LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

The report "A Baseline Survey of ICT and Knowledge Access in Myanmar" is now available in Myanmar Language here.

Transforming government services delivery: Kerala deliberations

There was a small but high profile Government Transformation Forum organized in Kovalam, Kerala, Feb 5-6, 2012. The Kerala Chief Minister and the Minister in charge of IT made appearances and the high-profile MP of the area, Dr Shashi Tharoor, delivered the keynote address and showed deep engagement.

I chaired the session on international and Indian best practices and made a presentation based primarily on the experiences of designing e Sri Lanka back in 2002-03 and LIRNEasia research.

My key message was that there were no best practices that could be imported to Kerala. What were best were what fit the specific circumstances. These included a majority of the population owning feature phones and most people not having credit/debit cards.

So my suggestions for the Government of Kerala included making government data public in computer-readable form with minimal restrictions so that app developers could make them into usable applications for Kerala citizens, and working on setting in place the institutional arrangements for location-based services by focusing first on cell broadcasting.

The last time I was in Kovalam (in the very same hotel, Vivanta by Taj, then Taj Green Cove), it was for a similar small high-powered session on Indian telecom policy pulled together by Aspen in early 2008. Its recommendations gained significant traction.

I have a feeling that something good will come of this meeting too.


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