Irfanullah Arfeen and Morten Meyerhoff Nielsen, UNU-EGOV researchers, presented a paper and attended the 9th International Conference of the South Asian Chapter of AGBA (SAICON 2017), which took place in Bhurban, Pakistan, between 23-25 August 2017. The conference was hosted by the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology and the conference theme was Today’s Vision, Tomorrow’s Reality. SAICON is a platform through which contemporary and developing ideas on business, economic and social sciences are discussed where academics and researchers interact with the industry professionals.
The paper, entitled “Assessment of Digital Government: Case Study of ICT initiatives in Balochistan“, assesses the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Balochistan. The study finds that there is a lack of e-readiness even if public sector officials are willing to use ICT to enhance their performance. In Balochistan, political, social, and economic instability are found to be the main barriers to ICT initiatives. Digital government projects are initiated but generally end in failures. Federal government and international donor agencies are often hampered in their efforts to roll-out any ICT infrastructure or educational projects in Balochistan because of the small minority of separatists who have control of vast arrays of land in this region. This research constitutes an important contribution towards ICT for Development in general, and particularly in the context of Pakistan. This paper is based on case study research with special focus of ICT development in Balochistan province, the largest of the four provinces in Pakistan, which is located in a strategic position and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran. Findings may help to improve ICT projects success rates.