Transforming Palestine’s digital landscape: cross-sector collaboration

In today’s day and age, virtually everything is digitized. And governments around the world are embracing the power of digital solutions to optimize interconnectivity, and most importantly, to meet the different needs of individuals, businesses, and industries alike.

What is Digital Transformation?

To better appreciate how digital technologies disrupt the way public and private organizations work, it is important to understand that digital transformation is at the core of this change.

But what is digital transformation, and how does it work? Digital transformation is the use of the latest digital technologies to not only create new business processes but to optimize existing ones. The purpose is centered around enhancing operational efficiency as well as user experience.

Digital transformation also calls for a cultural change, encouraging organizations to develop a mindset that is open to innovating with the latest digital technologies and ultimately pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

Embracing Digital Governments

For government establishments everywhere, embracing digital transformation and digitizing their daily operations is a step in the right direction. For these public sector institutions, creating a digital culture that is in tune with the local needs of consumers, will enhance the efficiency of government services, ultimately saving everyone time and money.

Digital technologies are also essential for better public and private sector collaboration, especially when creating strategic policies that promote entrepreneurship. This collaboration extends beyond policies and includes the implementation of new technologies and innovations emerging from the private sector to streamline operations in the public sector. In this scenario, a more cohesive public and private sector cooperation can emerge, for the benefit of communities, businesses, and emerging industries.

Palestinian Governance and the Need for Digitization

In Palestine today, government establishments suffer from a lack of digital infrastructure and interconnectivity across the board. As a result, poor communication between both government establishments and private organizations leads to ineffective services for individuals and businesses alike.

Added to this is the sub-par digital presence, or lack thereof, of ministry institutions, which is a detriment to their visibility and ability to help individuals access the services they need when they need them.

For Palestinians finding information about their local markets, employment opportunities, and even entrepreneurial support, can seem impossible. And the lack of online support makes the situation even more difficult and has repeatedly affected their ability to secure the resources and support needed to launch income-generating projects. This is not just limited to Palestine but affects developing economies around the world. As such, digital transformation can improve interconnectivity between public sector institutions and help them usher in a new era of innovation that adopts smart digital solutions to improve internal operations and services offered.

While the donor community has supported various initiatives to develop the country’s tech infrastructure, and services, local ministries have been unable to embrace the change. One major reason is the lack of awareness, or presence of digital culture, that drives innovation and promotes digital-based solutions. As a result, government employees are reluctant to implement digital services fearing for their jobs. Not understanding that digital services help streamline operations and provide employees with the time and resources to maximize their job outputs.

For self-starters and business owners, supportive governmental policies are a must, but the effectiveness and efficiency of the government to provide reliable information and needed resources are just as important. And for the most underrepresented social groups, such as youth, unemployed women, self-starters and entrepreneurs, digital access to support institutions in both the public and private sectors can help them learn about their local ecosystems, and how to access the support they need.

How You Can Help?

Governments around the world are embracing digital transformation and implementing the latest technologies to provide their services online, not only saving their citizens time but helping develop local economies.

It is no secret that Palestinians suffer daily from movement restrictions. And for those living in remote areas, a visit to the city can be difficult, to say the least. Unfortunately, many Palestinians cannot make these long journeys to visit government establishments to access the information or services they need, which should be available online. In fact, individuals have to commute long hours to major cities, to fill out applications by hand, and then wait in endless lines to have them processed or certified.

Instead, for government establishments to improve their digital presence, a more collaborative approach needs to adopted. One in which local entrepreneurs, programmers, and tech experts step up and help their local government establishments develop professional websites with updated digital content.

To this end, committed decision-makers, donors, and stakeholders from Palestine, as well as the diaspora, need to come together to work on meaningful yet smart solutions that will transform the way the government reaches out to their people.

The private sector is also a strategic partner when it comes to helping government establishments implement digital technologies in their daily operations. Smart digital solutions that will help the government enter the digital age with online services accessible to millions of Palestinians. Ultimately embracing digital solutions will save the public sector millions, which can annually be reinvested to support the growth of new industry and the economic resilience of the Palestinian people.