ictQATAR Initiative

Emblem_of_Qatar.svgThis post moves us west, to the young country of Qatar.  Though small and relatively new as an emerging democracy, the region is home to some of the oldest civilizations.

Here are some highlights from Xinxin Yang’s report on Qatar, and here is a link to her full Qatar Report:

  • Qatar has the highest internet penetration rate in the Middle East. There were 1.7 million internet users by June 2012 (Internetworldstats.com). Authorities filter political criticism, material deemed offensive to Islam, pornographic content and online privacy resources.[1]
  •  According to World Bank Report, Qatar’s internet users (per 100) are 88.1% of the nation’s population, ranked No. 7 in the world, following Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, Bermuda, and Finland. (U.S. is 81%). [2]
  •  A lot of public services can be found online. Government also is trying to build a “Single Sign-on Solution”, which gives people “access to all government e-services with one simple login.”[3]
  •  In 2004, ictQATAR was established to manage and develop the overall information and communication Technology (ict) strategy in Qatar relating to infrastructure, service delivery and legislation of public services.[4]
  • Government encourages E-participation. In 2007, free wireless internet access was introduced in public parks.[5]
  • The government offers “Discussion Forums”, “Hukoomi Blog”, “Survey”, “Polls” and “Social Networking Accounts” tools for better communication.  “Use any of the various communication channels available in Hukoomi website to share and express your views, suggestions or feedback on government policies, decisions and services.” But, government also emphasizes that “Qatar e-Government reserves the right to moderate comments in order to prevent any violations according to Qatari laws.”[6]

[1] Qatar profile on BBC news. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-14702519, accessed on April 7, 2014.

[2] Data from World Bank. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.P2, accessed on April 6, 2014.

[3] Please see the statement on the government website. http://portal.www.gov.qa/wps/portal/about-hukoomi, accessed on April 7, 2014.

[4] Al-Shafi, Shafi & Weerakkody Vishanth, Factors Affecting E-government Adoption in the State of Qatar, European and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems 2010, April 12-13, 2009, Abu Dhabi, UAE. P.3

[5] Same as above.

[6] Please find the statement from the government website. http://portal.www.gov.qa/wps/portal/eParticipation, accessed on April 6, 2014.

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