Futurecasting: Unlocking the Power of Data in the Public Sector

Conversations to visualise the future
Tuesday 30 January 2024
11:00 – 12:30am

How can South Africa’s public sector leaders harness innovative digital technologies while ensuring effective data governance?

South Africa’s public sector, like others, holds huge volumes of data crucial for the country’s development. Effective data management is key to informed decision-making and service improvement.

The rapid integration of digital technologies, particularly artificial intelligence (AI) offers unique opportunities for government to embrace a data-driven approach through enhanced data analysis and evidence-based decision making.

However, the adoption of new technologies also raises concerns about mishandling and unauthorised access to information. The absence of adequate governance in AI poses broader risks to people, businesses, and socio-economic conditions.

Gathering and managing public data for societal well-being therefore demands both technical expertise and a robust ethical framework to guide data-driven decisions. This alignment would ensure inclusive data utilisation and citizen engagement, and avoid reinforcing existing disparities through safeguards against privacy breaches, biases and digital exclusion.

Join this Futurecasting webinar as we explore strategies to embrace a data-driven approach that benefits society, while protecting against the potential risks. Panelists, including experts from national and local government and the not-for-profit sector, will explore how the public sector can harness digital advancements while upholding its responsibilities for effective data governance.

Facilitator: Professor Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem, Professor and Head of the Department of Philosophy, University of Pretoria

Panelists:

  • Alfred Mmoto, Chief Director: Chief Director: Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (South Africa)
  • Dr Sandile Mbatha, National Chief Data Officer: Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) (South Africa)
  • Loise Mboo, Chief of Staff and Director of Team Wellness, Open Institute Africa (Kenya)
  • Delyno du Toit, Manager: Data Science, Future Planning & Resilience, City of Cape Town (South Africa)

About Futurecasting: The Futurecasting webinar series, convened by the Economic Development Partnership (EDP) invites experts and thought leaders across sectors to explore critical issues facing South Africa, and share knowledge and insights that contribute to forward-thinking strategies for development in an interconnected world.