This report provides an in-depth look at how Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates are using digital technologies to achieve broader policy objectives. The report finds that significant progress has been made in improving connectivity, establishing the basic infrastructure and using ICTs for more efficient services. They have laid the foundations for the digital transformation of the public sector in a way that ensures greater accessibility for all.

However, the report also shows that a more structured use of new technologies could better meet citizens’ expectations, help secure trust in government and support inclusive growth. For example, ICTs could be used more effectively to engage citizens in the design of public policies as well as in the design, delivery and evaluation of public services. A more strategic use of ICTs can help the different parts of the public sector work together and share resources, as well as improve data governance and cybersecurity policies. More fundamentally, the report calls for a cultural shift in the public administration to center services and policies on citizen’s needs and preferences.

These countries need a robust strategic and policy framework to implement digital government strategies successfully and consistently across the administration.  In line with the OECD Recommendation, they should develop institutional set-ups that enable a coherent use of technology across levels of government.

Finally, the report stresses the relevance of building institutional capabilities to successfully manage complex ICT projects and programmes, ensure value for money in ICT investments and asset management, and deliver benefits to all social groups. Drawing on OECD best practices, standards and legal instruments, this report provides policy makers with recommendations for moving forward with the digital transformation.