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

Policy Interventions can eliminate operational barriers - Mascom

Mascom Marketing and Public Relations Executive Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego says the creation of an enabling legislature and policy interventions can help Botswana overcome its ICT obstacles. Read More

DRC Police to launch digital call centre

In October this year, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will launch a digital call centre equipped with computers, fast internet and other latest technology tools to enable the police to respond timely and effectively to any kind of distress calls by the people. Read More

Angola Online free internet project launched in Luanda

Angola’s Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technologies, in partnership with the National Center for Information Technology, has officially launched the digital project "Angola Online", which aims to roll out internet access to five million Angolans by 2017. Read More

NIG President speaks his mind

Bayo Banjo, CEO, Disc Communications and President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) says the proposed licensing of infrastructure companies by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) will breed corruption and entrench monopolistic practices. Kokumo Goodie reports. Read More

Non-passage of cyber security bills ‘cripples mobile money’

The refusal of the National Assembly to pass into law the cyber security bills pending before it has been blamed for the low uptake of mobile money scheme introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Read More

Technology Department launches Indicators Report

Botswana’s Department of Research, Science and Technology has undertaken a survey to establish National Research and Experimental Development (R&D) indicators for the year 2012 – 2013. Read More

Conference highlights SADC ICT concerns

Bridget Linzie The 5th ICT conference to be hosted by Botswana's Ministry of Transport and Communication has seen delegates decry lack of broadband utilisation in all SADC countries.  Read More

Kenya adopts biometric registration to net ghost workers

CS at the Ministry of Devolution and Planning Anne Waiguru gets registered Kenya is banking on biometric technology to manage the rising wage bill and get rid of ghost workers. Read More

Botswana Ministry in 5th ICT conference

Botswana’s Ministry of Transport and Communications will hold the 5th Annual ICT Pitso (conference) on the 4th and 5th of September 2014 at Tlotlo Hotel in Gaborone. Read More

Nigeria launches MasterCard-branded National eID cards

The Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has begun the issuance of 13 million MasterCard-branded National eID cards. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

MFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmersMFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmers

Ugandan smallholder farmers are benefitting from an ambitious innovative ICT mobile phone initiative that offers weather reports and up-to-date market information about changes in prices for agricultural commodities, thus granting them lucrative returns from their farming ventures. 

IN DEPTH

NIG President speaks his mindNIG President speaks his mind

Bayo Banjo, CEO, Disc Communications and President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) says the proposed licensing of infrastructure companies by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) will breed corruption and entrench monopolistic practices. Kokumo Goodie reports.