Coordinating electronic/smart government development
The Information & eGovernment Sector at the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority is responsible for supporting infrastructure and strategies that drive the eTransformation process of UAE government entities through the implementation of the mGovernment’s plans, in line with the UAE mGovernment Strategy. The sector seeks to ensure attaining the relevant national indexes and provide the appropriate environment and conditions for achieving the 1st rank globally in online services.
UAE mGovernment initiative and Vision 2021
On 22nd May 2013, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai launched the Mobile Government initiative in order to make the government services available to the people wherever they are 24/7.
Sheikh Mohammed's objective was to relocate customer service centres into every customer device on the belief that a successful government is the one which goes to clients wherever they are and doesn't wait for them to come to it.
The UAE mGovernment initiative is in line with Vision 2021 that foresees high quality of life built on world-class public infrastructure, government services and a rich recreational environment.
Sheikh Mohammed set a period of two years for the UAE government to complete the implementation of offering services through the mobile phones.
Documentation as a foundation
After the announcement of the mGovernment initiative, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), the entity implementing the Mobile Government Initiative, prepared base documents as the founding steps. The documents are:
- Mobile Government Guidelines
The TRA launched the Mobile Government Guidelines as a first step towards the initiative. The guidelines were developed for government entities to prepare themselves in transforming from eGovernment to mGovernment. They aim to make the entities 'mReady' to the requirements of developing and implementing advanced mobile ICT-based applications and services. The guidelines will assist the entities in meeting some of the challenges they might face in this journey.
This document covers considerations that should be made when planning and implementing mobile services. It covers the technical and usability issues, how they should be handled and what security measures should be taken into account. The focus is more on mGovernment services development to be provided by the government entities in the UAE via mobile technologies and relevant devices including but not limited to smartphones.
To facilitate the successful implementation of the Mobile Government initiative, the TRA subsequently launched the mGovernment Roadmap. The Roadmap had set milestones for the transition from eGovernment to mGovernment to be achieved in a systematic plan by the year 2015.
The scope of the Roadmap went in parallel with the Federal eGovernment Strategy 2012-2014 which focused on: environmental improvements, improving readiness and achieving user happiness. These focus areas were presented as four parallel tracks, first two of which corresponded to improvements in the environment for the mGovernment to advance. The tracks of the mGovernment Roadmap were:
- Establish the environment for mGovernment to flourish
- Assess capability and capacity of government entities
- Establish shared resources across government entities at the national level
- Achieve citizen happiness.
- National Plan to Support Mobile Government Initiative
National Plan to Support Mobile Government Initiative aims to implement the vision of the Mobile Government Initiative. The National Plan shall be implemented from 2015 to 2017.
The National Plan complies with Vision 2021 that states that we are united in prosperity and knowledge. It also complies with the National Agenda that states among many other things for the UAE to be at the forefront in providing government services electronically and over mobile phones.
The following is a presentation of the National Plan to Support Mobile Government Initiative. Note that the initiatives in the plan will be published after approval from the UAE leadership.
Read the presentation about National Plan to Support Mobile Government Initiative (PDF 2.38 MB).
Features of mGovernment
There are several feature of the UAE mGovernment. Some of them are:
- Works non-stop
- Provides services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year
- Providing fast track and reliable services
- Adapts to changes quickly
- Devises solutions to challenges
- Facilitates people's lives
- Brings them happiness
Projects and initiatives for the mGovernment initiative
Several projects and initiatives were launched to implement the mGovernment initiative and achieve the goals set within. Each of these projects are designed to mobilise the UAE government entities to provide services through mobile phones and smart devices by engaging intelligent service-delivery methods such as mobile applications that are based on predictive analytics. Some of the important projects and initiatives are:
The Federal Network (FedNet) connects the information systems of 42 federal entities in the UAE. It provides secure, efficient and high-speed internet services. It hosts all the government electronic data and facilitates secure and reliable exchange of data. It raises levels of efficiency, security and continuity of government services provided through electronic channels.
