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Oman heading towards the “The Digital Society”

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Giving attention to human resources, including the provision of the various tools required to enhance their performance, incentives to develop their capabilities, diversifying their creative talents and improving their scientific and practical qualifications, is the basis of real development and the cornerstone in its structure which is based on solid foundations.”                 – Qaboos bin Said Al Busaidi, Sultan of Oman.

The e-Oman Initiative

Qaboos bin Said al Busaidi, the Sultan of Oman, wishes a sustainable development for his people, by creating thousands of jobs for nationals in the Information and Communications Technology sector – ICT, through the e-Oman initiative. E-Oman’s main goal is to deliver significant improvements when it comes to the quality of governmental services for its population.

In March 2003, His Majesty began focusing on his grand vision of transforming Oman into a sustainable knowledge-based economy, through the development of the “Omani Digital Society” and the e-government platform.

His Majesty also encouraged government officials and agencies to simplify operational processes and procedures, adopt technology in their daily operations, and focus on the electronic delivery of their services.

The e-Oman strategy was revised several times, from its 2003 launch, in order to increase focus in the following areas:

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Introducing The Information Technology Authority (ITA)

Following His Majesty’s vision, Oman authorities had to set up an official governmental portal that showcases all governmental services, either by integrating them into appropriate categories or by providing a link for each in part.

Therefore, The Information Technology Authority (ITA) was appointed with the design and implementation of the transformation strategy for Oman. The ITA received the responsibility of integrating governmental entities in a simple, efficient and sustainable platform.

The Oman Ministerial Cabinet approved the eGovernement Transformation Plan in June 2012, also establishing clear instructions and targets in order to ensure that the e-services provided to the population improve constantly.

By following the main goals of the eGovernment Transformation Plan – increasing the integration and quality of governmental services and their adoption by businesses and citizens alike, the ITA offered unconditional support, training and coaching to all of the 84 governmental entities involved.

Given the sustained amount of support and consultancy bestowed upon their governmental agencies, the ITA was also responsible for making annual performance assessments for each governmental entity, in order to measure the degree to which targets were achieved.

In order to measure the transformation plan’s progress levels, the ITA has established an eGovernment Transformation Assessment System, a tool composed out of clear measurement processes and procedures that allowed authorities to identify gaps and system bottlenecks.

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“The ITA has worked proactively to steer Oman toward the knowledge society, consequently achieving a great number of significant accomplishments at international and local levels. The Sultanate was internationally ranked 48 out of 193 countries surveyed for eGovernment by the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) in 2014 moving 16 positions from previous year.

The move from 64 in 2012 position into 48 in 2014 showed a significant improvement in the Oman’s eGovernment.”

– Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Futaisi, The Information Technology Authority Chairman.

Training the workers of tomorrow

The key element of the e-Oman strategy is represented by the Society and Human Development perspective, which offers specialized training courses to IT industry workers, in order to enhance their knowledge, and thus become eligible for more advanced certification courses.

Another key aspect of Oman’s human development plan is represented by the desire to eliminate digital illiteracy from its population and government employees, which is a goal shared by more countries around the GCC.

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As a result, The National IT Training & Awareness Framework (NITTA) was developed by ITA, in order to monitor the progress made in achieving the desired state of evolution for the aforementioned objectives.

NITTA was in charge with the development of governmental workers’ ICT skills and capabilities, but also with increasing awareness regarding the importance of ICT skills and current levels of proficiency within the government and community. Therefore, to have a very structured approach to these 2 goals, NITTA has developed the following projects and initiatives:

1.1 Community IT Training (CITT)

The Community IT Training Project delivered sustainable training courses at all levels of the Omani society and plays a big part in enhancing citizens’ abilities and understanding of modern digital technology.

The CITT project delivered IT literacy training programs to the general population through the use of Community Knowledge Centers (CKC) and Women’s Community Knowledge Centers (WCKC).


1.2 Government IT Training and Certification (GITTC)

This project was specifically designed to provide civil service workers with the necessary information and digital skills to cope with the eGovernment services requirements.


1.3 Specialized IT Training (SITT)

This program was developed to provide specialized training courses and grant opportunities to IT workers, in order for them to obtain valuable certifications in their field. This program aimed to increase the number of certified IT workers in different areas of the field.

The increased focus of Oman in the development of eGovernment services and human capital in general underlines their desire to become a knowledge society, in which every person can easily get access to information and find whatever governmental data he/she requires.

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