The Dubai School of Government (DSG) will gain ownership of the Middle East’s first e-government Arab Sharing Portal in 2010. The portal was established by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP/ICTDAR), during the 2005 World Summit for Information Society (WSIS) in Tunisia, to promote e-governance.
The transfer of ownership is outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Microsoft, UNDP/ICTDAR and Dubai School of Government.
The MoU was signed by Nabil Ali Alyousuf, Executive President of the Dubai School of Government; Charbel Fakhoury, Regional General Manager of Microsoft Gulf and Najat Rochdi, Regional Coordinator of UNDP/ICTDAR.
Nabil Alyousuf said: “The agreement is part of a plan to enrich regional academic research on e-government, tackle e-governance barriers faced by Arab countries and empower decision makers in the region to develop e-government initiatives supporting reform and good governance, while facilitating the exchange of knowledge within governments, the private sector and academia.”
He added: “The partnership will highlight the e-government research initiative that was launched by the Dubai School of Government. This initiative comes in line with our objective of promoting the concept of e-government in the Arab World”
Najat Rouchdi said: “UNDP/ICTDAR is delighted to partner with DSG to develop the e-government portal for regional governments to share knowledge, best practices and experience about effective e-governance policies, programmes and solutions.
“The portal is an example of how technology can be applied to promote sharing of information and serve as a valuable collaborative platform for governments in the region. We believe this initiative will bring complementarities, outreach and efficiency to all stakeholders in the region.”
Charbel Fakhoury said: “I am very excited about the relationship with Dubai School of Government which further demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment in working closely with governments on pressing technology policy issues, providing technology solutions that address the needs of governments, educators, and non-profit organizations; and helping organisations realise their full potential”
Dr. Yasar Jarrar, Executive Dean of Dubai School of Government said: “The web-based portal includes well-founded mechanisms for searching, rating and cataloguing documents. It serves as platform for more effective communication among national and regional government leaders, which will ultimately result in an enhanced and sustained governance of the Arab World.”
The joint ownership of the portal with UNDP/ICTDAR will begin with immediate effect and will continue for a period of three years, after which the title of the portal, including all intellectual property rights, will be transferred to the Dubai School of Government.
Microsoft will act as an active partner for the duration of the transition building an upgraded version of the portal, in addition to providing financial support, technical expertise, train the Dubai School of Government team to ensure familiarity the Sharing Solution Network platform (SSN) and performing post launch updating operations.
The Dubai School of Government is the leading research and teaching institution established in the region that focuses on public policy and administration. It was established in 2004 under the direction of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai of the UAE. The Dubai School of Government collaborates and coordinates with other international schools of Government such as Harvard University's John F Kennedy School of Government to undertake research and teaching programmes and to encourage the global exchange of views and experiences relating to public and government policies, seeking to reinforce and advance the skills of the leaders and decision makers in the Arab region.
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