The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has announced the adoption of the Interactive Lab within the digital participation mechanisms in the UAE community and the enhancement of the Online Service Index (OSI) in all federal government services, for the purpose of engaging the public and hearing its says and views on the development of government services, procedures and policies.
The Interactive Lab aims at providing smart tools to facilitate the participation process in a live, interactive and direct manner, and to encourage experiments and objective practices in a competitive manner that enhances creative thinking and explores the potentials for non-traditional solutions.
In this regards, H.E. Salem Al Housani, Acting Deputy Director General for Information and e-Government sector in TRA, said: “We aim at TRA to adopt and activate all initiatives that could lead to the development of digital participation and enhancement of OSI. The Interactive Lab is one of these initiatives. It stimulates the youth creative energies to develop solutions and ideas that serve the smart government sector and accelerate its pace of work.”
Al Housani indicated that adopting the Interactive Lab initiatives within the digital participation mechanisms comes after the initiative’s success since its launch last February in conjunction with the UAE Hackathon. He said: “The Interactive Lab poses a case/challenge to a group of customers or employees. Moreover, the Lab goes through four main phases: the enlightenment phase, in which the main challenge is presented and the main question is posed. The ideas phase, in which a brainstorming takes place, followed by the decision phase, which is done through three stages. First, voting for the best five ideas. Second, presenting the top 5 ideas. Third, the final vote for a winning idea. Lastly, the stimulation phase: the winning idea is chosen, adopted and developed to become feasible.”
Al Housani emphasized that the Interactive Lab reflects the direction of the country towards enabling youth in the government sector and strengthening their role in building the future. He added: “Our wise leadership has taught us the importance of empowering the youth and involving them in the service of the country, as well as trusting their abilities, embracing their innovations, and supporting them with the needed capabilities to increase their participation and expand their contribution in various development tracks.”
The adoption of the Interactive Lab within the digital participation mechanisms and OSI enhancement is part of TRA’s efforts in supporting the UAE smart government indicators. Currently, the UAE is ranked sixth globally in E-Participation Index according to Waseda IAC International Digital Government Rankings Report.
TRA is intensifying its efforts in partnership with all government entities in the process of digital community participation, due to its direct impact on OSI, as well as its reflection on a number of other indicators, such as the happiness meter, the innovation indicator, and others.
The electronic/digital participation is based on three levels, starting by providing information to the public via e-channels in a transparent and interactive manner. The second level focuses on launching public consultations to hear people views and expectations on development of government services and policies. The third level is the phase of decision-making. The UAE has proven that it applies these three levels in a highly efficient manner through its official portal (Sharik.ae).
TRA has adopted a number of initiatives to promote e-participation, such as launching a free e-participation course on the Smart Government Virtual Academy website (https://training.government.ae/) , aimed at activating the role of e-participation in the community and encouraging its members to participate in policy making, in order to support the OSI, which is issued by the United Nations and is part of the National Agenda indicators.