Government Entities Are Embracing Social Media to Improve Service Delivery and Engage with Stakeholders, a New Report Reveals

Sunday, March 20, 2016
Government Entities Are Embracing Social Media to Improve Service Delivery and Engage with Stakeholders, a New Report Reveals

A research report released today by the Ministry of Transport and Communications reveals ICT adoption within the government workforce is widespread, government organizations are embracing new technologies, and the rapid rise in penetration levels of smartphones and tablets in Qatar is spurring the rollout of mobile apps and services by government entities.

According to the report, Qatar’s ICT Landscape 2015: Government, government organizations are using social media channels to reach out to external stakeholders and foster deeper engagement as well as improve service delivery. In 2015, 78 percent of government entities in Qatar are using social media, with 97 percent of those using social media using it to publish information, 84 percent to engage with social media users, and 70 percent to solicit ideas and involve social media users in the policy and service-delivery processes of government organizations. In addition, more than three-quarters (80%) of government organizations that use social media now employ at least one dedicated social media executive.

Furthermore, Qatar is on track to achieving its target of bringing all key government services online by 2020. As of December 2015, 681 government services were online, and that number is expected to rise to 1,000 by the end of 2016. In fact, IT executives in Qatar believe that the use of ICT by the government has improved the quality of government services to citizens significantly.

The report is based on a large-scale study of 480 government employees and IT executives from 48 government organizations (ministries, councils, authorities, and other institutions), with the aim of monitoring the government’s progress in improving government service delivery, transparency, and efficiency.

 “The environment is ripe for continued progress, and this study validates that Qatar’s digital government strategy has put us on the right course for future success,” said H.E. Jassim Seif Ahmed Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications. “We continue to pursue the important objectives of this strategy—better serve individuals and businesses, create efficiencies in government administration, and increase government openness. There is a way to go in ensuring that government employees have the necessary skills and training to keep up with emerging technologies,” he added.

Other study findings include:

  • Government entities are rolling out mobile apps and services. The most common reason cited by government organizations for deploying mobile applications is to enable citizens to have a true multichannel service experience (81%). Offering managers and executives the ability to access key performance data and push notifications to citizens were both cited by 44 percent of IT executives. Of the channels used for providing e-services, the increasing importance of mobile is visible, with nearly half of the online services being made available through a mobile-enabled website or mobile app.
  • The investments government organizations have made in automation of core business processes are bearing fruit. While 87 percent of organizations had automated their core business processes in 2013, this percentage rose to 93 in 2015. Of those who have automated their core business processes, 100 percent have reportedly automated their HR functions.
  • The number of government entities connected to the Government Network has seen a sharp rise since 2013.  As of June 2015, 76 government organizations were connected to the Government Network.
  • Cloud adoption among government organizations is still low. In 2015, 18 percent of government entities in Qatar are using cloud solutions according to the IT executives surveyed. Security-related concerns are cited as the primary inhibitors of cloud adoption.
  • Online security continues to be a concern for government organizations in Qatar, with just over a third of those surveyed having a formal security policy developed, implemented, and monitored.
  • IT training of government employees is still an area for improvement. Despite the demand for training, only 38 percent of the surveyed employees confirmed they received ICT training in the last three years, compared to 25 percent in 2013, with most of that training provided by their employer. However, government employees expect to get an average of 38 hours of ICT training in the next 12 months, up from the 34 hours they received in the last 12 months.

The Government of Qatar has been conducting market research studies since 2008 on the state of ICT in major sectors—government, business, and households and individuals—critical to the economic and social fiber of the nation. These reports track progress over time and allow decision- and policymakers to make course corrections if necessary.

A full copy of the report can be found here.