Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have embarked on government funded e-government and telecenter initiatives, with internet access at telecenters as a central delivery channel for e-Gov services. However, are telecenters still relevant in the delivery of citizen services and should they be subsidized by government? To answer this, a survey was conducted amongst 2,750 poor citizens, who have had a government interaction and who live within 5km of 275 randomly selected telecenters in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Higher awareness and use of telecenters was seen in Bangladesh, with 68 percent of the Bangladeshi sample having heard of the telecenter, and 52 percent having visited a telecenter and used its services. Telecenter awareness in the Sri Lankan sample was lower, at 46 percent, with usage even lower, at 16 percent amongst those who were aware.
People in Sri Lanka felt the tremors from the April 11, 2012 tsunamigenic earthquake. Reports indicate that, before the Government of Sri Lanka could issue any kind of bulletin, within 10-15 minutes of the tremors, people were receiving tweets of the event. Samarajiva wrote – “Tweets kept flying. I and several others active in social media kept emphasizing that only a “watch” existed, that people should be alert and not do anything for now”; see full article in LBO. However, does twitter reach all Sri Lankans?
The report examines the untapped potential that the mobile / wireless devices have in provisioning of next generation of business and public services. This report , prepared and published by Mckinsey and Company, can be a very valuable tool for the professionals in the public sector as well as the industry. It makes a point that the next generation of services for the evolving knowledge society would be provisioned through mobile / wireless devices. http://mckinsey.com/clientservice/telecommunications/WirelsUnbnd.
From Lanka Business Online: The World Bank late Tue approved US$ 53 mn to roll out the e-Sri Lanka project, which aims to bridge the digital divide in Sri Lanka. Rolled out through the Information Communication Technologies Agency (ICTA) over a five-year period starting Nov., the project aims to improve public service delivery, increase private sector competitiveness, promote new sources of growth, accelerate social development, bridge the digital divide, and support peace. ICT diffusion across the country will be the enabler for development throughout the key sectors of the economy. The funds will come through the International Development Association (IDA), the World Banks concessionary lending affiliate, with 40 years maturity and a ten-year grace period.
The service sector drives network economies and information societies. The foundation of this sector is the communication network. As such, modern network economies depend on effective reforms in telecom infrastructure to strengthen links among local, national, regional and international networks and markets. Professor William H. Melody Technical University of Denmark London School of Economics … in his presentation on public administration in an e-economy to the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration.