The Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC), the government body charged with the emirate’s ICT agenda, noted several achievements, capacity building initiatives, partnerships and special events over the past months that are expected to have positive impacts on technology-enabled growth in 2013 and beyond.
Achievements: One of the biggest developments for Abu Dhabi’s ICT sector was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Esri, the leading worldwide provider of geographic information system (GIS) software and geodatabase management applications, and ADSIC in December. The MoU, which stipulates the collaborative harnessing of geographic and information systems (GIS) capabilities for enabling society, marks the first time that Esri has ever entered into a government-wide agreement.
Another major milestone was the awarding of the Outstanding e-Government Prize in the Open City category to ADSIC’s Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure (AD-SDI) program during the 1st World e-Governments Organization of Cities and Local Governments (WeGO) Awards held in Spain late this year.
Workshops, training and capacity building Several capacity-building activities have helped enhanced Abu Dhabi’s ICT statue over the past months. In March, for example, ADSIC organized a technical workshop entitled �Using Satellite Imagery in Geospatial Data Systems’ which was well-attended by representatives of AD-SDI member entities and industry experts. Another workshop conducted in June gathered around 150 representatives from 45 government entities to learn about the implementation and enforcement of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council’s circular No. 4 of 2012 making the Emirates Naitonal ID cards compulsory for individual transactions at all government agencies.
A month later, the AD-SDI group shared knowledge and expertise in spatial data and GIS to educate the Fujairah Statistics Center on how to effectively integrate spatial data into statistical computation and decision making.
Another knowledge sharing event was conducted by ADSIC in October in cooperation with the Family Development Foundation and with the supported of the ICDL GCC Foundation. An Open Day was held to prepare women participating in the e-Citizen Program, an initiative that provides basic training in online interaction, practical computer skills, and use of electronic government services. E-Citizen aims to enhance digital literacy among women and support their active participation in the social and economic growth of the Central, Eastern and Western Regions of Abu Dhabi.
Platform developments: ADSIC’s key ICT-empowering platforms were highly visible throughout 2012, particularly the Centre’s pioneering online employment initiative, Jobs Abu Dhabi (jobs.abudhabi.ae). The 3rd edition of Jobs Abu Dhabi’s highly anticipated annual �Virtual Career Fair’ held in June allowed employers and recruiters to interact with candidates through chat, voice or video conferencing from the convenience of the internet.
Partnerships: Continuing its emphasis on collaborative growth, ADSIC was involved in several partnership initiatives geared towards sharing knowledge and expertise and expanding ICT capabilities. In June, DSIC organized a UAE-Korean Knowledge Sharing Seminar to reaffirm bilateral commitments to ICT cooperation. The l seminar follows up on a Memorandum of Understanding previously signed by the heads of the Korea Development Institute and ADSIC.
During the same month, the Centre received a delegation from Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), USA, at its headquarters for a one-day knowledge sharing seminar on the Centre’s national mapping strategy, the practices of AD-SDI Community Members and water resources conservation.
To further reinforce national geospatial expertise, ADSIC also signed a Cooperative Agreement on Spatial Data Infrastructures with the Fujairah Statistics Centre in October. The agreement covers collaboration and knowledge sharing on Spatial Data Infrastructures, GIS, and related projects and programs.
Taking Abu Dhabi’s ICT activism further to the mobility field, ADSIC inked an Agreement of Cooperation with the World Summit Award (WSA) to host the world’s best producers, developers and designers for mobile content at the UN World Summit Award -Mobile Content in February 2013.
Special Events: ADSIC and the Abu Dhabi Government were actively involved in various local, regional and international ICT events this year. In August, an Abu Dhabi contingent participated in the 2012 ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, California – one of the world’s top GIS events. In September, ADSIC acted as the Host Partner to the prestigious 2012 GCC e-Participation ‘&’ e-Governance Forum which gathered top governmental bodies and departments responsible for driving e-Government development across the region.
For October, Abu Dhabi drew global approval for its digital transformation at the 2012 edition of GITEX, the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MEASA) Region’s premier ICT business event. During the show, ADSIC delivered presentations on four of its core e-service initiatives: the Abudhabi.ae e-Government Portal; the 24-hour Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre (800 555); the Jobs Abu Dhabi website; and the Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure (AD-SDI) program.
A fitting end to a productive year for Abu Dhabi’s ICT landscape was its hosting of the ESRI MEA User Conference in early December. The latest edition of the MEA region’s biggest GIS event gathered over 1,500 participants from around the region and served as an ideal platform to showcase Abu Dhabi’s advanced geospatial capabilities and how its spatial data infrastructure plays a key role in modernizing government services.
The Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre’s vision is to transform the Emirate of Abu Dhabi into a high-performance government delivering world class services to the benefit of all citizens. The Centre is gearing up for more initiatives and deployments in 2013 to sustain the momentum of this year’s positive local and national ICT developments.