Make departments smart, first

Synopsis: E-governance holds the promise of improving local governance, but only if we pay attention to the basics.


To have a smart city, there is a need to make all the departments of the city smart. In such cities, good governance is dependent on good service delivery. This requires good availability of data.

Thus, we need to develop ‘smart systems’ that generate data by default.

How departments can be made smart and efficient?

To make the departments work more smartly and efficiently, there is a need to use digital technologies across all three domains — processes, human resources, and citizen-centricity. We need to work on:

E Governance: There is a need to shift the work from regular copy pen format to digital format. This will also help us to save time, reduce errors and reduce manipulation in the system. For Example in Andhra Pradesh, ULB employees reported saving an average of 11 hours every week after a digital system was adopted.

Transition period: Administration should adopt phased targets to adopt new tools. It should also provide training to the employees for their effective use.

Citizen Centric: Changes should be done keeping the citizens in mind. It should be citizen-centric.

Collaboration: Collaboration should be there between various government departments and with non-governmental partners as well — to create a virtuous cycle of co-creation, learning, and efficiency.

This is how smart cities emerge, not from the top-down, but from an organic collaboration between departments, employees, and citizens, who are simply looking to do their own jobs more effectively.

Source: This post is based on the following articles “Make departments smart, first “published in The Hindu on 24th September 2021.

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