Motor Traffic Dept & Citra Lab to provide more user-focused, digital service for Sri Lanka

The global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital need for an agile public sector that can effectively respond to rapidly evolving challenges. As an institution that provides a front-line service to the public, the Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) is committed to building back better systems to deliver an efficient and people focused service to the public.

To this end, Citra social innovation lab set up as a partnership between the State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation and UNDP is working with the DMT to build a 5-year transformational roadmap placing human centred design as the organisation’s central focus. Human centred design is a design thinking approach that develops solutions to problems by involving the human or user’s perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process. Citra Lab will lend its expertise on such approaches to collaborate with the DMT on re-engineering the Department to ensure a more citizen centric and digital DMT. 

To begin, Citra conducted a design thinking workshop for core groups of the Department to identify the current challenges and priority areas that need to be addressed to achieve a holistic and impactful transformation. The workshop was facilitated by Citra Lab’s multidisciplinary team based on expertise and exposure to training and experiences on systemic design, sense making, foresight and human centred design with global innovation giants from Canada, UK, Moldova, Malaysia, Australia, India, and Indonesia.

Speaking on the need for a transformational roadmap Mr. Sumith Alahakoon, Commissioner General of the Department of Motor Traffic stated “As a front-line service the DMT processes over 1.2 million driving licenses and vehicle registrations in a year and provides a considerable portion of government revenue. While the Department is successful in handling the large volume it receives, there is an urgent need to use innovative approaches to redesign the delivery of our services. The collaboration with Citra Lab on this transformational roadmap will ensure the people of Sri Lanka are at the centre of DMT’s processes.

Highlighting the momentum for change Mr. Robert Juhkam, Resident Representative of UNDP in Sri Lanka stated, “The DMT is an essential public service that many citizens interact with on a regular basis. The transformation of the DMT to a more user focused and digital department will therefore act as a model for other government institutions to emulate. We’re very pleased to be supporting this process by providing innovative approaches through Citra Lab.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Ms. Deepa Liyanage, Additional Secretary (Research), State Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation stated “Design thinking approaches help governments better understand its citizens, redefine problems and develop innovative solutions that we can prototype and test. Incorporating such approaches will help ensure Sri Lanka builds back better systems to increase resilience to future crises.”

Citra Lab is a proven leader in using design thinking tools to prototype and test development solutions to ensure they are agile and holistic. Together with its wide network of partners, Citra works towards embedding foresight and innovation within the public sector by strengthening institutions, building capacity and re-engineering processes.

(Media Release)