Comments on national ict master plan 2017

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  • 1. Peter Muya P.O Box 101410-00101 Nairobi, KENYA Ministry of Information Communications and Technology. P.O Box 30025, Nairobi. 00100 Kenya 23-April-2014 RE: FEEDBACK THE KENYA NATIONAL ICT MASTERPLAN Thank you for releasing to the public the National ICT master plan 2017 whose vision is is to make Kenya a regional ICT hub and transition the country into a knowledge economy. I have gone through masterplan and I have the following comments and suggestions. SERVICE PILLAR There is a flagship project for public data hub to centralize data. This to me sounds a technology driven project. I would suggest focus be places on building a government information reference model that is adoptable across all government departments / sectors but at central and county levels. There is a flagship project on simplification and automation of services. I would suggest a lot of emphasis be placed on fixing process before automation through business process reengineering and a good starting point would be at the huduma centre level. This is to ensure that what gets automated is the rationalized, optimized and tested process. INFRASTRUCTURE PILLAR There is quite a bit of focus on broadband reach but no mention of linkages with power supply and reduction of power blackouts. It is critical consider this since a knowledge based economy will not be achieved without poor power supply. How ready are our supply sources of power with the increased demand for ICT. There is also no mention of how cable vandalism will be stopped. In the past, there has been frequent internet / connectivity outages due to either cable vandalism or accidental cuts. How will this strategy provide permanent solutions to cable placement and guarantee its usability in the long-run without interruptions.
  • 2. HUMAN CAPACITY PILLAR A lot of emphasis has been put in academic development of ICT professionals. I picked the line increase PHD throuput in Computer science and review of curriculum for networks and communications. How about complete review of the university curriculum to adopt it to emerging technologies and aligned to the strategic priorites of the government of Kenya for the different sectors? How do we stimulate ICT innovation in schools that is relevant to our strategic objectives? For example students developing digital content for schools rather than building a robot for their class project? There is a statement about working with industry to help young ICT professionals. There needs to be a flagship project that underscores the principle of incentivization in this master plan. There needs to be a foot print of how government will encourage / facilitate the private sector to create and run mentorship / job-shadowing programs that are purely targeted to developing young ICT professionals from schools. INDUSTRY FOCUS SERVICE AREAS HEALTH There is a project to implement an integrated national health system. It seems this projects focus is on data integration. There is need to open up this project wider in the context of the digital ID initiative under the public data hub initiative. In addition there is need to look at more than just data integration but holistic process integration with other government sectors like environment (for alert on outbreak of illnesses etc), social security / hospital fund for health insurance management and payment gateway for collection of any health related fees. EDUCATION: There are two flagship projects listed. The school laptop project and the education e-portal. In my view this needs to be further unpacked (broken down) to show the curriculum development roadmap that will be integrated with the laptops and showing how the transition will be from the current physical content to a complete digital content cross all the various education value chains i.e. enrollment->teaching->learning->examination- >progression. This should also be linked with the overall ICT education / human capacity pillar that talks about programs to enhance literacy in order to ensure these initiatives are not in conflict or in duplication.
  • 3. About the education e-portal, it also needs to be opened up a bit more to clarify the entire education cycle and service delivery and see the linkages with the data hub project for single view of students and teachers plus the Huduma Centre project where matters education are concerned especially with bursaries etc. In addition, there is need to also consider the wider scale national payment gateway to see if there is any linkage to this project for collection of fees etc. SECURITY There is mention of an integrated security, intelligence and surveillance system project will be implemented using the persons data hub. This to me looks like a reporting system. Beyond just a reporting system, there needs to be more footprint of ICT in the entire security value chain viz PREPARE->PREVENT->PROTECT->PURSUE cycle. I suggest that this be articulated deeper in terms of BPR (business process re-engineering) of existing security process and linkages with other government sectors / agencies to create a target operating model that effectively uses ICT as a platform for better service delivery including volunteer based reporting mechanisms which are easily filterable and pursued where found to be worth pursuing. AGRICULTURE There is an initiative to establish a national agriculture commodity exchange for sharing of market and price information as well as implementation of animal monitoring system. More than this, there is need to integrate this sector with environment and department of meteorology plus other departments like science and research to enrich the information farmers need to prepare their crops and minimize crop damage. In addition, there are service industries like insurance and banks where such additional information would enable farmers access funds and protection for their investments. The data hub project needs to consider how to identify and classify these farmers to have a better planning mechanism of what kind of farming is being done and at what scale for purposes of food security planning and targeted information dissemination to the right forums.
