Noted Muraya & thanks for clarifying.
True. Public projects should have public oversight unless there are clear compelling reasons, in public interest, to the contrary.
So, if I understand you correctly, the role of MSMEs would be to:
1. Create public information web portals and keep them updated regularly.
2. Collect accurate updates on government projects (e.g. go to project sites take photos and conduct contractor interviews every month; also collect data from relevant agencies) and update the data to the portal.
3. Conduct analyses on data and publish fairly objective scorecard/dashboard reports for all eligible government projects.
Is that similar to what you had in mind?
What would the SME business model look like to avoid a rent-seeking type arrangement that in itself would be subject to corruption (which would turn the whole idea into a big mess)?
Though I support the idea of initial seed capital from gov, I think the SMEs would have to sustain themselves independently afterwards for it to make sense e.g. through ads or some indirect synergies where the portal adds value to their core business.
New Media businesses (independent publishers) for example might use this to boost their traffic/engagement (and advertising revenues).
Govenment could spice it up by creating a whistleblower bounty program where people who help identify corruption are paid x% of funds recovered (a graduated scale can be used, with hard capping). There would of course be need for smart rules to ensure the bounty program itself is not turned by cartels into a racket to fleece the gov.
I think you’re on to something…
On Friday, May 3, 2019, 10:35:16 AM GMT+3, S.M. Muraya <email@example.com> wrote:
Enabling information access is a key part of each and every civilized (non criminal) economy. https://www.kictanet.or.ke/?p=37640
Public projects must be subject to public scrutiny (not necessarily for approval but to ensure projects are completed + enhanced via increased public participation).
Data which may compromise national security may be redacted but is it not now criminal not to publish information relevant to the public?
Is the progress (including financing) of a public project, private data? If not, then data privacy does not apply for the same.
On Fri, May 3, 2019 at 6:24 AM Patrick A. M. Maina via kictanet <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Good morning Ali,
Actually I didn’t write that. But even then I don’t see how Mr. Muraya’s suggestion precludes data protection and privacy?
I haven’t had time to put some thought into the idea so I can’t comment on its merits at this time, but it’s probably something a local University research team might want to explore as it might require some novel architectural and/or design paradigms, as well as business model innovations, to be economically feasible at MSME level – without defaulting to rent seeking.
Have a great day.
Patrick A. M. Maina [Cross-domain Innovator | Public Policy Analyst – Indigenous Innovations]
On Thursday, May 2, 2019, 5:19:13 PM GMT+3, Ali Hussein via kictanet <email@example.com> wrote:
How would you propose this works without starting to discuss data protection and privacy issues? To quote you:-
“…LOCAL Web agencies could be easily procured (paid and empowered) to help provide access to information (up to date wb portals:)”
AHK & Associates
Tel: +254 713 601113
13th Floor , Delta Towers, Oracle Wing,
Chiromo Road, Westlands,
Any information of a personal nature expressed in this email are purely mine and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the organizations that I work with.
On Wed, May 1, 2019 at 1:56 PM S.M. Muraya via kictanet <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Last night, on Citizen TV, there was a back and forth discussion between a Senator and the Health CS, in which BOTH were addressing misinformation (leading to unused if not misused funds).As it were, both were/are victims of misinformation.
This could be simply addressed if “cottage” industries such as LOCAL Web agencies could be easily procured (paid and empowered) to help provide access to information (up to date wb portals:)
On Fri, Apr 26, 2019 at 4:50 PM Patrick A. M. Maina via kictanet <email@example.com> wrote:
In order to create jobs, the government should move away from policies that focus on increasing efficiency to those that are strategically inefficient.
1. SMEs, e. g. cottage industries, are inefficient – compared to larger factories, but they can create exponentially more jobs with less tax breaks. Most SMEs also spend all their revenues in Kenya, while promoting other dependent MSMEs.. unlike large corporations which tend to move funds abroad for different reasons (tax, asset protection, hedging, dividends etc).
2. We always see donors (especially, I believe, WB & IMF if I recall correctly) always pushing govt to redirect expenditure from recurrent/wages to “development”/infrastructure (clearly in their own interest as assets can be securitized for their own peace of mind, and more debt can be incurred in dev projects). So they push developing countries to reduce manpower in critical strategic sectors of the economy (less teachers, doctors etc) or to pay below-market wages.
