UNU-EGOV Workshop in Oman

  • 2016•11•14     Muscat

    UNU-EGOV ran a 2-days workshop in Muscat for the Omani Information Technology Authority. The aim of the workshop was to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the national Omanuna portal for citizens, businesses and visitors. Being the national shopping centre for government-related questions and transactional services, user-friendliness is a must. The interactive workshop therefore analysed language use, the ease of finding answers to questions, logical and intuitive structure and interfaces, and compliance with national and international standards for security and web-accessibility (i.e. the WCAG 2.0 AA standard).

    An external expert evaluation carried out by Morten Meyerhoff Nielsen, Academic Fellow at UNU-EGOV, formed the basis of the workshop. Based on international good practice and future trends, the expert evaluation was complimented by past and present challenges for the Omanuna portal team, such as: current strengths and weaknesses of the technical set-up, style-sheet, information architecture, content generation, e-Services, and contact details for relevant authorities. Core questions asked included:

    • Is the portal linked to the sectoral or ministerial services of social welfare?
    • Does the portal provide links to archived relevant policy, budgetary or legal documents related to education? Is this information available for vulnerable groups like the youth, seniors, immigrants, women or the disabled?
    • Is an online service or downloadable form available for e.g. car registration, change of address or application for pension?
    • Does the portal have social media features and, if so, how relevant are they for target user such as youth or seniors?
    • Is there evidence of citizens or businesses being engaged in the development of content and services? Or in the development of policies?

    The workshop resulted in a comprehensive set of recommendations made to the Omanuna portal team and the ITA board of directors.