Elsa Estevez, Senior Academic Programme Officer at UNU-EGOV participated in the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Innovation and Technology for Advancing the Knowledge-Based Economy (KBE) in the Arab Region, organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) in Amman, Jordan from 3 to 4 June 2015.
The main objective of the EGM was to explore the role innovation and technology play in building KBEs in the Arab region. The meeting compiled identified needs and priorities of the region and discussed viable approaches for harnessing innovation and technology for the transformation to KBEs, while examining possible linkages with Sustainable Development Goals and ways of advancing the UN Development Agenda beyond 2015. It also included presentations of selected national, regional and international experiences and practical examples from both developed and developing countries.
The meeting was attended by 44 experts from ministries, private and public research centres, international organizations, academia, incubators and the private sector from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates, including members of international organizations: International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations University (UNU), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) and The World Bank.
The presentation by Elsa Estevez entitled “Mobile Governance in the Arab Region – From Policy to Impact” explained the concept of Mobile Governance; presented the Mobile Governance Toolkit developed and validated by UNU-EGOV in collaboration with the Vanuatu Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) and the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization (CTO); and discussed how the Toolkit, which is by design customizable to different national and regional contexts, could be instantiated for the Arab Region, and applied to support the advancement of its KBEs. She also disussed how Smart City and Open Government Data initiatives can contribute to KBEs.