e-Government initiatives ‘lack comprehensive strategic approach’

GOVERNMENT

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
e-Government initiatives ‘lack comprehensive strategic approach’

Considerable room for improvement exists in the way governments interact with their citizens in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, according to recent analysis by IDC Government Insights.

Drawing on its Smart Government Maturity Model, IDC assessed the progress of the region's governments in terms of fostering greater citizen participation in the business of government, increasing intra-government collaboration, and providing greater transparency.

As highlighted by the model, the key failing among MEA governments is the lack of coherent and unified IT strategies, with projects often undertaken in silos. "Within the MEA region, the efficacy of government electronic service delivery initiatives is uneven," says Mukesh Chulani, research manager for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey at IDC Government Insights.

"National IT strategies are non-existent in some countries, or where they do exist they only loosely link organizations with somewhat related mandates. With the absence of a clear roadmap that straddles all government agencies, individual departments tend to move at their own pace, driven by the initiative and vision of their respective leaders. While this results in some one-off successes, it does not help chart a course towards delivering optimal citizen services."

The region is well represented when it comes to such one-off successes. In terms of citizen participation, Qatar's General Retirement and Social Insurance Authority uses both Twitter and Facebook to engage with the public it serves, while the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the Greater Municipality of Istanbul utilize mobile applications to support and enhance dialogue with their end users.

In terms of information transparency, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority's online database puts device-recall information at the public's fingertips. But while these individual agencies may be taking the initiative to move towards Smart Government, there is a distinct need within the region for a larger, more overarching vision that unites such agencies under one common goal.  

"Governments within the MEA region are generally still playing catch-up in terms of their overall levels of automation compared to more developed economies, so they have the opportunity to leapfrog more mature nations when it comes to architecting citizen-centered services," says Chulani. "Savvy IT decision makers across the region should step up now to evangelize the need to introduce smarter services to citizens, encourage the harnessing of shared resources, interact with citizens to evaluate their requirements, and create the strategic frameworks required to integrate these solutions across areas that meet specific public policy goals and department mandates."

IDC Government Insights believes that as MEA government enterprises embrace new application frameworks and make business processes transparent, there will be a greater focus on the use, management, and availability of information to provide greater visibility of government processes to all stakeholders. But the number-one priority for all governments across the region at this juncture is to conduct an analysis of the key areas in which electronic services can make a positive and notable difference.

Only then can they leverage technology to increase government accountability, responsiveness, and transparency through the stages to achieving a Smart Government status, says IDC.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS

E-Waste management workshop on the cards

The Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) has lined up a series of workshops this year one of them being the upcoming half day consultative workshop on Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Management in the Communications Sector.   Read More

NIMC moves to accelerate issue of e-ID cards

Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission has concluded its International Vendors’ Summit aimed at ensuring that citizens who have enrolled for their National Identification Number get their National e-ID Cards on time.  Read More

NCS blames shoddy preparations for neglect of IT in election

The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has blamed tardiness in project management, and challenges in logistics and security, for neglect of ICT by the government and the electoral umpires. Read More

Rwanda’s ICT private sector strengthens commercial ties with Israel

In an attempt to fast track growth of the sector and the capacity of the players in the ICT sector, every year the Rwanda’s ICT Chamber chooses priority countries to visit to strengthen business ties and to study the global best practices in business, innovation, workforce development and to ... Read More

Senegal prepares national plan to protect children online

Senegal is taking action to ensure that its children are protected online and do not become victims of harmful content, cybercrime, bullying and other criminal offences perpetrated by syndicates on the internet. Read More

Ivory Coast moves to close digital divide

The government of Ivory Coast has launched a project to help half a million families own IT equipment and connect to the internet in the next three years. Read More

Mabeo blames cable thieves for erratic ICT services

Botswana’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Tshenolo Mabeo, has pointed to power failure, vandalism and theft of copper and fibre cables as the main contributors to disruptions in ICT services. Read More

Mascom turns 17

17TH February 2015 is the 17th birthday of Mascom, the oldest private mobile telecommunications company in Botswana.  Read More

Botswana MPs want live transmission of debates

Botswana Members of Parliament (MPs) have made repeated call for the parliamentary debates to be beamed live each time they are in session. A recent parliamentary seating witnessed a cacophony of MPs reiterating the calls for their debates to get to people in real-time.   Read More

BTC Amendment Bill gets thumbs up

Botswana’s parliament has approved a Bill that seeks to amend the Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (Transition) Act 2008 to accommodate a clause that cites that the BTC Limited Employee Limited Scheme is a wholly citizen scheme.   Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

Malawi Govt denies clinging to ‘Cashgate’ softwareMalawi Govt denies clinging to ‘Cashgate’ software

The Malawi Government will not exclude the software brand that has been in use for the country’s Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS), but it has rejected reports implying that it is ‘clinging’ to the old system.

IN DEPTH

Kenya’s digital TV battle hots up Kenya’s digital TV battle hots up

Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.

COMPANY NEWS

VMware unveils vCloud for NFV with Integrated OpenStack to accelerate service innovation

VMware, the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, today debuted VMware vCloud for NFV, an integrated Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) platform that will combine VMware’s production-proven ...