Designing Inclusive Digital Governance (INDIGO)

Project description

Title: E-governance in the Palestinian territories with regional component
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Palestinian territories, Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA region)
Overall term: 2020 to 2024

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Context

The increasing availability of information and communications technology (ICT) is opening up new ways for governance. Also countries in the MENA region are increasingly looking to realising innovation in administration and are establishing effective, sustainable e-governance structures. Particularly the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have shown that digital technologies are crucial for maintaining public services even in crisis situations and expanding them where necessary.

Especially in fragile contexts, such as the Palestinian territories, the creation of diverse digital services and innovative participation formats can reduce regional disparities while strengthening social cohesion and the participation of the population. In this regard, municipalities play a particularly important role because of their proximity to citizens. To ensure the success of digital transformation processes, it is essential to involve citizens as end-users in designing and testing digital solutions.

So far little attention has been paid to such user-oriented approaches in the region as well as in the Palestinian context. Existing digital services and participation formats are therefore rarely user-friendly and thus not widely used.

Objective

The provision and use of citizen-centred, inclusive digital services and innovative participation formats in Palestinian municipalities and regional exchange on e-governance approaches in the MENA region have improved.

Approach

The project is implemented in cooperation with a wide range of governmental and civil society partner organisations. It aims to support selected Palestinian municipalities in setting up inclusive and sustainable e-governance structures. To achieve this, the project applies the approach of human-centred design, placing the citizens as end-users at the core of the design processes. It puts special emphasis on involving marginalised groups to ensure not only general user-friendliness but also accessibility. Especially women, people with disabilities, and those living in the marginalised regions of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank should benefit from improved public services and participation opportunities.

To improve regional knowledge building and exchange in the area of e-governance, the project develops and implements innovative exchange formats. Participants from the Middle East and North Africa are provided with spaces for creative collaboration. 

The project forms part of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) special initiative to promote stability and development in North Africa and the Middle East. Through the projects implemented as part of the special initiative, BMZ is helping to create economic and social prospects for people in the region. In this context, more than EUR 395 million in additional financing has been earmarked for projects carried out by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and other implementing organisations between 2014 and 2021. The focus is on empowering young people, promoting employment, supporting economic stability, fostering democracy and stabilising neighbouring countries in crisis situations.

Latest update: September 2020