OECD Digital Government Studies

2413-1962 (online)
2413-1954 (print)
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This series analyses trends in digital government policies and practices across OECD and partner countries. The reports provide advice on the use of digital technologies to make governments more agile, innovative, transparent and inclusive.

Benchmarking Digital Government Strategies in MENA Countries

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17 Feb 2017
9789264268012 (PDF) ;9789264268005(print)

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This report benchmarks digital government strategies in MENA countries against OECD standards and best practices. Using the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Digital Government Strategies as analytical framework, the report provides an in-depth look at the efforts made by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates to use digital technologies strategically to support broader policy objectives. New technologies can help foster economic value creation, make institutions more inclusive, improve competitiveness and promote effective decision-making in the public sector. This report also assesses the use of ICTs to strengthen trust in government through greater openness and engagement, and suggests how MENA countries can better co-ordinate and steer the digital transformation of the public sector.

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  • Foreword and Acknowledgements

    Digital technologies are one of the most transformational factors of our time, including their impact on effective public governance and potentially economic competitiveness. To reap the benefits, policies on the use of digital technologies need to be adequately embedded in public sector reform strategies. The OECD Recommendation of the Council on Digital Government Strategies (2014) offers guidance on their design and implementation. Countries in the MENA region are seeking to align their digital government strategies to the principles in this Recommendation to enhance transparency, improve service delivery for citizens and businesses, and foster more productive, competitive and inclusive public institutions.

  • Executive summary

    This report identifies trends and challenges in digital government in Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries, and provides policy recommendations to help the reviewed countries move closer to OECD standards. The Recommendation of the Council on Digital Government Strategies (2014) provides the analytical framework for this benchmarking exercise, which compares current digital government strategies and policies in the MENA countries against the principles contained in this Recommendation.

  • Assessment and recommendations
  • Background and methodological considerations

    This chapter provides a general overview of the report, framing it under the work of the OECD in the MENA countries aimed to improve public governance in the Region, conducted as part of the MENA-OECD Governance Programme and in relation to the activities of the MENAOECD Working Group II on Open and Innovative Government. This introductory section also assesses the broad set of policy challenges faced by governments in the Region and advances how digital technologies can help overcome them. Finally, it introduces the OECD Recommendation on Digital Government Strategies, the analytical framework of the report, and lays out the methodology used in the elaboration of the report.

  • An overview of the digital context in the MENA region

    This chapter describes the digital context of MENA countries in the region, assessing the structural enablers for digital government and the information society. It considers internet and mobile penetration rates, emerging social trends, such as social media uptake and use, and their implications for social interaction, digital engagement and service delivery. This chapter then presents the context of digital government strategies in the Region, considering the main challenges for their further development. Other characteristics of these strategies are considered, including levels of government concerned by the national strategy, their key objectives and the conditions enabling governments to reap the benefits of digital government.

  • Using digital technologies to bring governments closer to citizens and businesses

    This chapter highlights how the countries assessed in this report are currently using digital technologies to foster transparency and inclusiveness, digital engagement and participation, and to manage data as a strategic asset to improve decision-making. The chapter provides a general assessment for current efforts in these areas of work and identifies outstanding challenges and shortcomings. It stresses the need for sound approaches to ensure personal data protection and the cybersecurity of public sector systems and data. Finally, this chapter taps into OECD experiences and good practices to advance specific policy recommendations to enhance the use of technology in the public sector to support openness and engagement and ultimately strengthen trust in the public sector.

  • Effective governance frameworks and co-ordination mechanisms for digital government

    This chapter provides an overview of the current state of political leadership, support and commitment to digitalisation efforts in the public sector. This chapter also underlines the relevance for countries in the region to achieve greater coherence in the use of technologies across policy areas and levels of government through effective governance and co-ordination frameworks. The chapter highlights key areas of opportunities and considers policy options to strengthen the institutional arrangements of digital government. The chapter closes with an assessment of ways in which the countries assessed can build stronger international co-operation in this policy area to leapfrog on the experiences of regional peers and OECD partners.

  • Building capacity for implementation and impact

    This chapter covers the institutional capacities of governments in the region to implement digital government strategies and deliver the expected impact and results of the use of digital technologies in the public sector. This chapter assesses the use of key processes and tools enabling public institutions to make strategic decisions in ICT management and acquisition. It looks at the use of ICT business cases and the strategic procurement of ICTs, to avoid duplication of efforts and capture synergies, and help public institutions manage ICT projects effectively and achieve their objectives efficiently. In addition, Chapter 5 provides an overview of government’s ability to manage ICT projects and digital technologies, the availability of advanced digital skills in the public sector and the existence of legal and regulatory frameworks that enable the public sector to reap the full benefits of ICTs. The chapter advances recommendations to strengthen institutional capacities in the countries assessed.

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