sets forth the procedures to be observed by Federal, State and Municipalities, in order to ensure public access to information, as provided for in the Constitution.

Since then, the Brazilian Government has adopted policies that seek to promote dialogue between actors of the society and the government to think the best use of the data on behalf of society and has implemented tools for anyone to find and use the data and public information.

The goal has been to provide data on the health system, transportation system, public security, education indicators, government spending, electoral process, etc.

The plan foresees that in the future it will be made available access to data published by all government agencies.

Access to information was provided for in the Federal Constitution and is knew as part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

These experiences have provided citizens a better understanding of government, closer monitoring of public services, control of public accounts and allows people to evaluate the planning and development of public policies as showed in recently public manifestations about government actions.

Nowadays you can find detailed budgetary and financial information of the federal government, information about the Federal Executive Branch, government spending, Federal resource transfers to states and municipalities, partnerships with individuals, corporations or government entities, forecast revenue, information about public workers or even about corporations who has suffered sanctions from the Public Administration.

Other actions have emerged and now many agencies are responsible for promoting public transparency, allowing access to information on expenditure, bids, procurement and other information deemed relevant and of public interest.

Those actions are certainly an important way to strengthens democracy and the next effort has to be in a way to clarify people about the use of this new level of knowledge and its power, in order to use it as a behavior-changing instrument.” -Evair Rodrigues de Souza – Brasilia, Brazil


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

29/05/2015

” Social media is undoubtedly a means at which the whole world is connected within the framework of varied degrees of interrelations. As such one can succinctly state that the social media is a platform that keeps Peoples, Nations and entities in close and continuous reach. The social media is a growing phenomenon with a rising rate at an astronomical level in Nigeria. As a country the awareness was relatively slow in its advent on the exploration of the social media network. Needless to state that the social media was already in vogue in the United Kingdom, Europe and America before Nigeria cut wind of the trend. Having this assertions in mind the fact remains that a plethora of events paved the course of technological change in Nigeria.

On May 29th 1999, Nigeria witnessed another beginning of a democratically elected government with General Olusegun Obasanjo emerging as the president of the country. Prior to this time the country had witnessed series of military coup d’état and toppling of governments from the early 1960s up to 1999 that bedeviled the nation and plunged it reins into backwardness. This administration ushered in a transformation that saw the fortunes of the country gradually returning as there was a rise in foreign relations with the developed nations as well as Foreign Direct Investments (FDI’s) which paved the way for global advancements in international politics, economy and socio-cultural growth.

The rise in the popularity of Social Media network like Twitter, Facebook, My space, Tango Eskimi, Instagram, Linked In just to mention a few and its perceived “status” overture paved the way for the tremendous socio cultural, political and economic gains the country has witnessed in recent times. Undoubtedly the government of Nigeria particularly the political groupings, have seen the great potentialities in the use of the Social Media with which they use as a platform to solicit for votes as well as projecting propaganda messages online to the teeming population of users both home and abroad.

Another twist to this trend is the trajectory the country’s Armed forces like the Nigeria Army, Navy and Air force as well as Paramilitary agencies like the Police, Customs, Immigrations have all used, in which the use of the Social Media platform to exhibit their strides  in the carrying out their respective duties have held sway. Citing the case of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) as a Paramilitary Organization that has a Facebook, You Tube and Twitter account in which they use as a platform to inform the general public on new trends in domestic crime as well as its giant strides in the fight against crime in the nation. The NPF also post videos on trainings online to enable members of the public access to some of its train the trainers courses which is aimed at improving the security awareness of the citizens of the country amongst other things.  More so, the current administration of Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan is a clear example of the use of Social Media in the involvement of politics. The President hired a robust group of young I.T specialist who manage his online account particularly Facebook and which have almost on a periodic basis updated  his Facebook account with detailed information regarding his administration ranging from road constructions, Government projects as well as speeches he delivers on a broad section of issues.

