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International

International eGovernment Benchmarking Report eGovernment Strategy for RAK

eGovernment

eGovernment Strategy for RAK

* connectedthinking
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International eGovernment Benchmarking Report eGovernment Strategy for RAK

Table of Contents

Chapter Name Page

1. Setting the Context 3

2. Quantitative Benchmarking 7

3. Qualitative Benchmarking 9

4. Recommendations 19

5. References 22

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International eGovernment Benchmarking Report eGovernment Strategy for RAK

Chapter 1 Setting the Context

2.1 Introduction
The International eGovernment Benchmarking report is a part of the engagement to draft
3 year action plan (eGovernment strategy) for the RAK emirate of the UAE.

Benchmarking is the systematic measurement of performance against an outside group


to unveil areas to target for improvement. Benchmarking facilitates progress by
uncovering new ways of improving business processes and activities, and provides
external precedents for success which makes the task of getting buy-in from various
stakeholders easier.

eGovernment Benchmarking means reviewing comparative performances of


eGovernment initiatives of various nations or agencies. It is a tool to review the
performance of government agencies, or nations, in order to share good practices and
analyze reasons for successes and failures. The demand for increasing efficiency and
productivity, whilst at the same time lowering costs and increasing the quality of public
services, has gained currency. The goal for innovation and continuing improvements in
performance makes it imperative for governments to look outwards in order to examine
how others achieve high performance levels, and to understand the processes, tools and
techniques used for the same.

2.2 Objectives
The primary objective of the benchmarking study is to juxtapose the accomplishments of
RAK with other established eGovernment regimes and cull out learnings that may be
leveraged while developing its 3 year eGovernment action plan. These learnings will
ensure that resources are expended in the right direction without reinventing the
proverbial wheel and circumventing the mistakes that others have made. Further, the
study of successful strategies and tactics is envisaged to lead to discovery of innovative
steps that were successfully undertaken by other governments and may expedite the
implementation of eGovernment in RAK.

2.3 Methodology and Parameters


For the purpose of this study five countries have been studied. The list of countries along
with the reason for their inclusion in the study have been given in the table overleaf.

Table 1: Countries for Benchmarking


S.No. Country Reason for inclusion

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International eGovernment Benchmarking Report eGovernment Strategy for RAK

1. Bahrain Bahrain is the front runner in the GCC in eGovernment.


Similar culture, demographics and size as the RAK.

2. Belgium Country with similar size and ranked highly in


eGovernment.

3. Estonia Ranked high on the UN eGovernment readiness Index. It


is a small country with limited resources that have been
put to the right use for impressive performance in the
eGovernment arena.

4. Singapore Country with similar size and a recognized leader in


eGovernment and mGovernment.

5. Sweden Ranked number 1 on the UN eGovernment Readiness


Index

Both quantitative and qualitative parameters have been used to benchmark the
eGovernment environment in RAK vis-à-vis the aforementioned countries.
Quantitative parameters that have been considered include:
1. No. of eGovernment services available online
2. National eGovernment budget as a percentage of GDP
3. PC penetration
4. Internet penetration
5. UN eGovernment Readiness ranking

Qualitative parameters that have been considered include:


Table 2: Benchmarking: Qualitative Benchmarking
Benchmarking parameters
Service Design

Service design around citizen needs

Integration of related services

Unified delivery of all services – One Stop Shops

Abstraction of citizen from individual departments / entities governing the


service

Focus on Process Reengineering

Multiple Channels of service delivery

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Benchmarking parameters
Policy Thrusts
Common e-Identification mechanisms

Common (government –wide) infrastructure for eGovernment

Re-use of government data

Focus on privacy and data protection

Knowledge Management
Governance

Political responsibility at highest levels

Central Authority for Planning & Policy Making

Decentralized Implementation of individual initiatives

Central agency for maintenance of common infrastructure

Central Co-ordination of integrated projects

Inter-ministerial Committees for co-ordination


Monitoring & Evaluation

Independent body for monitoring & evaluation

Periodic Citizen Surveys to assess satisfaction

Clearly defined frameworks for monitoring and evaluation


Promotion of ICT

Focus on promotion of ICT education in schools

Government investment / subsidies in creating infrastructure for citizens to


access service online

Sustained Advertisement campaign and incentives

2.4 Limitations
Indicated below are some of the key limitations of the study and approach to the
preparation of the report that may have implications on the findings:
1. The report is based on secondary research. Though care has been taken to
validate findings through various sources, no separate field visits / primary
research has been undertaken to validate the findings.

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International eGovernment Benchmarking Report eGovernment Strategy for RAK

2. For the five countries covered in report, the survey captures and reports
information that was available and was found by our surveyors at that point in
time when the secondary research was conducted. We do not claim the report to
be inclusive of all functionalities that have been enabled by the candidate
countries. Further, there could be independent and isolated initiatives that may
not have been reflected as part of the study.
3. We do not claim that the parameters selected for the survey and their allocation
to various groups is exhaustive.

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International eGovernment Benchmarking Report eGovernment Strategy for RAK

Chapter 2 Quantitative Benchmarking

This chapter looks at the quantitative parameters to get a quick idea of the inputs
available for eGovernment and achievements of the benchmarked countries on various
parameters before delving into the intricacies of eGovernment programs of respective
countries using Qualitative analysis in the next chapter.
Quantitative parameters have been chosen such that both the inputs (factors that enable
the proliferation of eGovernment) as well as the outputs (achievements of the
eGovernment program) have been considered. The Quantitative parameters that have
been considered include:
Inputs (Factors enabling eGovernment)
1. National eGovernment budget as a percentage of GDP
2. PC penetration
3. Internet penetration
Outputs (Achievements of eGovernment program)
4. No. of eGovernment services available online
5. UN eGovernment Readiness ranking
Performance of the surveyed countries is illustrated in the table below:

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International eGovernment Benchmarking Report eGovernment Strategy for RAK

S.No. Parameters Bahrain Belgium Estonia Singapore Sweden RAK

1. PC penetration1 23.35
17.62 37.62 48.91 68.02 83.49
(UAE)
2. Internet / broadband 36.69 /
21.3 / 45.66 / 57.36 / 39.1 / 76.97 /
penetration1 5.17
5.23 19.13 17.22 18.19 25.87
(UAE)
3. Per capita
eGovernment
33 61 313 59 189 7.54
expenditure (USD /
year)2

4. Percentage of
government services
available online (end
29.5% 34% 49% 36% 89% 7%
to end online
delivery)1

5. UN eGovernment
readiness ranking1 42 24 13 23 1 N.A.

As can be seen from the above table, each of the surveyed countries is higher than
world average on every parameter. Sweden justifies its world number 1 ranking in the
UN eGovernment readiness rankings by leading in all input and output parameters.
Estonia stands out from other countries in terms of scoring above every country barring
Sweden on both the outputs parameters even though it has the lowest per capita
eGovernment expenditure amongst the surveyed countries.
Due to non-availability of RAK related data for PC penetration and Internet / broadband
penetration, UAE figures for the same have been used which may imply better than
actual statistics due to high penetration rates in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The figures from
RAK reveal the following:
 PC and internet penetration in RAK (UAE) is below all countries covered in the
survey except Bahrain. Broadband survey is lesser than all countries including
Bahrain.

1
UN eGovernment readiness report 2008
2
Kable Limited as quoted in eGovernment Research report
3
ICT infrastructure and eReadiness assessment report : Estonia - Praxis Center for policy
studies 2002-03
4

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 RAK’s eGovernment expenditure per capita is just a fraction of what the other
countries are spending. Given that RAK has the lower population than any of the
surveyed countries, RAK’s eGovernment expenditure per capita should have
been higher than most of these countries for identical eGovernment spending.
 Percentage of eServices available online is very low as only 32 out of the 455
services identified for electronic enablement in the current eGovernment strategy
have been e-enabled.

