E-Government

 E-Government

This component aims to provide value added service in the government using ICT to increase efficiency, effectiveness and transparency in Government. This will be achieved through the following sub-components:

  1. National ID Cards
  2. E-Governance Resource Centre
  3. Websites for Service Delivery or Interoperability
  4. Automated National Registries including in land Ownership, ID Cards, Passports and other licenses
  5. Establishing an ICT Village
  6. Developing Electronic Government Applications
  7. Improving ICT training and digital literacy

1.National Identity Cards

Under the constitution of Islamic republic of Afghanistan the government is obliged to provide every Afghan with appropriate identification documents, which can serve as the national identity papers without the doubts of authenticity. With the prevailing security and socio-economic situation there is dire need for national identification system that cannot be forged and portrays the true national and demographic state of the country.

The National Identity Cards Project is being designed to meet this prime need of the nation and its citizens. The rapid growth of mobile phones, telecommunications and Information technology, and the Fiber Optic Cable and Copper Cable Networks, provides the best infrastructure for such nationally important project. Despite likely constraints in the use of this infrastructure, this is likely to facilitate the on-time and best delivery of the end product.

The scope of this project is to develop, procure, supply, train, install and maintain software applications and equipment required for the establishment and maintenance of the information system platform for the following modules:

  1. Resident Management & National ID

Afghanistan resident identification module is to develop infrastructure, which includes hardware, network, ID card issuance system, and application software to process resident data registration, resident management (notice of birth, death and change of residence), and voters’ list management. Currently, the Afghanistan government does not have an integrated resident management and management of Voters’ List based on digital data; most of them are done manually.

  Acquisition of data for the National ID and Issuance of the ID

Entry of personal information of entire population to issue NID card for all residents of the country. Construction of integrated image data by inputting resident photos, fingerprints, iris, signatures and such other data as per the population registration law of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for entire population. Issuance of 15 million new ID Cards for the registered population during the time frame of this project.

  1. Driver License (DL) system

The DL involves building an application program in order to implement data registration, driver license basic (date of issuance, vehicle operation class changes, etc.). This system will be fully integrated with the resident management and national ID platform.

 

  1. Vehicle Registration

The vehicle registration system is connected with the national ID and driver license.  Information such as vehicle owner, type, class, etc allows detailed system management.  The vehicle registration system will be used with the infrastructure, which is expected to increase system operation and work efficiency.

  1. Digital Signature

The scope of Digital Signature system includes Root PKI and National PKI for public employees considering the following requirements during the implementation and also the establishment of the Certification Authority.

  • Confidentiality: Information security by encryption of transaction data.
  • Integrity: Prevent forgery and alteration of transaction data.
  • Authentication: User identification for data transaction.
  • Non-repudiation: Reliability enhancement for Transaction by using electronic signature.
  • Access Control: Permit to access information only for selected receiver.
  1. Biometrics

The biometric solutions to be introduced involve the fingerprint and iris and the management of its images and minutiae. The scope of work includes but not limited to.

  • Register and manage DB for high quality iris and fingerprint images.
  • Capture high quality fingerprint and iris through live scanner/high resolution scanner.
  • Extract minutiae for accurate fingerprint and iris recognition.
  • Matching algorithm (1:1 verification, 1:N identification) must be able to find matching data quickly and accurately by using various extracted biometrics information from extracted algorithm.
  • Fast and accurate fingerprint pattern separation by implementing 5 separate classification of fingerprint.
  • By standardizing the storage pattern for biometrics minutiae, the system should build commonly shared information such as electronic resident registration card, e-passport issuance and biometrics data requested by other government agencies.
  • Fast access of biometrics information and resident personal information to shorten the information search time.
  • 1:N matching is first carried out through fingerprints.  If the fingerprint matching result yields duplicate data, final matching will be performed using iris data.

The project will be carried out in phases:

 

Phases

Description

Phase 1

-Installation of main DB, PKI, Biometric and related equipment in National Data Center plus expansion of the Center with connectivity to other Gov offices i.e ABIS.

-Installation of card printers and its related equipment and installation of the environment systems in the MoI center.

-Delivery of 0.5 million ID cards to MoI.

Phase 2

-Delivery of 7million ID cards to MoI.

-Delivery and installation of all required equipment for the operation in five main provinces including its districts, i.e Kabul, Herat, Balkh, Ningarhar and Kandahar.

-Acquisition of data in the five provinces i.e Kabul, Herat, Balkh, Ningarhar and Kandahar as per the population registration law.

Phase 3

-Delivery of 7.5 million ID cards to MoI.

-Delivery and installation of all required equipment for the Operation in the remaining 29 provinces including its districts.