One would want to ponder on the recent general elections of 2015 and the role the social media played particularly Facebook and twitter in the determination of who would eventually win the presidential elections which was a highly debated and controversial issue owing the personalities, alliances and political groupings of the parties involved. From the onset the campaign team of both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) predominantly the two major political parties in the country saw the need to create a robust channel of online messages, jingles and all what not on the internet presumably to convince the populace on the need to elect the right candidate for the job. The twist thereafter came when the APC team spearheaded by a former military Head of State Gen. Muhammadu Buhari GCFR was gaining prominence online with a great amount of people roaring the word CHANGE, a word the opposition used all the way to the day of election which finally saw the APC winning the 2015 presidential elections. The case in point however, is that the opposition clearly had a upper hand because they used the internet to reach a wider base of people, the message spread and even for those who couldn’t use the internet the messages where still passed by those who had access to the internet. The word was CHANGE and it was on every ones lips, even the under-aged could bolster the word.  The change of government is of course imminent  as we await May 29th 2015 for the swearing-in ceremony and hand over of power, it is now left for the opposition to live up to its election promise and parlance which saw them winning the elections in the first place. Whether change would come to eventually reign in the lives of the average Nigerian citizen and the country, time would tell.

Conclusively, there has been an official stance by the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), the Nigerian agency saddled with the task of the sale of waning government properties, to draw up possible regulations for the use of social media in Nigeria. The agency’s Director-General, Benjamin Ezra Dikki has clamored for a review of the autonomy of the use of the social media and the inability of the government to place heavy restrictions on the use. Prior to this time, the Nigerian government had contemplated social media regulations but the motion did not see the light of day as there were series of backlashes. It is uncertain if these clamors for social media regulations would really stand the test of time because even the current President, Goodluck Jonathan has a social media public relations team and the incoming President elect too have used the Social Media platform instrumentally.

To this end, one can draw a conclusion that the Nigerian government and the country as a whole believe in the very essence of the Social Media as a tool to share ideas, information as well as staying connected to one another for the greater good of the nation.” – Olufemi Fajemirokun – Lagos, Nigeria


Learner’s Submission: Online Public Service in Kenya

28/05/2015

” I have used and benefited from government online services courtesy of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics when I was undertaking research on impact of road accidents on economic growth in Kenya.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics was established by an Act of Parliament – the Statistics Act, 2006 No.4. It is a Semi-Autonomous Government Agency under the Ministry of Planning, National Development & Vision 2030. It is mandated to collect, compile analyze, publish and disseminate official statistics for public use. In addition, it coordinates monitors and supervises the National Statistical System (NSS). The NSS is composed of the individual units engaged in the production and use of official statistics in the country. It comprises producers, users, suppliers of statistical information as well as research and training institutions.

The management of the Bureau is vested in the Board of Directors. The Board consists of a Chair (appointed by the President) and seven other Board members. The Director General is the Chief Executive Officer of the Bureau and Secretary to the Board. The organization structure of the Bureau is composed of six directorates, each headed by a Director. Strategy and Development Directorate is responsible for policy research, planning, development of statistical methods and standards, and coordination of the NSS. Secondly,  Population and Social Statistics Directorate is responsible for collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of demographic and other social sector statistics, as well as maintenance of the Cartography and NASSEP (National Sampling Survey and Evaluation Programme) laboratory. Moreover, macroeconomic Statistics Directorate is responsible for collection, analysis, generation and dissemination of macroeconomic statistics of National Accounts statistics, External Sector statistics, Monetary and Financial statistics, Public Finance statistics, Tourism, Transport and Communication statistics. Production Statistics Directorate on the other hand is responsible for collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of labour and industrial statistics. This includes employment and earnings, consumer price indices and inflation rates, manufacturing, building and construction, energy and leading economic indicators, business expectation enquiry, agriculture and livestock production, food monitoring and environment statistics. On the other hand, Information and Communication Technology Directorate is Responsible for Bureau Information Systems, Data Processing for surveys and Censuses, Managing the National Socio-Economic Database, Data Dissemination, Printing and/or Publishing, and Library service and finally, Finance and Administration Directorate is responsible for Finance, Administration and Human Resources Management and Development.

KNBS undertakes two broad types of surveys, namely, household-based surveys and establishment based surveys.

These include – but are not limited to – the following:

  • Kenya Population and Housing Census
  • Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey
  • Kenya Demographic and Health Survey
  • Malaria Indicator Survey
  • Adult Literacy Survey
  • Disability Survey
  • Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey
  • Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey
  • Consumer Price Index
  • Producer Price Index
  • Labour Force Survey
  • Micro and Small Enterprise Survey
  • Child labour Survey
  • Agriculture and Livestock Survey
  • Time Use Survey
  • Foreign Investment Survey
  • Integrated Survey of Enterprises
  • Informal Cross Border Trade Survey
  • Financial Access Survey
  • Survey on Expansion of Coverage of Financial Institutions
  • Annual Survey on Industrial Production
  • Building and Construction Survey

