The E-Participation Policy aims at instituting the culture and practices of e-participation across Government Agencies and improving transparency and people’s participation, thereby assisting the State of Qatar in achieving its national development goals.
The Government of the State of Qatar has always recognized the value of engaging the people in governance processes. Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-2016 acknowledges that people are a country’s most valuable asset and their participation in political, social and economic spheres will contribute to sustaining a prosperous society. Engagement with their people allows governments to tap into wider perspectives, sources of information, and potential solutions to improve decisions and services. It also provides the basis for productive relationships, improved dialogue and deliberation, and ultimately, better governance. The objective of e-participation is to engage people in development policy and decision-making processes through use of information and communication technologies.
Qatar Digital Government Strategy 2020 and E-Participation
Qatar Digital Government 2020 Strategy is about simple, fast and secure services, anywhere, anytime. The strategy focuses on people, using technology to deliver real benefits to the people of Qatar - to members of the public, whether they are citizens, residents or visitors; businesses and private organizations; and government entities themselves. Qatar Digital Government 2020 strategy aims to enhance the customer experience, provide greater access to government services, and improve government efficiency, leading to better outcomes for the nation.
The strategy has one clear vision:
“All individuals and businesses will benefit from connecting online with Qatar's more open and efficient government.”
To deliver this vision, the strategy has three objectives:
Better serve individuals
Create efficiency in government
E-Participation is part of the third objective – “Increase Government Openness”.
Public participation and citizen engagement are vital to shape public policies and determine public service delivery. The overall objective of the government is to encourage and provide channels for digital civic engagement that lead the country to make higher quality, more relevant decisions and policies that have a greater degree of public buy-in.
It has been found that an increasing number of youth are online and have a desire to contribute to the policymaking process through digital (online) channels, and in the absence of formal channels are expressing their opinions through informal channels (e.g. Twitter). The overall objective of the government is to encourage and provide channels for digital civic engagement that lead the country to make higher quality, more relevant decisions and policies that have a greater degree of public buy-in.
E-Participation will enable the public to participate more broadly and deeply in the policy making process across all levels of e-participation to create a more active public. Furthermore, Qatar National Vision 2030 seeks to increase the limited engagement of citizens in Government related issues, and as such, e-participation will be one of the major initiatives to help establish Qatar’s reputation as an e-government leader and boost the country’s position in the global e-participation rankings.