Department of Motor Traffic initiates transformation with Citra Lab to provide a more user focused, digital service for Sri Lanka
Colombo, 27th August 2020: The global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital need for an agile public sector that can effectively respond to rapidly evolving challenges. As an institution that provides a front-line service to the public, the Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) is committed to building back better systems to deliver an efficient and people focused service to the public.
To this end, Citra social innovation lab set up as a partnership between the State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation and UNDP is working with the DMT to build a 5-year transformational roadmap placing human centred design as the organisation’s central focus. Human centred design is a design thinking approach that develops solutions to problems by involving the human or user’s perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process. Citra Lab will lend its expertise on such approaches to collaborate with the DMT on re-engineering the Department to ensure a more citizen centric and digital DMT.
To begin, Citra conducted a design thinking workshop for core groups of the Department to identify the current challenges and priority areas that need to be addressed to achieve a holistic and impactful transformation. The workshop was facilitated by Citra Lab’s multidisciplinary team based on expertise and exposure to training and experiences on systemic design, sense making, foresight and human centred design with global innovation giants from Canada, UK, Moldova, Malaysia, Australia, India, and Indonesia.
Mr. Sumith Alahakoon, Commissioner General, DMT
Speaking on the need for a transformational roadmap Mr. Sumith Alahakoon, Commissioner General of the Department of Motor Traffic stated “As a front-line service the DMT processes over 1.2 million driving licenses and vehicle registrations in a year and provides a considerable portion of government revenue. While the Department is successful in handling the large volume it receives, there is an urgent need to use innovative approaches to redesign the delivery of our services. The collaboration with Citra Lab on this transformational roadmap will ensure the people of Sri Lanka are at the centre of DMT’s processes.
Highlighting the momentum for change Mr. Robert Juhkam, Resident Representative of UNDP in Sri Lanka stated, “The DMT is an essential public service that many citizens interact with on a regular basis. The transformation of the DMT to a more user focused and digital department will therefore act as a model for other government institutions to emulate. We’re very pleased to be supporting this process by providing innovative approaches through Citra Lab.”
Commenting on the collaboration, Ms. Deepa Liyanage, Additional Secretary (Research), State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation stated “Design thinking approaches help governments better understand its citizens, redefine problems and develop innovative solutions that we can prototype and test. Incorporating such approaches will help ensure Sri Lanka builds back better systems to increase resilience to future crises.”
Citra Lab is a proven leader in using design thinking tools to prototype and test development solutions to ensure they are agile and holistic. Together with its wide network of partners, Citra works towards embedding foresight and innovation within the public sector by strengthening institutions, building capacity and re-engineering processes.
Colombo, 26th August 2020: The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka signed a 4-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to support Sri Lanka’s aspirations for Digital Transformation.
ICTA and UNDP will collaborate towards the design and implementation of a comprehensive National Digital Strategy under the ‘Vistas of Prosperity’ national policy framework, with a specific focus on digital transformation of the public sector including re-engineering processes to ensure an effective uptake of digital mechanisms. The collaboration will also implement initiatives to bridge the ‘Digital Divide’ ensuring an inclusive digital transformation that leaves no one behind. In line with the national emphasis on recovery, the transformational agenda will also develop and implement a national strategy on digital economy to revitalise the economy in a post COVID-19 context. The partnership will leverage the capacity of Citra Lab, GoSL and UNDP joint initiatives and build on existing public sector excellence initiatives such as the NextGenGov Fellowship Programme, to provide capacity building support and support ICTA’s institutional strengthening and realignment to lead an effective digital transformation agenda in Sri Lanka. The transformational agenda will utilize design thinking approaches such as human centred design in the development and implementation of these initiatives to ensure the people of Sri Lanka are the central focus of the transformation. Human centred design is an approach that develops solutions to problems by involving the human or user’s perspective in every step of the problem-solving process. Citra Lab, will lend its expertise on such approaches to the digital transformation agenda to ensure a citizen centric digital transformation.
Speaking on the vital need for transformation Mr. Jayantha De Silva, Chairman of ICTA stated “ICTA is the apex ICT institution of the Government mandated to take all necessary measures to implement the Government’s policies in relation to ICT including the implementation of a comprehensive digitalization policy for the country. The global COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the urgent need for a digital transformation of our Public Sector in order to effectively respond to evolving challenges. We are confident that this partnership will enable us to build on this momentum for change and realise our overarching goal of an inclusive, digital Sri Lanka.
Commenting on the partnership Mr. Robert Juhkam, Resident Representative of UNDP in Sri Lanka stated, “Digital transformation is a hallmark of our time and UNDP is committed to supporting national digital transformation agendas for social and economic good, including Sri Lanka. Digital investments can help both to recover from COVID-19 and enable achievement of the SDGs. This partnership will create a platform for engagement to leverage UNDP and UN sister agency expertise for efficient, citizen-centric and resilient public service delivery, innovation and economic growth.”
As an immediate next step to the signing, ICTA and UNDP will work together to conduct a digital readiness assessment for the public sector to identify gaps within the system and design interventions that can be rolled out to strengthen the digital framework.