After undertaking the surveys, KNBS ensures that the information is shared to the public by the use of their website where the findings are accessible since they can be downloaded. Among the items that can be downloaded are consumer price index, Quarterly GDP reports, economic survey highlights, Kenya facts and figures, as well as foreign investment survey. The website also presents its output in terms of the most downloaded files so as to predict the future demand. According to the web, Economic survey of the recent financial year usually have the most downloads. The website is user friendly since it provides the search tab. The search tab further enables the user to specifically obtain the desired file by providing three more options that directs the user to the ultimate desired file. These options are search key word, ordering, and search only. In the search key word option, the user inserts the title of the file that one requires, then selects the manner in which the desired files should appear either by specifying whether they desire to obtain results of the newest first, oldest first, most popular and the format in which the desired file should appear. This multiple choices serve multiple needs of the users and as a result ensure efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery to the public.” – Joseph Kimani – Nairobi, Kenya

Reference

http://www.knbs.or.ke/index.php?searchword=road%20accidents%20data&searchphrase=all&Itemid=77&option=com_search


Learner’s Submission: Fundamentals of the UN E-Government Survey

27/05/2015

“The goal of E-Government is to integrate all information systems and subsystems for state administrations to become transparent, accessable and efficient. The main purpose for the introduction of E-Government is to provide a new basis for economic competitiveness, to carry out a rapid transformation of government and administration, and transformation them into a citizens’ service. Also, reduced prices of public services, incentives to a knowledge based economy and integration facilitated by 24/7 online platforms improves and accelerates the decision-making process and helps to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of government at all levels.

The development of information technology, its complexity, challenges and innovations haven’t missed their mark on the government sector. Governments had to start putting increasing emphasis on e-government and e-government, because such programs are becoming the basis of state operations and expected by its citizens.

Many countries have managed to adapt their systems to the public sector in line with the changing environment, introduce and implement  IT applications. However, some countries, both for financial reasons and from underdeveloped technological capacities and human resources have failed to develop e-governance and e-government solutions. The consequence is a growing „digital divide“.

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 is produced by the Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). The Survey began in earnest in 2003 with a pilot in 2001.

The motto of the United Nations E-Government Survey for 2014 is “E-Government for the Future We Want”. By reading the E-Government Survey reports we can assess how the potential of information and communication technologies is used in transforming  the public sector. Also, it provides an estimate of how much of this transformation leads to greater transparency, efficiency, accountability and how citizens participate in and have access to public services.

The UN E-Government Survey serves as a tool by which decision makers can identify their strengths and areas of challenge in e-government and how they can manage e-government policy and strategy. The UN E-Government Survey measures of e-government development in all 193 UN Member States through the E-Government Development Index (EGDI) consist of three components weighted in equal manner):

1) The Online Service Index (OSI) measures the online presence of governments and services provided to citizens online

2) The Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII) measures through several indicators the infrastructure through which citizens can have access to government online services

3) The Human Capital Index (HCI) measures the educational base of citizens allowing them to access government services online

The users of the Survey are: governments, international and regional organizations, intergovernmental institutions, civil society organizations, the private sector, academia, research centers and schools of public administration as well as citizens.

The goal of the Survey is to provide guidance how and in what way to utilize ICTs in order to transform governments and to enable sustainable development. The benefits of e-government are numerous: new employment, better health and education systems, the effective management of natural resources, promoting economic development and social inclusion of citizens.  Governments using e-government becomes  more transparent and accountable. ICT platforms are also often used as a templates on a best-practice basis for innovative e-government solutions and providing for sustainable development of countries.

The United Nations E-Government Survey’s conceptual framework is based on four guiding principles:

1) Development for all – If applied effectively, it can significantly contribute to the eradication of extreme poverty, protecting the environment as well as the promotion of social inclusion and economic opportunity for all.

2) Using surveys to obtain information on the assessment of online presence of governments, their infrastructure and human resources.

3) The Survey is about provisions of socio-economic and environmental services to the population through the use of e-government as a programmatic tool, as well as about participation and social inclusion.

4) The Survey assesses e-government readiness worldwide, taking the view that the ultimate objective remains the “inclusion of all” in development.

1

The United Nations E-Government Survey is particularly important for providing a critical review of e-governance, the e-Government Development Index and the e-Participation Index as well as other e-government aspects within UN member states. The findings show huge disparities in the access and use of information technologies, which are not likely to be overcome in the near future, unless there are concerted efforts taken at the national, regional and international efforts taken to levelthe playing field for all involved.” – Lejla Tabak Siljak – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


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