3 Considerations

As with any software implementation, there are constraints and limitations in the GovStack approach that must be addressed. In any country context, there will be deficiencies that present challenges to any technology implementation. In the context of GovStack, the constraints and deficiencies that may be present must be considered at the outset of any project.

Here is a list of potential deficiencies that may be encountered with high-level descriptions:


ICT Governance

Poor or non-existent National ICT governance structure that makes decisions and ensures accountability framework to encourage desirable behavior in the use of ICT in the country. However, this may be described in documents but the implementation is suboptimal or not enforced.

Government ICT policy or Framework

No strategic policy framework for the acquisition and use of IT for social and economic growth in the country. The policy might be at the development stage and where the policy exists, the policy implementation is lagging or non-existent.

ICT infrastructure

The development of IT infrastructure in the country is lagging behind or sub optimal because of poor policies and insufficient investments in the ICT sector. Low coverage of power or the national grid and little penetration of alternative sources of energy especially in the rural.

Financial Resources and Investments in ICT

Limited funding for ICT projects and initiatives. ICT intervention may not be prioritized. No institutionalized or routinized support for ICT projects/ interventions by the government.

ICT projects/ Initiatives

ICT projects and intervention are implemented in a silo, none standard approaches and most of the ICT interventions are proprietary and high cost ventures from private institutions. No national standard architecture for interoperability/ integration of systems

Capacity development and social instruments

Low ICT literacy level among user, None or little research and development done by the national institutions/ academia on the use and scale up ICT in the country. Very few ICT professionals to support large scale ICT projects at national level

Connectivity/ Internet access

Lack of or minimum network coverage by GSM and or broadband technologies. Low cellular subscribers per capita and very low internet subscribers per capita. The percentage fibre connectivity in the country is low. A greater percentage of the population do not have computers, laptops or smart phones.

Access to information

Number of household with internet connectivity is concentrated in the urban areas as opposed to rural areas.

Cost competitiveness

Technologies, which are not always ready-for market, are often more expensive than incumbent technologies, without the necessary supportive infrastructure. Competition from existing technologies, including unsustainable technologies

Knowledge and skills

New technologies require specialized knowledge and skills, which are often lacking in host countries where education levels in science, engineering and technology can be low, and emerging areas. ICT specialists is low

Social Legitimacy

New technologies treated with suspicion in local communities especially if prior experience of job losses or unintended social consequences

Cultural barriers

New technologies are seen as a challenge to cultural traditions and communal activities. Technology can also face barriers such as language, role of women in the society, lack of entrepreneurs or dependencies created by decades of development aid

Additionally, the Principles for Digital Development are especially relevant when designing for low resource setting. Refer to https://digitalprinciples.org/ for information on these Principles.

Each building block specification SHOULD specify mitigations for these issues.

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