- Centre of Digital Innovation (CoDI)
The Centre of Digital Innovation (CoDI) seeks to provide government entities with services that contribute to mobile application development. It seeks to apply cutting-edge technologies to develop and test applications. Hence, it signed cooperation agreements with major companies such as Apple, Blackberry, Android and Microsoft to provide cutting-edge technologies to the government entities.
The services can be summarised in four main points: consultation, technical training, laboratory for testing mobile applications and the Innovation Center. CoDI provides services to government entities, educational institutions and the private sector within the GCC.
The UAE Government Apps is an app that contains all the UAE government applications; over 100 at present and is currently available on Apple Store and Google Play. The App Store provides unique features and services based on the user's location. The UAE Government Apps is a practical realisation of the Mobile Government Initiative. The UAE is the first government in the world to launch an app store of government apps.
One App is an application under development. Through the application users can access more than 4000 federal and local government services. The app will work on intuitive basis and provide services and notifications based on user needs. After launch, it will be made available on various platforms.
The National Customer Relations Management (CRM) is a unified call centre for all UAE Government services. It provides services to citizens, residents and visitors. The National CRM is an additional channel of communication with the UAE Government.
SmartPass is a system through which one can access all government services through one username and password. Each individual would be assigned a unique identification number to facilitate easy access to all electronic transactions with the federal and local government entities in a secure electronic environment. SmartPass can be used through special kiosks located at public places.
The Government Service Bus (GSB) provides a centralised interconnectivity platform for eGovernment services. It facilitates procedures for accessing eServices and enhances the integration and the quality of government services within a safe electronic environment.
GSB assists federal and local government entities to render several services through eConnection process and exchange data smoothly amongst the entities' systems. It provides a single window system for integrated government services according to national guidelines and highest digital security.
In March 2015, the TRA hosted a workshop on developing big data strategy. Representatives from the federal and local governments attended it. The TRA educated participants on how to develop solutions that can effectively analyse and store vast amounts of data while making best use of it for mobile platforms. The TRA shared best practices to address the concerns about data storage, analysis, sharing and privacy. The TRA developed the big data strategy based on this interaction. The strategy covers aspects relating to collecting and sharing data in order to enhance the efficiency of government services.
Best mGovernment Service Awards
The Best mGovernment Service Award is an annual award that stems from the Mobile Government initiative. The award is open for UAE government entities and governments entities from across the world. The award also targets UAE university students. The mGovernment award focuses on government service delivery solutions provided via mobile phone using any of the below means:
- Smart phone applications
- Mobile web solutions
- SMS solutions
- Smart wearable technologies
The UAE Drones for Good Award
The UAE Government launched the UAE Drones for Good Award to honour the innovative and creative minds that find solutions to improve people's lives and provide positive technological solutions to modern day issues.
The UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good
The UAE Government launched the UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good to support innovation in the key area of artificial intelligence and robotics as part of the UAE's commitment towards the National Innovation Strategy launched by H. H. Sheikh Mohammed.
mTransformation of the UAE
Exactly two years after the launch of the UAE mGovernment Initiative, Sheikh Mohammed announced the progress of the mTransformation on 22 May 2015.
The UAE's mTransformation efforts resulted in 96.3 percentage of overall transformation. As of 22 May 2015, 337 priority services from 41 federal entities were available on mobile phones. 32 entities achieved 100 per cent mTransformation and 9 entities achieved between 90 and 99 per cent mTransformation.
Sheikh Mohammed applauded the rate of mTransformation but reiterated that this is not the end; rather this should encourage the entities to strive further in achieving the UAE National Agenda and UAE Vision 2021.
He called upon the government entities to continue their brilliant stride in the mTransformation with the aim of customer happiness. He stressed that creativity and innovation should form the bases for achieving excellence in the UAE.
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Updated on 11 Jan 2021