The mGovernance project in Kerala, is a comprehensive Mobile Governance project covering more than sixty Government Departments. The objective of the project is to integrate the latest advancements in mobile technology in the organisational schemes of various Government departments with an aim to create cost effective, efficient and round the clock Government information systems.
A comprehensive and integrated Service Delivery Platform has been created to roll out the aforementioned services. The platform has multiple delivery-channels (SMS, Voice, Data, USSD) and is integrated in the networks of all major Indian operators. The Service Delivery Platform is entirely based on Open Source Technologies and is represented by the short-code '537252', corresponding to 'KERALA' in the non-QWERTY mobile keypad.
The connection and effective collaboration in the context of mGovernance, requires the convergence of various technology components (i.e. voice, data and media) but also that of telecommunications' operators.
This paper tries to analyse the term 'convergence' in the context of mGovernance and examines the approach adopted to identify services and design solutions, primarily focusing on the leverage of the existing networks and available wireless technologies. The paper also tries to capture the various challenges faced while trying to implement mGovernance, as well as the solutions devised to address some of those challenges, through the presentation of the relevant case studies. Service Delivery models for mGovernance Services are also discussed and the usage-pattern of a number of Governance services is analysed on the basis of the relevant facts and figures.
Last but not least, the paper discusses the strategy that might be adopted for mGovernance in India, based on the Kerala experience as well as on discussions with other National Government Departments. Innovative models to leverage scarce resources, like the 'cloud computing' model, are also presented, while a brief description of equally innovative models of collaboration, ensuring PPP (Public-Private Participation) and the coordination of telecommunications operators concludes the paper.