-Acquisition of data in the remaining 29 provinces including as per the population registration law.

 

Socio-Economic impact:

  1. Driving License and Vehicle registration

The project will streamline the driving license and vehicle registration system, which will enable government to collect revenues and also report on the status of vehicles in the country. The project will equip the traffic police departments throughout the country with IT platform, which includes software and hardware.

  1. Supporting elections, the Census, Democracy and other critical national projects

The government of Afghanistan will hold second national presidential elections in coming months, although these have been held once before but still we are seeing the registration cards are being issued once again, and there’s great chance of corruption the process as well, the electronic National Smart Card will provide a plate-form to the government to collect basic electoral data and could be used as election cards for future elections.

 

The GIRoA have always tried in the past to conduct national census but not have been able to do so successfully which results in un-equal distribution of resources and lack of feasible national development strategies, while distribution new ID cards the government can use the data collection practice as partial national census, which will ultimately strengthen the fragile democracy in Afghanistan.

  1. Supporting the governance and sub-national governance agenda

The IDLG wants to develop and support de-centralized/sub-national governance levels (provinces and districts) in every way. This will involve giving them access to central resources, both from the donor community as well as from the central government, and – at some point – defining them not only as administrative units but also as budgetary units.

 

The implementation of such projects will provide government a decision-making support plate-form, which will strengthen the governance in the grass root level. It will also strengthen the government efforts to collect primary data at the core level, which will enable them to make effective and efficient policies, and at the end will be more able to distribute resources equally, efficiently and effectively at the district and village levels.

  1. Supporting primary Health, Education, Mother/child health and other socio issues.

As for the design of the National Smart Card it will be issued on the district level to every afghan citizen, this data collection at the district level will provide government first hand insight to the primary health facilities, educational facilities and can also shed light on the mother child health issues e.g. child mortality and others.

  1. Support for other public services

The National Smart Card is designed as the base for other government services which can presented electronically in the future, these services can utilize the Tazkira databases for collection of all data necessary for optimum operations, these services could include death certificate, birth certificate, driving licenses, vehicle registration, land registration, and other socio projects which will have empowering effects on the individual life of every citizen.

2.E-Governance Resource Centre

The immediate objective of this project is to establish the E-Government Resource Centre (EGRC) within the Ministry of Communications and IT (MCIT) to provide timely and high quality advice, training, consultancy and other services in the area of e-Government to various ministries, departments and agencies of the Government of Afghanistan and donor supported development projects in order to facilitate and optimize application of information and communication technology in the public sector of Afghanistan and to catalyze e-government transformation in the country. With the adoption of the E-Government culture GIRoA will be able to overcome the issues it is facing in the areas of transparency, efficiency and public service delivery.

 

The ICT Sector strategy vision, which was first stated in May 2003 and recently presented to the ICT Council, is:

“To Transform Afghanistan in to Information Society”

With the above vision in mind, MCIT has archived major milestones to realize the first part of the vision, now is time to put all focus for the realization of the second half of the vision. In order to do this there is need to restructure the ministry by adding departments, which will implement the policies and strategies in the area of ICT. It is envisaged to create a ICT General Directorate position with 3 directorates –

  • Technology and Innovation directorate, which will be responsible for the overall development of the ICT policies, appraisals of new projects, Coordination, benchmarking, market studies and so forth;
  • E-government Directorate, which will be responsible for the e-gov consulting and advisory services, E-government human resource capacity development, E-government standardization services and IT/e-gov audit;
  • Information Security Directorate, which will be responsible for the cyber security, IP allocation, exchange point, electronic certification and so forth.

As these activities will happen during or by end of the year 1390 (march 2011-march 2012), through this project MCIT will establish the E-Gov Resource Center, which will be transformed in to the E-Government Directorate.

It is proposed that MCIT would establish the E-Government Resource Centre (EGRC) in the premises of MCIT as a Centre of Excellence in E-Government. It will be source of technical expertise and skills, advice and guidance for development and deployment of E-Government in the agencies and departments of the GIRA.  The proposed E-Government Resource Centre will assist in the development of National E-Government Information Management and Data Standards and policies within the framework of the already developed e-GIF and e-Gov Strategic Master Plan. EGRC will provide guidance, advice and technical expertise to GIRoA for design and development of the E-Government program as a whole and for specific projects within it.  The Centre will also provide services to donor supported projects and other agencies of the government at the central and provincial levels in the development and deployment of ICT for governance and development including training and capacity building in the agencies and in the development and implementation of E-Government projects in various application areas. As it is apparent that huge number of projects are being designed and implemented by donor organizations directly, which include the ICT module in it, the EGRC will have a unit tasked to monitor such projects by liaising with donor organizations and also monitoring their websites and bilateral agreements with the Ministry of Finance. EGRC will also deploy CIOs in these organizations, which will report on the ICT deployments in these organizations from time to time. This will ensure the implementation of common ICT policies and platforms throughout the government sector. MCIT will arrange MoUs with donor organizations, which will enable the EGRC to carry forward the coordination tasks in this area.

