• Government e-services more than ICT – Part 5

      1. Launched in 2007, ttconnect is the multi-channel government service delivery structure of the Trinidad and Tobago government which was conceptualized to be: “The single face of Government to the citizen”. The initiative was developed with several objectives, including:
        • To deliver services to the citizens in an efficient, transparent and accountable manner;
        • To facilitate electronic transactions within the Government of Trinidad and Tobago; 
        • To avoid fragmentation or duplication of government services as they become available electronically; and
        • To build the co-operative “back office” arrangements that are necessary to provide “Connected Government”, and present a “One Government” service to citizens.

        (more…)

  • Part 4: Government e-Services – More than Just ICTs

    Finding a Place for ICTs

    If we think of traditional economic sectors, such as Health, Finance, Agriculture and Education, we will find a corresponding Ministry and agencies overseeing that sector which have been fairly stable over time. However, for ICTs – certainly in Trinidad and Tobago – this has not been the case. 

    The responsibility for ICTs – inclusive of the various aspects such as telecommunications, e-business/ e-commerce, e-Government and e-Services, innovation and R&D as well as digital divide type issues – has been scattered across a miscellany of different Ministries and agencies, the composition of which changes both across administrations and even within 5-year political cycles. (more…)

  • Part 3: Government e-Services – More than ICTs

    Using Data to Continuously Improve the Citizen Experience

    ttconnect – the Trinidad and Tobago umbrella Government services initiative – seeks to be the single face of Government for Government services to the citizen. 

    Noting that all ttconnect channels simply represent citizen touchpoints to Government, and that each service request is actually fulfilled through the normal operation of an originating Ministry, some issues arise in the implementation of this initiative. For e.g., for most services there is no quality check or feedback loop after the initial citizen contact on a ttconnect channel (Bus, Service Centre, etc.) to ascertain whether the service which was applied for by the citizen was indeed completed by the Ministry. 

    It should be noted as well that some Ministries and Agencies are not always on-board to facilitate timely turnaround of ttconnect applications brought in by ttconnect staff on behalf of citizens. (more…)

  • Part 2: Government e-Services – More than ICTs

    A 2009 Ministry of Public Administration (MPA) report speaks of ttconnect – the umbrella Government e-services project – as follows: “[the initiative] served as a first step to realizing the concepts of Integrated Service Delivery and ‘No wrong Door’ delivery of Government Services in Trinidad and Tobago”. 

    A senior ttconnect representative states that, ttconnect needs to be that buffer to protect the citizen from the runaround. ttconnect can take the headache on behalf of the client rather than the citizen keeping track of changing portfolios of Ministries.”

    With the motto “Government at your service”, ttconnect is a statement of intent by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to put the citizen first. 

    In Trinidad and Tobago [as in other countries around the world], access to Government services and the ICT savvy in rural populations tend to be lower than in their urban counterparts. (more…)

  • Part 1: Government e-Services – More than just ICTs

    Launched in 2007, ttconnect is the name given to the multi-channel government service delivery structure of the Trinidad and Tobago government which has as its motto, “Government at your Service”. At its inception, ttconnect was intended to be the “common counter” initiative of the Government – the single face of Government to the citizen. The initiative was developed with a number of objectives including:

    • To deliver services to the citizens in an efficient, transparent and accountable manner;
    • To facilitate electronic transactions in the Government of Trinidad and Tobago; and
    • To avoid fragmentation or duplication of government services as they become available electronically and to build the co-operative “back office” arrangements that are necessary to provide “Connected Government”, and present a “One Government” service to citizens.

    (more…)

  • Information and communication technologies for disaster risk management in the Caribbean

    Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be used support the practice of disaster risk management (DRM) in times of crisis, as well as in times of planning and in times of reconstruction. The revolutionary potential of ICTs lies in their ability to instantaneously connect vast networks of individuals and organizations across great geographic distances, and to facilitate fast flows of information, capital, ideas, people and products. ICTs have become essential tools for cooperation and collaboration.
    This paper examines the role of information and communications technologies for disaster risk management with a specific focus on the Caribbean. The study includes a review of the literature and case studies, as well the administration of a survey instrument that collected the feedback of 13 regional national DRM agencies.

