Five years after the launch of the mGovernment Project by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and his meeting with 1000 government officials to transform government services on smart phones within 24 months…the UAE has made a new achievement by reaching a leading position in the Online Services Index (OSI) in which it is ranked Sixth globally, as well as Second globally in the Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII), according to the E-Government Development Index (EDGI) Survey 2018 issued by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).
According to the Online Services Index, the UAE is ranked the same as Sweden, and ahead of Spain, Canada, Germany the Netherlands, Estonia, Portugal and Russia. On the regional level, the UAE is ranked first in the Gulf, Arab and West Asia region.
In the Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII), the UAE is ranked ahead of South Korea, Britain, The United States, Canada, France and Denmark.
In this regards, H.E. Mohammad Abdulla Al Gergawi, the UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, affirmed that “50 government entities have worked during 5 years to achieve the vision of Mohammed bin Rashid…The experience is an international model for all the world countries to benefit from.’ And he added: ‘The government, private and academic sectors have contributed to the development of the UAE smart services. The university students were the main motive for applications development. ‘
H.E. Al Gergawi added: ‘Five years after the launch of the mGovernment, the UAE has been able to serve as a role model for the region and the world, through seeking to keep abreast with the latest global practices in government work, achieving internationally advanced ranks in various government indecators, enhancing unique standards of government performance and adopting innovative solutions to meet the challenges, making the government work model a school in itself that many neighbouring and world countries seek to benefit from.’ H.E. continued: ‘The world and regional leading numbers achieved by the UAE reflect the progress of the country’s infrastructure as we stand on the threshold of a new era of artificial intelligence, internet of things, big data, auto-transportation and drones.’
In turn, H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), said: ‘This result would not have been possible without the spirit of cooperation, dedication and hard work of all federal and local government entities, especially the participants in the Executive Team of the Online Services Index, which has succeeded in leading and coordinating efforts in this direction. With this result, we are proud of the trust of our wise leadership in us, and we recognize that the upcoming tasks are equally serious, and more difficult than the previous ones, as the competition will be with the top five countries in the world. However, today we are more determined to reach the goal because we have learned from our wise leadership that there is no substitute for the first place but the first place.’
The Online Services Index (OSI) consists of four levels of service development. The first involves the emerging information services, which includes making information available online to the customers by the government. The second level involves enhancing information with more general policies, laws, regulations, reports and downloadable leaflets. The third level focuses on procedural services where the interaction is bi-directional between the government and the customer. The fourth and most advanced level is the level of connected services.
EDGI Survey 2018 issued by DESA, the UAE has achieved major progress in the overall e-government development index from the 29 position in 2016 to the 21 position in 2018. The UAE is now ranked among the top 25 countries in this index which monitors the progress level in the digital transformation process of world governments. The UAE is now ranked ahead of countries that have long been in the process of e-transformation including Canada, Italy and Ireland.
As a result of the progress achieved in the Online Services Index (OSI), the e-Participation Index, the Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII), and the Human Capital Index (HCI), the UAE is ranked 21st in the e-Government Development Index.
In the e-Participation Index, The UAE has moved from the 32 rank in 2016 to the 17 rank in 2018, achieving an advancement of 15 international ranks, and becoming the first on the Gulf, Arab, and regional level. The UAE has exceeded Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Canada and Estonia.
The e-Participation Index is one of the complementary criteria of the UN survey. It measures the procedures used in each country to involve citizens in policy making, government decisions and the development of public services. This is done through three levels, starting with the level of information availability, level of public consultation, and then the level of decision making based on the results of the consultations and public participations.
This year’s UN EDGI survey coincides with elapse of three years since the launch of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is the focus of all the survey topics and sub-indicators. Among the topics of this year’s report is the use of digital technologies to improve meeting the challenges and enhancing the life quality in communities. This requires a high level of flexibility on the part of governments and their ability to adapt to emerging developments and technologies to provide the best and easiest services to individuals and businesses.
On the other hand, the report focuses on the partnership between the different sectors to carry the burden of digital transformation and government development to serve the community, as the successive technological developments are more challenging to be faced by one sector alone, and require a broad and high level of partnership and community interaction.
The UAE has a distinguished record in the field of sustainable development locally and internationally, and has contributions to all 17 sustainable development goals. The government team in charge of these goals follows-up on the progress in each track in line with the UAE global mission.
Affirming that Mohammed Bin Rashid Vision is the key motive for the working teams
Federal Government officials Continue to Work to Achieve the Leadership Vision for Smart Transformation of All Services
A number of government officials praised the recent achievements of the UAE in the field of smart services in which it achieved a leading position of sixth globally, as well as achieving the second position globally in Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII) according to the E-Government Development Index (EDGI) Survey 2018 issued by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).
H.E. Younis Haji Al Khouri, The Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Finance commented on this achievements: ‘The progress achieved by the UAE in the Online Services Index highlights the importance of the government policies and efforts, not only in keeping pace with progress in artificial intelligence, but also in enhancing the country’s contributions in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, through future shaping and the development of government services to achieve customer happiness and community’s happiness in general. In turn, we continue our work in the Ministry of Finance to contribute to the realization of the wise leadership vision and improve the government financial work to meet the requirements of the future and the next generations, as well as achieve prosperity of our beloved country.’
H.E. Dr. Matar Hamad Al Nyadi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Industry, said: ‘Progress in tracks of global leadership is not new to the UAE, and therefore the significant progress in the Online Services Index comes in the context of the government’s efforts that we are proud to participate in to achieve this goal. We are confident that the next phase will see doubled efforts in the implementing the targets of the mentioned index.’