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International eGovernment Benchmarking Report eGovernment Strategy for RAK

Chapter 3 Qualitative Benchmarking

The present benchmarking exercise is being conducted as a part of the broader


engagement for drafting the eGovernment strategy of the RAK. Therefore, it is
imperative to undertake the comparisons with other countries on the elements of their
respective eGovernment strategies. Following strategic components have been
considered for this exercise:
1. Service Design
2. Policy Thrusts
3. Governance
4. Monitoring and evaluation
5. Promotion of ICT in general and eGovernment in particular

4.1 Service Design


This aspect deals with the approach undertaken to effect and prioritize the electronic
enablement of services. Services developed without the cognizance of what the citizens
want or without optimum re-engineering of current processes are unlikely to be
successful. Further, it has been found that the citizens prefer single window multiple
service one-stop shops, vis-à-vis the departmental counters that exist today, where they
may avail services offered by multiple departments. Further, it has been realized that
different people have different needs and capabilities and the best way to satiate
customer demand is to provide them access to multiple channels for availing services.

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International eGovernment Benchmarking Report eGovernment Strategy for RAK

Parameters Bahrain Belgium Estonia Singapore Sweden RAK


Service Design
Service design around
X X X X X
citizen needs
Integration of related
X X X X X
services
Unified delivery of all
services – One Stop X X X X X
Shops
Abstraction of citizen from
individual departments /
X X X X X
entities governing the
service
Focus on Process
X X X X
Reengineering
Multiple Channels of
X X X X X
service delivery

Service design around citizen needs: eGovernment strategies of all the countries
examined in the study proclaim citizen centricity. E.g. Belgium’s eGovernment strategy
declares that the basic objective of the eGovernment program is “to improve public
service delivery for citizens and businesses by making it faster, more convenient, less
constraining and more open”. A manifestation of this intent is the fact that almost all the
benchmarked countries increasingly use customer feedback to determine which services
are electronically enabled first and the functionalities provided besides evaluating the
performance of the service. Another trend visible across all these countries that
points to citizen centricity in service design is the representation of services on a
life cycle, situational model which makes it easier for citizens / customers to
search services as per their needs and situation.
Process Re-engineering: Increasingly countries are realising that process re-
engineering is a must to ensure that the maximum benefits of eGovernment are
achieved and therefore government have undertaken widespread reforms to ensure that
eGovernment delivers on its promise. An interesting example is that of Singapore,
which reorganized its tax department to fall in line with the online system that had
been put up for the tax collection as the previous tax department structure did not
suit the new system.
Multiple Channel Delivery and integration of services: All the governments examined
as a part of the study, provide services through multiple channels (in addition to
departmental counters) – the single window, multiple service one-stop shops; national
eGovernment portal; contact centres and services through the mobile phone. However,

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the maturity of the countries in terms of deployment of multiple electronic channels


varies widely. Singapore has the best mobile services delivery with over 160
services accessible through the mobiles while the UN ranks Sweden as number 2
country in the world (just behind Denmark) in terms of web maturity. Though all the
countries have contact centre facilities available for availing government services, none
of them have a consolidated national contact centre.
Although, availability of multiple channels and provision of integrated services is
increasingly abstracting the departmental segregation but none of the countries has
reached a maturity where citizens only see one single face of the government.

RAK does not fare well on this parameter vis-à-vis the sampled countries due to a
number of issues as described below:
 RAK’s present eGovernment strategy is a government / department centric
strategy formulated without any explicit citizen participation. Furthermore, there
is no formal policy of undertaking citizen surveys for feedback; most of the
complaints received from the citizens through the portal have been left
unattended.
 The portal www.rak.ae is the only alternate channel to the departmental counters
for availing services. The services on the portal are listed without any alignment
to life cycle mode which makes it difficult for the citizens to search and avail
services.
 Process re-engineering has been attempted only on a limited scale due to which
government transformational projects are yet to be seen
 Government services through mobile and contact centre do not exist though
plans are afoot to set up a call centre soon.