Services to be rendered by the proposed E-Government Resource Centre can be categorized into the following major categories:

1.            E-Government Consulting and Advisory Services

2.            E- Government Human Resource Capacity Development

3.            E-GIF Implementation and IT standardization Services

4.            IT and e-Gov Audit

3.Websites for Service Delivery or Interoperability

Information accessibility is one of the main issues in Afghanistan for successful development of E-Government and delivery of public services and information to the citizens.  For this purpose, the government has made a plan to design and develop dynamic websites for the various agencies and departments of the government, which will help them to share the information with the citizens and also with its other stakeholders. The websites will also play a vital role in allowing government to better serve all of its citizens and provide different programs and services to its constituents in a more dynamic and interactive way; thereby increasing citizen participation.

This activity involves development and strengthening official websites of 25  GIROA ministries, 7 universities, 11 independent directorates and 34 provincial governments. This will also involve development of web portal, which will be official online gateway to the government of Afghanistan institutions and socio economic sectors.

4.Establishing an ICT Village

Information Technology or IT is the collective term for various technologies involved in processing and transmitting information including computing, networking, multimedia, telecommunications, microelectronics, and their interdependencies.

Information Technology (IT) is a global industry showing average 10% annual growth, within IT, software and services account for over half of sales.  MCIT is moving to enable the country to benefit from Information and Communication Technologies by becoming part of the global information society. In this area, MCIT is trying to encourage and strengthen all the governmental authorities and related bodies to take part in this endeavor.

The mission of Kabul IT-Park is to create a Center of Excellence, a technological park with state-of the-art infrastructure geared towards hi-tech businesses and to create a strategic base with a superior environment to enable businesses to gain the competitive advantage they seek.

The idea is to create an environment in which established and emerging members of Afghanistan’s business sector can operate, expand, collaborate, and thrive.  To this end, the IT-Park will provide facilities based on relevant, needed information and communication technology (ICT), as well as consulting services.  With firms conveniently located in close proximity to each other, the IT-Park will serve as a cohesive center for business development and exchange.

The first step will be the arrangement of a Public Private Partnership agreement with a local or international business firm. Second step will be the preparation of plans, architectural maps and plot distribution plans. The next step will be to establish a Techno-park business Incubator facility known as the Techno-park Business Innovation Centre (TBIC).  The TBIC will provide resident businesses with finished office space and a range of office services, including: 

  • Heating and Air-conditioning
  • Furniture 
  • Uninterrupted power supply (UPS), back-up power generation
  • Maintenance services
  • Networking
  • Reception and lobby area
  • Conference rooms
  • Storerooms
  • Common security systems
  • Common facilities such as restrooms and cantina
  • Overall pleasant environment. This may include but not limited to trees, flowerbeds, etc.

In addition, the TBIC will make available consultancies to businesses in the following areas:

  • Technology
  • Management
  • Accounting
  • Legal and policy
  • Marketing
  • Training
  • Quality control

Serving New Entrepreneurs

Afghanistan’s emerging entrepreneurs are generally recent graduates from science and technology institutions who have innovative ideas for developing businesses. Technical experts from a range of public and private sectors and faculty from premier educational institutions also fall into this category.

New entrepreneurs will receive maximum support from the TBIC. They will be assisted in the preparation of business plans; the rent of office space; purchase of furniture and equipment; the procurement and use of computers and software; and management, accounting, legal, and marketing services.

Experienced entrepreneurs from business and industry and persons who previously pursued entrepreneurial activities will also be eligible for assistance for their enterprises, in particular with regard to the preparation of business plans, renting of office space and purchase of furniture. Management, accounting, legal, and marketing services will also be available.

Finally, business entrepreneurs from established companies wishing to diversify into advanced technology fields or transfer their operations to the IT-Park will have access to all of the facilities available at the TBIC.

The direct beneficiaries of this project will be IT companies in Afghanistan, which will be able to expand their businesses and generate profits for further development. The Park could respond directly to the needs of entrepreneurs and improve survival and growth prospects of start-up companies.

The Park will open employment opportunities for graduates and other qualified IT specialists thereby preventing their outflow from the country seeking employment abroad.

