Citra Lab utilizes human centered design to transform DMT to a more citizen-centric and digital institution
Colombo, 05 November 2020: The Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) has launched a public call for feedback on its services. The Department is designing a 5-year transformational roadmap with Citra Social Innovation Lab and is calling for public input on key areas to provide a more citizen centric and digital service to the public. All citizens who have received services are requested to provide their feedback at www.drivelk.com.
The DMT is utilizing systemic thinking and human-centred design approaches facilitated by Citra Lab in developing its strategic plan for the next 5 years. Citra, a joint initiative of the State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research & Innovation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka previously assisted the DMT in re-engineering its service delivery for obtaining driving licenses at the DMT Werahera Service Centre. The Lab is now supporting the DMT in becoming more citizen-centric and digital institution within the next 5 years.
Apart from getting public input, Citra Lab together with DMT, are also mapping out the available resources across all 26 service centers of the DMT to assess the digital readiness of the Department to take on increased avenues of digital service delivery. Digital interventions will be designed based on these assessments along with public feedback to ensure the effective implementation of revised processes across the country. DMT officials will also participate in Citra Lab’s NextGenGov Fellowship Programme on foresight and innovation for public sector excellence to introduce DMT officials to innovative approaches and practical tools they can utilize in their work at the Department.
Speaking on the need for a transformational roadmap Mr. Sumith Alahakoon, Commissioner General of the Department of Motor Traffic stated “The DMT has been successful in processing the large volume of applications it receives but there is an urgent need to use innovative approaches to redesign the delivery of our services. Citra Lab has supported us in this transformational journey by using systemic processes and innovative approaches that highlighted the user’s perspective. The 5-year strategic roadmap for the DMT therefore, will ensure the people of Sri Lanka are at the centre of DMT’s processes. I urge all citizens who have used DMT’s services to support us in this journey by sharing your input at www.drivelk.com.”
Highlighting the momentum for change Mr. Robert Juhkam, Resident Representative of UNDP in Sri Lanka stated, “The DMT is a front-line 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 the Citra Social Innovation Lab of the Government of Sri Lanka and UNDP.”
Commenting on the collaboration, Ms. Deepa Liyanage, Additional Secretary (Research), State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation stated “The public sector needs to think differently to effectively address the challenges they face. We’re pleased that Citra Lab could assist in this process by providing innovative approaches to ensure citizen-centric service delivery for the Department of Motor Traffic.”
Citra Lab and DMT will utilize design thinking tools to prototype and test solutions to effectively address public concerns identified through the public survey on DMT’s services within the next 5 years. Together with its wide network of partners, Citra works towards embedding foresight and innovation within the public sector as a whole by strengthening institutions, building capacity and re-engineering processes.
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.
Citra Lab facilitates design thinking approaches for the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation
Colombo, 30th July 2020: Citra Lab facilitated design thinking approaches for the Presidential Task Force (PTF) for Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation, to introduce practical tools and approaches to tackle larger development issues which are to be taken on by the Presidential Task Force. Citra, Sri Lanka’s first social innovation lab, is supporting the execution of the PTF’s key tasks by lending its expertise on social innovation, foresighting and human centered design to the process.
Following discussions on multiple avenues of engagement, Citra Lab conducted a human centered design thinking workshop as the first step in its broader collaboration with the PTF. The workshop was conducted for core groups of the PTF along with officials from the Office of the Prime Minister, on building an analytical and strategic approach to the PTF’s tasks with a special focus on understanding the people they are designing solutions for. The workshop, held at Temple Trees, Colombo was facilitated by Citra Lab, drawing on its wide range of experience in conducting such sessions and its multidisciplinary team that brings in expertise from different angles, having been exposed 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.
ICTA to use design thinking to increase usage of the Lanka Government Network 2.0 (LGN 2.0) within public sector
Citra Lab facilitates design thinking workshop to unpack usage of the LGN 2.0
Colombo, 10 March 2020: Citra Social Innovation Lab, facilitated a design thinking workshop on recommendations to increase usage of the Lanka Government Network 2.0 (LGN 2.0) within the public sector. The LGN 2.0, provided by the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), is a secure, private network that aims to connect all government organizations of Sri Lanka in a cost-effective and secure manner. The network has over 800 current connections across the island and ICTA is working to significantly increase the organizations connected to the network.
