Egypt's ICT indicators portal
Information Center

The Problem

Despite the important role played by the ICT sector in Egypt, it notably lacked the presence of many indicators reflecting its performance and contribution to the economy, in addition to the inconsistency of some published indicators. For example, the rate of growth of ICT revenues was mistakenly used to reflect the growth of the ICT component of GDP. In addition, indicators for measuring the characteristics of using ICT within households, business, government and education sectors through surveys (soft indicators) were unavailable. This represented a huge gap in Egypt’s ICT data, noting that this type of indicators was found to be especially crucial for policy makers in their policy design for the ICT sector, as well as many international organizations, which rely heavily on these soft indicators in their published reports.
On the other hand, even when indicators were available they were not easily accessible as they were scattered around different sources with no single pool of data that can be used and accessed by different parties.
The above lack of indicators and their accessibility have stressed on the importance of starting an initiative that would aim at collecting all the incomplete ICT data in Egypt, verifying all the inaccurate figures, unifying the source for all ICT indicators in Egypt and finally disseminating such data to the public and to all interested parties.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
The main achievement of the project was the implementation of the FIRST Egyptian ICT Indicators portal which is a precedent in the Arab and African regions. The portal provides the necessary, accurate and meaningful data about ICT sector in Egypt. It has the broadest scope, as it is measuring ICT usage in different fields: Households, Businesses, Government, Education, Health, IT Clubs and internet cafes. In addition, it pools together sets of hard and soft data with different frequencies; monthly, quarterly, and annually. It also allows display of indicators by multiple categories and sub-categories both graphically and in a tabular form. Furthermore, it provides friendly interface for ease of use for all types of beneficiaries which include policy makers, researchers, academia, the media, investors, businessmen and international organizations.

The impact of the project is being continuously measured through regular interaction with all beneficiaries from the portal. This process takes place via a questionnaire distributed to all types of beneficiaries inquiring about the return and benefits they derive from the indicators, information and reports on the portal and whether they have any suggestions or proposals to improve the portal’s content which in turn will maximize their satisfaction.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
The Information Center within the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology proposed the solution and cooperated with Microsoft and one of its partners from the private sector to bring success to the project through the mode of Public Private Partnership (PPP). The National statistical agency (CAPMAS) has contributed to the project through the process of data collection, compilation and data entry. The stakeholders included also the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and the National ICT regulator NTRA.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The project depended on several strategies which included; Adopting a Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, building an intelligent database within MCIT for ICT indicators which helps in measuring and analyzing the information society in Egypt according to international standards, building the capacity in the area of ICT indicators in Egypt, monitoring ICT usage within different sectors internally and across the regions, providing international organizations with the required data to feed their analytical ICT reports and indicators which helps to position Egypt in the rank that it deserves regionally and internationally and providing decision makers with early, accurate ICT indicators which help them in setting the policies and strategies related to the ICT sector as well as to follow up the policies implemented.
All the strategies were developed by the Information Center team through collaborative work.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
In 2006 the Information society Indicators project was launched.
During 2006 the preparation phase took place which included:
• Designing questionnaires.
• Designing the appropriate methodologies.
• Conducting the surveys and extracting the result by the National Statistical Office CAPMAS.
In January 2007 the results came out and were analyzed. The whole exercise was repeated in cooperation with the CAPMAS from 2007 till now.
In October 2008 the official English version of the Portal was launched.
In April 2009 the Arabic version came out.
In October 2009 more enhancements took place like:
• Advanced Analysis
• ICT in Education Sector
• Adding Personalization tools such that each user has the ability to customize the webpage according to his preference in terms of colors, display..etc.
In 2010 further added sections were:
• ICT for empowering women
In 2012 the separate survey was conducted on ICT for health where 2 surveys had taken place, one for the examining the health institutions’ usage of ICT tools and the other for the doctors’ usage.
In 2012, the Arab ICT Indicators Portal was launched, upon request from the ITU Regional Office; a project that takes Egypt's ICT Indicators Portal as a model for the Arab countries to implement.
The process of data collection, calculation, analysis and publishing is conducted on an annual basis for the current scope in addition to new areas and developments added each year. Moreover, enhancements to the portal are an ongoing process for the benefit of all users and to make them more attached to the portal and its services.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
The difficulty of working with one database that incorporates all the indicators and must have the ability to expand to absorb all the additions to the indicators
Some difficulties in data collection from companies due to reluctance to disclose sensitive financial data like revenues for example.
Moreover, companies are reluctant to supply their data due to competition in the sector.
Some difficulties in collecting personal data from households such as disclosing income information.
Finally, working continually to keep up with the dynamic base of the new indicators evolved and the new methodologies to be adapted.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
The financial cost reached 3.5 million EGP for startup in addition to annual sum of 2.5 million for feeding the portal with updates.
Total human resources working on the project reached 20+ including economists, statisticians, analysts and developers. In addition to 200 data collector.
The mobilization process took place through a dedicated team from the Information Center who focused on following up the technical issues of the project. On the other hand there was a supportive team also from the Information Center handling administrative issues and also devoted to continuous revision and double checking.
In addition, the CAPMAS dedicated a team of data collectors and data entry team. The IC team worked closely with the Microsoft team on technical issues.
The whole process was navigated through working according to a project plan and via a series of follow up meetings for continuous reviewing and updating and modifying ahead of time.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
The project has started successfully its Sixth year. Many developments and enhancements have taken place since the launch of the portal to ensure the continuation of this success. Most importantly, due to the importance of having up to date statistics for ICT sector the project has attained the policy maker’s support and encouragement which has ensured that the financial resources dedicated to the project are sustainable through MCIT's commitment to finance it.
The project has proven to be useful on both the local and regional levels.
Locally, benefiting from the project has taken place on two tracks, first: an internal track inside MCIT, as a decision support for the minister on one side and as other departments inside the Ministry are using the information and data from the results of the questionnaires for the purpose of measuring the progress in the ministry’s initiatives. E.g. the Egyptian Education Initiative, health initiative ..etc. Secondly, an external track, where other Ministries like the Ministry of State for Administrative Development have used the results of the e-government questionnaires for ICT usage in measuring E-Readiness in the government sector. In addition, Communication companies depend on the outcomes of the portal for designing their future strategies and planes.
On a regional level, the largest impact of the project lies in the "Arab ICT Indicators Project". The project aimed at benefiting from the Egyptian experience in the field of measuring ICT indicators and transfer this knowledge to the Arab countries involved in the project. The project was implemented through a number of workshops to help other Arab countries to build a capacity building in measuring ICT indicators. The Arab portal was officially launched within the “Connect Arab Summit” in March 2012 (
As a result of the initiative’s success, the ITU Arab Regional Office in cooperation with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) are planning for a 2nd phase of the project to measure the impact of ICT. In this context, A Regional Workshop on ICT Indicators: from policy & strategy to impact was held in Egypt in June 2012. The workshop aims at benefiting from the advanced Egyptian expertise in integrating IT tools and applications into other sectors of the State like health, education and others which leads to the development of these sectors, positively reflecting on the growth of the national economy in Egypt.
On the international level, different International organizations like the ITU, OECD, UNCTAD and the World Bank have asked Egypt to present their experience as a case study on different conventions and meetings.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
The main impact of this project is to contribute in the development of Egypt information society and knowledge society. In addition, better positioning Egypt in the Regional and International ICT maps. Through the provision of accurate and reliable data on the ICT indicators; this project is targeted to benefit all the stakeholders of the sector from Policy Maker to the college student level; incorporating the ICT community along with its public and private actors, the various International Organizations specialized in the sector such as the ITU, OECD, WB... etc.

