Cyber Quiz: Governance and ICTs: Nilekani (2004c) reviewed by Dr D.C.MisraLocked
This* is the third and the final article in a series of three articles on governance and information and communication technologies (ICTs)by Nandan M. Nilekani, CEO of Infosys.(The first article,Nilekani(2004a)was recommended for reading in this column on Monday, October 25, 2004 (message no.91) and the second on Thursday, November 4, 2004 (message no.116).
Nilekani presents a refreshing perspective in these three articles viewing governance from the triad of efficiency, effectiveness and equity, call it a 3E perspective, in which information and communication technologies(ICTs)can play a significant, but not a decisive, role as other supplementary and complementary steps are required to be taken to improve governance.
In the first article, Nilekani deals with efficiency in governance.In this article, he urges extracting efficiencies from the existing system using information technology, process re-engineering,outsourcing and financial accounting, noting that technology alone will not solve the problem and the quality of people in public life is, among other things, required to be improved.
In the second article, Nilekani deals with effectiveness stating that effectiveness in governance is all about outcomes and results. According to him, information technology can be used to ensure better outcomes. He realises that the most important lever in governance is using the voice of the citizen.
In this the third and final article Nilekani deals with equity which he finds very difficult to comprehend. In private sector, he says, the most familiar issue of equity is:what is to be done with the value created by a firm. In public sector, no player feels that that they are getting their due. Nilekani thus recommends “structured accountability platforms” as a forum for resource allocation viewing democracy as a source of “global competitive advantage.”
All these three articles have appeared in The Economic Times, New Delhi. This series of three articles is recommended for reading by any one interested in knowing the role ICTs can play, including their limitations, in improving governance in the developing countries.
November 9, 2004
* Nilekani, Nandan M.(2004c): Through a glass, brightly, The Economic Times, New Delhi, November 9, Tuesday, op-ed, p-4, available:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/916780.cms (accessed: November 9,2004).