As Sri Lanka’s first social innovation lab, Citra provided its expertise to the process by facilitating a design thinking workshop organized by ICTA, on unpacking the current usage of the LGN 2.0. The workshop highlighted key areas for interventions and designed recommendations as a first step towards increasing usage. Relevant stakeholders including government organizations currently using the network and those that had opted to use separate networks were consulted by ICTA in the design thinking process.
Speaking on the added value of conducting design thinking sessions, Mr. Waruna Sri Dhanapala, Additional Secretary (Development), Digital Infrastructure and Information Technology Division of the Ministry of Defence, stated “The LGN 2.0 is an enhanced connectivity solution and usage of this network should be increased. Before moving forward however it was necessary to identify and address any prevailing gaps in current usage of the network. Citra Lab assisted in the first step of this process through a collaborative design thinking workshop which unpacked and identified current issues and the best approaches in addressing them.”
Citra Lab provides future-proof solutions to development challenges through a holistic approach. The team features a wide range of expertise from data science, development economics, sociology, tech for development, digital design and more. Together, the Citra team uses foresight and innovation tools to strengthen institutions, build capacity and re-engineer processes.
Colombo, 5 December 2019: The NextGenGov Fellowship Programme held an awards ceremony and panel discussion to recognize and inspire the 2019 cohorts that successfully completed the programme. The Fellowship Programme aims to integrate the use of foresight and innovation for public sector excellence.
Earlier this year, the Fellowship Programme introduced 60 selected public sector officials in Sri Lanka, along with international participants from 7 countries, to practical applications of foresight and innovation tools. The programme is co-developed as a joint initiative between Citra Social Innovation Lab, the Ministry of Provincial Councils, Local Government, and Public Administration, and the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA).
Following the initial workshops, an in-depth mentorship programme supported these champions of innovation as they used foresight and innovation tools to tackle ongoing issues within their ministries and departments. The culmination of the programme also featured a 2-day recap session for the participants to report back on their experiences and learn from each other.
Elaborating on the need for such a programme Secretary to the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government, and Public Administration, Mr. Siripala Hettiarachchi stated “There is a strong need to facilitate innovation within the public sector that gives officials the space to develop creative and efficient processes. We need to work together through programmes such as this to empower skilled officials so they can carry out their vital role towards the sustainable growth of Sri Lanka.”
Speaking on the programme, UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Robert Juhkam stated “The wide range of projects that strengthen institutions, build capacity and re-engineer processes that have been implemented as a result of this programme is a testament to the impact of empowering the right officials with the tools they need to create positive change.”
A panel discussion on ‘Gearing the Public Sector to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals’ was also held at the event with Hon. Susil Premajayantha, State Minister of Foreign Relations, Mr. Siripala Hettiarachchi, Secretary, Ministry of Local Government, Provincial Councils, and Public Administration, Mr. Wasantha Deshapriya, Former Secretary, Ministry of Digital Infrastructure and Ms. Damayanthi Wijesinghe, Director of Human Resources at the Sri Lanka Administrative Service as panelists with Ms. Deshani Senanayake, Gender and Experimentation Lead Citra Lab as moderator. The panelists explored the importance of recognizing the current gaps within the public sector, the role of innovation in addressing gaps and building a conducive environment to achieve the 2030 agenda.
Together with its partners Citra Social Innovation Lab will continue to work closely with this growing network of innovation champions to ensure a sustained, long term integration of foresight and innovation for public sector excellence in Sri Lanka.
Colombo, 27 August 2019: Citra Social Innovation Lab, conducted several design thinking workshops on operationalizing the National Innovation Agency (NIA) in Sri Lanka. The NIA passed by Cabinet in May 2019 is set to be launched in the coming months.
As Sri Lanka’s first social innovation lab, Citra provided its expertise to the process by facilitating workshops organized by the Presidential Secretariat, on the functions, objectives and purview of the proposed apex body for innovation in Sri Lanka. Relevant stakeholders within the innovation eco system in Sri Lanka were consulted by the Presidential Secretariat in the design thinking process.
