Thursday, December 25, 2008

The NCIT of Maldives is outdated and wasting our money.

The National Centre for Information Technology (NCIT) is about to start a project which will install and setup (suppose to) Internet Service Kiosks in 24 islands across Maldives. I see this as a waste of money and a stupid idea at this stage in time. Maybe the Internet kiosks were a "cool" idea 5 years back, but not today. I feel there are better things we can do with that money and take better approaches (future proof). This whole thing about Internet kiosks needs to be re evaluated.

Firstly we don't have the basic infrastructure or the applications to cater to these kiosks (or maybe MS Share Point is what they call e-government) . We need to first look into the basics before we start to roll out services like these kiosks. NCIT does not have a proper plan for the e-government and the studies on which they are basing these projects are out dated and costly.

The politicians and the current government lacks the interest or the know how to make sound judgements on these kinds of projects. They seriously need to reconsider these type of projects and open them up for comments and re evaluation. The so called "Big IT Projects" are common in Maldives and never produce the results. We spend (WASTE is the word) money on these kinds of projects and never achieve anything productive.

We always bring down a few consultants who have worked in some African countries and copy some ideas from maybe Singapore and base our projects on them. Most of these projects are never practical. I feel the present leadership in NCIT needs to be changed and we need to think more broadly into this e-government projects.


naseeh said...

True, the idea is not "cool" anymore.

Since Kiosks (I understand) would be placed in public places where they can be accessed easily, they should consider the security risks as well. Maldivians are not model citizens - we are good at vandalism. And there would be drug addicts who may steal the thing and sell parts of it :p It is possible.

Also let's say they installed the Kiosks. What if there's a problem; tiny software or hardware issue? Would the NCIT keep trained people to take care of the Kiosks or they would maintain them themselves? It would be useless for an NCIT dude to fly over to Addu just to find that all he needed to do was restart the computer.


BUT it would be useful to install a couple of these in Male', near Nasandhuraa maybe? Or other tourist hotspots.

jaa said...

I disagree. Not only are such kiosks relatively cheap to install and maintain but properly setup (i.e in terms of usaebility) Internet kiosks can do wonders for areas where internet and computers are not available easily. India runs such programmes in the rural areas quite successfully.

That said, the success would ofcourse all depend on the finer details of how NCIT actually executes it...

anonymous2 said...

I have to agree with Jaa here. A kiosk will be very useful for islands. It will not surely be a waste of money. It will be a good investment for the people of the islands. It will help bridge the digital divide between islands and male'.

chopey said...

well, it all sounds too good. No wonder why the gov has also fallen to this. Question here is not what it can do. Question here is can the objectives be achieved?. Just by having that hardware does not serve the purpose. What do you do with them? Only by having those kiosks doe not do us any good. What applications run on em?. Access to internet? My point is firstly we need to develop those applications , etc. The basic's. Not just some machines. Already we have other such machines in the islands left in the sun to rust. Question here is would this too end up the same way. For me it looks so.