Opinion
National ID success hinged much on people as on technology
Publish Date: Apr 22, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Ivan Kahangire
 

Just a few days into the roll out of the massive National ID registration exercise, the Government agencies responsible are already grappling with poor turn up by the masses, largely due to the long queues at the registration centres in urban centres where it takes an average of 45 minutes to register a single person, and poor turn up in the rural areas, all due to poor training and sensitisation.
 

Firstly, this civic responsibility that should be taken up enthusiastically and with national pride remains in ownership of the Government technocrats instead of the masses.

Great emphasis, resources and time in countless boardroom meetings have been spent to procure and deploy thousands of expensive IT equipment, whilst forgetting to adequately prepare and empower the individuals who are sitting at these centres and doing the actual data capture, logistics management and entire value chain.
 

As is for ICT projects, people and change process management and empowerment should be given as much emphasis if not more, as the enabling ICT infrastructure so as to achieve the desired results.

The technical personnel should be given confidence and a sense of ownership, by not only adequately training them on use of these data capture equipment but also setting them clear goals, objectives and well-defined key performance indicators based on which reward and dismissal would be based.

None security related staff up to the highest level should be recruited, feel valuable and involved in all phases of delivery methodology, management, planning and control of project activities to promote effective communication, improved scope, risk management and overall best project delivery.
 

In fact, technology contributes as little as 15% of overall success of such projects, whilst 85% is attributed to management of people and data.
 

Countries like South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria have already implemented biometric national Identity card systems, and whether Uganda is implementing photo and card or biometric ID, the methodology and delivery should be benchmarked from these so that we can leap frog their past failures.
 

These basic project performance management techniques may have been ignored, largely because of the political push to have this exercise succeed “at all costs”, but while the benefits and matter of urgency may not be debatable, sacrificing these basics may mean the firefighting exercise for those responsible may have been cut out.

Even then, following cook book project management approaches will be least ideal as managing people’s expectations should take precedence.
 

Conclusively, a biometric national database will help the Government eliminate duplication of citizens’ records which will in effect benefit accurate service delivery, give confidence and impetus to invest to the banking sector due to reduction in forged checks and signatures by use of digital fingerprint signatures, improve law enforcement through fast and accurate identification of criminals from their respective biometric data, improved healthcare delivery through prevention of medical identity theft, immigration and border control among many more.

By training, all the staff to the least rung individual to appreciate the value of the system and own it, to register as many people in the shortest possible time, to serve with a smile, even by providing registration incentives such as in the on-going Indian General Election where in some states a vote cast guarantees one a discount per liter of fuel at the petrol station, people will feel involved and the uptake of this exercise will be much higher, and carried out much faster, leading to the desired success of the project.

The writer is an enterprise solutions business development consultant
 
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Predicting the future: Is Uganda ready for a data driven economy
As science fiction writer Arthur Clarke said, "If by some miracle, a prophet could describe the future exactly as it was going to take place, his predictions would sound so far-fetched, so absurd, that everyone would laugh him to scorn....
What drives moral progress?
What would happen if the ancient Greek philosopher Plato partook in contemporary dialogues about the types of questions that he first posed, and that continue to vex us? In my view, he would have many new questions – including about our increasingly psychological approach to philosophical discussio...
The digital road from poverty
Where should the global community focus its attention over the next 15 years? Health, nutrition, and education may seem like obvious choices; more surprisingly, there is a strong case for making broadband access a top priority....
KCCA engineers should be problem solvers
On one Saturday morning as I was driving to work in a down pour, I was able to witness chunks of water that was flowing over the surface of almost all roads in Kampala....
How religion can be used to promote democracy
How can we use religion to promote democracy, understanding and human rights in the world? In the face of all inequalities in the world today, how would you rate the role of religion in conflict resolution and social understanding?...
Major public universities need government intervention for new investment policies
At the beginning of every academic year, major university students carry hopes of some laxity and days without class due to “sure appearance” of an uprising, demonstration or strike that usually ends in either total or partial closure of the institutions....
Is gambling the cause of poverty amomg youth?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter