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Time to change; Rebranding Government using ICT. PDF Print E-mail

By Semakula Abdulwahid – Guest Writer

Did you know government pays part of powering a village in Rakai district, tarmacking a road in Gulu, equiping schools and health facilities and much more? 99.9 % of 34 million Ugandans will answer “No, how am I to know?”  In a recent NTV Uganda interview, the spokesperson of the Directorate of Public Prosecution said the Directorate`s biggest challenge is dissemination of information to the public. Adding, “We have won 53% of cases…” news to questioners on social media.

We are in the information era and using information innovatively wields power.
Government; (ministries, departments and agencies) has continuously lagged behind on harnessing the value of ICT in rebranding itself as a performer. This is another wakeup call for government to open up to citizens to participate in developments by leveraging the ICT tool to promote transparency.

Let`s visualise a simple scenario, would you steal Global Fund money knowing that a million people are watching it including; HIV positive peasant mothers upcountry who received an SMS that their ARVs are ready?

In the Vision 2040, government cited absence of a national value system as slowing national mobilization on key developments, highlighting corruption and unconducive work ethics as big threats to economic growth. These are difficult to handle without a national value system earned through citizens` trust in government.

In 2005 the government of Uganda (one of the few in Africa), passed the Access to Information Act (ATIA) with objectives like; “(d) to promote transparency and accountability in all organs of the State by providing the public with timely, accessible and accurate information; and (e) to empower the public to effectively scrutinise and participate in Government decisions that affect them”. But an April, 2013 World Bank study shows that six years later implementation and intended objectives are both negative. But little does government know that if innovatively implemented, ATIA could turn out in its favour and fuel the Vision 2040.

Edwards Demings a reknown statistician is quoted to have said, “In God we trust, all others must bring data.” Government has long had a culture of keeping citizens ignorant which has worked to its detriment. Government now needs to rebrand to a transparent, and participatory (ingredients of trust) one by proactively giving “RELEVANT” information to citizens.

Mr. Semakula is an Information Architect/ICT Consultant at elmot.ug
Mobile: 0772523328
Email: | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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