Moving forward on Swaziland’s e-governance

Following on our mission of last year, the CO was finally able to recruit an international consultant who was in the country for almost 5 weeks. The consultant produced a series of documents which incorporated many recommendations and areas of work. The CO provided detailed comments to the consultant -which were also shared with me, and asked me to establish contact to move the process ahead.

Here is a summary of my recommendations to the consultant.

We need to address UNDP’s concerns so they can position themselves and take this forward effectively. We need to streamline the document and sequence the proposed areas in intervention both logical and time wise. Also key is to address all of UNDP’s concerns, including the prodoc.

At any rate, here are the six points I mentioned:.

1. Capacity assessment of the public sector

2. Mapping of current status of e-gov in the public sector including all ICT, skills (not only ICT), public services provided, etc.

3. Institutional arrangements for e-gov. Need to institutionalize the process and open it up to non-state actors. We already have the egov group and champions but the process should be more public and have also
a PR campaign. Having a slogan for the initiative will be cool just like Bangladesh did a couple of years ago. Vision 2015 or A Digital Future for All or something like does the trick very effectively, especially
for young people.

4. Core egov components: interoperability is key are are issues related to finance, planning and others you mentioned. Here we are looking as the e-administration components and the need to have the building blocks to do any effective egov implementation. Open data presented from the viewpoint of government is also key (for planning and monitoring purposes).

5. Short term quick wins based on of the initiatives you have identified. Here I think stuff such as crowdsourcing, mobiles, etc can play a role.

6. Youth issues. The question here is how do we make youth part of the process as they are indeed the future of the country. Innovation and entrepreneurship could work here. For example, having Swazi small
companies with lower costs competing in the SA in this sector does not require migration but does create a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The consultant is expected to resubmit revised documentation for UNDP’s approval within the next couple of weeks.

Cheers, Raúl

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