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De-politicization of digital systems for trade facilitation at the port of tema: A soft systems methodology approach

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The Ghana National Single Window has become the focus of attention over its potential to move goods swiftly. However, since its inception in 2002, the controversies surrounding the implementation suggest issues beyond trade facilitation. The Information Systems literature primarily ascribes the controversies to resistance to technology. By adopting the Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) as a learning process for understanding port stakeholders' relations and attitudes, we explore the controversies to determine the meanings port stakeholders attribute to them. We combined SSM with interviews, media content analysis and focus groups made possible by snowballing. The responses were analyzed using rich pictures and validated through a conceptual model. The results reveal a fragmented government where ministries, agencies, and personalities assert power in single window implementation through I.T. vendor contracts. The situation results in a high cost of doing business at the port for shippers due to non-transparent and questionable contracts. The public's attitude towards the controversies reflects fears, hopes and expectations and legitimate concerns about important political and social goals. Using SSMs focus on relations and attitudes, we can document how controversies attributed to new technology is not a question of technology but of perceived political interference.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftCase Studies on Transport Policy
Vol/bind10
Nummer1
Sider (fra-til)105-117
Antal sider13
ISSN2213-624X
DOI
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2022

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