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Kingdom falls 19 spots in 2020 E-Government Survey

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Jul 12,2020 - Last updated at Jul 12,2020

AMMAN — Jordan ranked 117 in the 2020 E-Government Survey, falling 19 spots since the previous survey conducted in 2018, which focuses on the scope of online services, telecommunication infrastructure and human capacity in the field of digital governments.

The survey, which ranks 193 countries around the world, also put the Kingdom in the 148 rank in its E-Participation Index, which is measured based on availability of online information, online public consultation and e-decision making through directly involving citizens in decision processes, according to the survey report.

The report describes Jordan as a country with "moderate levels of development", alongside Egypt and Lebanon, noting that these countries "are improving and expanding their digital offerings to ensure the effective delivery of high-quality inclusive government services".

The utilisation of "cutting-edge technology applications" is more concentrated in countries with higher incomes, the report says, noting that conflict-affected countries have done little to adopt such tech, such as Yemen, Syria and Lebanon.

"However, a number of United Nations entities are utilising emerging technologies to address some of the more urgent needs in the region; for example, blockchain is being used in the distribution of humanitarian assistance, and new technologies for online education are helping to build the needed skills in refugee camps in Jordan," the report says.

The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) member countries and teams have been working together to boost digital transformation in the Arab region, helping some countries to formulate digital developments, which was done in Jordan during 2019, according to the UN report.

The report adds ESCWA promoted the concept of an open government in the Arab region, holding workshops on national capacity building and providing advisory services related to open government and data to Jordan, Palestine and Syria. 

The UN defines e-government as "the use of ICTs [Information and communications] to more effectively and efficiently deliver government services to citizens and businesses".

Denmark was ranked first to top the E-Government Development Index in both the 2020 and 2018 survey results, while regionally, the UAE was ranked 21, the highest among Arab countries in the 2020 survey, followed by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt.

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