Leading lights:
In Bahrain, the national eGovernment strategy was designed after a comprehensive citizen survey
involving face-to-face interviews of over 1000 residents and nationals and also a separate survey for
businesses. The survey results not only helped in the determination of the priority of e-enablement of
services but were also instrumental in making a multiple channel strategy a strategic priority for the
eGovernment strategy. Further, the eGovernment strategy of Bahrain talks about the representation of
services on the portal in the life cycle form.

4.2 Policy Thrusts

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Large eGovernment programs mark a paradigm shift in the working of the government
machinery from the past. Further, the use of technology equips the government with
tools to share data, integrate services etc. which were hitherto neither possible nor
considered. Therefore, to leverage the full benefits of the eGovernment programs
there is a need to provide enabling policies to encourage and aid coordination and
communication within the departments and promote the use of e-Identity, e-
signatures etc. Further, it is seen that strict policy regime that guarantees the
integrity and privacy of personal data is critical to gain customer trust and
acceptance for electronic transactions.

Parameters Bahrain Belgium Estonia Singapore Sweden RAK


Policy Thrusts

Common e-Identification
X X X X X
mechanisms
Common (government –
wide) infrastructure for X X X X X X
eGovernment
Re-use of government
data X X X X

Focus on privacy and data


X X X X
protection
Knowledge management X

Common e-Identification mechanism: Almost all the surveyed countries display an


advanced level of policy enactment for enabling eGovernment transactions. Each of the
countries has a citizen id smart card for authentication of the customers that also
offers additional value added services such as eGate, ePurse etc. Also all the
countries have electronic transaction laws that put electronic signatures on par with
signatures on paper for all transactions (any exceptions have been explicitly listed in the
laws). PKI infrastructure is well developed in Belgium, Estonia, Singapore and Sweden
while in Bahrain though PKI infrastructure has been established, it is in its initial stages.
Common IT infrastructure: Each of the countries surveyed here, has an advanced
common government infrastructure in place including centralized Data Center and
government wide intranet.

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Re-use of government data: Belgium, Estonia, Singapore and Sweden have


frameworks / laws for data sharing amongst government departments though Singapore
stands out in this regard owing to the following initiatives:
 Government Web Services Exchange (GWS – X) facilitates publishing and
consumption of web services within the govt. and with private sector thereby
facilitating reuse of information.
 PSi (Public Services Infrastructure) initiative for reusing the commonly used
components to lower the time to market for applications.
Data protection and privacy: Stringent data privacy laws exist in Bahrain, Belgium,
Estonia and Sweden that act as an assurance to the individuals that their personal
information will not be shared and misused. However, there is no data protection / data
privacy law in Singapore.
Knowledge Management: One area where almost everyone fares poorly is Knowledge
Management. None of the countries with the exception of Sweden has any notable
knowledge management infrastructure / initiative in place. In Sweden, local authorities
have their own ‘Platform for Co-operative Use’ whose purpose is to exchange best
practice and speed up the development of eGovernment in the municipalities.
Today there are 30 municipalities collaborating, and 5 pilot projects underway to
identify, design and introduce common systems architecture, technical platforms
and basic functions for eServices in municipalities.
An evaluation of RAK on the aforementioned parameters reveals the following:
 A government wide intranet has been established that links almost all the
government offices in RAK. However, the same is based on Frame Relay based
point to point connectivity. However, newer technologies such as MPLS are
being used in almost all the benchmarked countries and RAK may have to
upgrade its intranet as the data needs of the departments increase.
 A common server room has been established at the EGA where the common
GIS database is hosted. However, a national data centre that can act as the
shared data repository for all government departments and has adequate
security, Disaster recovery facility and other bells and whistles of a world class
data centre does not exist.,
 There is a facility for the customers to register at the eGovernment portal.
However, no e-Identification mechanism such as digital signatures, PKI
infrastructure, smart cards etc. has been put in place.
 There are no laws for data protection / data privacy and re-use of information
amongst departments.
 No initiative for knowledge sharing amongst government departments has been
undertaken.

