Following the advent of democracy, citizen's awareness on good governance is deepening. Their demand for the same is increasing from time to time. Specially, service seekers of different organizations have started challenging administrators and leaders at every layer who cannot discharge their responsibilities.
True, citizens need to enjoy the bliss of good governance, the government penned down on its policies with golden inks.
The current instability Ethiopia is facing at some places indicates that people, turning out demanding, are voicing some complaints, among which the quest for good governance takes the bigger slice.
The government does not hide the presence of complaints related to lack of good governance at every level of management areas. In most governmental organizations, it is not uncommon to listen to peoples' dissatisfaction over reception, service delivery, honesty and time the execution of tasks takes.
Bad governance surfaces due to asymmetry of information between the service seekers and service givers. Usually service givers will have enough information about their obligations and responsibilities but they keep service seekers on the dark about service seekers' rights. Such gaps of information will give rise to lack of good governance.
The other factor that exacerbates bad governance is disrespect towards the rule of law on the part of service givers. If the responsible service giver is not held accountable when badly treating clients, good governance will be eroded.
Technology could help troubleshoot improprieties. The development of technology will arm society with the necessary information and alert service givers to be more responsible. Hence, the significance of technological achievements is unquestionable for good governance.
It is mandatory, therefore, to adopt technology to deliver appropriate services and address public's grievances in some offices of the nation.
For the past ten years now, leaning on technological aids a palpable change in good governance has been taking shape in some offices, according to Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT).
The government is striving to develop technological means which support the nation's good governance movement.
The government needs to facilitate modern technologies which can strengthen its communication with its people. In cognizance of this fact now most government organizations are made to have their standardized portals. This enables the organizations upload their information online. So, currently even basic information of most governmental organizations in the nation are available on online.
Dr. Abiyot Bayu, Electronic Government Directorate Director within MCIT told to The Ethiopian Herald that electronic-devices-assisted services are being introduced in service delivery. The introduction of call centers is one of the services developed by the ministry. Through these call centers, different federal and state organizations deliver information for their clients.
“If service seekers need any information about the service they need from a given organization they can request anything via a center. If that organization using such center reluctantly fail to give the required information, it is possible to make it accountable for its negligence,” he said. On the other hand, to be more transparent if any governmental organization needs to use these centers, it is possible.
Now, willingness of the organizations to adopt and adapt this technology is needed to communicate effectively with their clients. Currently, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Land Development,Federal Documents Authentication and Registration Agencies and other governmental organizations are using this service. Call centers also serve to give suggestions.
Two types of portals are being developed under MCIT. There are portals which give only basic information. They are already put in place. As to Dr. Abiyot, the other portal is meant for transaction services. It gives the actual service. On the MCIT's website there is a transaction portal that delivers more than 100 services.
Most people in the nation are not computer users. They rather use their cellphone to get information easily. To outreach the public, government mobile app-store are developed. On this portal, there are mobile applications to give different services and people can upload and use them.
The e-procurement portal, which makes easy the purchasing service is already developed and activities to launch it are underway. And the other portal, which is helpful for citizens to ask their questions and give any suggestion on whatever governmental organizations, is being developed.
The reluctance of different organizations to embrace this service is still a challenge to the sector's development.“Technological advancement is proceeding apace. And the main issue is utilizing it for the public usage. But without the concerted push of stake-holders, it is not possible to deliver the service for the people,” Dr. Abiyot added.
It is known that Ethiopia has kick-started implementing the Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTPII) integrating democracy, human rights and good governance.
If reinforced with technology, the goal of ensuring good governance will turn out a hit in the nation.
BY GENET FEKADE