Educational and training institutions will benefit from the establishment of the IT-Park as a center of learning and research where students can practice their knowledge and where they can carry out their graduate projects and/or internship during the semester or summer/winter breaks.

The Afghanistan economy as a whole will benefit directly from the project through export earnings and improved collection of taxes and indirectly (also through e-Commerce development) by the multiplier effects on other sectors.

5.Developing Electronic Government Applications

MCIT has completed drafting of the E-Gov Strategies / Master Plan covering the next 5 years. The plan will be presented to National ICT council and after approval will be given to line ministries for implementation. MCIT will extend advisory services to line ministries in the areas of health, agriculture, educations and governance to develop e-Gov applications. This will enable these ministries to deliver their service in more efficient and transparent manner. This engagement will ensure the adoption of enterprise e-Gov architecture, which will be holistic and integrated. These applications will be in the following areas:

 

G2C (Government to Customer) and G2B (Government to Businesses) Services

  1. Government Information available on line at the government web sites
  2. Government Forms available on line for easy downloading
  3. Online Registration of births and deaths
  4. Online Application for various government services made
  5. Land records management and information
  6. Online Drivers Licensing application
  7. Online Business Registration and trade licensing
  8. Online Application for Customs clearance
  9. Online Application for Passport
  10. Online Application for admission to government education institutions
  11. Online Electronic procurement and tendering
  12. Online Electronic recruitment and HRM
  13. Information broadcasting electronically
  14. Electronic government payments
  15. Citizen grievance registration and follow up
  16. Delivery of health services electronically
  17. Delivery of critical information to specialized citizen groups such as farmers, students, women, youth and senior citizens using electronic means such as computers and mobile phones.
  18. Delivery of extension and training services to specialized citizen groups such as farmers, students, women, youth and senior citizens using electronic means such as computers, mobile phones, radio and TV.
  19. Online Delivery of Educational services.

G2G (Government to Government) Services

  1. Automated Government Processes including electronic storage, retrieval and processing of information for service delivery and decision-making.
  2. Electronic Exchange of documents and fully operational enterprise document management.
  3. Collaboration between the government staff on line including chatting and emailing and video and voice conferencing.
  4. Business Process and work flow integration between the various departments, agencies and ministries.
  5. Information sharing and database integration-Enterprise Information Integration.
  6. Electronic information searching across the enterprise.
  7. Government Payroll and Personnel Management online
  8. Government Human Resource Management and Development including Training.
  9. Government Financial Management
  10. Government Strategic Planning and Operational Decision making supported by agency level or enterprise MIS and DSS.

MCIT will establish the E-Gov Directorate, which will be the responsible organization for the implementation of the e-Gov strategic Master plan, which will focus on liaising, guiding, advising, implementing and the development of applications from the above tentative list.

6.Improving ICT Training and Digital Literacy

Afghanistan has a very small and nascent ICT sector.  It needs to adopt innovative strategies to increase the ICT skills in the private sector and leverage opportunities emanating from projects and programs being implemented in Afghanistan by the Government, private sector and donor agencies.  It will be necessary for the following skills to be developed in the Afghanistan.  The three-pronged approach is defined as follows:

  • CHART skills (Communication, Heuristic, Analytical, Relational and Technology): focus on foundational skills needed in the ICT sector
  • SMART Skills (Software, Mobile, Application, Research and Technology): focused on IT industry
  • START Skills (Start-up, Training through Association with Remote Teams): focused on entrepreneurship and cutting edge technologies.

The objective of this activity is to develop and implement a detailed business plan for a program to develop skills for IT-based services in Afghanistan. The program will have multiple components, including a skills assessment, building partnerships with the private sector, and designing the training programs and a pilot rollout. The consultant will work with multiple stakeholders including the MCIT, Education, lead academic and training institutions in Afghanistan, local and multinational companies and agencies/ NGOs based in Afghanistan and with the ICT sector association.

Scope of the activity

  1. Conduct an initial skills gap assessment
  2. Develop a detailed business plan that will spell out the investments required for different components of the program together with clear timelines, responsibilities and a plan off execution.
  3. Establish a private sector led initiative for the development of smart skills. The initiative shall feed into improvement of curriculum design, forging of international/ regional partnerships, sourcing of content from companies and universities including the use of open source content from leading universities. Work closely with the private sector to establish and run the program.
  4. Establish a program of entrepreneurship in IT.
  5. Establish linkages with training institutes in Afghanistan and the region.
  6.  Help in designing linkages with ICT companies in the country so as to develop a core talent pool that can be deployed in the mobile applications areas.
  7. Assist in coordinating public-private dialogue between government, academia and industry associations; and