In response to the growing trend of digitization and the rising internet penetration in Sri Lanka, the government embarked on a transformative initiative known as e-Sri Lanka. This initiative aimed at leveraging Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to provide government services to citizens in a more accessible and efficient manner. The backdrop to this initiative lay in the realization that a significant portion of government services was not yet available online, causing inconvenience to citizens who had to physically visit government offices, especially in the capital, Colombo. This situation not only burdened the citizens but also incurred substantial administrative costs for the government.
To address these challenges, the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) envisioned a comprehensive approach, encompassing the development of a government web portal, a mobile portal, a common payment service, and a government SMS service (GovSMS). The objective was clear - to offer a wide array of services to citizens and businesses through various online channels. This encompassed eServices and mServices, essentially aiming at front-end automation without disrupting the day-to-day operations of government organizations significantly.
The scope of the project involved various components, including interfacing with government IT infrastructure, developing eService applications, and ensuring backend operational applications were in place where needed. Through MOUs and strong collaboration, ICTA worked closely with government organizations and stakeholders to define responsibilities and project requirements. Representatives from government organizations played an integral role in the procurement process, reflecting a collaborative approach.
The outcomes of this ambitious initiative were significant. Citizens experienced a higher level of living standards with increased satisfaction, and the government witnessed higher efficiency and productivity. The shift towards electronic data decreased the chances of corruption in transactions, fostering a more transparent system.