A Trust based approach to Governance

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A Trust based approach to Governance

A Trust based approach to Governance
Dr. P.Gayatri
Senior Director (IT)

The Digital India Programme has thrown greater challenges to Governments across the Indian Sub-continent, by envisioning “Digitally Empowered Society”. Leaders and Administrators have started to work towards Digitalized solutions to realize this Vision. Greater the scope of Digitalization, Greater is the Transparency. The question then arises; can our systems withstand this growth in Digitalization? Yes, we can say, when we build systems which can demonstrate Trust! Trust is the factor that needs to be achieved between the Government and the Public. This article discusses How best can the Trust of the Public and also Government Employees be gained and how Government Systems can be transformed so as to demonstrate the trustworthiness.

A Couple of decades ago, when Ministries and Departments in Central / State Government were procuring Hardware and other infrastructure, Computerization of certain functions such as HR, Accounts or Departmental domain-specific activities like Registration of Properties were of priority and Citizen Services were never thought of to be in the scope! Over time, with the advent of internet and mobile penetration, the outlook to servicing citizens and making them part of Governance are being thought of. Today, we just do not file our IT returns or pay our taxes online, we also get to see platforms where citizen can contribute to policy decisions, interact with elected representatives and so on. Yet, public hesitates to open up freely to converse or to reveal their identities for fear of getting exposed and/or for fear of any unforeseen threats! This is due to the weaknesses in the systems that cannot guarantee Privacy and Security of Personal Identities.

To gain Public Trust, Governments must focus on the foundational principles on which their systems are built. Systems here do not mean IT or Software applications; Technology is just a means to facilitate. The Architecture of the system itself must support in building Trustworthy systems i.e., Trust by design. A robust Data Governance mechanism articulating guidelines on “Data Architecture, “Guaranteed Privacy and Security of Personal Information”, “Data Ownership Rules”, “Data Storage Strategy”, “Data Sharing Strategy”, “Data Quality & Data Standards” must be brought in place, ideally at a federal level. These key principles under Data Governance are depicted in Fig. 1.

Image of Principles under Data Governance

Adhering to the Principles of Data Governance, Governments should embrace the emerging technologies and re-imagine the delivery of citizen services from newer perspectives,

Image of Emerging Technologies for Digital Transformation In Government Organizations

Social media is redefining the way people express and communicate their ideas and opinions. Government organizations should leverage this opportunity to understand the views, assess the opinions and use technological means such as AI and ML tools to redefine their servicing strategies. Connect, Collaborate, Communicate and Develop Communities are the critical characteristics of Social Media. Blogs, Micro Blogs, Vlogs, Wiki, Facebook pages and Twitter handles of Offices of Ministers are some of the ways to create user communities to connect and collaborate with them. While Social Media platforms are the best ones for Governments to collaborate with citizen, content policy has to be brought in place for creation, moderation, accessibility and management of records with appropriate legal provisions.

Penetration of Mobile Technology has transcended the scope of Government – Citizen engagement. Mobile enabled services will bring in humungous change in service delivery reaching the unreached at the geographically challenged areas such as Remote villages, Hill Stations and Island territories.

Data is every-growing! With Social Media and Mobile technology, different types of data are generated, structural that can be classified and non-structural data such as audio, video streams. In parallel, due to the advent of Artificial Intelligence, ability and capacity to analyze various types of data is also at rise. Government can leverage the data and technologies to run analytics to classify unstructured data also to understand critical parameters such as Citizen Satisfaction, Employee Productivity, Service Levels. Analytics can greatly effect towards better decision-making.

Cyber Security is the essential pillar to build Digital systems and any innovative transformation envisaged through the Digital India Programme. The Zero-Trust Architecture advocates validation of every digital artefact or resource at every stage of digital interaction right from the physical level of access to Data Center till the level of User interfacing the Digital Systems.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have the potential to impact nearly every business process, decision and outcome. When deployed with the right strategies, this can enable Government and Public sector organizations with increased agility, streamlined processes, and reduced cost through faster decision-making.

Cloud Computing encompasses the wholesome of infrastructure architecture, required for IT Systems deployment. In particular, in Government organizations they benefit due to Reduced Operating Costs, Auto-scaling Availability, High Performance, Zero down-time, Disaster Recovery, Migration to New Technologies, Security Implementation and so on.

IoT, Internet of Things has very many use cases in Governance. Especially in Urban areas, monitoring through connected devices can be used in Pollution control, Traffic lights control, Water supply, Social services, Parking, Waste Management, Weather Forecast and so on. They aid in realizing the dream of Smart cities.

Improving Trust in transactions and information processing is the fundamental advantage of Block Chain over other technologies and tools. As a thumb rule, BCT (Block-Chain Technology) can be implemented in areas where there is a need to improve or establish social trust. BCT can reinforce transparency across supply chains, public finance, academic records, identity, land records etc.

In essence, Governance following a Principles-based Holistic approach results in a robust foundation to systems, leading to realizing long-term Vision!

Page Last Updated Date :May 18th, 2023
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