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EGM on Enabling Environment for the Development of Arabic e-Services

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08
-
09
March
2011
Location: 
Beirut



e-Services have consistently shown a significant, positive impact on social and economic development. Throughout the world, there are many examples of advances in improvement of living conditions, efficiency, and productivity. In many ways, the ability to successfully develop and deploy e-services is vital to modern growth. In order to have a broad-based, individually empowering and community-centric growth, e-services must be well adapted to the needs of the people they serve.

High technology sectors, including e-services, do not flourish if they are left to market forces alone.  To prosper, these sectors need a proactive and favourable enabling environment which, in turn, requires the existence and maintenance of a reliable technical and regulatory framework. The International community and national governments have recognized the important role of an enabling environment for the development of the Information Society and they also recognized the need for building confidence and security in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) dedicated action line “C6” for the improvement of the enabling environment and it dedicated action line “C5” for building confidence and security in the use of ICT. On a regional level, the Information and Communication Technology Division (ICTD) at ESCWA discussed partly these issues during the EGM on ICT Applications and e-Services in the Public Sector held in 2009, and has raised awareness of these topics in its recent publications and at events such as the Workshop on Building Trust and Confidence in Arabic e-Services.

In line with the above, ICTD organized an EGM on Enabling Environment for the Development of Arabic e-Services on 8-9 March 2011 to examine the factors which should be made available to promote an enabling environment for Arabic e-services by inspecting key strengths, weaknesses and opportunities facing the region. The EGM provided a platform for sharing experiences and best practices of the participants, discussing the requirements for catalyzing a culturally appropriate enabling environment to develop e-services, identifying the major challenges facing the promotion of an enabling environment, and raising awareness.

The EGM included the delivery and discussion of a study prepared by an ESCWA consultant on standardization in selected e-services, namely e-government and e-commerce. The recommendations made focused on the needs, opportunities and requirements for the infrastructure, regulatory framework, Arabic content, user trust in e-services, and the use of open and interoperable standards.

Participants in the meeting included experts from government ministries, authorities, selected public institutions including the academia, and the private sector in the ESCWA region who have been engaged in enhancing the enabling environment for the development of ICT applications or e-services.

Submissions, inquiries and requests for additional information should be ‎addressed to: ‎

Dr. Nibal Idlebi, Chief of Section, ICT Applications Section,  ICT Division, ESCWA, PO Box 11-8575, Beirut, Lebanon, T +961-1-978540, F +961-1-981510, Email: idlebi@un.org

Ms. Hania Dimassi, Research Assistant, ICT Applications Section,  ICT Division, ESCWA, PO Box 11-8575, Beirut, Lebanon, T +961-1-978546, F +961-1-981510, Email: dimassi@un.org