Integrated Service Delivery Platform (ISDP)
eGovernment Auhtority

The Problem

The Kingdom of Bahrain had a preliminary website in 2006 that offers government online services. The website had its own limitations for scalability with respect to integration of services from other ministries and agencies and did not offer users with wide channels of choices, such as a web and mobile portal.

Furthermore, the number of services provided on the website were very minimal with less uptake. The key philosophy, proposed by Bahrain’s eGovernment strategy and programme, was to provide alternate and convenient channels of choices for delivery of eServices to citizens and residents.
Such initiative demanded the implementation of a strong platform for service delivery, which was made possible by establishing Integrated Service Delivery Platforms (ISDP) for the public. The platforms include the national government web portal (, mobile portal (, national contact center (8000 8001), eService centers (eSC) and electronic self-operated kiosks. All these delivery channels provide users with electronic services.

The platforms were utilized by every ministry and governmental agency in the Kingdom in order to deliver government services. All the platforms are based on a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) that leads to integrated and reusable components across the government spectrum.
One vital feature is the usage of any of these alternate channels to access the same service. For instance, users can make their electricity bill payments via the national portal, mobile portal, kiosks or the eService centers. These features make service delivery channels perfectly integrated with convenience to customers.
Establishing multiple channels has increased the acceptance and uptake of the programme among citizens and residents. This is evident from a recent satisfaction survey, conducted in 2012 by a third party agency Earnest & Young, which indicated a customer satisfaction index of up to 90%.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
ISDP is an end-to-end initiative that provides an integrated platform for eService delivery across the spectrum of Bahrain’s government services through numerous alternate channels - leading to a ‘no wrong door policy’ and ultimately achieving higher customer satisfaction. The platform is currently live and operational in the Kingdom where services are being utilized instantly.

Numerous interaction channels and mediums have been offered by the platform, some of which include the web portal (supports all major browsers, involves 245+ services currently available online, and contains special features for the physically challenged users - audio and video assistance); mobile portal (available with 61 services, over WAP and SMS); mobile apps (eight multi-platform eServices that target iOS, BlackBerry and Android platforms); kiosks (34 self-service machines located throughout the country with 30 online services); eService centers (13 centers available to offer all the services on the web portal with personalized human assistance); and the national contact center (provides 24/7 support for all channels of service delivery via a toll-free number, with the help of emails, online and video chats using Skype via

To ensure high standard of services, strict quality metrics are employed such as setting individual Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for various channels so as to measure uptake, customer satisfaction surveys, availability, etc.
Also, customer charters are prepared for all channels of delivery. To build trust among users, the channels comply and adopt several international security standards – ISO 27001, VeriSign/Norton Extended SSL Seal and McAfee protection to name the least.

The integrated platform transfers abundant key benefits, some-of-which encompass setting-up national level infrastructure for integrated service delivery platforms; owing a de-facto standard for developing and integrating eServices for all platforms; offering Enterprise Service Bus to provide reusability of the public services across all delivery platforms; standardization of IT policies and practices using common platform National Enterprise Architecture Framework; enabling scalable, secure and highly accessible delivery channels; reducing the duplicity of channels and offer a one-stop-shop for all users; having a central multi-factor authentication framework eKey ( to provide a Single Sign On (SSO) experience across all channels; and obtaining cost effective front end channels for user-access.

The channels became the most preferred service delivery interface among citizens due to citizen centric design, adopting international standards such as W3C for User Interface design and accessibility, as well as the continuous improvement through online feedback forms, blogs, social media, customer surveys and chats.
Bahrain also believes in the term ‘go to the market’ (go to where citizens are). As a result, eGA obtained presence in community websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

The authority conducts customer surveys every six months to assess effectiveness of the programme and customer satisfaction. The recent survey indicated that 90% of the customers are satisfied with the service delivery channels. Other key statistics that indicate high impact include figures such as the national portal’s over 58 million visits; over USD119 million worth of transactions; and the financial transactions that are over 700,000.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
The core to a world class service delivery is the provisioning of an integrated service delivery platform that is available 24X7, accessible by all electronic channels of delivery, and serve as a base. Baring this in mind, the eGovernment Strategy conceived an integrated delivery platform to be utilized by all channels and ministries.

