The Dubai School of Government (DSG), a research and teaching institution focusing on public policy in the Arab world, today launched the Arabic edition of Governance and Information Technology: From Electronic Government to Information Government, in Dubai.
The book analyses the shift from the narrow focus of electronic government on technology and transactions to the broader perspective of information government, which includes the information flows within the public sector, between the public sector and citizens, as well as among citizens. It depicts an in-depth understanding of the changing nature of governing and governance in an information society.
The book is edited by Fadi Salem, Fellow at the Dubai School of Government, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Director of the Information and Innovation Policy Research Centre, and David Lazer, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Program on Networked Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School, with Dr. Yasar Jarrar, Partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Research Fellow (nonresident) at the Dubai School of Government.
Tarik Yousef, Dean of DSG, said: “The choice between accessibility and information protection triggers frequent debates among policy makers. As our governments offer more public services online, it is very important to understand the shifting trends in policy making and the regulations governing it. As technologies become more ubiquitous, we have to understand the connection between e-governance and information flow. This book offers us real insight into sensitive policies that are on top of political agendas in countries around the world.”
The launch of the book coincided with a panel discussion which included Jane Fountain, Professor, University of Massachusetts—Amherst, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Tarik M. Yousef.
Viktor Mayer-Schönberger said: “As we enter a new era of technological advancements, the flow of information needs to be understood on both the micro and macro levels. While the information becomes more readily available, there are numerous discrepancies between the centralization and decentralization of data, the type of data that is available, who receives it and how transparent these operations should be. In light of current political events, numerous structural and operational changes are taking place with governments taking a different approach to online governance, information storage and disclosure.”
Jane Fountain said: “Information technologies offer spectacular opportunities to the public sector, bringing synergy between the government and the society. Strategic use of information tools enables governments to be more efficient and allows them to be more attentive and responsive to the needs of citizens. We have seen these remarkable changes in online governance incorporated when the Obama Administration developed the open government initiative, with a focus on transparency, collaboration and participation. Such moves will grant the public better access to information that was earlier not available online, and will drive greater accountability and encourage the creation of information-based societies and knowledge economies.”
Established in 2005 in cooperation with the Harvard Kennedy School, the Dubai School of Government is committed to the creation of knowledge and dissemination of global best practices in the Arab world. The school conducts various programmes that seek to enhance the region’s capacity for effective public policies.
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