Renata Pavlov, the Executive Director of the MENA-OECD Governance Programme Centre represented Italy at the 9th annual meeting of the Working Group on Open and Innovative government, held on 9th February in Dubai (UAE) in view of the 2nd Annual UAE Government Summit. Italy, together with Korea is the Working Group's co-chair.

The world's most respected government and business leaders, decision makers, executives and experts will gather for the 2nd Annual UAE Government Summit from 10 to 12 February 2014. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Summit will focus on how citizen happiness can be improved through transformative government services.

Pre-summit meeting highlights role of e-government, open data and mobile government in improving service delivery in MENA and OECD states.

The Second Government Summit, which is being held from 10 to 12 February, 2014, under the theme Leading Government Services, kickstarted on 9 February with a pre-summit meeting organized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) jointly with the UAE government.

The 9th annual meeting of the Working Group on Open and Innovative Government offered an opportunity to assess the progress achieved and share good practices in open and innovative governments in both MENA and OECD countries. Delegates discussed policy design and implementation in the areas of open government and public sector innovation, with a focus on how e-government, open data and mobile government can improve service delivery.

The regular meeting, held under the leadership of South Korea and Italy, primarily looked at the means to achieve ease of access to data and how it can affect innovation and smart government. Round table discussions witnessed participation from ministers, directors and managers of e-government.
Speaking on the occasion, His Excellency Ahmad Bin Humaidan, Director-General of Dubai Smart Government, underlined the importance of the Government Summit as the global platform to share knowledge and experiences on government service delivery. He said the meeting organized by the OECD has contributed to designing the future plan for the OECD's work as well as enabling the UAE to learn about the best methods to achieve the goals of the National Agenda announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
The first session on Open Government highlighted the current engagement of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and OECD in thorough government reforms aimed at achieving more openness, transparency and citizen participation in governance. The session presented OECD work in the area of Open Government and offered a platform for MENA countries to share their experiences with each other as well as with experts from the OECD and the academia.

With Open Government Data becoming a critical element in the efforts to support economic growth, improve public services and promote government transparency and acccountability, the second session focused on the role of Open Data in the current activities of the public and private sectors in MENA and OECD countries. The session pointed out that while many governments are working towards launching political commitments and open data portals, the majority have yet to demonstrate full awareness of the benefits of open government data, let alone prepare the plans to realize these benefits and measure them.

The OECD m-Government report was the focus of discussions in the third session on e-Government and Mobile Government. The report provided insights on how governments can become more agile and ubiquitous in their service delivery through m-Goverment, particularly in view of the high penetration rate of mobile devices in the MENA region.

Participants stressed the new e-Government principles as a key ingredient that can support the completion of OECD e-Government reviews, and shed light on their relevance for the MENA region, particularly with regard to strengthening the provision of mobile services.

In the final session on Public Sector Innovation, OECD introduced its Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI), which systematically collects, categorises, analyses and shares innovative practices from across the public sector via an online interactive database. The session highlighted the relevance of the Observatory for the MENA region, especially in the area of innovation in public service delivery.

The OECD meeting was one of the two pre-summit meetings organized jointly with the UAE government, the other being the meeting of the Committee for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

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