The integrated platform for service delivery was proposed by Bahrain’s eGovernment strategy - designed and implemented by the eGovernment Authority. The authority’s Service Delivery and Channel Enhancement directorate undertook detailed analysis from ministries and the strategy of the requirements which were converted to the technical design, then implemented in-house with the assistance of eGovernment staff. The implementation required various sets of technical and business skills. Other institutions and directorates which played important roles include Central Informatics Organization which provide hosting and operational support; eGovernment Authority Business Process Reengineering directorate which provide process improvement, quality control and information security assessment support; eGovernment Authority Service Delivery directorate who provisions the services and integrates the channels on the platform.

The authority regularly conducts fruitful focus group sessions and poll questions as part of its commitment to engage customers in identifying areas of improvement in its channels and eServices. During the sessions and surveys, the selection of channels were proposed with preference to citizens’ suggestions.

(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 eGovernment strategy recommended a holistic programme that implements integrated service delivery for the people. The objectives of the strategy comprise:
•Becoming an eGovernment leader within the region
•Providing a range of electronic public services
•Providing best-in-class integrated service delivery framework
•Providing services as per customer demands
•Making public service available to all customers including vulnerable groups
•Channels of choice to its customers - web, mobile, kiosk, electronic service centers, IVR, and the like.

Key strategic priorities, which were derived from the strategy, involve:
•Commissioning of service delivery channels and enhancements
•Service development and delivery
•Business process reengineering
•Policies and procedures
•Public awareness and capacity building

The strategy; which was formulated with active participation from the public, businesses and ministries; was approved by the Supreme Committee for ICT (SCICT). Headed by the Kingdom’s Deputy Prime Minister, SCICT ensured that the most utilized ministries are involved within the strategy. Its implementation was also entrusted with eGA; and as part of such initiative, the authority executed the Integrated Service Delivery Platform.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
-In May 2007, the national eGovernment strategy and portal were launched with 35 eServices.
-September 2007 included the provision of the payment services by using debit and credit cards.
-The national contact center was established in May 2008.
-Development of a high-end, exceedingly available and scalable infrastructure kicked off in May 2009.
-First line support for all channels was introduced in May 2009.
-Mobile portal was launched with 15 eServices in May 2009.
-Numerous kiosks were set-up in May 2009; along with four eService centers which were inaugurated at the beginning stage to cover all governorates in the Kingdom, and were ultimately increased to 15 centers.
-Ten kiosks and eServices were rolled-out in September 2009.
-In December 2010, 200 services were facilitated on the national portal.
-December 2010 also included the launch of 55 eServices on the mobile portal; 35 kiosks located all over the country and 30 online services.
-The revamp of the national eGovernment portal took place in March 2011.
-The second phase of the eGovernment strategy was initiated in March 2012.
-eKey (the Central Authentication System) was launched in April 2012.
-Eight multi-platform mobile apps were launched in April 2012.
-The audio and video assistance for physically-challenged individuals was introduced in November 2012.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
The ISDP implementation encountered several obstacles, some of which embrace:

The lack of key resources: the implementation of more than 200 government services required experienced project managers and varied technology and business skills at different levels in ministries. Bahrain faces difficulties in finding such resources within the country. Hence, eGA recruited qualified personals from other geographies on contract basis; hired vendors; developed the skills of existing government employees through various capacity building training programmes; and sponsored overseas training for the employees. These actions ensured that best-in-class skills are available in the country for the project.

Lack of a single service owner (stakeholder): insufficient efforts of buy-in from stakeholders (ministries) towards cooperating on eGovernment’s one-stop-shop platform was encountered. Effective communication amongst ministries is the key success factor for any eGovernment initiative to succeed and their cooperation is exceedingly vital. Thus, to ensure continuous cooperation and support, several actions were undertaken such as forming a high-level steering committee led by the Deputy Prime Minister to oversee progress; creation of task teams for the implementation stage (task force in ministries); conducting meetings at frequent intervals for status-tracking and issue resolution.
Stakeholders were obliged to ensure the participation of users and business communities during the formulation of processes and regulations regarding the use of technology by public administration.

Lack of standards and policies: ministries lacked standards and policies of data exchange or inter-operability which resulted in compatibility issues between applications for delivering eServices. However, this challenge was overcome by the creation of standards and policies by eGA for developing and maintaining eServices.

