Organizations are huge and complex in nature, their operations and strategic focus could be greatly enhanced by well-focused application of Information and Communication Technologies (lCT) to support improvements in productivity, management effectiveness and ultimately, the quality of services offered. While the benefits of ICT in government agencies cannot be disputed, there are several concerns about its success as well as the strategies to be adopted in implementation of ICT systems in various countries. The implementation of ICT ‘project constitutes a major change for any organization.
With the emergence of information and communication technologies (ICTs), and e-Government, it is possible to improve efficiency and effectiveness of internal administration within government and to re-locate government service from government offices to locations closer to the citizens. Examples of such locations are ICT centers, digital villages, huduma centers, cyber café’, telecenters, data centers (implementing cloud computing for data and applications) or even foster education institutions and public libraries when you provide them with free internet services. While the benefits of ICT in mind, it requires proper strategies through planning with enough resources for you to succeed.
Kakamega County is slowly evolving into an Information Communication and Technology hub. The following projects have so far been implemented successfully by the ICT department:
- Redesigning of the county website: The county website has been restructured in a way that could easily capture the attention of the users. Some of the menus that have been redesigned include the County Latest News, County Projects, Service Delivery, Governor’s Speeches, Jobs and Tenders. The website is a tool that can be used to communicate information to the public such as selling good policies and plans the county has put in place to improve service delivery among others.
- Internet backup link has now been installed for the county use with the support of the National Government through the National Optic Fiber Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI) channel. The video conferencing facility has now been installed for the Governor, the Deputy Governor and the County Commissioner in about 28 counties in Kenya. This facility can enable the Governor to have a direct communication with fellow Governor from other counties enabled with a direct video link through the fitted camera. The link also provides a secondary redundant link for county systems including IFMIS, Gpay, IPPD, email and GHRIS.
- Provision of Internet and Infrastructure development: the department of ICT has so far provided fiber optic connectivity to all the county offices (the CPSB, Kotecha and Sahajanand offices). Installing the Local Area Network has been completed on the Kotecha Building.
PROJECTS THAT ARE ON COURSE
- The county connectivity project is an enormous project that seeks to interconnect the entire county right from the county offices at the headquarter to the sub counties then to the wards. The county needs to be connected so that we can move services to as close to the people as possible. This is because the Constitution of Kenya 2010 envisages every county developing ICT centers and digital villages in every ward and village if possible. These centers will be providing basic services to the citizens in the rural areas with regard to the huduma centers, which the national government is implementing. Information access is now mandatory to the citizens of every county, and therefore this can be made possible if the citizens will connect to links that will enable them to access to free information. This project will also spur growth in the rural areas through business and SME’s. When this project is implemented, it will be easier to implement to the lower levels various county information systems including the document management system that is already developed, the county ERP system, the Communication system, IFMIS and Gpay and many other information systems. This interconnections will be key to the rolling out of the county information systems such as the revenue collection system, the creation of the ICT centers/Digital villages, communication systems e.t.c.
- The County’s Enterprise Resource Planning is underway. This information system will bring many solutions to one desktop. A true Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system integrates both internal and external information flows used by the organization within a single, comprehensive solution. An ERP solution incorporates the practical systems used by organizations to manage the basic commercial functions of their business, such as: planning, inventory/materials management, purchasing, agriculture, finance, accounting, human resources, infrastructure, customer care relations, environment, health services, trade and tourism, services etc. The objective of the ERP solution is to drive the flow of information between all internal business functions while managing connections, or “touch points,” to outside stakeholders. Other proposed integration include revenue collection automation, customer service relation, fleet management and integration into IPPD, IFMIS, Gpay and Hospital health management system.