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The challenges of digital technology for local authorities

Step 2

Produce a diagnosis of your digital maturity


Estimate the digital penetration rate on the local territory; identify the possibilities offered by the national digital framework.

Territorial diagnoses are required to identify local assets and weaknesses and develop suitable and realistic solutions. A first quick inventory of a few key elements can be done easily and produce significant insight about local digital maturity.

The importance of the national regulatory and institutional framework

It is rare that the telecommunications sector is governed directly by the local authorities and it is very often at national level that the regulatory frameworks are defined. A review of the political and institutional frameworks of the digital sector may provide indications on the possibilities for the local authorities to develop initiatives on their territory.

Key questions

Know the national framework for digital technology

  • What are the national and international programmes, competitions and calls for projects that can rally specific funding for digital innovation?
  • What are the programmes for deployment of telecommunications infrastructure on the territory, which would show the possibilities for extension or improvement of coverage?
  • Who are the telecommunications and data regulators? What is the regulatory framework, the degree of openness and of competition in the sector?
  • What is the distribution of skills and responsibilities between the different levels of government, any regional or provincial agencies that can serve as relays?
  • What is the national framework on data security and protection?

The penetration rate of digital technologies and tools on the territory

The ICT penetration rate can be estimated from several types of information that give indications about the maturity of the local digital ecosystem:

  • databases at national level, such as, for example, those of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU);
  • estimations of the penetration rate in the cities based on this national data;
  • the trends across a number of years, to estimate the speed of penetration of digital technology on the territory and the potential growth of the user base.

The national strategy of digital modernisation as a framework for the local authorities

In 2006 the Ugandan central government launched a development process for the network of data transmission infrastructures within the scope of a vast plan for the digital modernisation of the whole territory.

In 2011, 1,548 km of fibre optic cable was laid in the country. The government also regulated mobile phone technologies to secure this equipment, the development of which was considered a priority. In 2012, there were 850,200 mobile Internet users in Uganda compared to 84,558 users of fixed connections.

In addition, an Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) was developed to harmonise the payment of tax at national level and extend the tax base to all levels of the administration. In 2012, twenty-two ministries, twenty-five government agencies and eight local governments had adopted this system. Following this initiative, the dematerialised services were extended to include electronic payment of urban services (water invoices) and the renewal of administrative documents (passports, education and study grants, tourist visas, etc.).

In order to deploy this national strategy to all the administrations, the programme also promotes the introduction of municipal digital strategies.

Lessons learnt

The impetus from central level helps to structure a consistent national policy framework for the digital transition of the local authorities and their territory. Advocacy encouraged this impetus.

Key questions

Estimate ICT penetration rate on the local territory


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