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The Governance Phobia: The Weakness of National ICT Policy-Making Process in Turkey by Dr. Ozgur Uckan


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Presented at IceGov International E-Government and E-Governance Conference hold 12-13 March 2009 at Ankar Turkey. The presentation focuses on the weakness of national ICT policy-making process in Turkey during the last decade, mainly on the failure of creating effective governance mechanisms in policy-making and its effect on e-government implementations. Participation of all interested parties and networking them are the keys of successful policy-making process. Turkey's excessively centralized governmental system displays a strong resistance against new administrative paradigms such as governance and its concomitant values, transparency, accountability and participation,

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The Governance Phobia: The Weakness of National ICT Policy-Making Process in Turkey by Dr. Ozgur Uckan

  1. 1. THE GOVERNANCE PHOBIA WEAKNESS OF NATIONAL ICT POLICY-MAKING PROCESS IN TURKEY Dr. Özgür Uçkan Istanbul Bilgi University Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM)
  2. 2. THE GOVERNANCE PHOBIA WEAKNESS OF NATIONAL ICT POLICY-MAKING PROCESS IN TURKEY Dr. Özgür Uçkan Istanbul Bilgi University Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM)
  3. 3. framework •  the weakness of national ICT policy-making process in Turkey during the last decade •  the failure of creating effective governance mechanisms in policy-making and its effect on e- government implementations Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  4. 4. outline •  The conceptual and practical framework of the national ICT policies as related with e-government and e-governance (network governance •  Turkey’s current state of affairs related to our subject •  The timeline of ICT policies and strategies in Turkey •  The inefficacious standing of all concerned parties of e-governance •  Turkey’s policy and strategy development experience in the context of the current operational “Information Society Strategy” Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  5. 5. strategies without a policy In Turkey, ICT and information society policies are generally perceived as a “strategy” concept. This is because the “strategy” concept which stands for some scheduled plans to achieve certain goals and the “policy” concept which sets objectives that constitute this strategy within an action framework are confused. Turkish policymakers usually deploy strategies without a set policy. By prefixing titles of strategies that are not formed by consensus with the “national” word, they try to cover such policy inadequacies. In fact, ICT strategies that can be appropriately called “national” are based only on National Information, Information Society, Knowledge Economy and ICT policies that warrant national consensus and interact with other macro policies. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  6. 6. governance phobia In Turkey, when considering practical problems experienced in national ICT policy development processes, or, indeed, in any other area, the usual practice is to blame the “political will” that is blinded by the states of affaires and thus deprived of its projective capabilities. My own observations slightly differ from the received perspectives. I think, for all parties including the “political will”, the most critical point of the policy and strategy development process and the logical cause of ensuing failure experienced at action planning, tactical and implementation stages, is “governance phobia”. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  7. 7. social, economic and administrative paradigm shift •  The “network effect” of ICT •  Impact of ICT on economic growth and total factor productivity •  Emergence of new business sectors and new organizational forms •  Improvement of workforce quality and flexibility of labor market •  The ‘Wealth of the Networks’ •  Exploitation of ICT in favor of national interests, development of network economy, transition to knowledge economy, and the transformation to an information society •  “Information literacy”, “knowledge culture” and ‘Information Society’ •  “Social embeddedness of technology” •  ICT as a “sociotechnical network” Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  8. 8. social, economic and administrative paradigm shift •  The paradigm shift emerges when material inputs (raw materials, labor, machinery, purchasing power) are substituted by immaterial inputs (knowledge, content, process, social capital, and intellectual assets) •  Network is, sharing… (the access, sharing and usage of information that creates value) •  The network precludes the very concept of the center •  The network management is based on “horizontal coordination” •  The new administrative paradigm of the “Information Age” is decentralized, multilayered, participatory, shared network governance, i.e. ‘e-governance’ •  Only shared knowledge can create value Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  9. 