I struggle to understand the political bug and the effects it has on many who decide to wallow in it for one simple reason; logic seems to evaporate as soon as the swearing in is done. This is most evident at the junction of what should be a winning trifecta of technology, service delivery and politics. Before I get crucified for a blanket application of “cluelessness”, I do agree that there are some outliers who are getting elements of the big picture right.
In my books, the political cycle runs for four years, with six month buffer on either end for the proverbial celebrations and later for the preparations for the next round of battle – where work is forgotten. Four years is hardly enough time to fully actualize any of the roadmaps that many ride on to get into government positions, but the need for tangible output is necessary for anyone in the game. One would therefore assume that the need to ensure that they are aligned and in tune to the national frameworks as created for the key pillars identified for economic growth as key performance indicators will most certainly be hinged on these is top of mind.
However, what many in the current crop is doing wrong is an uncoordinated technology shopping and deployment spree without much thought on the sustainability or alignment – to national master plans of the said solutions, in a mad rush to collect brownie points often with good intent I believe.
A number of meetings with The Commission for Revenue Allocation, led by Micah Cheserem and whose core mandate is “to recommend the basis for equitable sharing of revenues raised nationally between the National and the County Governments; and sharing of revenue among the County Governments” reveals that there is a lack of knowledge as to what solutions are readily available or adaptable to the new political dispensation. They did commission a needs analysis research to discover what is needed on the ground and the state of preparedness but my take is progress on leveraging that information has been slow, given the fragmented nature of the operations in county governments, not forgetting that they are seemingly embroiled in housekeeping nuances.
As central government has been engaging private sector through many forums such as Connected Government, to explore the rollout of shared services and infrastructure, county governments should be smart; explore the same and leverage the support offered by the CRA in this process. By coming together and looking at unified solutions, the total cost of ownership is reduced by several factors with the creation of specialized features to meet unique requirements as probably the only additional cost center.
This approach will do the following;
- give an opportunity for local companies – independently or in consortiums to grow while creating and locking down intellectual property,
- provide sustainable technology based solutions on the back of shared costs of ownership,
- provide seamless alignment to national frameworks that are multi-year, multibillion and many times handled by large multinationals who may currently be the only ones capable of the PPP engagements at that level.
Lastly, it moves the focus to actual service delivery to the citizen where real performance indicators can be used to determine and hopefully inform who makes it back in office.