1. The outlook for Myanmar's economy is positive, bolstered by expected strong export earnings from resource based commodities and an increase in foreign direct investment. ADB forecasts the country's gross domestic product to grow from about 6.3% in 2012 to about 6.5% in 2013 and 6.7% in 2014. Myanmar has recently opened its engagement with rest of the world. Therefore, many sectors of the economy need revival and upgrade to adopt the globalization requirements to bring inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth. This requires enhancing e-Governance delivery and capacity for supporting systemic institution building activities in core economic sectors.
2. In its efforts to improve public service delivery, the Government has focused on streamlining administrative processes and eliminating red tape. Usage of e-Governance is expected to play a significant role in this effort. In this regard, the Government has established an inter-ministerial task force for public services performance appraisal headed by a senior minister in the President's office and including representation at the deputy minister level from a range of key ministries. While the initiative will eventually be government-wide, it is initially focusing on key areas impacting the economy such as trade, investment, electricity, and telecommunications.
3. One of the key issues facing the Government as it seeks to introduce ICT systems to help strengthen performance of public services is the lack of a coherent and systematic approach to the design, evaluation, and adoption of such systems. This presents a real risk that government agencies will adopt systems on an ad-hoc basis; and that such systems may prove inappropriate from a needs as well as cost perspective and incompatible in terms of being able to effectively share information with systems in other agencies. This issue is particularly acute at the moment as many development partners are offering support for ICT systems to line ministries who have in turn expressed an urgent need for such help.
4. A common framework is needed to guide the design, evaluation, and adoption of these systems in order ensure their cost-effectiveness, interoperability, appropriateness; and allow them to effectively support the government's reform efforts. Therefore, such ICT solutions will have to be undertaken comprehensively by way of developing an e-Governance master plan, identifying and satisfying demand systematically.
5. Parallel to this, review of ICT capacity in institutions of higher learning in the country for providing supply of skilled human resources to nurture and support e-Governance initiatives is essential. The strengthening of ICT capacity in institutions of higher learning is essential to sustain efforts on e-Governance. In fact, this is an integral part of an e-Governance master plan. The role of higher education in ICT discipline in the development of e-Governance system is imperative. The maturity of higher education in ICT discipline in the country is an indicator of the degree of prevalence of supporting environment for sustaining e-Governance initiatives. Typically this requires the uses of ICT educational assets, research in ICT, and the fostering of innovation in the implementation of an e-Governance program.
6. Higher learning institutions in Myanmar require significant digital accessibility and introduction of cost effective techniques to be current with ICT industry requirements. Therefore, institutional strengthening activities require a blend of capacity development activities as well as demonstration initiatives, such as exploring white space technology, e-library, e-learning, etc. Hence, the e-Governance approach encompasses the big picture development of e-Governance program for the country including strengthening the supply side through review of ICT capacity institutions of higher learning.