Leading lights:
In Belgium, a new eGovernment Decree commits the Flemish authorities (a region in Belgium) to never
request particular information from citizens or businesses that is already available in Government
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databases. The so-called ‘one-time information request’ principle is intended to reduce the administrative
burden on citizens and businesses.
International eGovernment Benchmarking Report eGovernment Strategy for RAK

4.3 Governance
eGovernment projects are typically large, complex projects requiring cooperation and
coordination amongst a large number of stakeholders. Further, it needs to be
appreciated that a government operating in silos will always operate at a sub-optimal
level. Therefore, it is essential that integrated projects with ownership of the concerned
departments are undertaken. A governance structure that is collaborative and exploits
synergies of individual projects is a must for an effective eGovernment implementation.
Therefore, a well thought out governance mechanism that facilitates support of all
stakeholders and meeting the commitment of resources for the initiatives is critically
important.

Parameters Bahrain Belgium Estonia Singapore Sweden RAK


Governance

Political responsibility at
highest levels (Finance / X X X X X
PM’s Office)
Central Authority for
X X X X X X
Planning & Policy Making
Decentralized
Implementation of X X X X X X
individual initiatives
Central agency for
maintenance of common X X X X X X
infrastructure
Central Co-ordination of
X X X X X X
integrated projects
Inter-ministerial
Committees for co- X X X
ordination

The benchmarked countries display a trend towards delegation of planning and


coordination to strong / dedicated organizations while implementation is conducted at
the departmental level.

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Bahrain’s eGovernment program is driven by the Deputy PM office with assistance from
a dedicated eGovernment Agency to drive the eGovernment program. The
implementation of the initiatives is through the departments with the eGovernment
agency providing support where-ever required. Central Informatics Organization is
entrusted with the creation and maintenance of common IT infrastructure. The Supreme
Committee for the ICT is an inter-ministerial Committee for coordination and decision
making on ICT related matters. However, other countries have a more heterogeneous
structure.
While the political responsibility of eGovernment in Estonia, Singapore and Sweden
rests with the Ministry of Finance there are different organizations that handle
responsibilities related to coordination amongst various agencies, maintenance of
common infrastructure and other aspects of eGovernment. Of all these countries,
Sweden has the most de-centralized system in place with local bodies and municipalities
doing all the ground work under the broad policy framework from the center. In Belgium,
Ministry of Enterprise and Simplification is responsible for the eGovernment program at
the Federal level while each region in the country has a dedicated eGovernment head.
RAK’s eGovernment governance mechanism is in line with the benchmarked countries.
 The eGovernment Authority which is the centralized agency for planning and
managing eGovernment projects has been established. Implementation of the
eGovernment projects is through the concerned departments.
 The EGA is headed by none other than H.H. the Crown Prince himself thereby
providing strong leadership support and visibility.
 The EGA is also mandated to create and maintain common IT infrastructure.
 RAK does not have an inter-ministerial committee for coordination for the
eGovernment program. However, one interdepartmental committee for the GIS
exists for coordination amongst the concerned departments.