9. ICT, Knowledge Economy and Governance Actors of the value creation process through knowledge: •  Economic networks where services, products, market information are created, disseminated, shared and transformed into economic value •  Political networks focusing from regulations to creation of a competitive climate to solutions to most basic problems and thus to formation of a business environment •  Social participatory networks that enable lifelong education and fair and equalitarian sharing, and thus development •  Innovation networks that research, develop, project, fund and put knowledge into practice Social-economic-political value and impact pass through these networks and becomes culture… Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  10. 10. ICT, Knowledge Economy and Governance Decentralized model of interaction: •  A model that thrives on partnerships that form the nodes of the network and on horizontal coordination mechanisms shaped by consensus which itself is achieved through communication between stakeholders... •  Partnerships that involve all stakeholders such as –  the government, –  the public sector, –  the private sector, –  the NGOs in their all incarnations, –  civil initiatives, –  labor unions, –  academia and –  media… Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  11. 11. network governance Networks are a social coordination mechanism as an alternative to hierarchical bureaucratic organizations or pure interest based organizations subject to market forces. The horizontal coordination between network structures facilitates participation of involved parties and increases the social benefit coefficient. In network-like structures, the realm of social governance based on consensus and in search of a decentralized coordination is usually referred to as the “network governance” or the ‘’e-governance’’. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  12. 12. network governance The dominant orientation of this governance model is to evolve around interconnected interests that must be coordinated and balanced, and its mode of interaction is the multi-party agreement between the public players, private sector and civil society stakeholders. Network governance is, by its very essence, decentralized, based on horizontal coordination, and constitutes a flexible and participatory governance model. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  13. 13. paradigm shift •  Public administration shaped by centralist paradigms is no more deemed to be applicable. •  It has been both unproductive and ineffective economically, •  defying citizens’ participation and control, and •  prone to mismanagement and corruption; •  therefore, a public administration that does not offer any more social justice and benefit must be reinvented… The code name of this paradigm shift is “governance’’. Sharing knowledge is sharing power…. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  14. 14. governance & Turkey •  In Turkey where centralism and hierarchies are deeply rooted, administrative models and accompanying mindsets that allow possible win/win outcomes for all parties are yet to be formed. •  Whereas the public sector tries to imitate the private sector, the latter is increasingly more active in areas that involve public benefit. •  Multi-party organizations such as NGOs and civil initiatives are closer to the decentralized administrative model as a consequence of their very nature. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  15. 15. ‘’policy convergence’’ •  “Convergence” means coming together of technologies and undergoing fusions, creating thereby new technological platforms. •  Most people understand convergence in terms of the network effect and the interoperability principle necessitated by it •  The EU has initiated a conceptual debate with its i2010 programme : “policy convergence” •  The constantly increasing interaction and convergence between different economic sectors and social development areas •  EU which is essentially a “network state”, the need for an “institutional and regulatory convergence” is more obvious •  EU’s “i2010” strategy is aiming to counter the ‘’technological convergence’’ with a “policy convergence” •  A policy convergence between every macro policy issues. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  16. 16. ‘’policy interaction’’ The concept of “policy interaction” was developed to describe circumstances where, for example, •  policies from different areas are brought into interaction to obtain more extensive solutions; •  policies at different global, national, local levels are allowed to interact to offer a more consistent and sustainable action platform; •  and policies of different parties focused on the same target are fused together as to support an effective framework for action. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  17. 17. ‘’policy interaction’’ Maximum interaction should be secured between ICT policies and macro/micro policy issues such as •  public administration reform, economy, foreign trade, industry, energy, science-technology-innovation, agriculture, health, education, security, EU integration; •  clustering, SMEs, FDI, VC, technoparks and technology development zones, regional development, public procurement, taxation, industry-university cooperation, PPP, etc.. The policy development process requires the existence of interactions -based on network governance- both •  between decision makers and implementers, •  and between implementers of different channels. