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

Unlocking Africa

Africa’s visa requirements are stunting its development, says McKinsey & Company.  Read More

Togo’s new tax on incoming international calls angers consumers

A new tax on incoming international calls imposed by the government of Togo has angered consumers and generated heated debate. Read More

NCC EVC says agenda accomplished

Dr.Eugene Juwah (left), Mrs. Abigael Sholanke and Mr.Tony Ojobo of NCC and Mr. Mike Awoyinfa, former MD of The Sun Newspaper The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Dr Eugene Juwah, says he has attended to all the items he listed as his six-point agenda when he was appointed CEO. Read More

Gabon to deliver e-visas, launches immigration website

People wishing to travel to the Central African nation of Gabon can now apply for visas online. Read More

Break-ins threaten Mascom Kitsong centre project

As Mascom Wireless embarks on its fourth year of bringing ICT to the marginalised people of Botswana, Mascom says the greatest impediment to their efforts are the break-ins that are rampant at the Kitsong establishments. Read More

DRC govt cuts internet, SMS to quell deadly protests

After a week of deadly protests in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that left at least 42 people dead, people in this troubled Central African nation are still scrambling to connect to the internet and send SMSes.  Read More

Computerised driver testing grounds: another first for Botswana

Botswana will see another first this week in the form of computerised driver testing, which will be launched in Gaborone on Friday 23 January.  Read More

Digital policing: Lagos builds 100 ICT centres for police

Lagos State Governor Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has begun handing over 100 Information Technology Centres to police stations in the state, with two stations in the Ogudu Police Area Command. Read More

Census counts technology as key in agriculture

Technology development and transfer has been identified as key in the agricultural sector of Botswana, and has been selected as one of the key components of the forthcoming census.   Read More

Senegal’s national digital strategy in spotlight at ICT forum

Senegal’s national digital strategy is expected to be discussed at a high-level ICT forum due to take place on Thursday 22 January 2015 at the King Fahd Palace in the capital Dakar. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

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

FEATURED STORY

UCC launches 2015 ACIA awardsUCC launches 2015 ACIA awards

Uganda has launched the fifth Annual Communications and Innovation Awards, which celebrate and foster ICT innovation and achievement.

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 reports fourth quarter and full year 2014 results

VMware, the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, has announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2014.

MTN to empower African businesses with AWS Direct Connect

MTN Group today announced it would be the first African company to offer Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect to business customers across multiple countries on the ...

“All Systems GO!” for the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards in Zambia

It’s “All Systems GO!” for the winners of the fourth edition of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards to be announced at the awards ceremony in Lusaka, Zambia ...