by July 1, 2005 0 comments

E-governance is a Greenfield area and the temptation to reinvent the wheel every time a new project is to be implemented is very high. This leads not only to higher costs of implementation, but also longer project cycles. Like in any other area, e-governance projects too can benefit by taking in lessons from other successful projects. In this short piece, we will map lessons from some of the winners of the PCQuest best IT implementation awards this year and the last to the demands of e-governance. This list is by no means exhaustive, and is indicative of the lessons and best practices that can be learnt and adapted from existing projects.

Let us start with last years’ overall best project-ITC’s e-chaupal. The e-chaupal project is a classic lesson in how to take IT infrastructure, including power, computers and the Internet into villages and how to make the infrastructure self-sustaining in the long run. 

IRCTC’s e-ticketing project was a winner last year, while in the current year, they were adjudged the best project overall for their telephone booking and reservation status system. Payment collection and information dissemination is part and parcel of many a governance system. Access to PCs may be a problem in the country, but access to a telephone, either personal or public is almost universal in the country. What better way to reach the network to the population than the telephone or the

The Andhra Government’s e-procurement system is a winner this year. This is e-governance in action-government purchases and tendering systems taken online. Surely many other governments and government departments can benefit from a similar implementation, and the lessons and experiences from the implementation of this system is worth studying.

Kerala’s FRIENDS and Andhra’s E-Seva are all examples of working e-governance systems that integrate the front ends of the collection systems of multiple departments into one window. Both these projects have their own stories to tell, of how they integrate with the departments, of how they handle the issues in scaling up. How they manage and maintain the systems-e-Seva follows an outsourced model, while FRIENDS has its own maintenance team on call when required.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to first check out the experience of these projects before embarking on a similar one of your own?

The Wockhardt patient status display system is probably the final word in how a simple idea, well executed can have a telling impact on the target audience.
The ICICI Lombard GIS based Risk Management project is another one that has a lot of similarities to what a good e-governance system should want. Geography linked information is key to the functioning of many government departments. Would a similar GIS-based solution hold the key to better governance there?

Punjab National Bank’s Core Banking Solution roll out is one of the largest solution rollouts in the country. Surely the challenges they faced and the solutions they came up with will have interesting and valuable insights for the similar rollout of governance projects. These are, like I said earlier, just a few samples. In short, what we are strongly recommending is that e-governance initiators and implementers need to closely interact with their counterparts, both in other governments and in private enterprise to learn from their experiences so as to make their own implementations better, smoother and less-time consuming. ¨

Krishna Kumar

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