Evidence-based decision making case study

SMART GOVERNANCE STUDY

In the recent years and with the advent of globalization, the world has experienced significant transformations socially, economically and technologically. The economy has been digitalized and at such the performance of the cities is not only driven by their physical infrastructure but also their social capacity and knowledge (Paskaleva, 201, 153). With the advent of smart cities, the importance of ICT can never be understated. According to An, Sun, Bai and Deng, ‘a smart city is an urban setting that uses information and communication technologies to make both its infrastructure and its public services more interactive, more accessible and more efficient’ (13). Some of the smart city spearheads include San Francisco, Kyoto, Ottawa, San Diego, Amsterdam and Brisbane (Deakin &Al Waer, 2011, 140).  These cities have efficiently used innovation with the help of ICT to improve the life in the urban areas regarding living, economy, people, governance, and mobility.

Smart governance is a developing subject that has gained so much attention in the recent years. It entails the usage of innovation and technology by administrations for improved performance (Anthopoulos & Reddick, 2016, 351). Governments always look for approaches to be more efficient as well as enhanced and synchronized apparatuses. Information and communication technologies have continuously been integrated into the regulatory efforts. Different government agencies are open to the idea of exploring novel and emerging technologies and incorporating them into their governance activities to enhance their internal operations as well as the interaction with different social actors including the citizens (Gil-Garcia, 2012, 269).  Furthermore, governments are currently detaching from the rigid red tapes that characterized traditional states to more interactive and public-oriented type of governance. There is more participation between the governments and private organizations, NGO’s, communities and the citizens. Governments are going past their boundaries and regularly sharing information with other countries as well as collaborating on different projects. At such, national challenges such as terrorism, national security, public health, economic crises and environmental degradation are globalized, and steps taken towards solving them are collaborative (Gil-Garcia, 2012, 270).

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What is evidence based decision making

Ideally, governance is the interaction of rules, information, data, structures, processes, and norms that define the behavior towards stated purposes that influence different people. Smart governance is part of the six domains of smart cities including smart living, smart mobility, smart economy, smart environment and smart mobility (Anthopoulos & Reddick, 2016, 351). Connecting with traditional models of city transformation, the six dimensions are under the premise of local competitiveness, involvement of populaces in the administration of cities, social and human capital. There is also natural resources, ICT and transport economies, quality of life to demonstrate the development from a community to a smart city (Chichernea, 2015, 1). Smart cities purpose to allocate limited resources such as public goods, coordinate diverse stakeholders and participants, establish a clear decision-making processes and resolve conflicts. The participants in smart governance include various groups from citizens to non-citizens, volunteers and paid individuals, amateurs and professionals as well as the public and private sector.

With the advent of the information technology and particularly the mobile telephony and the internet have developed the information society. The road safety, public health, energy, and e-commerce are some of the areas that have benefited from ICT (Chichernea, 2015, 2).  To this end, the role partaken by ICT in transforming traditional capitals to smart cities is quite significant. Smart communities and other stakeholders are very functional in smart cities.  The objective of smart communities is to make the citizens contribute in the co-creation of amenities and not just involving the citizens in city governance. It therefore very paramount to determine the role of stakeholders, communities, and citizens in smart governance and also look at some of the factors affecting smart governance regarding decision making as will be demonstrated in this paper.

Smart Governance Problem Statement

The scientific community and other scholars have explored the topic of smart cities and smart governance over the years. There is continuous growth of the literature on smart cities. However, when putting the whole idea of ‘smart city’ into perspective, it goes beyond technology, and it is more of a framework which focuses on transforming the urban areas into modern cities, and they vary from place to place (Gil-Garcia, Pardo & Nam, 2015, 63). Cities are different regarding economy, geography history and geography and these factors determine the smart city context. However, there is some commonality, for instance, the fact that the ‘city smartness’ enhances almost every aspect of life in the city including healthcare, democracy, economy, education and environmental sustainability (Griffith, 2000, 1024).

Previous studies have mostly focused on ICT-enabled governance and not smart governance in particular. For a city to be considered smart, then it has to be holistic in the sense that it makes proper use of data and information to come up with sound decisions and also largely depends on stakeholders, communities and citizen engagement in the governance activities (Johnston & Hansen, 2011, 200). As suggested in the literature, smart city frameworks are multi-dimensional and even when focused in one direction, they always acknowledge the others (Castelnovo, Misuraca & Savoldelli, 2015, 2).  Comprehending the dynamicity and complexity of cities is just as important as it is to precisely determine how data, information and different stakeholders play a vital role in smart governance.  This paper aims at developing a model to manage the data and information in the best way possible and find better ways to incorporate the contribution made by communities and different stakeholder. Investigate the literature on smart governance clearly, shows that there is so much more that can be done and that includes determining the barriers to smart governance.

Justification of the Smart Cities Study

Cities are not only productive places for innovation and cultural activities, science and technology but also they are areas where glitches including unemployment, environmental contamination, poverty, and discrimination are found (Piovano, Garrido, Silva & Galloso, 2014, 90).  Cities are no longer distinctive assemblages of networking entities that are at equilibrium and they are regulated using an approach that is devolved and top-down. Several theories including complexity theory have concluded that claiming that cities are in equilibrium is not very accurate and a city is a living system that is self-organizing and experiences organic evolution and controlled by a bottom-up approach (Piovano, Garrido, Silva & Galloso, 2014, 90).The whole concept of cities has transformed, and policy makers and other stakeholders including urban planners are focused on minimizing the negative emergent properties and fostering a positive emergent phenomenon but within the six smart city dimensions.

Exploring how cities utilize, coordinate and integrate modern technologies (including ICT, energy and transport technologies) to combine investment in social, environmental and human capital is very vital (Piovano et al., 2014, 91).This study not only provides systematic proof for community action but also facilitates partakers’ participation and defines social deliberations regarding smart cities. It is in recognition of the essentiality of researching on the effective strategies of ensuring that cities become smarter by looking at the strengths and opportunities as well as the barriers to smart governance (Econ, 2013, 121). To this end, the importance of data and information approaches to mobilizing participation and intelligence of citizens, communities and other stakeholders can never be understated.