  • 4. FINANCIAL SERVICES There is an initiative that aims to implement a national payment gateway to facilitate secure online payments. In addition, there is need to ensure that cyber security projects mentioned in the Infrastructure pillar go hand in hand. The payment gateway project should begin by first making government service payments to pass through this gateway in all sectors. There needs to be details of how this roadmap will transition such payments in various government departments to eliminate corruption and cash handling offices. TRADE, TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS The implementation of a national physical addressing system must go hand in hand with the citizen registration (digital ID) project to minimize double work of having to collect information from the citizens. There is need to properly determine what information is important to capture about the citizen and where to keep it and for what purpose. Transport integrated management system initiative needs to be re-looked at in line with the data hub project and the payment gateway project in areas such as driver registration and collection of fees respectively to reduce duplication and redundancy in creating functionalities that will be overtaken once the other complimentary projects come on board. THESE SECTORS HAVE NOT BEEN COVERED BY THE MASTER PLAN Energy and Petroleum There is a lot about upstream activities that the masterplan can talk about especially usage of data for decision making as well as process efficiency in registration of prospecting companies and monitoring of blocks. Also the demand and supply side of things in the mid-stream and downstream side of things require lots of ICT support which this master plan needs to consider. Mining There is need to look what ICT can do in terms of information sharing with the likes of the environment ministry as well as enterprise development ministry.
  • 5. Tourism ICT can consider opportunities to enhance decision making especially with better reporting on bed capacity, classification of various tourist attraction sites and their competitiveness with international destinations and integration with security interventions to see the impact of such on this sector. Labour Social Security and Services Where are the linkages between Education and Labor? This is in terms of demand versus supply of workforce and the relevant skills and how ICT can help improve that. Also consider the role of Social Security in the Digital ID / data hub project and any impact on delivery of social services plus any roadmap into how Social Services will be delivered at huduma centres and the integration (process and data) thereof. Land, Housing and Urban Development I think there is a lot that needs to be talked about here. The physical addressing system in transport sector will indeed rely alot on data from Lands and Housing. What is the roadmap on digitization of records in lands, process improvement in land transfer and tenure and the support this master plan will provide on such? Sports, Culture and the Arts These sectors seem to have been disregarded yet there is lots of potential emanating from the education sector in terms of extra-curricular activities. How can this master plan work with this ministry to design programs that identify such talent and nurture them and position them in the right places. In addition the management of various bodies that run sports in this country requires ICT which hasnt been tackled here. How about management of sports / art facilities like National Archives and our sports stadia. Dont we need some level of inventory management to check on how many leg bones of zinjanthropus are in National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi, Kitale etc? Environment, Water and Natural Resource Together with the Lands ministry, the effort and process of identification of who has invaded protected areas using the addressing system would make things easier. How about keeping
  • 6. information about water towers as well as our forest cover? I think ICT masterplan has so much role to play here. Industrialization and Enterprise Development There is opportunity to identify and classify the local enterprise for proper incentivization. Which local business is best suited to run with a particular government project? Such information would help government quickly profile and target as well as encourage specialization in the development of local enterprises. It would also help government identify and flag rogue companies that win tenders and then dont deliver. I hope you will consider these comments / suggestions in your subsequent revision / detailing / allocation of resources in the implementation of the master plan. Warm Regards, Peter Muya. ICT Consultant, Nairobi. 23-Apr-2014

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