The UAE has moved up from 40th to 34th in ranking for its use of information and communication technology to improve the quality of services provided by the digital government, a study by the Waseda University Institute of e-Government revealed.

The survey was conducted by specialists from Tokyo-based Waseda University and 10 world-class universities under International Academy of CIO (IAC) in the field.

According to the 2017 Waseda- IAC International e-Government ranking survey — which evaluated 10 core indicators and 35 sub-indicators over almost a year — UAE is ranked ninth in digital government promotion and seventh in e-participation.

The 2017 ranking survey marks Singapore staying at first place, followed by Denmark in second, the US in third, Japan in fourth, Estonia in fifth, Canada in sixth, New Zealand in seventh, South Korea in eighth, UK in ninth, and Taiwan ranked tenth.

Professor Toshio Obi, director of Institute of Digital Government and President, International Academy of CIO, said that the UAE D-Government believes in the importance of e-participation and enabling its customers to take part in the decision-making process.

“The government portal clearly encourages citizens and customers to participate in government decision making process including policies and initiatives. The ‘Contact Government’ section in the portal is dedicated by providing many important tools, including web 2.0 tools and online direct communication with the customer,” he said in the report.

Moreover, he said that the UAE Government has launched its new federal portal, redesigned to offer many e-participation channels, include advanced practices such as Open Data, and be a better-unified gateway to access many online services provided by the UAE Government.

Among the Arab countries, Bahrain is ranked second in the Arab World and 41st globally, followed by Oman in third rank on the Arab level, and 43rd globally, Saudi Arabia ranked fourth on the Arab level and 46th globally.

“The efforts of various government entities in the field of e-participation have succeeded in attracting the attention of residents, and the UAE has been ranked seventh, as well as the efforts to spread the culture of smart transformation and promotion of services, where the UAE has been ranked ninth,” Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Director General of TRA UAE, told Gulf News.

This indicates the spirit of work and dedication of all government entities to enhance the use, satisfaction and quality of various services and policies in the government, he added.

Obi said that the next phase for the UAE — which is seeking to establish itself as smart government leader in the region — will be to win users over to the latest apps and building m-government to help citizens have a better channel to apply for their services.

“The future is going to be about interconnecting government to government, and more collaboration with the government to citizen side. The UAE is investing heavily in adopting and implementing ICT in its government and private sectors,” he said.