Long form

How to automate fiscal and economic analytics for a country

By |Categories: Technology|

Putting the economists out-of-work. A bit self-defeating perhaps. Most of my career has been about analyzing data, shedding light on hypotheses, and develop compelling data-driven narratives that can yield insight and enable informed leadership action.

This case was about that. At least a sub-set of automating analytics of government financials, resulting in a number of products for different users, i.e Minister of Finance, Prime Minister, technical staff, and a public facing webpage.

The aim was to develop a fully autonomous solution, run at a no-cost infrastructure, to be updated as frequently […]

Organizing bottom-up digital automation

By |Categories: Technology|

The key driver of automation and digitization today is accessibility and low cost. Front-end users can drive the development, design and build automated operations that previously were out of reach for all but the complicated big IT-projects.

As bottom-up innovation tends to be driven by front-end users, there is a possibility of miscoordination and individualized solutions. Overcome this and improve the sustainability and impact of such approaches.

Here are three ideas to help manage and orchestrate the bottom-up innovation and digital automation:

1. Prioritization

This needs management input. The basic rationale for the […]

3 practical concepts for bottom-up digital automation in government and business

By |Categories: Technology|

We would be the first to encourage a top-down approach to redesign of core business processes. But often, that is out of reach for a post-conflict government. It´s expensive to hire a world-class design house. Aid-financed public procurements don’t always stimulate creative problem-solving, or investments may have been recently completed, but the tech doesn’t deliver quite what was envisaged.

Time for the bottom-up innovation.

When choosing the bottom-up route, we would encourage leadership to enable some macro-coordination and structure around the efforts. There are effective ways of doing this, without stalling […]

Three reasons why robotic process automations will change governments in fragile states

By |Categories: Technology|

It is easy to a priori think that automation and fancy digitization is not possible in a failed state with a weak government. There is no ‘capacity’. But yes, the world of ‘failed states’ is also digitizing. Intensely.

Here are three reasons why automation of repetitive tasks is perfectly feasible for a fledging government in a poor country. It’s all about low barriers to entry.

1. The democratization of IT- and code

Concrete and specific problem-solving knowledge is available, like for no other discipline. There is a curious cultural phenomenon among coders worldwide in […]

Robotic Process Automation of core government

By |Categories: Technology|

Why there is a step-change in automation of core business processes?

I think basically because it has become so accessible and so cheap.

It’s quite a mind change.

While there is understandably much attention to the magic of AI and machine learning, I would not be surprised if there is much more real world impact of its less glamorous and older sister, Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

RPA in the world of government and business processes is about software that does repetitive information processing work on a computer. Repetitive work that humans were doing […]

Three signs of fundamental recovery in Somalia

By |Categories: Core Government Functions|

Fundamentals are changing in Somalia. There is steady grind of technical reforms underneath the flow of bad news of turbulent politics, conflict, and terrorism.

The core machinery of the country is being rebuilt.

The outlook is positive.

Bank assets doubled

Banks in Somalia are growing rapidly. The formal banking sector attracts deposits of customers: business and individuals alike. Deposits have grown by 2.4 times since 2015.

Bank deposit growth Somalia Abyrint

This demonstrates return of confidence in formal institutions. There is a better business environment. And importantly, it shows […]

Financial management for security sector

By |Categories: Core Government Functions, Security|

Financial management for security sector

What are core government systems for security sector finance?

This about how expenditures are authorized, and about how payments are executed. Thematically, this about financing payroll, operational expenditures and infrastructure. Functionally, this is about organization, roles and responsibilities, work-flows and technologies.

In most countries, these systems are slightly different form the civilian systems. Security organizations have particular needs.

However, they all integrate with the governments core treasury and payments systems, usually. There are unfortunately countries where expenditure authorization and payments executions are sidelines […]

How to develop strategies for Security Sector Finance?

By |Categories: Core Government Functions, Financial Management (PFM), Security|

1. Why are security sector finance strategies important?

Security Sector finance is abut ensuring that there is financing to deliver the security sector objectives. Security actions need to be funded,  soldiers paid, fed, and necessary equipment delivered and infrastructure built.

This paper discusses strategies for security sector finance. Its an issue that has been very difficult to resolve in post-conflict countries.

In this context, we provide some examples from Somalia, a country that spends more of its budget on security than most other nations on this earth.

  • About 4 of 10 tax […]

3 critical skills for the change management team

By |Categories: Problem Solving|

What types of skills does the team need?

The team to rebuild government will need three types of skills and a strategy for recruiting them:

  1. Subject matter experts,
  2. Agile development managers, and
  3. Orchestrators.

Expert talent is most easily found your own organization. They are also easily sourced from he outside.

Talent for the last category, orchestrators, is really difficult to find and count yourselves lucky if you have them.

The team will be drawn from those communities that have experienced project design or implementation. This could be in other parts of government, or supplemented […]