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UN University to help build electronic government in Afghanistan

April 27, 2009

On 1 May, the United Nations University International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST; Macao, China), in cooperation with the Ministry of Communication and IT (MCIT) of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, will launch a project to develop electronic government in Afghanistan. This project -- Developing Electronic Government in Afghanistan: Assessment, Strategy, Programme -- will be implemented jointly by the UNU-IIST Center for Electronic Governance and MCIT, and co-funded by the UNU and the World Bank.

The aims of the project are to develop an electronic government strategy for Afghanistan, to establish a government programme to implement that strategy, and to build the human and organizational capacity of the MCIT, and the Afghan government as a whole, to execute and benefit from this programme.

The project will address the needs and priorities of Afghanistan and, specifically, of the country's public service delivery system, in line with national development policies. It will also promote international best practices in electronic government and in IT-related programme and project management in government.

Through this project, the UNU-IIST Center for Electronic Governance will work with government leaders in Afghanistan to raise awareness about the opportunities created by IT to support and enhance the work of government agencies and their interactions with citizens, businesses and one another.

"The project will develop the human and organizational capacity of the Ministry of Communication and IT, and of the Government of Afghanistan as a whole, to carry out a comprehensive readiness assessment on the actual and potential use of information and communication technologies in government," said Dr. Tomasz Janowski, Senior Research Fellow and founder and head of the UNU-IIST Center for Electronic Governance. "This readiness assessment, supplemented by additional research and contributions from various local stakeholders, will facilitate the development of a coherent vision, goals and strategies for electronic government in Afghanistan that are well aligned with the national development goals, and the adaptation of the relevant international best practices to efficiently implement such strategies."

A series of events covering leadership, management and technical skills will be convened to assist senior officials, public managers and IT staff of the Afghan Government to be able to lead, implement and benefit from the project. Furthermore, relevant instruments and techniques for electronic government readiness assessment and strategy development, developed through earlier work by the UNU-IIST Center for Electronic Governance, will be adjusted to local demands and conditions.

A detailed implementation plan, based on the concept of the project and the needs and realities of the implementation environment in Afghanistan, was developed at a UNU/MCIT Planning Workshop held in Macao in March 2009.

The project, which officially commences on 1 May 2009, is expected to run for one year. It will be coordinated by Mr. Mohammad Aimal Marjan, Director General ICT within the Afghanistan MCIT, and Dr. Tomasz Janowski, Head of the UNU-IIST Center for Electronic Governance. It will be managed by Mr. Qudratullah Hiwadpal, eGovernment Manager of MCIT, and Dr. Zamira Dzhusupova of the UNU.

Responding to strong demand from developing countries, the UNU-IIST Center for Electronic Governance is currently engaged in discussions with several governments in Asia and Africa regarding the establishment of similar projects.
-end-
For more information about this project, please contact Dr. Tomasz Janowski at tj@iist.unu.edu.

More information about the UNU-IIST Center for Electronic Governance and its projects and events is available at http://www.egov.iist.unu.edu.

United Nations University

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