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Fostering Trust and Transparency in Governance: Investigating and Addressing the Requirements for Building Integrity in Public Sector Information Systems in the ICT Environment

 DFID Research
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 Michael Hoyle (Project Manager and Lead Researcher, IRMT), Jerry Gutu (CEO, ESAAG), Kelebogile Kgabi (Director, Botswana National Archives and Records Services)

 Africa, Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, Western Africa
 Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia

The fundamental driver of this proposal is the recognition that governments in developing countries are attempting to move to the electronic environment without taking account of the implications for managing records as evidence.

Project outputs include:
  • a methodology for tracing information flows and related record keeping requirements in support of core government functions
  • a route map for moving from a paper-based to an electronic information environment in a safe and secure manner
  • definition of capacities needed to support this move
  • core guidance materials for use in public sector agencies
  • core capacity building materials
  • building a public service culture where records and information management are valued as a basis for analysis, decision-making, monitoring and evaluation, and service provision.

The project plan makes the following assumptions:

  • Strong ownership of the design and delivery of the project is essential if the outputs are to be relevant and well used; ownership of the findings and the political will to implement them is essential.
  • Solutions must be developed in relation to real situations and needs. The deliverables must be applicable to a wide range of development environments.
  • A partnership between the demand side (senior public sector stakeholders) and the supply side (records professionals) is essential for identifying meaningful solutions.
  • The records profession can redirect its focus to contribute effectively to public sector development.

This project addresses an issue that has significant implications for development in the electronic environment: the absence, in most developing countries, of the infrastructure and capacity needed to manage the records input to or generated by ICT applications and the lack of a strategy for developing solutions. The project will investigate the implications of this problem and define a strategy for addressing it, drawing on and adapting emerging international good practice. The deliverables for this project, from the fundamental policies and accountability frameworks to the capacity building materials, to the assessment tools and techniques, will help place governments in a position to address these issues, and in so doing, contribute to the achievement of development goals, including the reduction of poverty and the protection of rights and entitlements.

This will require the development of a comprehensive and appropriate infrastructure for managing paper and electronic records surrounded by effective management and governance structures. The project has identified stakeholders who collectively can offer insight into assessment, accountability and the facility to measure both compliance and progress, all of which are aspects of building and sustaining an effective infrastructure.

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