Tuesday, March 1, 2011

BIG day in Nairobi

After a hectic but enjoyable break from the weekend, we were into our mother of all weeks. Haha, mother of all weeks coz this week included our stakeholder meetings/interviews. All the other sub-teams had already gotten a jump-start in interviewing their stakeholders and had started collecting raw data. It was our time now and Monday, February 28th was THE day that we all were thriving for.

Our day started early and I mean really early. We kick-started our journey towards Nairobi by taxis at 5:00 AM. Struggling with the rush-hour traffic and passing by hundreds of construction sites on the road, we made into Nairobi just in time before our first meeting with Legal officers at Ministry of Immigration and Registration of Persons Headquarters at Nyayo House.

After our first interview at Nyayo house, the team was raring to go and build the momentum for the upcoming six other interviews. Next stop was to be the Passport office where we were provided a tour of the office and experience the process behind the desks. It was surprising to see how a passport application went from one window to the other before getting into the completion stages. What was interesting to note was that the passport office seem to be the only venue where technology was being used consistently. Almost each station had a computer workstation where passport employees were busy plugged into their daily tasks. Still there was a plenty of room for change, the processes were still not up to the mark, and the productivity rate still needed to rise.

National ID cards waiting to be picked up
The most interesting part of the day was the trip to the registration offices where we interviewed registration officers at lengths. We even got our first taste of interviewing the citizens that were queued up in the lines for hours … yes several hours. Some of them traveled for hours from remote corners of the country. Kenyan citizens didn’t shy away from sharing their views with us; they all seemed deeply frustrated. One of them stating “This is the fifth day in a row that I am here waiting in the queue. Every day costs me 300 Ksh for transport. I have no more money for food”.

Archives of National ID registration (this is just from past 4 months)
We observed pretty much all the work that is being done is done manually in a step-by-step redundant fashion. Papers, papers, papers and more papers is all we stared at, no wonder why the processes needed a big time change. Being at the ground level experiencing how these processes take place exposed us to the challenges that lie ahead and justified why our CSC team had been summoned into Kenya.

Over-flowing shelves of Birth registrations
Registration papers from a single day sitting at the desk to be processed
Busy scenes at Birth/Death Registration office, Nairobi
Our day was not done yet, after several back-to-back interviews we had one more interview left. We met up with IBM account manager Vivian Ashioya to discuss our project into further detail. Vivian couldn’t have picked up a better place for the interview as it brought all our energy back in a quick flash … we were at a Kenyan equivalent of Starbucks i.e. Nairobi Java house where we enjoyed Kenyan coffee, lattes and garlic breads. Team CHUI was super-happy :)

With a ton of research data we started our way back to Nyeri reaching a few hours later late into the night. It was an extremely tiring day but a productive one as this had set the tone for the days to come ... !!!

1 comment:

  1. Look at the papers. Good job sonds... keep 'em coming.