Arab Open Government plan – use Social Media!

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Arab Open Government initiatives – public sector must make significant changes to social media strategies to meet public demand for government transparency. Image courtesy- Tahseen Consulting

A study titled, ‘An Arab Open Government Maturity Model for Social Media Engagement‘, seeks to highlight the adoption of social media for information disbursement as an Open Government (OG) initiative.

According to recent findings by Tahseen Consulting, the Arab Public Sector should seek to inculcate institutional changes within its social media strategies in the attempts to cater to the public demands for government transparency, participation in decision making, and collaboration in public service delivery.

The report describes organizational changes government leaders can implement to help their agencies leverage social media to complement national strategies to increase citizen participation.

Tahseen Consulting has developed a social media maturity model which views public sector social media adoption as an evolutionary process that may involve substantial organizational changes for Arab institutions to move from initial stages of social media adoption to more advanced stages of social media use that truly reflect transparency, public participation, and collaboration.

Commenting on the findings of the study, Wes Schwalje, Chief Operating Officer of Tahseen Consulting and author of the study, said;

Wes Schwalje; “Arab public sector social media use remains largely focused on providing information on low priority activities which is already available via traditional media and on institutional websites. The insights from our model can help agency leaders more effectively use social media in their open government strategies to create deeper connections with citizens.”

Walid Aradi, Chief Executive Officer of Tahseen Consulting, added;

Walid Aradi; “Use of social media as part of open government strategies is not a technology mandate but a commitment to underlying governing values such as transparency, collaboration, and participation that promote public accountability.”

The significant role played by social media has been recognized by the global impact that was created by the Arab Spring.

However, the report states; ‘much less attention has been given as to how Arab public sector entities are responding to increased citizen social media use and calls for increased government transparency following the events of the Arab Spring.’

Bringing Arab ‘Open Government’ initiatives in line with the spirit of open government movements in the West will require substantial organizational changes at Arab government agencies.

Walid Aradi; “Government leaders can use the Arab Public Sector Social Media Maturity Model as a roadmap to determine specific organizational changes that need to be made in order to use social media more effectively in citizen interactions and to benchmark themselves against similar entities in the region.” — Walid Aradi, Chief Executive Officer of Tahseen Consulting

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