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  18. 18. ‘’policy governance’’ •  Policy making processes should be redesigned as to incorporate “convergence”, “interaction” and “governance” concepts along the basic developmental targets. •  Unless ICT policies are developed by all concerned parties and in a participatory way, the ICT sector cannot fulfill its strategic functionality to provide any significant national interest. •  Policy convergence and interaction leads to the (ICT- based) “connected” or “networked” governance as a global trend in all e-strategies, including e- government and e-democracy mindset. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  19. 19. components of ICT policy •  ICT industries •  Liberalization of the telecommunications sector and its regulation •  The National Innovation System •  ICT use in governmental and public sector (e- government) •  A social policy to meet structural changes (social inclusion) •  Protection of information privacy & intellectual rights •  The right for access to information (FOA), •  Legislation on cyber crimes. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  20. 20. current situation in Turkey •  Partial support for offering incentives aimed at ICT industries is present, however, no radical and systematic development can be observed that embraces the industry as a whole. •  There is still no strategy and action plan for software and services. •  The liberalization process of telecommunications is still ongoing, progress is visible, but still targets are not met. (The recent legislation of Electronic Communications Act can have a positive impact on the liberalization process, however, it is yet due. ) •  The R&D Act introduced in 2007 can be interpreted as an indicator of a slight progress in the National Innovation System, however, no signs of industry-academia cooperation, micro innovation at firm level, clustering strategies for the innovation of SMEs, or promotion of venture capital sector are visible. •  Considerable achievements are made in e-government services. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  21. 21. current situation in Turkey •  Recently the “e-Government Portal” has been introduced and thus the system integration accomplished. •  But on the “client” side, there are seriously big problems for both the business world and citizens regarding services. •  The structuring of e-government does not help much the public administration to make some progress in the direction of governance. •  Achievements are made to computerize and bring the Internet to schools. •  Other rapid developments are in progress that aims to offer more public access points to the Internet and to enhance universal access. •  Still, no policies are developed that would embed technology socially. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  22. 22. current situation in Turkey •  the Data Protection Law is on the table for the last ten years awaiting to meet demands of several government institutions that compete to introduce their own versions of exceptions. •  As regards the intellectual rights, the situation looks relatively better; not on the regulatory side but on the implementation side there are some problems but they are solvable. •  In 2004, the Access to Information Act has been introduced but it is already inapplicable as it is almost completely left to authorities to interpret it the way they like. •  Amendments to the Turkish Penal Code have been introduced to address cyber crimes, but they still vague and wide open to interpretation. •  In 2007, Law Number 5651 “of regulating the internet transmission issues and combating the crimes which are conducting by internet transmission” was introduced and chaos ensued. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  23. 23. current situation in Turkey •  The national “Information Society Strategy” and its concomitant action plan that would coordinate and bring all ICT policies and strategies into interaction, and converge them with other national policies, are introduced in 2006. •  In 2005, the “e-Transformation Turkey Executive Board” was formed that included some ministers and public institutions as decision makers, whereas ICT NGOs were only invited as observers. It is this board who endorsed the strategy document. Turkey has been developing continuously policies, strategies and action plans in the fields of, first, science-technology, and then ICT, since the adoption of “planned development” paradigm of 60s… Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  24. 24. Milestones of ICT Related Policy Development Process in Turkey •  TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) was founded in 1963. •  In 1966 TURDOK (Scientific and Technical Documentation Center of Turkey) was established. •  TBD (Turkish Informatics Association), Turkey’s first ICT NGO was founded in 1971. •  The 1st National Information Congress convened in 1976. •  TUBISAD (Turkish Informatics Industry Association) was founded as a sectoral organization in 1979. •  In 1983, BTYK (Supreme Council for Science and Technology) was founded. •  In 1986, TÜVAKA (Universities and Research Institutions Network of Turkey) was created. •  In 1986, Ege University, Yildiz University and Middle East Technical University / TUBITAK developed the Internet infrastructure (EARN connection). Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  25. 25. Milestones of ICT Related Policy Development Process in Turkey •  In 1990, BYK (Supreme Council for Informatics) was founded. •  In 1991, to fund ICT related R&D, TTGV (Turkey Technology Development Foundation) was founded. •  In 1991-1993, the TRNET (TR-Grid) infrastructure was developed. In 1993, TUBA (he Turkish Academy of Sciences) and in 1994, Türk Patent Enstitüsü (Turkish Patent Institute) was founded. •  TBV (Turkish Informatics Foundation), another important ICT NGO was founded in 1995. In 1995, the 1st Internet Conference was held. •  In 1997, ULAKBIM (Turkish National Academic Network and Information Center) was founded. •  The same year TBD founded KamuBIB (Union of Public Data-Processing Center Manager) and ODTU (METU) founded the Institute of Informatics. •  In 1998 TUENA (National Information Infrastructure Master Plan of Turkey) was conceived but it did not materialized. •  In 1998, the 9th Transportation Council Telecommunication Commission Workshop was held.. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  26. 26. Milestones of ICT Related Policy Development Process in Turkey •  In 1998, ETKK (E-Commerce Coordination Committee) was founded and delivered critical reports. •  In 1998, the Internet Advisory Board and Public-Net Supreme Council were formed. •  In 2000, Information Technologies and Policies Special Expertise Commission’s Report (within the VIII. Five-Year Development Plan) has been issued. •  The same year, TUBITAK led the Vision 2023 efforts. •  In 2001, ICT NGOs came together to form the BSTO (ICT NGO Platform), however, it did not lead to anything substantial. •  Same year IvHP (Internet and Law Platform) was founded, and it made important contributions to ICT based legislative regulations. •  The same year Turkey became a member of “eEurope+” initiative and started “eTurkey Initiative”, and developed short term action plans focusing on e-government. •  In 2002 the 1st Informatics Council convened. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  27. 27. Milestones of ICT Related Policy Development Process in Turkey •  In 2003, the Communications Council was realized. •  TBV reported sectoral priorities to the Prime Minister. •  In 2003, the new government announced the e-Turkey Transformation Project and convened the E-Transformation Executive Board. •  State Planning Organization Information Society Department was founded. •  In 2004, member NGOs of the Executive Board founded the NGO Watch Committee for e-Transformation Turkey Executive Board and started delivering reports. •  In 2004 Izmir Economy Congress convened and significant documents related to knowledge economy, information society, science-technology, R&D policies were submitted. •  World Bank issued Knowledge Economy Assessment Study of Turkey. •  ICT NGOs submitted the Alternative Information Society Strategy Initiative to the Executive Board. •  2nd Informatics Council was held. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  28. 28. Milestones of ICT Related Policy Development Process in Turkey •  In 2004, TUSIAD (Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association) convened the 2st Innovation Congress. •  In 2005 National Innovation Initiative was created. •  In 2006, the Information Society Strategy and its Action Plan were realized. •  In 2007, TUBISAD made an Open Announcement addressing all political parties. •  TUBISAD submitted its Software Strategy to the Executive Board. •  TIM (Turkish Exporters Assembly) organized an “Innovation” Conference. •  In 2008, TBV, TBD and TUBISAD gave presentations to the Executive Board delineating the expectations of the sector, policy improvements and project prioritizations. Alas, none of these ventures ended up as desired… Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  29. 29. ‘’governance phobia‘’ •  There is a good deal of serious effort to develop a national ICT policy, without much success. •  Here the problem stems not from “instrumental” issues such as a lack of resources, know-how, infrastructure, access to technology, etc. •  It is completely one of a mindset, a “governance phobia”, the result of complete “political inadequacy” which usually materializes in terms of insistence on a centralist administration tradition, a distrust in the business world, in NGOs, in academia and in its own citizens, and trying, instead, to cover up (the lack of) participation with image making operations... •  Unless all concerned parties are included in this process, you cannot expect social demand and mobilization emerge on its own. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  30. 30. centralist administration culture Is the culprit, then, only the bureaucracy and public authority? Does not have the business world, labor organizations, academia, NGOs, or the initiativeless citizen herself any responsibility? The answer is, unfortunately, yes, as long as they do not claim actively participate and remain content with sharing the same centralist administration culture. ICT sector has not been successful in persuading the society, politicians and the business world that a fully competitive, easily accessible and innovative ICT sector would be the leading force for national development. For it has its own share of governance phobia which has become the hallmark of the whole country. