The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka signed a 4-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to support Sri Lanka’s aspirations for Digital Transformation.
ICTA and UNDP will collaborate towards the design and implementation of a comprehensive National Digital Strategy under the ‘Vistas of Prosperity’ national policy framework, with a specific focus on digital transformation of the public sector including re-engineering processes to ensure an effective uptake of digital mechanisms.
The collaboration will also implement initiatives to bridge the ‘Digital Divide’ ensuring an inclusive digital transformation that leaves no one behind. In line with the national emphasis on recovery, the transformational agenda will also develop and implement a national strategy on digital economy to revitalise the economy in a post COVID-19 context.
The partnership will leverage the capacity of Citra Lab, GoSL and UNDP joint initiatives and build on existing public sector excellence initiatives such as the NextGenGov Fellowship Programme, to provide capacity building support and support ICTA’s institutional strengthening and realignment to lead an effective digital transformation agenda in Sri Lanka. The transformational agenda will utilize design thinking approaches such as human centred design in the development and implementation of these initiatives to ensure the people of Sri Lanka are the central focus of the transformation.
Human centred design is an approach that develops solutions to problems by involving the human or user’s perspective in every step of the problem-solving process. Citra Lab, will lend its expertise on such approaches to the digital transformation agenda to ensure a citizen centric digital transformation.
Speaking on the vital need for transformation Mr. Jayantha De Silva, Chairman of ICTA stated “ICTA is the apex ICT institution of the Government mandated to take all necessary measures to implement the Government’s policies in relation to ICT including the implementation of a comprehensive digitalization policy for the country. The global COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the urgent need for a digital transformation of our Public Sector in order to effectively respond to evolving challenges. We are confident that this partnership will enable us to build on this momentum for change and realise our overarching goal of an inclusive, digital Sri Lanka.
Commenting on the partnership Robert Juhkam, Resident Representative of UNDP in Sri Lanka stated, “Digital transformation is a hallmark of our time and UNDP is committed to supporting national digital transformation agendas for social and economic good, including Sri Lanka. Digital investments can help both to recover from COVID-19 and enable achievement of the SDGs. This partnership will create a platform for engagement to leverage UNDP and UN sister agency expertise for efficient, citizen-centric and resilient public service delivery, innovation and economic growth.”
As an immediate next step to the signing, ICTA and UNDP will work together to conduct a digital readiness assessment for the public sector to identify gaps within the system and design interventions that can be rolled out to strengthen the digital framework. (Colombo Gazette)