Exploring alternative methods of service delivery through mobile governance at the Swakopmund Municipality

Palmer, Michelle Felicia (2019-04)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Local government is a sphere of government that is closest to the community in terms of service delivery and responsible for providing basic services to enhance the lives of citizens. Unfortunately, it has been persistently characterised by ineffective service delivery, amidst formidable challenges. This study explores the impact of mobile governance on service delivery in the local government domain of Namibia. m-Government is a fairly new phenomenon in the public services sphere of Namibia and can be defined as the use of mobile technologies, applications and devices to deliver public services. It serves to mainly complement e-Government efforts, as these services are now extended to mobile platforms which are available anywhere and anytime. Mobile devices have infiltrated the developing world by storm, gaining popularity for its “anywhere anytime” convenience, as it offers an integrated platform on which value-added services are delivered for the benefit of citizens from all walks of life. In the midst of an outcry to transform public service delivery, and recognising the untapped potential this device offers, this study adopted an explorative approach to realise the potential of mobile devices as a means of service delivery at the Municipality of Swakopmund. A comprehensive literature study was conducted drawing lessons from India and South Africa respectively. Various experts in the Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) fraternity were purposefully selected and interviewed, and a focus group was conducted with middle management staff members of the Municipality of Swakopmund. Unstructured questions were utilised for both sample groups to determine the current methods of operation and probable effect of m-Government. The study results indicated that the revolution of mobile technology is prevalent in the operations at the Municipality of Swakopmund. The necessary infrastructure is in place and national legislation is enacted, thus employees do recognise the importance for the municipality to access public services on mobile platforms for improved service delivery. The popularity of mobile devices shows that m-Government is an option that the Municipality of Swakopmund should invest in to transform service delivery effectively and responsively, thus creating an enabling, knowledge driven citizenry.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Plaaslike regering is ’n regeringsfeer wat die naaste aan die gemeenskap is wat betref diensverskaffing en verantwoordelikheid vir die voorsiening van basiese dienste om die lewens van burgers te verbeter. Ongelukkig word dit te midde van formidabele uitdagings knaend gekenmerk deur ondoeltreffende dienslewering. Hierdie studie ondersoek die impak van mobiele bestuur – ofte wel m-regering – op dienslewering in die plaaslike bestuursdomein van Namibië. M-regering is ’n redelike nuwe verskynsel in die sfeer van openbare dienste in Namibië en kan gedefinieer word as die aanwending van mobiele tegnologieë, toepassings en toebehore om openbare dienste te lewer. Dit dien hoofsaaklik om e-regeringspogings aan te vul, aangesien dié dienste nou na mobiele platforms uitgebrei is wat oral en enige tyd beskikbaar is. Mobiele toebehore het die ontwikkelende wêreld stormenderhand verower en veral gewild geraak weens hulle gerief van “waar en wanneer” aangesien hul ’n geïntegreerde platform bied waar waarde-toegevoegde dienste tot voordeel van die burger uit alle vlakke van die samelewing gelewer word. Te midde ’n beroep om openbare dienslewering te transformeer en die onbenutte potensiaal wat dié toebehoor bied, te erken, het hierdie studie ’n ondersoekende benadering aangeneem om die potensiaal van mobiele toebehore as ’n wyse van dienslewering aan die Swakopmundse Munisipaliteit te begryp. ’n Omvattende literatuurstudie is uitgevoer met die ter harte neem van lesse uit onderskeidelik Indië en Suid-Afrika. Verskeie deskundiges uit die Inligting- en Kommunikasietegnologie-omgewing is spesifiek gekies en onderhoude is met hulle gevoer. ’n Fokusgroep is ook saamgestel met middelbestuurspersoneellede van die Swakopmundse Munisipaliteit as lede. Ongestruktureerde vrae is vir albei steekproefgroepe gebruik om die huidige werksmetodes en waarskynlike invloed van m-regering te bepaal. Die bevindings van die studie het getoon dat die omwenteling van mobiele tegnologie duidelik waarneembaar is in die doen en late van die Swakopmundse Munisipaliteit. Die nodige infrastruktuur is in plek en nasionale wetgewing is dienooreenkomstig bepaal. Gevolglik besef werknemers die belangrikheid vir die munisipaliteit om toegang tot openbare dienste op mobiele platforms te verkry ten einde dienslewering te verbeter.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/106043
This item appears in the following collections: