Oman government entities embrace e-participation channels

A recent survey conducted by the Information Technology Authority (ITA) has shown that 93 percent of government entities in Oman have opened online communications with the public for e-participation.

The survey, directed to 40 government entities, was conducted to identify a clear indicator for the implementation of e-Participation at the Sultanate, as it is the main indicator evaluated and measured by UN and international reports.

The ITA initially organised the sixth ‘Shurkum’ session as an open online discussion on Twitter, and discussed how government entities can implement and achieve e-Participation through their social media accounts.

Prior to the online session, ITA conducted an electronic survey to measure the government and public awareness of the implementation of community e-Participation and its positive role in promoting trust and transparency between government and public.

The results showed that 78 percent of the entities implement e-Participation through their social media accounts, and 68 percent have developed e-Participation policy. The results also revealed that 78 percent of government entities have a specialised team to interact a respond to the public comments and feedback received through various electronic communication channels.

Regarding the reasons behind some government entities not applying any kind of e-Participation method, either on their website or social media accounts, the survey results show that 67 percent of government entities do not have specialised team to manage e-Participation channels and 33 percent of the respondent said that they do not consider e-Participation because they do not provide direct services to citizens; therefore, no need for establishing e-Participation channel.

e-Participation is defined as the use of electrical channels to enhance the cooperation between the government and the citizens. It aims at taking and reacting to public opinions and feedback and reinforcing the community involvement in decision/making.

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