• With accurate, well analyzed and interpreted data, the government has an opportunity to facilitate real-time-decision making.
• The buck does not stop at having a webpage that provides access to governmental services.
As the 21st Century technology wave improves business efficiency and service delivery in the private sector, Government is not left behind. Through advanced technological processes such as intelligent process automation, advanced analytics and AI, modes of interaction between the citizenry and government are rapidly changing, with increased opportunities for quality, efficient and reliable public service delivery. Simply stated, by leveraging on technology, governments’ world over have an opportunity to develop, improve and maximize on citizen-centric service delivery.
Closer home, it must be noted as a point of pride that Kenya has consistently set herself as a technological trendsetter in the sub-Saharan region and Africa at large. Particularly, governmental services have increasingly become automated allowing for the delivery of government information and services to citizens ‘anywhere, anytime’. With the advent of online e-government services such as e-Citizen and iTax, Kenya is arguably at the forefront of e-service delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa.
However, despite the positive progress made thus far, opportunities going forward remain rife. Specifically, the embrace of smart tech in public service delivery stands to be major contributor to the overall success of the Big4 Agenda. Be it through leveraging Big Data to improve healthcare service delivery, or advanced analytics to determine efficient resource distribution, the potential benefits are endless, with the ultimate end being a data-driven government.
With accurate, well analyzed and interpreted data, the government has an opportunity to facilitate real-time-decision making that will expedite public service delivery as well as optimize the use of public resources, either human, monetary or otherwise. Additionally, through smart tech systems such as Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, block-chain, and machine learning, real-world problems affecting citizens on a day to day can be dealt with efficiently and reliably, thereby creating a citizenry that believes in the efficiency of government.
As we continue to work toward governmental connectivity, the challenges faced along the way should serve as lessons going forward. It is not expected that we will get it right the first time, far from it. Rather, we should be prepared to embrace the pitfalls as move along, with our focus maintained on the end result – a fully integrated e-government platform.
The buck does not stop at having a webpage that provides access to governmental services – rather, we should look toward a fully integrated platform, both vertically and horizontally. In the same way that Huduma Centres are marketed as One-Stop Shops for access to governmental services, through e-government, the same should be available ‘anywhere, anytime’. Be it renewing a driving license, to applying for a passport, to accessing traffic information in real-time or communicating directly with a governmental organization – this should all be available in one platform. With e-citizen and Huduma Namba, we are certainly headed in the right direction.
Karen Kandie – MD IDB Capital