ICT a key tool for development

Bjorn Sogari (c) during a training session in Japan. Photo:Supplied

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a key enabler for realizing sustainable development and is a key tool for any Government to provide efficient and effective services.

Senior ICT Officer, Bjorn Sogari from the Office of the Public Service Commission (PSC) attended a ICT for the Improvement of government capacity and services: IT Architect (B) program sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency from July to December in 2018.

During his presentation at the Vanuatu Institute of Public Administration and Management (VIPAM) Mr Sogari said the course aimed to ensure reliability of the online service delivery and improve efficiency of the work of a government organization.

”The course was timely as our team is working on the implementation of a Housing Management System (HMS) for the government which i have been tasked with since i started working at the OPSC back in 2016,” he said.

”I was not able to carry out the task then but with the training i had in Japan, my team is now working on proposals to be able to set up the HMS and to improve PSC’s web portal (website), intranet and set a FB page and Social Network Services. “

The use of ICT in Government services (e-government) has been rapidly increasing and Sogari said that according to PSC’s cost-cutting plan, improving their web portal is the way to achieving it.

”We are going to put a proposal to heads of departments and ministries for a Job Vacancy web portal that will be used to advertise vacancies,” he said.

”Problem finding here shows that there is high expense spent to advertise job vacancies through other mediums we have in the country so one way to cut on these expenses will be promoting ads through a web portal and it will have a qualitative and quantitative effect.”

Digitalization of government services often remains a challenge in developing countries, because of lack of not only adequate infrastructure but also highly skilled ICT personnel, JICA Okinawa offered the program empowering ICT personnel to design, develop and manage efficient ICT solutions, which can assist governments in the efforts of improving their capacity in ICT.

Sogari concluded that these proposed implementations will also contribute to the National Sustainable Development Plan.

”We visited sites where we observed how ICT has played a big role in Japan’s economy, ICT is a tool for research at prestige universities in the country and how it is used for meteorological purposes, we had hands on training,” he said.

”Devices are built using the latest technology that will be used in Japan during the Olympic 2020 for instance, Gymnastics will no longer have people as judges but cameras will judge the game with an accuracy of 100%.

”It is important to know how best we can use ICT in the most effective way that is beneficial for country.

Participating countries in the program were Vanuatu, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan and Myanmar.

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