Speaking on the added value of conducting design thinking sessions, Director General of Innovation and Research of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Niranjala Nanayakkara stated “The Ministers of Cabinet confirmed the establishment of the NIA under the Presidential Secretariat as the apex body to align and guide the line ministries and research institutions. Before moving forward however it was necessary to identify prevailing gaps between the current innovative initiatives in the country and the required scaling up of these initiatives. The corresponding Act of the NIA which will address these concerns was built through collaborative design thinking sessions facilitated by Citra. Through its wide network of partners Citra was also able to bring in international expertise to assist us in this process.”
Citra is a proven leader in using foresight and innovation tools in prototyping and testing development solutions to ensure they are agile and holistic. As a joint initiative between the Ministry of Science, Technology & Research, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Citra facilitates creating an environment that is conducive to looking at problems from different perspectives, building capacities, and strengthening institutions.
Citra Social Innovation Lab Leads Training on Essential Tools for Public Sector Excellence
Colombo, 16 July 2019: Similar to other countries in the region, Sri Lanka has experienced rising urbanization, technological innovation, deepening inequality, vulnerability to disasters and dramatic environmental risks. A new generation of government leaders is imperative in ensuring Sri Lanka can effectively respond to the challenges of our time.
The ‘Foresight & Innovation for #NextGenGov Champions’ programme responds to this need by equipping a new generation of public sector officials with the tools necessary to implement creative solutions to complex challenges in our country. Following the success of the pilot programme conducted in 2018, two capacity-building workshops for two more cohorts were launched this week with participants from over 35 public institutions in Sri Lanka along with international participants from Maldives, Bhutan, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Turkey, Gambia and Tanzania.
The programme is co-developed as a joint initiative between Citra Social Innovation Lab, the Presidential Secretariat, the Ministry of Public Administration, and the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA).
Speaking on the added value of the programme Minister of Public Administration and Disaster Management, Hon. Ranjith Madduma Bandara stated that “A strong and efficient public service is a crucial segment of the enforcement of policies for an effective nation. The Ministry of Public Administration and Disaster Management is pleased to have worked with Citra Social Innovation Lab and the Presidential Secretariat and SLIDA to codevelop a comprehensive programme on ‘Foresight and Innovation for Public Sector Excellence’, being conducted for the second time, having had a very successful pilot run. Building on the conversations around improving the efficiency of the public sector, this workshop will equip the selected officials with the tools required to approach challenges in an innovative way. We look forward to continuing our engagement with Citra to further strengthen the public sector of Sri Lanka.”
As Sri Lanka’s first social innovation lab, Citra is a proven leader in using foresight and innovation tools in prototyping and testing development solutions to ensure they are agile and holistic. As a joint initiative between the Ministry of Science, Technology & Research, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Citra facilitates creating an environment that is conducive to looking at problems from different perspectives, building capacities, and strengthening institutions.
Speaking on the programme, Minister of Science, Technology and Research, Hon. Sujeewa Senasinghe stated “Public sector officials are the backbone of any government and have a crucial role to play in ensuring countries achieve the targets they set for themselves. This year we’re happy to welcome over 55 public sector officials from Sri Lanka along with their counterparts from several other countries for the #NextGenGov programme. The 2019 cohort of this workshop is a testament to the global significance of these tools for public sector excellence.”
The 5-day residential workshops require participants to implement these tools in their offices and departments within a 3-month mentorship period and report back on their experiences. The continued engagement of the ‘#NextGenGov Champions’ will contribute towards a sustained, long-term integration of foresight and innovation for public sector excellence in Sri Lanka.
Colombo, 7 September 2018 – Citra, Sri Lanka’s first Social Innovation Lab, recently entered into a partnership with the Mount Lavinia Municipal Council to develop a citizen-centered open source platform for dengue prevention and control.
Citra, a joint initiative between the Ministry of Science, Technology, Research, Skills Development, Vocational Training and Kandyan Heritage, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka, uses foresight and innovation tools to prototype and test development solutions to ensure they are agile and holistic. Its work is aligned to the national development priorities and works towards bringing in greater citizen engagement to the formulation of development solutions.
