Governance of digital innovation in the Public Sector in South Africa
Motloung, Oniccah Monimang
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Digital innovation has been a buzzword in the public sector in recent years. The public sector is doing all it can to enhance its service delivery efficiency with the modern platforms afforded by the digital economy. However, digital innovations require a governance framework for them to have meaningful results. OECD gives a model of factors that can make digital innovation possible in the public sector and they include sharing of ideas, innovation culture in the workplace, organisational structure and processes that embrace digital innovation, and regulations and framework that will support the innovative environment. The objective of the research is to investigate if South Africa has a digital governance framework to administrate the day-to-day digital processes. The research followed qualitative methodology, interpretive research philosophy, and descriptive research design. The above-mentioned methods became relevant for this study as they gave the researcher an opportunity to be more involved with the participants to record observed behaviour and also collect honest and high-quality data in the participants’ natural environment. Interviews were conducted with fifteen government officials who are working in government departments that apply to the study. Findings reveal that the governance of innovation is in its infancy. The country has different national government departments working towards a digital government but it seems difficult because they do not have a central governance framework yet. Several government structures are established by the national government to foster innovations across different departments but there is a lack of coordination, which causes even more confusion for government officials because the roles of different stakeholders are not outlined anywhere to make interaction, sharing, and diffusion of ideas easy or build a well-informed ecosystem. Lastly, there are regulations and processes that speak to employee rewards but none of them is utilised. The recommended framework might go a long way in building an integrated and well-coordinated ecosystem that will encourage innovation culture in the workplace, sharing of ideas, building processes that are simple and beneficial to all. It will allow innovations to be measured as per the framework. Lack of infrastructure is one important determinant of digital innovation and it will be advisable for the national government to look into it if they aim at building a sustainable digital government that is accessible to all citizens.
- Humanities