4.4 Monitoring and Evaluation


eGovernment programs entail huge investments in terms of time, money and resources.
Therefore, it is important that the projects are closely monitored in terms of not only
progress tracking but also output and outcome measurement vis-à-vis envisaged goals
and benefits.
M&E needs to be in-built within the strategy right from the design phase to ensure that
the strategy is implemented in a timely fashion and the goals / benefits envisaged while
drafting the strategy are accomplished. Further, an impartial and independent monitoring
and evaluation of the projects ensures that timely corrective action may be undertaken
based on the feedback gathered during the exercise thereby leading to continuous
improvements in service delivery and reduction in wasteful expenditure.

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Parameters Bahrain Belgium Estonia Singapore Sweden RAK


Monitoring & Evaluation
Independent body / 3rd
party for monitoring & X X X
evaluation
Periodic Citizen Surveys
X X
to assess satisfaction
Clearly defined
frameworks for monitoring X X X
and evaluation
Monitoring and Evaluation audits: All the countries covered under the present study
have some kind of an M&E system in place. However, in terms of formal M&E of their
eGovernment programs, Bahrain, Belgium and Sweden stand out. While the Belgian
government publishes, on a yearly basis, the “Fed-e-view” study that assesses 46
federal public bodies against 120 computerization indicators, enabling an overall
assessment of eGovernment in the federal government, professional auditors are hired
by Sweden for the audit of eGovernment program. Bahrain has an elaborate M&E
framework and an independent agency conducts the monitoring and evaluation of the
eGovernment program through survey of the individuals, businesses as well as the
government officials.
Citizen surveys: Singapore uses online polls and customer e-ratings to get quantitative
and qualitative insight and feedback from customers regarding specific online services
and the national portal of Bahrain also has a feedback section for the visitors.
Clearly defined goals: The IT policy for Estonia enshrined in eGovernment policy
document– “The Principles of Estonian Information Policy” clearly identifies priorities
(action plans) for the country. Each priority (or action point) is assigned to a particular
ministry / authority which is responsible for the achievement of the stated plan. Its
dynamic nature may be gauged from the fact that Estonia has revised this document 5
times in 10 years to reflect the progress achieved through the eGovernment program.
Similarly, Bahrain’s eGovernment strategy has targets for the achievement of citizen
satisfaction as well as government productivity gains due to the implementation of the
eGovernment program.
RAK is yet to take any significant strides in the domain of monitoring and evaluation of
its eGovernment program.
 RAK does not have a monitoring and evaluation framework for the eGovernment
program. Further, even a dedicated PMO for tracking the progress of the
eGovernment program does not exist.
 There is no plan / stipulation in the eGovernment strategy for regular citizen /
government surveys to evaluate the outcomes of the eGovernment program

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 The only formal monitoring mechanism is the dashboard that has been provided
for the Crown Prince to check the number of complaints attended by the officials
and the financial transactions on the portal. However, a very small number of
complaints have actually been addressed.
Leading lights:
Bahrain uses a comprehensive Citizen Satisfaction Index and Government Transformation Index to
evaluate its eGovernment program. The survey is conducted by an independent third party, annually,
through a mixture of face-to face interviews and telephonic interviews of individuals, businesses and
government officials respectively. The recommendations emanating out of the findings of the survey are
incorporated within the national eGovernment program. Monitoring of the progress of the eGovernment
program is done at the level of the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office and the Supreme Committee for
Information and Communication – an inter-ministerial committee for ICT and eGovernment. The
eGovernment strategy also has targets for achieving citizen satisfaction and government productivity
enhancement due to the eGovernment program.

4.5 Promotion of ICT and eGovernment


eGovernment presents tremendous opportunities, but at the same time, there is a
danger that the people who are left out of the electronic revolution may be denied
access to even the basic services. To circumvent such a scenario and improve the
uptake of electronic channels, it is imperative to raise awareness about the benefits of
eGovernment and educate the populace on general IT usage skills. A concerted national
marketing and awareness campaign along with a comprehensive effort to raise IT
awareness of the masses is critical to ensure that demographics and economic status do
not become a hurdle in harnessing the benefits of the eGovernment program.

