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 An Arab Open Government Maturity Model for Social Media Engagement
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Tahseen Consulting Develops Social Media Maturity Model for Arab Public Sector ...

Tahseen Consulting Develops Social Media Maturity Model for Arab Public Sector

Arab government social media use is focused on one-way communications that fail to offer public transparency and opportunities for citizen participation and collaboration

Arab public sector institutions must make significant institutional changes to their social media strategies to meet increased public demands for government transparency, participation in decision making, and collaboration in public service delivery, according to new findings from Tahseen Consulting.

The findings come as social media is widely being embraced by governments in the region as a key component of open government initiatives.

By analyzing over 66,000 social media posts from 28 public sector entities in the education and employment sector in the GCC, Tahseen Consulting developed an Arab public sector social media maturity model which defines specific steps government departments can take to move from initial stages of social media adoption to more advanced stages of social media citizen engagement.

The model is detailed in Tahseen Consulting’s new study An Arab Open Government Maturity Model for Social Media Engagement. The study challenges previous models of e-government and open government maturity based on the experiences of Western countries by offering region-specific guidance that accounts for the unique governance tradition of Arab public sector entities. The report describes organizational changes government leaders can make to help their agencies leverage social media to complement national strategies to increase citizen participation.

“Arab public sector social media use remains largely focused on providing information on low priority activities which is already available via traditional media and on institutional websites,” said Wes Schwalje, Chief Operating Officer of Tahseen Consulting and author of the study. “The insights from our model can help agency leaders more effectively use social media in their open government strategies to create deeper connections with citizens.”

Nearly all of the government agencies surveyed are at an initial stage of leveraging social media as a part of regional open government movements. Though many government agencies in the region have adopted social media, most government agencies have low levels of activity, publish duplicative content on low priority activities, and fail to interact effectively with citizens and other government institutions.

“Use of social media as part of open government strategies is not a technology mandate but a commitment to underlying governing values such as transparency, collaboration, and participation that promote public accountability,” said Walid Aradi, Chief Executive Officer of Tahseen Consulting.

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An Arab Open Government Maturity Model for Social Media Engagement Document Transcript

