[no local solution?] Kisumu turns to WhatsApp for better services

I am all for Information and services to the peope. So kudos to Kisumu for
the concept and the motivation behind it.

Here is the flipside (and I hope CA and the Ministry sees this) the fact
that we’re not at 100% penetration levels and that not everyone is
connected means such government policies are inherently discriminative.

Yes you have made services available to the people but in reality you have
made services available to all people of a certain calibre.

There’s no turning back now- the government will continually rely on online
solutions for sevice delivery. It is imperative that this efforts be
matched with more aggressive efforts to make sure noone is left behind.

ION, how is the USF doing ??

On Sun, 20 Jan 2019 at 06:05, Patrick A. M. Maina via kictanet <
kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:

> Just a general comment as I have heard of similar moves in other counties.
>
> I think using WhatsApp (or Telegram) is a risky move. To promote
> transparency, official gov communications IT should be auditable and
> traceable. WhatsApp, as I know it, is designed for opaqueness and not
> suitable for official public sector use.
>
> Secondly we claim to have a thriving tech scene. Why not offer tenders to
> Tech startups based in the county for a local solution to create jobs and
> boost MSMEs here in Kenya?
>
> Thirdly we have no idea exactly how WhatsApp works (other than what
> Facebook, a notorious exploiter of data, tells us). This could potentially
> expose county comms to faceless entities who might not have Kenya’s
> interests at heart.
>
> Also in the event of a security breach FB does not have enough local
> presence and/or assets to be held accountable. Or do they?
>
> Further, they being a foreign entity (from a friendly but powerful and
> aggressive country) would create jurisdiction and diplomatic complications
> should there be a problem. Is the risk worth it?
>
> Extensibility will be an issue should the county want monetised services.
> Revenue share with foreign entity takes money *out* of Kenya. The best
> initiatives bring money *in* to the county or country.
>
> Loss of opportunity to develop local capability. As Kenya relies on “free”
> (subsidized / data supported) technology, by rent seeking multinationals,
> we are blocking the development of our local tech scene.
>
> This is how textiles bowed out to mtumba industry, which Kenya is now
> *locked* into and cannot exit without some serious consequences from the US
> (which aggressively protects it’s businesses).
>
> I urge government officials to be cautious and *strategic* when making ICT
> choices and to try use local expertise (which we have in abundance across
> the multiple ICT disciplines that should be considered when selecting an
> official app).
>
> PS: Another lesson that should not be ignored: Digital learning went south
> after getting hijacked by *multinational rent seekers* whose only interest
> was to sell or test gadgets/software/content in an attempt to get a
> dominant brand position in EDU sector. Where are they now??? They don’t
> care if our children are actually benefitting from what was offered but I
> bet they can point fingers at anyone but themselves. The shareholders are
> not Kenyans, and their own children don’t study in Kenya, so the *long
> term* impact of their *experiments* on our children’s future doesn’t matter
> to them.
>
> Good day.
> Patrick A. M. Maina
> (Independent Public Policy Analyst – Indigenous Innovations)
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Saturday, January 19, 2019, 6:57:06 AM GMT+3, Victor Kapiyo via
> kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>
>
> Kisumu county is testing a county ‘digital assistant’ to provide
> information relating to different functions. I think its a good initiative
> by the county. See story below.
>
> Are there any innovative implementations of such or similar systems being
> implemented in other counties that listers may be aware of? I think it’s a
> useful start, and they are taking in feedback and suggestions to improve
> the service. Hopefully, some of you might want to try it out and see what
> gives. I wouldn’t mind having a similar Chatbots for eCitizen or iTax,
> whose numbers sometimes hardly go through.
>
>
> ____________
>
> This week, the county has been testing an interactive WhatsApp platform
> that allows residents to get information promptly. All that one needs to do
> is to send the word “hello” from a WhatsApp account to +254 756 742 421.
>
> That message prompts the county digital assistant to release a drop-down
> menu that asks the user to select a code representing their area of
> interest. There is a separate code for government ministries, healthcare
> services, tourists sites, hotels and radio stations. “When you send the
> word “hello”, it gives you an automated “welcome” response and from there,
> you can get information on anything,” says Levit Nudi, one of the brains
> behind the platform. “It is very similar to USSD codes like *100# with the
> only major difference being that it’s running on WhatsApp, which is not a
> common thing to find anywhere,” he said, adding that future plans include
> creating codes for information on county jobs, tenders, and other
> opportunities.
>
>
> www.businessdailyafrica.com/corporate/tech/Kisumu-turns-to-WhatsApp-for-better-services/4258474-4938278-ghvpo3/index.html
>
>
> *Victor Kapiyo*
> Partner | *Lawmark Partners LLP*
> *Suite No. 8, Centro House, Westlands, Nairobi | **Web: www.lawmark.co.ke
> <www.lawmark.co.ke> *
> ====================================================
>
> *“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude” Zig
> Ziglar*
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> regulation. The network aims to act as a catalyst for reform in the ICT
> sector in support of the national aim of ICT enabled growth and development.
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