By Sami Zaptia.
London, 30 September 2020:
To inform policies and strategies on digital government in the Arab region, particularly in the wake of COVID-19, the United Nations Economic Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) launched on 23 September the Arabic version of the UN 2020 e-Government Survey.
The launch took place during a webinar on E-Government Development in the Arab Region, held on the side-lines of the 8th meeting of Arab e-Government Programme Directors. Attended by some 75 experts from Arab countries and the partner organizations, the events concluded with recommendations for strengthening e-government services in the region based on national experiences and the findings of the 2020 e-government survey.
Key recommendations stressed the necessity of digital transformation to ensure business continuity for all agencies, especially governmental organizations, especially in the context of the current crises and measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Digital and open government would enhance e-participation and public services, increase efficiency, transparency and impartiality, and reduce bureaucracy,” said Chief of Innovation Section at ESCWA Nibal Idlebi.
Participants also underlined the need to focus on the Arabic language to facilitate a wider reach for both e-government experiences and the findings of the 2020 E-Government Survey. Furthermore, they considered cooperation between countries and with regional and international bodies essential to avoid duplication of efforts in the process of digital government transformation in the region.
In their meeting, directors of e-government programmes in the region discussed national plans and initiatives in digital government and exchanged their experiences, discussing potential joint activities.