In late December, Imex Systems Inc, an Ontario-based software solutions provider were awarded a contract by the Botswana Government to upgrade the iGov technology platform. The platform, branded as ‘1gov’ in Botswana, functions as a centralized customer facing platform that citizens and businesses can use to access many government services. The idea is to not only provide a single, convenient point of government services but also to impute that the government is an integrated unit, instead of fragmented into multiple departments that require multiple portals to distribute their services to citizens and residents.

In order to make it easy for residents to access government services, many more services are planned to go online on 1gov beyond the 60 government services that are already accessible through the platform. Moreover, beyond service centers and the web, services will be launched over the phone, and more importantly, over a mobile app to make the services more accessible.

Others who have integrated government services into a single platform include Moscow (mos.ru) in October 2016, the UK (gov.uk), and the Philippines (i.gov.ph). 

Value for Dubai

There are over 30 government departments in Dubai, many of whom have their own independent web portals. The fragmentation of access points to government services occupies a greater deal of time on the part of citizens to process paperwork and find information. Moreover, when government services are not provided online, it requires users to spend a vastly greater amount of time going to service centers and standing in queues to process paperwork.

A centralized web portal like 1gov in Botswana or gov.uk in the UK provides a simple user interface, with a powerful search engine narrowed to help customers find and use government services easily. Some of the benefits that Dubai can yield through a similar effort is increased usage of government services, and hundreds of hours of time saved for its citizens and residents.

Likewise, deploying greater number of services online like the UK has done will help Dubai drastically. One groundbreaking strategy Dubai is employing to deploy more government services online is conveyed by the ‘Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020’. It entails using blockchain technology to securely deploy all government documents for processing online by 2020, and the projected benefits include saving 25million hours of worker productivity a year, reducing 245million kilometers travelled on the roads per year, and saving the economy AED 5.5billion that is spent on document processing at service centers. Read more here.