In the age where billions of records of information are created every day, there is a need to effectively use information, as it could potentially be a powerful tool. In the case of Governments, for good governance, information is to be used strategically for public good. Good governance requires, amongst other things, decisions based on "sets of information" or knowledge. Digitization of this information and making it available on a network which is accessible to all individuals opens up possibilities for use of this information by everyone - paving the way for Digital Governance or e-Governance. Digitization of information minimizes human intervention thus making the administrative process more efficient and transparent. The biggest benefits of e-Governance would be the elimination of delays in rendering services and giving its citizens fair and equal access to the Government services/products that make the process more transparent and inclusive.
Mobile phone adoption, as per a survey conducted in 2014, shows the ratio of mobile phone users to 100 inhabitants at around 95% as shown in the graph below (Ref.: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/stat/default.aspx)
Given the sheer size of these numbers, it would not be wrong to say that mobile is going to be the next frontier of digital growth, helping governments to quickly move towards Mobile Governance. This is a powerful medium to reach out to every citizen in the country directly and deliver "governance at one's fingertips", ensuring the citizens can now participate in, and influence decision-making processes that matter to them. While insisting on the importance of Mobile Government, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai said, “Today, we want to take Government service centres to clients who can submit their applications through a mobile phone or any other mobile device from any place without waiting... the successful Government is the one which goes to clients wherever they are and doesn't wait for them to come to the Government.” (Ref.: http://www.emirates247.com)
In the last couple of years, Governments around the world have made tremendous efforts to make e-Governance work for people - by providing them with easy access to high-quality governance products and services. This move has helped the Governments to:
- Reduce the cost of transactions by making the information/service available to its citizens, which once was confined to Government bureaucrats and departments that were logistically and administratively inaccessible to the public.
- Bring more people under the governance sphere.
- Deliver relevant Government information to each individual
An example of good Mobile Governance and the Apps that render this can be accessed through this link https://apps.bahrain.bh/.
These Apps have effectively helped in engaging the citizens in the governance process. Let’s take a live example; a citizen sees a pothole on a road, takes a picture, which is geo-tagged, and uploads the image. The image is sent to the concerned ministry to act upon it. The ministry then acts upon it, sends a notification to the citizen about the resolution of the problem and thanks them for their support.
To read further details about mobile-enablement of e-Government citizen services, please visit the THBS website at https://www.torryharris.com/case-study/mobile-enablement-of-egovernment-citizen-services
For more information about THBS mobility competency, please visit https://www.torryharris.com/
About the Author
Manjunath G.K - Manjunath works as a Business Unit Head at Torry Harris Business Solutions and is engaged with customers across geographies providing solutions to real-life problems.