One such initiative is developing an open source platform aimed at preventing and controlling the spread of dengue, with technical expertise from the Department of Town and Country Planning, University of Moratuwa. The platform, once developed, will improve local government’s efficiency in identifying, managing and monitoring dengue. It will also have a citizen engagement feature and will allow communities to identify and notify relevant local government authorities of the prevalence and locations of potential mosquito breeding grounds for necessary action. The users can send the exact location along with a picture of the potential breeding ground, following which the application will automatically add the location to a website for local health officials to review.
The system provides a user-friendly, interactive web interface to process and analyze the data near real-time. This will help decisionmakers to predict and/or visualize potential risk-prone areas.
Speaking about this collaboration, the Municipal Commissioner of Dehiwala – Mount Lavinia, Mr. Dhammika Muthugala, stated “with the high prevalence of dengue in our communities, and especially with over 40% of the cases being reported from the Western Province, we need to find innovative initiatives if we are to effectively control and prevent dengue in the future. We believe engaging citizens to assist us in this regard is the most efficient way to curb the spread of dengue.”
A pilot of this application will be tested initially within the Ratmalana Ministry of Health division under the guidance and leadership of Dr Indika Ellawala, the Chief Medical Officer of the area.
This project is a part of City-i-LEAPS, an initiative implemented in partnership with the Seoul Metropolitan Government and UNDP’s Bangkok Regional Hub, which aims at collaborating with municipalities in countries around the region to develop and assist the implementation of innovative development solutions.
Speaking on the importance of this partnership, Mr Fadhil Bakeer Markar, Partnerships Analyst at the United Nations Development Programme, andLab Lead a.i. of Citra Social Innovation Lab, stated, “it is imperative that we collaborate with multiple partners if we are to overcome the issues facing our country, and as such, we are pleased to be partnering with the Mount Lavinia Municipal Council, along with our other partners, the University of Moratuwa and the Seoul Metropolitan Government through its City-i-LEAPS project”.
UNDP and Ministry of Science, Technology and Research collaborate to establish Sri Lanka’s first ‘Social Innovation Lab’
Colombo, 25 September 2018 – The Ministry of Science, Technology and Research together with the United Nations Development Programme announced the establishment of Sri Lanka’s first Social Innovation Lab at a press conference held this evening. The establishment of this lab comes as one of the main outcomes of the First National Summit on Foresight and Innovation for Sustainable Human Development which was co-hosted by UNDP together with the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and other public and private sector partners in May 2016.
The Innovation Lab, which will be a co-financed initiative, will be aligned to support national development priorities through the prototyping of development ideas to complement accelerated initiatives. Not to be mistaken with a policy or idea implementing agency, the Lab will be able to comprehensively assess an initial idea within a given timeline. The Lab will be a rapid prototyping facility for development efforts – in the form of an idea, a problem or a solution – using foresight tools to take into account multiple alternative future scenarios to make the idea or solution future proof.
Speaking about this collaboration, the Minister of Science, Technology and Research, Hon. Susil Premajayantha, stated “With our country’s ambitious development vision, it is apt that we do things differently. At a time like this, we are pleased to partner with one of the leading development actors in the country, UNDP, to establish Sri Lanka’s first Social Innovation Lab. We believe the Innovation Lab will bring much needed value addition through foresight and innovation to all our development efforts”.
It will be a joint initiative between the Government of Sri Lanka and UNDP, acting as an independent body with the aim of working collaboratively with all government departments and ministries, as well as other external partners on issues which align with national development priorities.
Also addressing the media gathering, Mr Jorn Sorensen, Country Director of UNDP, speaking on the importance of this partnership stated, “It is imperative that development efforts are done in collaboration with multiple partners, and at this momentous juncture, we are pleased to be partnering with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research. We are certain this joint initiative will pave the way for more collaborative efforts between UNDP and the Government of Sri Lanka to create impactful results to help Sri Lanka achieve sustainable human development”.
Mr. Udaya Seneviratne, Secretary, Ministry of Science, Technology and Research and Ms. Lovita Ramguttee, Deputy Country Director, UNDP Sri Lanka were also present at the press conference.
The Social Innovation Lab will start its operations this year and will be a three-year pilot project.