Digital - Blockchain powered eGovernance

Abstract

Information technology has played a major role in governance of large projects. . This white paper takes into context the usage of Blockchain in e-Governance of any large project where many stakeholders from different organizations/governments/businesses/citizens/ communities or a combination of them are involved.

E-Governance features and models

e-Governance is the abbreviation for Electronic Governance. It is the implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the governance of projects. This helps in better governance as it makes the processes simple, efficient and addresses the needs of various stakeholders.

Key Features

Following are the key features of the implementation of e-Governance in projects:

Decision making

It involves participation from all stakeholders using online portals. Due to information accessibility, this results in the empowerment of all stakeholders and better-informed decision making. This also increases the convenience of all stakeholders and brings efficiency in the governance of large projects.

Management

Management of people, project parameters and project execution is done through various online services. This helps in increased transparency, better & efficient governance of large projects.

Services

Services are provided through online hosted services through the web. This results in better delivery of services to multiple stakeholders (citizens/businesses/ organizations).

Transactions

Transactions with the stakeholders are done through the internet. This helps in reduced costs and increased profits/revenue to all the stakeholders.

Maturity models

CurreCoforgey there are multiple maturity models used for e-Governance system development. Following is the list of such models which are commonly referred:

  • Gartner Study- Four Phase Model
  • IBM Study – Four Waves Model
  • Laynee & Lee Study – Four Stage Model
  • Adaptive E-Government Maturity (AEM) Model
  • Citizen Oriented E-Government Maturity Model

All the above models have specific goals and are used depending on the current status of e-Governance and Services to be delivered.

Challenges in e-Governance

The following are the most common challenges or complexities that need to be handled while implementing e-Governance in projects:

  • Bring multiple stakeholders on the same page and decision making with respect to the contract they have for providing the services.
  • To bring trustworthiness and transparency of a service is another challenge when multiple unknown parties having a low level of trust transact with each other.
  • Apart from implementation of business services through Information technology, stakeholders also need to focus on Security of information and data loss prevention (DLP) through data encryption and cybersecurity implementation.
  • Monitoring of large and complex projects across diverse user base.

Blockchain - a new technology paradigm

Being innovative and disruptive, Blockchain is being considered as a new technology paradigm. It helps in shifting focus from centralized repository to distributed, democratized and transparent repositories or ledgers in this context.

Features and key benefits of Blockchain

Blockchain is a chain of blocks that grows with addition of new blocks. Each block is linked with the previous and next block using cryptography. All blocks in the chain are time-stamped and immutable to any already committed data changes. Hence all transactions are verifiable and permanent once they get recorded in the Blockchain.

The other key feature of Blockchain solutions is to make the data storage and execution decentralized and distributed.

Blockchain also helps in providing a solution to the scenarios where any number of parties from the large pool can transact with each other. By its design, this technology can help in implementing projects which involve a transaction between multiple parties (individuals, businesses, state governments or a combination of these) that are not well-known to each other. By virtue of this it helps in saving time, effort and dollars required to validate identity of different parties in any transaction.

Above are the reasons the projects related to e-Governance are turning out to be good case studies for implementing Blockchain. As of today there are many Blockchain platforms available with each having a different set of features like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, R3 Corda and Ripple.

Smart Contracts and Blockchain design

Smart Contracts are self-enforcing agreements between two parties (generally buyer and seller) which have been digitized into lines of code in a particular language. The contract gets self-executed automatically when the predetermined terms and conditions are achieved. They are distributed, decentralized and deployed on each user’s node instead of a common central server.

Blockchain resolving e-Governance issues

Blockchain technology has shown its potential in resolving common e-Governance issues. This section explains how it helps in solving issues like trust, efficiency, availability and security.

Trust and Transparency - making it an obvious choice for governance:

  • Guaranteed execution of a Smart Contract (predefined agreement between multiple stakeholders) strengthens the trust.
  • Any change in the project contract conditions during project execution necessitate consent from all stakeholders.
  • This also fixes the issue of unethical practices and biases and bottleneck by a central approval authority.

Efficiency

  • The elimination of intermediaries substantially reduces transaction cost and time.
  • Due to distributed ledger, need for cost reconciliation becomes redundant.
  • Reduction of overhead costs related to managing accountability

Availability

  • No single point of failure and zero downtime due to decentralization of data
  • Reduced risk of vulnerability as there is no single source of truth across the network

Data security

  • Blockchain as part of its inherent architecture implements Data encryption / Hashing.
  • It handles cybersecurity scenarios using digital certificates and digital signatures as part of each and every transaction across peers/nodes/stakeholders.
  • Breaching applications on a Blockchain needs breaching every single stakeholder, which is extremely tough comparing breaching a centralized data store.

How Coforge can help build e-Goverance solution on Blockchain

Coforge Ltd. (Coforge) can help organizations in building Blockchain solutions for e-Governance. Coforge can provide its services in the following areas:

  • Consultancy in the identification of e-Governance use cases
  • Defining the solution and business processes for the use cases
  • Implementing blockchain solutions using Platform as a Service (Azure, AWS, etc.)
  • Developing blockchain solutions using different frameworks (Hyperledger, R3-Corda, etc.)
  • Implementing Smart Contracts as per the agreement between different stakeholders
  • Setting up the blockchain network of all stakeholders and adding nodes for new stakeholders
  • Implementing Blockchain explorer for the visualization of blockchain network health

Use cases

e-Governance through Blockchain in energy sharing

This use case helps in the governance of the energy requirement of a smart city efficieCoforgey by deploying Dynamic Smwart Contracts through Blockchain technology.

Each consumer who has deployed the renewable sources of energy generation will be given credentials through which they securely join the Blockchain of the Smart Grid.

Smart contract dynamically calculates the energy demands of consumer depending on type of consumer, current weather profile depending on the day of the year, recent energy consumption trends, etc. Whenever the power generated by the consumer surpasses the energy demands, it will be detected by the smart contract.

The smart contract will automatically inform the blockchain and dispenses the extra energy to Smart Grid, helping the smart city to be more energy viable.

Smart Contract will also calculate the dynamic energy charges of the surplus energy provided and the corresponding amount will be deposited to the consumer’s Bank account automatically

Conclusion

Multiple industries across the spectrum are experimenting with the merits of Blockchain.

How the technology incubated and became mainstream is also by virtue of technology appreciation by influencing stakeholders in a consortium.

It remains to be seen how well the technology can be adapted for more efficient, seamless and trustworthy governance across the chains.

References

  • https://www.gyanvihar.org/journals/index.php/2018/ 11/21/design-of-secure-e-governance-model-for-indi a/
  • https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1910/1910.06092.pdf
  • http://sympa-by.eu/sites/default/files/library/blockch ain_egov_brief_eng.pdf
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