WB, ICTA building tech-based solutions for State sector

June 15, 2021

By Eunice Ruth

World Bank (WB) has collaborated with Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka and several other Government institutions to create a technology based economy, and to implement several development projects under country’s digital transformation strategy and President’s vision, said the Director of Monitoring and Evaluation of ICTA, Jagath Seneviratne. 

Seneviratne stated that the WB started supporting Sri Lanka in 2020 and has focused on implementing several projects within the country to improve the economy and digital systems. Department of National Planning, Ministry of Technology, Ministry of Finance, WB and ICTA has collaborated together to develop a digitalized country. 

“Implementing Government based e-mailing system, recovery backup system, video conferencing system and online forms for the use of all manual paper works at the Government institutions, are the three main projects which the WB has collaborated to implement, design and fund, and it was expected to finish all by the end of December 2022. 

Also, the WB will provide necessary support in both financially and technically to successfully achieve the desired results of the digital strategy of Sri Lanka,” said Senaviratne. He noted that the emailing system will be a solution to all the existing problems which the Government currently faces due to network issues and others. “The WB will help us to create a platform separately.

 Instead of Gmail, Yahoo mail and others, a separate email solution for Government consisting Sri Lankan official Government domain will be implemented under this project and it’s also expected to create 100,000 individual e-mail accounts for all the Government staffs,” he added. 

He also noted that ICTA is currently operating a cloudbased backup system for all Government institutions and another disaster recovery backup system will be implemented with the help of WB. “Currently, we only have a primary site and a secondary backup is needed in case of emergencies and in order to fulfill the emergency needs, this backup system will be created,” he said. “Video conferencing system has turned out to be an instant solution to conduct meetings virtually amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

 It has also taught that physical meetings are not always necessary and meetings and discussions can be done virtually which will help to utilise the time more efficiently and also to reduce the cost involved in transportation and others. Also, as a result of current situation, Zoom, Google meetings and Microsoft teams has been widely used by all institutions in the country to conduct meetings. 

Instead of using all these, special software will be designed and implemented only for the use of the Sri Lankan Government which will be more lively than others and which will have more facilities in sharing the meeting materials and others.

 The Divisional Secretaries and staffs who visits Colombo once a month for monthly meetings can join using the system after the implementation of this online system which will also reduce the need of physical attendance,” he said. Meanwhile, he further pointed that reducing paper work and manual work within Government institutions, especially in Divisional Secretariats, has turned out to be an essential need. As a solution for this, online based forms site will be implemented under the project.

 In this system, people can submit the needed form via an online platform and the needed document from Government organisations also can be forwarded to the public via WhatsApp or e-mail, after the submission of the form. It can reduce paper work and congestion at offices. Senaviratne pointed that, most importantly, Monitoring and Evaluation (ME) will be done in each and every stage of the projects and a result based management principles will be used in designing projects to ensure accountability for results and independent evaluations will be carried out as part of the initiatives. 

The implementation of Sri Lanka Development project was closely monitored in accordance with the ME plan. He noted that the majority of data generated through project implementation was collected on a monthly basis using data collection instruments developed. Baseline and periodic evaluation surveys were conducted based on the agreed set of selected indicators. 

The findings of the evaluations were consolidated, discussed and reported upon in evaluation reports and used to improve performances and also it will be built among partners and contractors of Sri Lankan digital projects. He further added that the allocation of human resources and institutional infrastructures required for implementing digital transformation plans within the country, have already been completed and the main objective of the Government is to improve inclusiveness, efficiency and effectiveness of all the sectors of the economy by implementing the digital agenda.

Source by : www.ceylontoday.lk