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  31. 31. Background of “Information Society Strategy” Although indisputably an “official” one, does this document deserve to be called a “national” one? •  “e-Transformation Turkey Executive Board” and NGO participation •  ICT NGOs “Watch Committee” •  Criticism focused on the inadequacy of juridical legitimacy of the Executive Board, and relatively, the fact that it lacked executive power and suffered from governance phobia. •  The preparatory process of the “Information Society Strategy”. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  32. 32. “Information Society Strategy 2006-2010” •  “Organizational Structure and Governance Model” •  “e-transformation Turkey”: “e-government”, with the most mechanical interpretation of the word, just e-government •  The “Council of Transformation Leaders” is limited with public participators. NGO and business world “leaders” are not mentioned at all. •  “SPO Directorate General for Information Society” became the “owner of the strategy” •  the “Action Plan” lacks a feasibility and risk analysis •  In this model which does not harbor anything worth than the mechanical modernization of the public sector, not a single word is mentioned regarding how the business world and related NGOs will participate in the “governance” platform. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  33. 33. “Information Society Strategy 2006-2010” Outlines of the Strategy related to the ‘’e-Transformation’’: •  “Social transformation” •  “Citizen-focused services transformation” •  “ICT adaptation by business” •  “Modernization in the public administration” •  “Competitive, widespread and affordable communication infrastructure and services” •  “Improvement of R&D and innovation” Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  34. 34. “Information Society Strategy 2006-2010” •  The “information society” becomes an abstract and hollow concept unless handled with its socioeconomic aspects. “Information society”, which should accompany the concept of “knowledge economy”, is a concept that qualifies societies that create value in producing, sharing, disseminating and using information, and shares this in a fair and equalitarian way. •  In that respect, it is clear that the subject matter of our information strategy is not the “society”, but only the ‘’government’’! •  All proposals related to “social transformation” are limited to “e- readiness” standards such as the development of the information infrastructure in schools, promotion of Internet and computer penetration, providing public access opportunities, Internet security and content development. •  Social transformation calls for more than just being “ready” to the information society. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  35. 35. “Information Society Strategy 2006-2010” •  How to create the proper social capital without an educational reform ? •  No alternatives for opening the ICT sector to full competition •  No suggestions to give national sectors priority in public procurement •  A domestic ICT market is envisioned that is totally import-oriented •  No financial model for PPP •  Proposed actions interact with each other by their very nature. However, related integration projects, risk analyses and interactive feasibilities are not given! •  All actions are about the public sector, and merely a compilation of the existing achievements. No prioritizations for requirements are made. •  Neither the legal infrastructure of the innovation, nor the industry- university cooperation, nor financial models that will pave the way for innovation and entrepreneurship Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  36. 36. “Information Society Strategy 2006-2010” •  The picture drawn for Turkey is poised to lag behind the European standards •  With such a strategy, Turkey can only become an “information market” and not an “information society” •  As one sees the “Knowledge Society” as a natural consequence of ICT access, spread and use, it is quite understandable to be content with a “strategy” that limits the government’s priority responsibilities with a relative ICT development that comprises formation of a mechanical e- government system •  To use a dynamic such as “knowledge” to promote a country’s social, economic and cultural development, a more complex targeting system is needed. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  37. 37. “Information Society Strategy 2006-2010” Information society and knowledge economy targets simply mean •  an effective integration of the country with the information transformed global economy; •  sustainability of growth and productivity; •  creation of global competitive advantage by giving domestic market dynamics a manageable stability whereas increasing the foreign trade volume with a value added focus; •  realizing a fair and equalitarian human and economic development by creating new and profitable knowledge intensive employment channels, •  making the innovation culture the driving force of entrepreneurship, •  and thus promoting a qualified, flexible, knowledge based and continuously learning social capital. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  38. 