The project has played a crucial role in supporting the policies and decisions taken by policy makers to make better deployment of the ICT services in a way to boost the Egyptian economy as well as the overall wellbeing of the Egyptian citizen.
In these regards, the availability of the ICT indicators and their usage among the different categories such as sex, age and geographical distribution has permitted the policy make to draw the right path of the initiatives formulated to them. The testimony of this was quite flagrant with the launch of the "e-misr" in 2011; the National Broadband Plan of Egypt. The policy maker was able to benefit from the detailed information provided by this project and the study of the ICT usage on the different levels of the localities to best design this policy.
Also the project importance to the Academia is growing with the depth and ramification of the evolving impact of this sector on the Egyptian economy. In this context Academia needs to rely on accurate data sources as well as the methodology of measurement of these statistics to conduct their studies and that is where the role of the portal is demonstrated.

The private sector interest in the data provided by the portal is also growing lately. These businesses started to base their decisions according to the patterns of ICT usage published on the portal. Not to mention the importance of this kind of data for the investors that need such information to better examine the profitability of their investments in Egypt and the areas where they can best invest in the Egyptian ICT sector.

This project has also a social and gender aspect with the provision of data on initiatives such as the ICT Club. It is one of the very important initiatives for the diffusion of ICT services especially in the rural areas, enabling users to access ICT services at affordable prices. Through the close monitoring of usage patterns provided by the portal, the government was able to measure the efficiency of such initiative and was able to restructure it. Thus and more recently this initiative was broaden in scope to become "Technology Homes" initiative that is now playing more important role in the areas lagging behind in Egypt in terms of women empowerment as well as handicaps enabling and the discover of talents in the IT field.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Information Center
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Nagwa Elshinawy
Title:   Information Center Director  
Telephone/ Fax:   20235341615/20235371222
Institution's / Project's Website:
Address:   Smart vilage, b1, Km. 28, Cairo/Alex. Desert Rd., Giza
Postal Code:   12577
City:   Giza
Country:   Egypt

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