IBM Volunteers Help Support Kenya’s Electronic Government Development Goals
An international team of 12 IBM employees from IBM’s Corporate Services Corps programme has completed a month-long term during which they helped support the development of an electronic master plan for the country. The team focused on the challenges and requirements to help Kenya realise its vision of transforming into a middle income nation providing an improved quality of life for all citizens by the year 2030.
The team of IBM volunteers from 11 countries provided assistance to several government agencies, working on projects including providing e-government services to citizens, an e-voting master plan and a strategy to increase collaboration between education and research institutions.
In terms of e-government, the team worked to demonstrate how information technology, which is rapidly gaining ground in Kenya, can provide a catalyst for progress. The IBM team focused on a strategic framework enabling citizens to use mobile phones to link to government services around the clock.
Working with the Ministries of Information, Communication and Justice, the team focused on a plan for a simple yet accurate and transparent e-voting system that sets out overall standards and governance for an e-voting system with the aim of increasing voter confidence for the planned 2012 elections.
The team also worked with the Kenya Education Network Trust (KENET) to identify how to increase participation by researchers. They analysed best management practices from other research and education networks, and reviewed the implementation of more efficient methods based on IBM methodologies. Their recommendations included guidance on support to member institutions regarding content creation, by providing training, guidance and infrastructure, in order to engage researchers with the network
“This is the third IBM Corporate Services Team to provide volunteer services in Kenya. Each group has made a valuable contribution towards addressing some of the key challenges in the country ” said Tony Mwai, IBM Country General Manager for East Africa. “Africa is a key continent for the CSC programme, and as we mark IBM’s Centennial, this is another example of how IBM employees are making a contribution to communities around the world.”
The team was based in Nakuru, north-west of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, where they worked closely with the local community to help gauge their needs representing those of citizens of similar towns across the country. Since July 2008, IBM’s Corporate Service Corps has deployed 363 IBM employees in 32 teams to South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, and Egypt. Through these projects, IBM has worked with local organisations and businesses across Africa to support community driven economic development.
The Corporate Service Corps (CSC) is a global IBM initiative designed to provide small businesses, government agencies, educational and cultural institutions and non-profit organizations in growth markets with sophisticated business consulting and skills development to help improve local conditions and foster job creation. IBM deploys teams of top employees from around the world representing IT, research, marketing, finance, consulting, sales and business development to growth markets for a period of one month. The employees work pro-bono with local organizations and businesses on projects that intersect business, technology and society.
As a global programme, over the past three years the IBM Corporate Service Corps has deployed 1200 IBM employees on more than 120 programmes to 25 countries around the world. In Kenya, IBM works with the non-profit organisation, Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT), to identify strategic projects which could most benefit from skills of IBM teams.