38. “Information Society Strategy 2006-2010” The reductionist approach of the strategy document yields the same result in all subtitles which themselves short fall to explain the information society. As part of social transformation when “focused competence” is the issue, one expects a “lifelong learning” model that produces people in compliance with the knowledge economy; but alas, what you get is “basic level ICT courses”! When the subject is ICT adaptation by business, one expects knowledge economy models that target improvement for business operations, or offer legislative infrastructure that support models which promote productivity in SME business processes; once again you end up with computer ownership, Internet access, e-trade promotion... Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  39. 39. “Information Society Strategy 2006-2010” As one reads the subtitle “facilitating business transactions” one readily is tempted to think about concrete measures for cost reduction, promotion of ICT solutions for productivity, entrepreneurship and innovation; however, it promptly becomes clear that, all the fuss is about “reducing costs for doing business with the government”. The document talks about promoting exports but it does not mention finding a solution to the techno park conundrum, making, with the help of sectoral and regional clustering strategies, entrepreneurship and innovation dominant factors in added valued creation, nor emphasizes it other ventures that would offer advantages to national sectors in public economy with defense industries at the front! Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  40. 40. “Information Society Strategy 2006-2010” The document targets an ICT supported “modernization in public administration”, however, it does not mention an “e-governance” model that complies with the information society and knowledge economy paradigms in public administration; it seems having forgotten that e-government is simply a mechanical modernization without e-democracy. Law is the weakest chain in the strategy document. Except taxation and public procurement, it does not show up much. To the contrary, information society and knowledge economy can only thrive on a suitable legal infrastructure. This infrastructure is a complicated system from education to employment, public administration to trade, or election system to health; and the determination of the prioritized targets within the legal map can be only secured by figuring out the national benefit upon a legal risk analysis and with the help of a responsible legalization process which is also transparent to the participation of all concerned parties. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  41. 41. Information Society Co-Strategy To balance the public administration-oriented inclination of the Information Society Strategy, an Information Society Co-Strategy may be necessary, to be developed by the participation of all significant actors of economic and social life and led by the ICT NGOs. Priorities of this strategy are developing an effective policy networking, assuring the telecom liberalization (EU regulatory package), developing social embeddedness of technology, improving legal and institutional environment, improving business environment and investment climate, strengthening dynamics of ICT sector, creating competitive advantages of software and ICT services industries, developing effective public, private, and mixed financial models, assuring integration of ICT to the macro and micro innovation mechanisms, and finally, triggering national mobilization for e-Transformation Turkey Initiative (in harmony with the EU i2010 Programme). Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  42. 42. CONCLUSION •  Will Turkey be able to connect the line between the will, policy, strategy and plan? •  the EU tiredness •  To assess it you have to manage it. And to manage it you have to have a “policy”... Strategy follows, and tactics is merely a detail. •  By playing the game with a tactical mindset, to postpone the unavoidable Economy, social infrastructure, culture... •  The country must trigger a quantum leap by synchronizing, integrating and coordinating, that is, by “governing” the power channels in these basic axes. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  43. 43. CONCLUSION •  A national ICT policy means at the same time a “national development policy” •  In Turkey, the process from creation of this policy to its implementation within a governance regime must be designed as a national mobilization effort to be carried out together with the political will. •  Improvement of the national information factors – technology, innovation, quality and competences- of Turkey is of outmost importance regarding the promotion of both the productivity and achievement of sustainable, long-term economic growth targets. Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  44. 44. CONCLUSION Turkey is at a vital crossroads. We are confronted, thanks to the administrative impasse due to our insistence on the centralist administration heritage, with a danger of skipping the global paradigm transformation and to be excluded from the global information flow. We must get rid of the “governance phobia”! Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  45. 45. CONCLUSION Knowledge, with policy, creates economy… Dr. Özgür Uçkan
  46. 46. Thank you! Dr. Özgür Uçkan