What is the impact of such financial efficiency measures? Do they not care that the employees they keep asking to be retrenched are real people with families? Do they not care that manpower reduction means our children get the worst teacher:pupil or doctor:patient or police:civillian ratios?
Such recommendations lead to massive hidden costs downstream that cannot be attributed (e.g. low quality education, poor healthcare, increased insecurity due to overloaded+underpaid workers). It just looks like we have endless problems of incompetence but it is not by accident… we follow “weaponised advice”, designed to keeps us poor.
Efficiency efforts should be limited to enabling high impact service delivery (optimized processes) not financial efficiency.
Government should find ways/tactical excuses to ignore callous and unethical requests/pressures for cold blooded fiscal efficiency.
Public sector Performance Contract targets need to be linked to a basket of grassroots metrics that reflect the general quality of life for the ordinary population (besides GDP, Inflation, NSE Index & exchange rate). This can be presented in dashboard format on eCitizen so that wanjiku can see what is happening, hold officials to account for not delivering and be motivated to support such initiatives (but the data must be *real* to avoid risk of future backlash).
Our “missing middle” problem (i.e. a tiny middleclass) needs to be addressdd. It exists because government incentives for business have focused mainly on Micro enterprises which are too inefficient to be sustainable, and large corporations that are too efficient to fill the jobs gap (and too demanding – always asking for endless concessions just to maintain status quo).
If you track current incentives given to large corporations and account for all outflows and hidden costs (many of these corporations are the architects of grand corruption in the country) – you will see a MASSIVE NET LOSS / WEALTH EXTRACTION directly attributable to corporate activities (e.g. encouraging harphazard spending, lobbying for bad laws or poor incentives).. despite the appearance of “gains” on simplistic paper reports that ignore the full impact.
A thriving middle class (people who are not rich and not poor – with ability to buy a car, spend regularly on mid-level leisure and even save for luxury spending) is what ends poverty and drives a strong economy.
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises SME are the key to a thriving middle class and rapid, large scale jobs creation. They tend to lean towards formality, will often have more educated founders, are inefficient because of scale – but not overly so as to be unsustainable like Micro enterprises, and a few will have potential to grow into mega corporations.
De-risked MSEs are what attracts high quality FDI in the form of venture capital. So rather than pitch tax breaks to global investors, the government should pitch de-risked high potential small enterprises (the way Israel and some EU countries are doing) whose business model has been proven in order to attract capital to scale up the businesses.
The reality of Tax incentives to big corporations is that they only cannibalize the treasury – and these same corporations will do everything they can to minimize local expenditure (even furniture is imported yet we have skilled carpenters), and extract wealth in all manner of ways (e.g. transfer pricing).
Most jobs offered by large factories are low level, while skilled jobs (r&d, conceptualization, design, development) will be outsourced with the (false) excuse that Kenyans are not competent. In reality they just want to prevent HIGH VALUE KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER so that locals don’t build indigenous alternatives.
I know some of the things I write are not supposed to be said because it will spoil some lucrative plunder parties.. but I alsonknow many of you know what I am saying is TRUE because you have seen it being done, heard about it or (God forbid) participated in it .
This habit of taming monsters by feeding them with our kids is becoming too much and has to be called out for what it is.
The youth are our children. It is our duty to create an enabling ecosystem framework that attracts opportunities and truly rewards them for innovation.
We need a Kenyan Steve Jobs or Bill Gates who own their own companies – rather than have them and their ideas gobbled up by monopolistic dinosaur corporations that want to suppress their enterpreneurial dreams supressed in order to delay, the next wave of disruptive innovations. We need hundreds of winning case studies – not tens of mostly foreign owned startups (not that it’s a bad thing to have foreign ownership, the key thing is that, given our history of suppressed esteem, our youth desperately need role models they can relate to so that they can start BELIEVING in themselves).
We can’t just tell youth to be job creators.. that’s like telling a starving person to go find food. If they knew how – or where, they would not be starving.
The REAL reason we tell the youth to employ themselves – yet we have not created an enabling framework – is because they have caught us napping and we want to deflect responsibility.
“We” means anyone over 35 years old whether in privage sector or Government. Our parents didn’t give us a gift to keep (the opportunities we enjoyed), they gave us a BATON to pass on in a long term RELAY RACE.
Did you drop your baton (I did too)? Pick it up. Ignore the naysayers. Start running.
Patrick A. M. Maina[Cross-domain Innovator | Public Policy Analyst – Indigenous Innovations]_______________________________________________
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