WEF commends UAE for successful adoption of technology to take nation to future government

June 10, 2014 4:38 pm

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has commended the UAE government for winning the trust of the citizens by successfully incorporating advanced technology to improve government performance and adopting innovative solutions to take the country to the future government.

Speaking at a panel discussion on the sidelines of the launch of ‘Future of Government Smart Toolbox’ report in partnership with the Government Summit, Espen Barth Eide, Managing Director at the WEF, said: “The UAE has the leadership and direction to make use of new technologies in achieving more effective delivery of services. The speed of change currently visible in the world requires new thinking on the part of governments. The UAE is clearly one of the governments that has taken this challenge seriously and earned the trust of its citizens.”

The Smart Toolbox report takes trust in government as a unifying theme and highlights the role of the Government Summit as an international platform to enhance the future of government administration around the world.

Eide said during the panel discussion that citizen expectations have gone up in a fast paced world, and therefore governments are constantly challenged to better respond to citizen needs. “The UAE has a hi-tech government that offers speedy response to citizen needs. As a result, while trust in governments is going down in many parts of the world, trust levels are constantly going up in the UAE,” Eide noted.

High expectations from the government require more effective information management, and technology can be harnessed as an opportunity rather than a challenge to deal with the challenges, Eide added.

Speaking at the panel discussion, Diana Farrell, Director at McKinsey & Company and global head of McKinsey Center for Government, said: “The UAE government has shown the importance of the ability to adapt and engage people to resolve problems and enhance service delivery. The UAE has invested in people and encouraged collaboration with citizens.”

Stating that technology can foster innovation and positively impact the public, private and social sectors, Farrel said it is important to ensure a citizen-centric structure and create viable environment to display technology as an enabler in raising service delivery standards.

During the panel discussion, Yassar Jarrar, Partner, Bain & Company, and Young Global Leader, WEF, said the UAE has set a model in excellent use of technology for other countries in the region. “The UAE has raised the benchmarks and shown that the adaptation of technology is not about dressing up old services. That is why the efficient use of technology in service delivery is visible in the UAE.”

Jarrar pointed out that by fundamentally changing the concept of service delivery, the UAE has enhanced its position as a place to do business efficiently in a secure environment.

Jarrar noted that while the UAE’s success in the use of technology in public service delivery has raised expectations, the nation has been pressing forward with efforts to prepare its young talents to meet the challenges of the future. The UAE is moving in the right direction with huge investments in education and leadership development programmes that will take the nation to the future government, Jarrar added.

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Nedal Al Asaad / Omar Badran
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