Parameters Bahrain Belgium Estonia Singapore Sweden RAK


Promotion of ICT

Focus on promotion of
X X X X
ICT education in schools
Government investment /
subsidies in creating
X X X X X X
infrastructure for citizens
to access service online
Sustained Advertisement
X X X X
campaign and incentives

Marketing & Awareness including incentives: The trend in the sample countries is
towards a high decibel ICT and eGovernment promotion campaign compounded with
incentives for electronic transactions such as faster turnaround times for electronic
applications, lesser fees for availing services electronically, payment of credit card /
payment gateway charges by the government, cheaper PC and internet etc.

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While Bahrain has an aggressive marketing and awareness campaign for the
eGovernment program, the government supports all extra expenditure related to online
payments for government services. Bahrain has plans to take up IT enablement of the
masses but nothing has been done on the ground for the same.
Promotion of ICT education in schools: Singapore, Belgium, Estonia and Sweden
have elaborate programs at the school level to not only increase IT literacy but also
introduce the students to eGovernment and online access to eGovernment services.
Also focused campaigns on radio, TV and other media exist to create awareness and
trust in eGovernment.

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RAK’s situation in terms of efforts to improve the uptake of eGovernment and eServices
is described below:
 The government is subsidizing online payments by paying the payment gateway
and credit card charges for financial transactions on the portal.
 Though there is no dedicated eGovernment awareness campaign, RAK
intermittently runs a service / project specific advertisement and awareness
campaign using pamphlets and advertisements on hoardings to inform the
customers about new services.
 A quarterly magazine is published by RAK which covers eGovernment news,
views and articles which may be useful in developing interest in eGovernment
 There is no intervention in terms of improving the IT literacy and access to
computers and the internet on the emirate level.
Leading lights:
Estonian Government launched an initiative called “Tiger Leap” for the computerization of Estonian
Schools. The project brought computers and internet connections to every school in Estonia. Further, over
700 Public Internet Access Points (PIAP’s) have been established where internet access is provided free
of cost to citizens

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International eGovernment Benchmarking Report eGovernment Strategy for RAK

Chapter 4 Recommendations

The benchmarking study clearly articulates some of the significant gaps that exist
between the benchmarked countries and the RAK. Some of the recommendations to
close these gaps have been enunciated in this chapter.

Recommendations related to Service Design


Recommendation no. 1: Focus on Service Design around citizen needs
RAK needs to develop a citizen centric eGovernment strategy that takes cognizance of
pain points of the customers. It will be useful to conduct separate surveys of individuals
as well as businesses to understand their aspirations and requirements from
eGovernment. Further, it is imperative that citizen feedback and opinion is made an
integral part of service assessment.

Recommendation no. 2: Representation of the services on the eGovernment portal


in lifecycle form
Almost every leading eGovernment portal in the world is structured on a life cycle format
as it makes it easier for citizens to locate services and information. RAK’s eGovernment
portal should also be reorganized to align with this good practice.

Recommendation no. 3: Deploy a multiple channel strategy


The Government services are meant for all individuals irrespective of their economic
status, age, gender etc. Therefore, a multiple channel strategy needs to be deployed so
that the customers may choose the channel of their liking for interacting with the
government. This is particularly useful for the citizens with special needs as it allows
them access to services in a convenient way.

Recommendation no. 4: Focus on Government process re-engineering before


implementation
RAK must ensure that a proper examination of the procedures and linkages of services
is undertaken followed by process re-engineering to ensure integrated service delivery is
made a reality. One reason why Sweden has been able to provide nearly 89% percent of
its services online is because of the effort expended in process re-engineering to make
the services amenable to being delivered online.