    Read Full Article Here: Information and communication technologies for disaster risk management in the Caribbean

  • Programme to enhance the Establishment of e-Commerce Regimes and the Adoption of e- Commerce by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES) in CARIFORUM

    E-commerce and e-business hold great potential and opportunities for SMEs in the CARIFORUM region. Besides access to new and bigger markets, such electronically mediated trade can help to bring about reduced costs and faster turnaround times by streamlining and integrating processes along the entire business value chain. Nevertheless, in the Caribbean an integrated strategy to assist SMEs in benefitting from e-commerce has hitherto been lacking. The present document aims at correcting this situation. In particular, the strategies proposed are hoped to help Caribbean firms to not only increase intra-regional goods and services trade through e-commerce but also to capitalise on the opportunities created by the CARIFORUM States’ Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union. In this sense, the strategy has been formulated after examining the operational and legal issues surrounding e-commerce in CARIFORUM. It recommends specific, tangible interventions to be made in the context of programmes aimed at enhancing the use of e-commerce by SMEs in CARIFORUM by addressing specific challenges they face.

    Read Full Article Here: Programme to enhance the Establishment of e-Commerce Regimes and the Adoption of e- Commerce by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES) in CARIFORUM

  • Regional Synthesis of ICT Uptake and Usage in Agricultural Value Chains in the Caribbean

    The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) with support from the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) commissioned a Trinidad-based consulting firm (INFOCOMM Technologies Ltd.) to conduct a regional study on ICT usage in Caribbean agriculture value chains, with a specific focus on the value chains associated with domestically produced root crops and small ruminants (sweet potato and cassava and sheep and goats, respectively). The targeted value chains were: (1) fresh use and primary processing enterprises for cassava and sweet potato and;(2) meat (lamb, mutton and chevron) for sheep and goats. The use of ICT in the broader agricultural value chains, irrespective of commodities, was also investigated. This study was part of a larger CTA/CARDI project that aimed to strengthen agricultural value chains through increased ICT integration within the agricultural sectors of the region.

    Read Full Article Here: Regional Synthesis of ICT Uptake and Usage in Agricultural Value Chains in the Caribbean

  • Framework for Assessing National E-Agriculture Readiness

    The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) has as its mission, to advance food and nutritional security, increase prosperity and encourage sound natural resource management in ACP countries. One of CTA’s work areas is promoting the application of ICTs for agricultural value chain development, and for agriculture and rural development policy processes. As part of this work focus, the CTA sought to develop a generic e-Agriculture Readiness Assessment Framework (e-ARAF) to objectively assess the capability of a nation’s agricultural sector to benefit from the uptake and usage of new ICTs. This framework facilitates this assessment along the five core areas or pillars: (a) business environment; (b) governance (structure and guidelines); (c) human resource capability; (d) psychographics (culture and mindset); (e) ICT infrastructure.The e-ARAF is based on the INFOCOMM Technologies Ltd e-Readiness Framework – one of the few e-readiness frameworks which gives significant holistic consideration to factors beyond issues of access to devices, software, connectivity and human capacity. The Framework gives attention complementarily to broader issues, including the business environment, sector governance and the ICT culture and mindset.It is expected that the e-ARAF will be matured into an ACP-wide and/or Global index which will assist policy planners and national strategists to establish priorities for their local sector and facilitate effective investment into e-Agriculture. The tool is intended for use by governments, agriculture organisations, academics, policy makers, development partners, private sector entities, and others who seek to advance the Agriculture through the use of ICTs.

    Read Full Article Here: Framework for Assessing National E-Agriculture Readiness

  • Energy and Energy-Related Industries

    Introduction

    Trinidad and Tobago is one of the many global oil and gas producers which have been hit hard by the precipitous drop in global energy commodity prices over the last two years. One of the main drivers of this decrease in prices has been a dramatic increase in the supply of oil and gas from shale reservoirs. There have been major discoveries, not only in the USA – who is now setting to become a dominant energy exporter – but also in East and West Africa, Israel and Lebanon, to name a few.

    Consequently, world energy prices are not expected to rebound to pre-2014 prices within the mid-term horizon.

    This isn’t to say, however, that the energy business is no longer profitable. During the period of high prices, there was inflated demand for services and equipment, which drove costs up for energy services. New rigs, new seismic vessels etc. were built, while new supplies of steel and engineering services had to be added. The high prices allowed energy services companies to pay off financing and other operational/ commercial debts. When prices dropped, there was an oversupply which has in turn led to Exploration and Production (E&P) costs coming down by over 40% overall. Thus, precipitous price decreases haven’t necessarily meant equivalently precipitous drops in profitability for oil companies.

    Read Full Article Here: Energy and Energy-Related Industries