H.E Fatima Mohammed Tawkul, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment for support service sector, said: ‘We are honoured to be part of these efforts as the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has an important role to play in establishing the National Climate Change Portal, one of the considered portals for the assessment of e-presence in the countries. We seize this opportunity to extend our gratitude and appreciation to all government entities we have worked with as an on-going workshop to achieve the objectives of the OSI Executive Team, and we are confident that these efforts will continue towards further successes.’
H.E. Abdullah Nasser Lootah, Director General of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, said: ‘Today we are harvesting the benefits of the joint efforts between the FCSA team and TRA. Thanks to these efforts, the country has been able to reach a very important position on the Arab and global level in OSI. On this occasion, I would like to extend my appreciation to all federal and local government entities for their efforts to raise the competitiveness of the UAE in the global competitiveness reports and indicators. I also confirm that we will continue to work with all of our partners in the UAE and abroad to advance the competitiveness of the UAE to achieve the first position in all fields and to be among the best countries in the world by 2071.’
H.E. Dr. Rauda Al Saadi, Director General of Smart Solutions & Services Authority, said: ‘We congratulate the government entities in general, and members of the OSI Executive Team for this achievement that confirms that we are moving in the right direction to achieve the leading position that we seek. Focusing on e-Presence and digital government services and their development taking into consideration the customer’s journey and ease of procedures, contribute to achieving one of the most important national goals which is the community’s happiness. We, in the SSSA, are proud of being part of these efforts, and of the team spirit that prevailed during the previous period in the efforts to achieve this index.’
H.E. Dr. Aisha Binr Buti Bin Bisher, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office, said: ‘The UAE progress in OSI according to the EDGI report 2018 confirms the country’s global leadership in the field of smart services, which is the result of adopting an integrated approach for a smart government work based the vision of the wise leadership aimed at achieving the first place at various fields, through dedicated efforts among various concerned parties, as well as the use of advanced technology to implement and develop an integrated government system capable of achievements and successes, while keeping pace with aspirations and needs of the cities of future.’ H.E. added: ‘this new success is a new addition to the UAE achievements record of building smart and sustainable cities, which is an important step in its journey to reach the world’s first position in the smart services sector.’
H.E. Saif Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said: ‘This result reflects the scale of efforts of everyone, in which our Ministry has contributed, as we have established a portal for workers, enhanced our e-presence, and provided smart services to the various segments of customers. We are confident that all the Executive Team members have fully performed their tasks, each from his position, which had a tangible impact in this result. We hope that this cooperation will be maintained and enhanced to achieve more advanced positions for our beloved countries.’
Brigadier Eng. Hussein Ahmed Al Harthi, Director General of Electronic Services at the Ministry of Interior, indicated that ‘this result reflects the cooperation and joint efforts to develop of government services and achieve customer happiness.’ He added that ‘the development of the UAE in this context is an example for other countries. It is a pride and honour for all the government employees, as well as an intensive for us to do more for our country, and thus to meet the expectations of our wise leadership.’
In turn, Mona Agif Zaabi, Assistant Undersecretary for Support Services at the Ministry of Community Development, said: ‘we stand today less than 3 years away from achieving the UAE Vision 20201. This result in OSI contributes to this goal. We in the Ministry of Community Development are keen to make all efforts to enhance the website and smart services that serve all segments of society, in accordance with the best international standards and local needs’
The OSI Executive Team was formed by a Cabinet resolution in 2016. The executive teams of the National Agenda 2021 were launched with the participation of nearly 500 government officials representing entities, sectors, and level to work in achieving 52 national indicators to measure the country’s achievements in leadership and community’s happiness, within 6 national priorities: health, education, economy, environment, infrastructure, society, security and justice.
The Executive Team includes the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health & Prevention, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Energy and Industry, Smart Solutions & Services Authority Abu Dhabi, and the Smart Dubai Office.
Salem Al Housani, Acting Deputy Director General of eGovenment Sector in the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), and the OSI Executive Team Leader, said: ‘TRA’s efforts in this context are part of its responsibility to enable government entities in the field of smart transformation. The Executive Team efforts during the previous phase were highly valuable as they added to our work a participatory dimension, as it included federal as well as local entities.’
Al Housani added: ‘The Team has worked on the formulation and implementation of a clear and well defined plan, and launched a series of distinguished initiatives such as: the e-participation platform, the open data national portal, the official portal of climate change and environment, the UAE survey for digital government maturity, and others. This contributed to the accomplishment of the provisional objectives of the indicator. In the coming phase, we look forward to progressing from the leading role to the influential role in the application of emerging technology, open data, and services digital transformation.’
Since its formation, the Executive Team has formed sub-teams based on the nature of the challenges and tracks of work. Additionally, the tasks have been identified for each of the sub-teams, including the information and services portal development team, the e-participation portal development team, the national data portal development team, the development and compatibility team of the participating entities portals, and the capacity building team for government employees. Under each task there is a series of initiatives and activities implemented and monitored by the Executive Team, under the supervision of the Prime Minister Office.
In addition to leading the OSI Executive Team, TRA is working to enhance the electronic presence of the mGovernment to help strengthening the country’s position in the mentioned index. The TRA is responsible for the management and development of the UAE government official portal (government.ae), as well as the smart government enablers project, which includes assisting the federal government entities to strengthen their websites and smart services. TRA also develops and implements a comprehensive e-participation plan including the management of the e-participation official portal (Sharik.ae). TRA works closely with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority to enrich and develop the open data portal.