UN eGov Survey ranks Oman 50 in eGov and 24 Globally in the Online Services Index
July 11, 2020
The Sultanate of Oman ranking has improved in the United Nations eGovernment Survey 2020 published last Friday by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). The survey, which is released every two years, ranks Oman 50 out of the 193 member state countries and 24 globally in the online services index.
Compared to the 2018 scores, Oman has improved on all the 3 indices and is ranked 5th among the Arab countries and 2nd in the online services index. The Sultanate made improvement in the eParticipation index by 5 positions to be ranked 38.
The government and private entities in the Sultanate has proven some successful utilization of some technologies and some of these examples are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare sector. The Ministry of Health in cooperation with other entities developed mobile app called “Tarassud Plus” with AI features that is used during the pandemic of Covid-19 to diagnose, follow up, and track the medical condition of individuals infected with COVID-19, who are under quarantine. The UNDESA report also shed light on another successful example which is using drones by Oman Royal Police (ROP) to disseminate critical messages of avoiding public spaces, and instruct citizens and residents to stay home to fight the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
On this occasion, HE Eng. Azza bint Sulaiman Al-Ismaili, Minister of Technology and Communications, said “We are pleased with this achievement by the Sultanate in the United Nations eGovernment Survey, which reflects the efforts made by all government and private entities, and we hope through the direction of the national vision of Oman 2040 to move forward towards achieving e.oman strategy with confident and steady steps under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, may God protect him. We are also keen through the technology and communications sector to have a greater contribution in achieving Oman’s sustainable development and developing various sectors including social, economic, public service, and others”.
Her Excellency added, “The Ministry of Technology and Communications will work in cooperation with all government and private entities to implement a number of initiatives and projects to employ emerging technologies to achieve future directions in establishing sustainable smart cities and facilitating access to electronic services. The United Nations has praised the Sultanate efforts on having a national plan for digital transformation in line with Oman vision 2040 and also the report highlighted the employment of some advanced technologies to combat Covid-19".
E-Government Development Index
The Survey tracks progress of eGovernment development via the E-Government Development Index (EGDI). The EGDI, which assesses eGovernment development at the national level, is a composite index based on the weighted average of three normalized indices. One-third is derived from a Telecommunications Infrastructure Index (TII) based on data collected from Oman and provided through the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). One-third of the index is derived from a Human Capital Index (HCI) based on the data provided by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute of statistics. One-third is from the Online Service Index (OSI) based on the data collected from an independent survey questionnaire, conducted by UNDESA, which assesses the national online presence of the core citizen centric ministries plus the national portal of all 193 United Nations member states. The assessment rates the eGovernment performance of countries relative to one another, as opposed to being an absolute measurement.
Online Services index
In the Online Services index, Oman ranked 24 compared to 43 in 2018 survey to be the 2nd best country in the Arab region in this index. This improvement is a result of the collaborative efforts made by the various ministries in launching new online services over the past two years; in addition to the various policies and initiatives under the guidance of the Ministry of Technology and Communications.
The data in this index is collected by the UNDESA through conducting several surveys. The researchers assessed each country’s national website, including the national central portal or eServices portal and eParticipation, as well as the websites of the related ministries of education, labour, social services, health, finance, and environment as applicable.
Telecom Infrastructure Index
In the Telecom infrastructure index, Oman ranked 63 which reflects the Government initiatives in improving the internet connectivity and broadband services.
Human Capital Index
In the Human Capital Index, Oman has improved its score noticeably by 26 positions to be 72 compared to 98 in 2018 report, which reflects the investments and focus made by the Government in the education sector and the efforts of the Omani National Committee for Education, Culture and Science in updating the data in the database of the UNESCO institute for statistics.
As part of the report, UN also published the eParticipation Index and Oman has improved by 5 position to be ranked 38 globally. This significant improvement reflects the government emphasis in the eParticiaption and the effective use of online channels to be in direct contact with the public. The Sultanate score in e-consultation has jumped to 90% compared to 78% in 2018.
One of the main initiatives that was successfully implemented in the Sultanate in eParticipation is the preparation of Oman Vision 2040 which witnessed the community participation in opinion and views of the Sultanate next years plans.
About UN eGovernment Survey Report
The United Nations eGovernment Survey Report is issued every two years and is an important indicator for measuring the progress made by the countries in the online services, the extent and quality of eParticipation, infrastructure supporting the digital transformation, and national capacity building. According to the report, Denmark comes first worldwide.
The Sultanate's progress in this report reflects the efforts exerted by government entities with the support of the Ministry of Technology and Communications (previously, Information Technology Authority, ITA) to improve its procedures, reengineer its operations, develop its services through digital channels and maintain the development and continuous update of its digital content.