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Building Capacity, Managing Knowledge

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DQI Bureau
New Update

Capacity building has emerged as one of the most critical components in the

modern project management body of knowledge. This pertains to two major areas

management of human resources and training. Also, knowledge management serves as

an overarching support component across the capacity building realm.

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The conceptualization of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) started some

time before 2004. In early 2005, while formulating NeGP, states were at

different levels of readiness, and e-governance initiatives and computerization

of government systems were mainly champion-driven. So for all the states to

assume the ownership and participate in the national program, capacity building

was considered to be vital at various levels within the government across the

country.

In March 2005, the Department of Information Technology, Government of India,

provided financial assistance to all the states, so that professional services

could be hired for preparing e-governance roadmaps (EGRMs) and capacity building

roadmaps (CBRMs).

EGRM is an important report, wherein states have aspired to achieve a certain

level of e-governance initiative. This is broadly dependent on the study of

various departments, their readiness, and the identification of the citizen

services to be transformed. Broadly, the report includes vision, mission,

present scenario, gap analysis, and fund arrangements. This gives an overall

picture of readiness and aspiration levels of various states. EGRM, therefore,

serves as a roadmap to complete the e-gov program in a state.

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CBRM details the capacity building requirements in a state mainly in terms of

manpower and training along with detailed requirements of capacity building for

state specific programs within the broader framework of NeGP.

The government formally approved the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) in May

2006. Subsequently, a capacity building scheme was formulated for all states and

union territories (UTs) following a uniform approach. Importantly, an

institutional framework has been suggested for states and UTs. However,

depending on the readiness, population, area, and a few other parameters, there

are some variations in terms of the magnitude of the implementation but the

overall response has been quite encouraging.

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The Government of India approved the capacity building scheme in January 2008

which will be implemented in all states and union territories. The scheme is for

the establishment of an institutional framework for state-level strategic

decision-making including setting up of a state e-governance mission team. This

will provide professional manpower support to the policy and decision-making

process and will help the overall management of the program and its effective

implementation.

The scheme also has a provision for orientation courses and specialized

training to key public functionaries and senior government officials involved in

the program. The training institutions in states/UTs would also be strengthened

so that various training programs can be offered on a regular basis. The scheme

has an outlay of Rs 313 crore to be implemented over a period of three years.

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A central capacity building management cell is being set up for coordination

and implementation of the scheme. This cell will facilitate various activities

under the capacity building scheme.

Toward Capacity Building



For taking up an ambitious program like NeGP, which has a wider implication

like transforming the government processes and the citizen service delivery

system, the vision and policy direction comes from respective governments in

states and union territories. So, the first and foremost task was to set up an

e-governance program steering council ideally under the chairmanship of the

chief minister.

For achieving the state policy goals and objectives, an apex committee was

set up to provide strategy direction and oversee the state e-governance program

and ensure inter-departmental coordination. For operationalizing the CB scheme,

the state government has designated a state nodal organization that would

provide services like selections, contracting for external resources, and

administrative support to the SeMT. This is referred as the institutional

framework needed for systematic approach to the e-governance program.

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It is very encouraging to see that most states and UTs have already set up

the framework. The next major steps include establishing SeMTs at the state

level, initiating various training programs and the knowledge sharing process,

and strengthening training institutions in the states.

Presently, the most challenging job is to get on board suitable professionals

in the SeMT. The management of a huge program like NeGP necessitates sourcing of

professional skills in various areas of expertise such as project/program

management, process reengineering, change management, technology, financial

modeling, etc.

Sourcing of SeMTs is envisaged in the following ways: first, to look for

suitable people from within the government organization and the rest can be

recruited from the open market on a contractual basis. In the present scenario,

it is difficult to get suitable manpower in limited time. Also, the attrition

rate is quite high. So, it is inevitable that a suitable HR policy as well as HR

management for these professionals would be required. Mere size of SeMTs might

deter individual states to have their own policy. So, centrally, the DIT will

facilitate recruitment as well as manage a suitable HR policy. Similar

collective initiatives are also being taken for arranging specialized training,

conferences, workshops, and knowledge management.

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States that have been aggressive in implementation of e-governance, even

before NeGP formulation, are the frontrunners. They have capabilities and

capacity within. Some of these states also have organizations like the

e-governance society under their administrative control. Now, under this

capacity building scheme, even those states and UTs that could not move forward

at a fast pace will get a chance to augment themselves and will be better

equipped to handle the challenges of e-gov implementation.

Knowledge Management



Government departments across the nation are getting into e-gov program

development and implementation. Because of various associated activities in the

e-gov space, tremendous amount of knowledge is being generated in this process;

and this knowledge can also be used suitably for similar initiatives in other

states, thereby reducing the overall cycle time for e-gov projects.

Like any other project, e-gov faces change management as an issue that needs

a lot of attention. Intervening into the legacy systems and infusing process

transformation across all components is a challenge but e-gov is generally

welcome and has been accepted at all levels.

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The workforce with the government would be suitably trained for the new setup

and will result in more interactions, empowerment, and training to handle the

new environment. It is considered that these steps would be useful for the

inclusive participation and building confidence in the changed environment.

Change management is an important aspect for taking NeGP forward. Out of the

key strategic pillars of an organizationpeople, process, and technologyit is

the people element that is critical for the success of any large-scale

developmental program. The CB initiative lays emphasis on the people element

to make NeGP a success.

Dr Dhrupad Mathur



The author is senior consultant on the National e-Governance Plan of the

Government of India



maildqindia@cybermedia.co.in

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