The Arab Spring and the rise of new social and democratic movements throughout large parts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have given a new impetus for the use of ICTs and e-government to foster participation and engagement, as well as to increase transparency and restore trust in government. These are crucial issues, and numerous initiatives involving or emerging from civil society have already been established to support these new instances.
Assessment and proposals for action
Egypt is currently going through a historic period of change. This ongoing transition, triggered by the renewed impetus for democracy and social justice of the Egyptian people, demonstrated the importance of new empowering uses of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by both government and citizens.
This chapter sets the scene for the e-government review through a brief introduction to the recent political developments in Egypt. It particularly covers the social uprisings, called the Arab Spring, and the 25 January Revolution. The role of technology as an instrumental enabler for social change is the key focus. Finally, the structure of the review is presented.
The e-government context in Egypt
A new orientation of e-government in Egypt has been growing, driven by demands from citizens and civil society. This is renewing the context for e-government development and implementation in Egypt.
This chapter presents the current developments regarding the institutional structure of Egypt and contextualises the history of e-government. It sets out the main drivers for e-government in Egypt, including a new key driver that has emerged through citizens’ demands. Finally, it outlines main components of both past and current approaches and strategies for egovernment in Egypt, identifying the overall direction of the current initiatives.
Challenges to e-government
Addressing a number of challenges is key to the successful development and implementation of e-government. While some challenges in Egypt are strictly e-government related, a great number are general to the functioning of the government but also affect e-government.
This chapter presents the organisational challenges and challenges in terms of budgetary processes and decisions. Although the review does not address the overall communication infrastructure of Egypt, it highlights the main issues in terms of current capacity and infrastructural challenges. Furthermore, regulatory challenges are presented; and the challenge posed by the digital divide is discussed, a key obstacle for increasing use of online services.
E-government leadership in Egypt
Sound e-government leadership ensures direction and progress. This chapter reviews the governance structures and processes related to e-government leadership in Egypt. This includes the existing e-government co-ordination and collaboration mechanisms across and within government levels, as well as how e-government leadership is organised and exercised. These governance structures are analysed in order to assess their impact on e-government development and implementation in Egypt.
E-government service delivery architecture
Outputs and outcomes of e-government
Assessing e-government outputs and outcomes helps governments understand and improve e-government development and implementation. This chapter assesses the outputs and outcomes of e-government services in Egypt.
The chapter analyses the maturity of the online services provided in Egypt and examines the use of ICTs to ensure effective policies and public sector efficiency. User uptake of online services, a key component to realise the benefits of e-government, is given particular attention.
New ways forward
This chapter takes its point of departure in the potential for better government brought about by the 25 January Revolution. Egypt is faced with high demands, great opportunities, as well as significant challenges to improve the openness and inclusion of its public sector and strengthen its democratic practices. The use of ICTs for a more open government holds enabling potential in this regard. This chapter presents good practices regarding the use of ICTs to foster openness, transparency and democracy, although it does not include comprehensive policy assessments within those areas.
OECD E-Government Survey results
As a part of the OECD E-Government Review of Egypt, the OECD conducted an online survey within the Egyptian public sector in the fall of 2011. This survey is referred to as the OECD E-Government Survey of Egypt 2011. The survey, which is one of the sources used to support the review, reflects the analytical framework of the OECD E-Government project and has been adapted to the context and challenges of Egypt.
This review focuses on e-government policies, goals, strategies and initiatives at all levels of government, as well as on how e-government projects are initiated and implemented by different agencies. OECD country reviews are based on an agreement with the reviewed country concerning the analytical framework and timeline of the study.
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