  • 1. AN ARAB OPEN GOVERNMENT MATURITY MODELFOR SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENTWesley Schwaljewes.schwalje@tahseen.aeWalid Aradiwalid.aradi@tahseen.aewww.tahseen.aeCopyright © Tahseen Consulting 2013
  • 2. Tahseen ConsultingAn Arab Open Government Maturity Model for Social Media Engagement2ABOUT TAHSEEN CONSULTINGTahseen Consulting is a specialized advisor on strategic and organizational issuesfocusing on governments, social sector institutions, and corporations in the Arab World.Applying substantive industry knowledge, evidence-based insights, and analytical rigor,we work alongside our clients to help optimize strategic decision-making, solveorganizational challenges, and appraise the impact of strategic initiatives. This involvesa multidisciplinary approach, working with clients to identify emerging opportunities, aswell as removing obstacles that hold nations and organizations back.Whether it is an Arab government evaluating its education and training strategy in theface of globalization, the need for employment generation, or the emergence ofknowledge-based industries; a private foundation seeking to more effectively measurethe impact and value for money of their programs; or a corporation repositioning itssocial strategies to align with its corporate strategy, our clients rely on us to help themmeet their desired results.For more of our research and insights visitwww.tahseen.ae/researchandinsights.html
  • 3. 3HIGHLIGHTS Existing opengovernmentmodels providelittle guidance forthe Arab publicsector Current socialmedia useperpetuatesinstitutional opacityand centralization Social media usein Arab Gulfcountries offerslittle additionaltransparency,participation, andcollaborationEXECUTIVE SUMMARYWhile embrace of social media as a component ofopen government initiatives is still in its infancy inthe Arab World, there is much expectation thatpublic sector social media use will have atransformative impact on citizen participation ingovernment, policy formation, and the way publicsector entities conduct business. However, existingevolutionary models of e-government and opengovernment maturity based on the experiences ofWestern democracies offer little support to Arabentities that operate in an institutional environmentcharacterized by much different governancetraditions.This study develops a social media maturity modelwhich views public sector social media adoption asan evolutionary process that may involve substantialorganizational changes for Arab institutions to movefrom initial stages of social media adoption to moreadvanced stages of social media use that trulyreflect transparency, public participation, andcollaboration. We find that current social media useby Arab government entities is focused primarily onone-way government to citizen communications thatchronicle the activities of entities rather than offeringadditional public transparency and opportunities forcitizen participation and collaboration.Arab open government initiatives remain focused onproviding information on low priority activities whichis already available via traditional media and oninstitutional websites. In this way, rather than beinga force for reform, social media use in opengovernment initiatives has perpetuated existingpatterns of opacity, centralized decision making, andpaternalism.
  • 4. Tahseen ConsultingAn Arab Open Government Maturity Model for Social Media Engagement4CONTENTS1. Introduction41.1. Open Government in an Arab Context 51.2 The Embrace of Social Media by Arab Governments 61.3 Towards an Arab Maturity Model of Public Sector Social Media Use 102. The Questionable Applicability of Current E-government Maturity and Stage Models toArab Public Sector Social Media Adoption122.1 Assumption of Universally Held Governance and Institutional Values 122.2 Assumption of Similar Implementation and Institutional Capabilities 132.3 Assumption of High Infrastructure Requirements and Transaction-based Service Focus 142.4 Assumption that Public Sector Social Media Efforts are Driven by Open Data Initiatives 163. Model Development Methodology183.1 Model Structure 183.2 Data Collection 193.3 Deriving the Arab Social Media Maturity Framework Model 194. Conclusions27Appendix29References34Download a Copy of the Full StudyTo obtain a copy of the full study “An Arab Open GovernmentMaturity Model for Social Media Engagement” please go to:http://www.tahseen.ae/r&iopengovernment.html#header
  • 5. 5OTHER TAHSEEN CONSULTING RESEARCHRethinking Arab Knowledge-based Economies Seventeen of the twenty-twocountries in the Arab World have the development of a knowledge-based economyspecifically stated as a medium to long-term economic policy objective. In pursuingthis objective, many countries in the region have made large state-driven humancapital investments with the goals of job creation, economic integration, economicdiversification, environmental sustainability, and social development.Creating National Skills Formation for Knowledge-based Development Themovement of many countries towards knowledge-based economic developmentrequires the transition to more effective skill formation systems that create highskills workforces. However, there is currently no accepted general framework toanalyze national skills development systems, which has resulted in countriesadopting reactive approaches to skills development problems.Value for Money in Arab Educational Reform Though there is a continued long-term trend toward increased budgets for education in the region, meeting thecombined demands of increased access, assuring relevance, and improving qualityin the face of finite resources is complex. A common challenge we see in the reformprocess is the lack of performance monitoring and evaluation systems.Using Social Networking for Change We see IT as an important enabler forregional development, and we have worked with global technology leaders such asIntel and Microsoft to deepen the impact of regional development programsleveraging technology. We see social networking as a valuable channel to facilitateregional communication, information sharing, and collaboration.How Skills Gaps Impact Firm Performance in the Arab World In the Arab World,there is a poor match between regional human capital and the skills demanded byemployers. This analysis applies international research to the case of the ArabWorld to determine the operational impacts of skills gaps on Arab companies.For more of our research and insights visitwww.tahseen.ae/researchandinsights.html
  • 6. Tahseen ConsultingAn Arab Open Government Maturity Model for Social Media Engagement6ABOUT TAHSEEN CONSULTINGTahseen Consulting is a specialized advisor on strategic and organizational issues focusing ongovernments, social sector institutions, and corporations in the Arab World. Applyingsubstantive industry knowledge, evidence-based insights, and analytical rigor, we workalongside our clients to help optimize strategic decision-making, solve organizationalchallenges, and appraise the impact of strategic initiatives. This involves a multidisciplinaryapproach, working with clients to identify emerging opportunities, as well as removingobstacles that hold nations and organizations back.FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACTWes Schwaljewes.schwalje@tahseen.aeWalid AradiWalid.aradi@tahseen.aewww.tahseen.aeENGAGE WITH US ON SOCIAL MEDIAYou can engage with us on social media in several ways:Tahseen BlogJoin our group on LinkedInFind us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our presentations on Slideshare