Building an efficient, competitive and responsive infrastructure networkCasidra
Infrastructure is the fundamental facility and system network serving a country, city, or community, including the services and resources necessary for the overall economy to function. It presents the physical systems of a business or nation such as: transportation, communication, sewage, water and electricity; these are all part of the infrastructure, and they are vital to a country’s economic development and prosperity.
Without these basic, dynamically interlinked elements, cities cannot operate efficiently, and an economy cannot be soundly built on vision, endeavour and effective control. A strong network of economic infrastructure exists to support a country’s economic and social objectives, delivering basic services, as well as industrial and commercial needs.
The focus of all levels of government should therefore be on working with citizens and communities to find sustainable ways to meet their social, economic and material needs, in order to improve the quality of their lives. However, every country is uniquely ‘individual’ and when making informed choices and implementing policies, there is no one-size fits all.
Meeting all these social and economic objectives requires building a dynamic and inclusive economy with sound investment in rail, water and energy infrastructure, as well as education and health facilities. But this work is not only government’s responsibility – it also forms part of the private sector’s commitment to investing in supplier industries, including:
- Building the capacities required to produce capital and intermediary goods such as the retail, entertainment and food industries.
- Developing industries such as the mining industry through the production of capital goods, provision of engineering services, and beneficiation of natural resources.
- Providing competitive infrastructure in fixed services and the provision of the best converged fixed and mobile services to support the growing demand for integrated communications, which acts rather like the bloodstream flowing through the built veins of all operations.
- Keeping up to date with technologies, and embedding the latest technology in normal city infrastructure that will help to navigate and effectively manage the complexity of the urban landscape.
The rapid increase in the use of smartphones and tablets, and the increasing use of video on mobile, means that mobile networks need to be expanding constantly. To remain at the cutting-edge of services and advancement for a city, barriers should be removed to innovation outside of government channels. To keep ahead, communication infrastructure should be analytical and adaptive, and preferably in the hands of private enterprise.
As artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly comes into the mainstream, it will have an astounding effect on the public sector, where vast troves of data can be leveraged to make government work smarter for its citizens. From infrastructure projects such as repairing highways, to broader public services like reviewing patent applications, to policy decisions regarding staff deployment and system applications, AI is the perfect vehicle to streamline processes and improve decision-making.
To keep up with world standards, citizen expectations, and private enterprise pressure, government institutions will continually have to up their game. Innovation is the tool that will drive efficiency and responsiveness and meet the needs of all citizens equally.
Countries with more effective and transparent institutions, perform better in contributing to the wellbeing and development of their citizens, creating greater social unity, interaction and communication. All responsive institutions should be working to develop standards and best practices for improved integrity and greater anti-corruption forces, as well as management and budgetary practices, regulatory frameworks, and streamlined public services.
- The better we anticipate needs, the better we can serve citizens.
- Resource and service demand forecasts from AI make it easier to improve the use of both staff and infrastructure.
- Through intelligent streamlining, the public sector should have the potential to redeploy staff to more productive positions and reduce operating expenses.
- By optimising resources in this way, and anticipating demand, services can respond more efficiently to growing demands.
- When we are enabled to see the big picture, the ability to make smarter choices and serve citizens better, is so much improved.
- Red tape kills the capacity to respond to citizen needs. From performing background investigations to approving routine requests, a big source of administrative delay is the time it takes to sift through piles of data. This is the beauty of advancing to AI, because AI can help to spot anomalies in vast amounts of data and therefore speed up administrative processes.
To remain efficient, competitive and responsive as a dynamic, growing country, city or community, we need to embrace the liberating technology designed to make all our lives better through better governance and management control.
But working within the built environment is not the only place where efficiency should be concentrated. The rural areas are also part of the wider heart of an economic infrastructure, and there is a vital role to be played by bringing the people of the outer areas into the productive drive of the whole. An economic infrastructure with all its concomitant elements, should essentially embrace those seeking sustainability on the peripheries – and this is entirely possible through the implementation of innovative projects, management training, and continually encouraging and motivating successful results.
Managing projects, seeing results
Casidra is the acronym for Cape Agency for Sustainable Integrated Development in Rural Areas. Casidra works to implement and manage projects specifically designed to improve the lives of people and alleviate poverty. With our mandate as Agricultural and Economic Development within a Rural and Land reform context, we see ourselves as a catalyst for growth and sustainability, maximising outcomes by ensuring that we make a difference in people’s lives through effective project management.
Find out more about us at: www.casidra.co.za