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International eGovernment Benchmarking Report eGovernment Strategy for RAK

Recommendations related to Policy


Recommendation no. 5: Attention on creating an enabling policy environment and
legal framework
RAK does not have some of the most important legislations and policies required to
facilitate eGovernment and build trust of all stakeholders in eGovernment. Some of the
key policy interventions that RAK must undertake include:
1. Creation of a policy and law for the re-use and sharing of data between
departments
2. Development of an enterprise architecture framework for the emirate to ensure
interoperability and standardization
3. Creation of a PKI infrastructure for robust security
4. Introduction of smart cards and digital signatures to provide digital identity to
individuals and businesses for interfacing with the government electronically
5. Notification of a Data Protection / Data Privacy Act
6. Cyber crime law to define punishments related to cyber crimes
7. Training of the judiciary, including judges and the lawyers, in cyber laws so that
matters related to cyber crime may be dealt with appropriately

Recommendation no. 6: Establish Knowledge Management framework and


infrastructure
RAK should develop a centralized Knowledge Management infrastructure that is
accessible to all employees for collaboration. This is likely to cut down on time-to-market
for eGovernment initiatives as achievements and innovations of one department may be
used as learning by our departments and vice-versa. This will also have an indirect effect
of making the environment more amenable to interchange of information amongst
departments.

Recommendations related to Monitoring and Evaluation


Recommendation no. 7: Establish an elaborate Monitoring and Evaluation
mechanism
RAK needs to develop an M&E framework that has clear cut targets and goals along
with timelines for achieving them. The M&E framework must assess the projects based
on the outcomes and satisfaction of the customers with the electronically available
services to undertake corrective actions.

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Recommendations related to ICT promotion


Recommendation no. 8: Initiate an IT skill augmentation campaign
All the eGovernment services developed by RAK will come to a naught if the citizens
don’t have the skills and the means to use the eGovernment services. Therefore, there
is a crying need to ensure that the ICT skills are acquired by the largest possible number
of individuals. A two tiered program may be developed in this regard:
1. At the school level, eGovernment may be made a part of the course curriculum
so that the students are aware about eGovernment and the usage of eServices.
This will even allow the students to assist their elders in using eServices
2. eServices access points in the form of kiosks may be set up across the emirate
for facilitating the customers to use eGovernment related services without the
need to own a computer or an internet connection. This will additionally give
visibility to the eGovernment program.

Recommendation no. 9: Design and run sustained, targeted eGovernment


marketing and awareness campaign
A well thought out marketing and awareness campaign for the eGovernment program
should be launched to ensure that general populace is aware of the eServices and
benefits that accrue due to eGovernment. This will increase the uptake of electronically
enabled services and build support for the same. Private sector including hardware and
software vendors or telecom services providers may be made partners in the campaign
to generate resources for the marketing and awareness program.

Recommendations related to Quantitative benchmarking


Recommendation no. 10: Take steps to increase the PC and Internet penetration in
RAK
For the underprivileged, PC’s along with an internet connection may be made available
at discounted rates in association with the PC vendors and telecommunication service
providers. This will help increase the PC and internet penetration amongst the
population thereby potentially improving the uptake of electronic services.

Recommendation no. 11: Increase expenditure on eGovernment


RAK needs to drastically increase its investments in eGovernment as this will be an
investment in the future of the country and the return on investment will be high in terms
of better quality of life for citizens, more efficient government machinery and improved
business and investment climate.

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Chapter 5 References

1. UN eGovernment readiness report 2008


2. Kable Limited as quoted in eGovernment Research report
3. ICT infrastructure and eReadiness assessment report : Estonia - Praxis Center
for policy studies 2002-03
4. Presentation and interview, Dr. Hashem Ar-Refaei, Advisor to the Government of
RAK on ICT
5. eGovernment Strategy for RAK
6. eGovernment strategy for the Kingdom of Bahrain
7. Best Practices Report for the Kingdom of Bahrain prepared by
PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt. Limited
8. http://www.epractice.eu/factsheets
9. Statistics booklet issued by Department of Economics Development,
Government of RAK – TITLE NEEDS TO BE CONFIRMED

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