Lack of awareness and service uptake among citizens: the success of the eGovernment programme lies in the uptake of newly-developed electronic channels vis-à-vis traditional channels. This required massive awareness and capacity building campaigns throughout the Kingdom. The marketing awareness directorate of eGA constantly conducted awareness campaigns and various marketing initiatives for the general public to reach more than 90% of awareness among the population. eGA also overcame the service uptake obstacle by introducing the Capacity Building programme for all the citizens, along with partnering with Batelco (the national telecommunication provider) to offer citizens with free access to all government portals.
Furthermore, it organized roadshows in order to reach citizens and provides them with necessary training and awareness of using the services on the national portal. eService Centers also provided the access of the national portal to citizens who do not have access to the internet, do not own computers or have no knowledge of how to operate computers.

Lack of trust in eCommerce among citizens: difficulty in accepting the eGovernment portal as the channel is dependent on the citizens’ trust in eCommerce especially when performing online-payment related transactions. Concentrated efforts were made to create awareness among the general public and build their trust in eCommerce. The portal has an extended Security Socket Layer (SSL) and security scan for secure eCommerce and confidential communications. This helps address concerns of possible hacker access to portal confidential data, and the safety of visiting this site.

(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 integrated service delivery platform was developed by the eGovernment Authority with the assistance of multiple stakeholders – eGA directorates, Central Informatics Organization (CIO), ministries and external vendors, only to name the least. The platform continues to evolve based on the changing and dynamic needs of the eGovernment programme. Teams supporting the platform involve:
•A team constituting the eGA and CIO for the development support and operations of the platform.
•A team from eGA and ministries for the development and support of services and the portal.
•A team from eGA, ministries and vendors for mobile portal.
•A team from eGA and vendors for kiosks, eService centers and the national contact centers.
The platform is developed on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and is integrated with ministries using web services.

The project is sufficiently funded for procuring, installing, and maintaining the infrastructure – hardware, software and support, licenses, etc. The AMC is already in place with leading vendors.

The integrated service delivery platform is built on open standards with multiple technologies to ensure interoperability between various components. The platform is fully secured with the latest available security software.

The availability of human resources for the development of the platform was a challenge. eGA recruited certain key resources for development. Based on certain analysis, some of the tasks were outsourced to selected vendors. eGA ensured the quality of deliverables and outputs. The hardware, software and services were procured through a competitive tendering process.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
The eGovernment strategy and programme implementation is an ongoing transformation initiative adopted by Bahrain. The strategy is being rivaled by the ministries within Bahrain and other countries as well. Similarly, the Integrated Service Delivery Platform is a sustainable initiative from the eGA which is financially supported by the government.
Such platform is evolving and is expanding based on the needs of the government. Ministries are fully dependent on the platform for eService delivery. Today, it has five channels of delivery, whereas going forward it is envisioning new channels. Human resources required for support is provided by eGA and CIO.
eGA has developed policies and procedures for ministries to develop and integrate the services and channels on the platform. Moreover, these policies and procedures are supported by SCICT for adopting the regulatory measures and the implementing within the ministries.

The following are the efforts towards the sustainability of the ISDP:
a)Upgrade the infrastructure and facilities on a periodic basis to accommodate the changing needs.
b)Identify and integrate more channels of delivery.
c)Conduct business process re-engineering, improve the process by streamlining government operations, initiate administrative reforms in the forthcoming strategy so as to modernize the process and provide simplified process to citizens.
d)Implement common polices and standards for ICT initiatives through the implementation of Kingdom-wide enterprise architecture to enable service integration and inter-operability.
e)Conduct half-yearly citizen surveys to assess satisfaction levels and scope for further improvements.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
ISDP is a great achievement; such observation is grasped from the wide acceptance and uptake of the channels built on the platform. Some of the achievements (statistics) which measure the impact of the initiative include the following:


1)More than 245 eServices including transaction and payments on the national web portal.
2)More than 61 transactional services on the mobile (WAP, SMS).
3)More than 30 transactional services including payment on the 34 kiosks located at various locations in the Kingdom.
4)Eight multi-platform mobile applications for iOS, Android and BlackBerry.
5)Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) – a highly performance delivery framework for the eServices.
6)eKey, a central authentication system for government and private sector authentication within the Kingdom.
7)National contact center for first line support of all the channels and the delivery of 26 key services through IVR.
8)Financial transactions worth USD119 million since its launch.
9)Customer satisfaction index of 90% (Earnest & Young survey April 2012).

The integrated platform is the first-of-its-kind in the country. The platform is currently providing electronic services from the government and the private sector to customers and citizens.

Bahrain faces huge challenges as it moves into the 21st century. The objective of the Economic Vision 2030 is to ensure that the country is proactive in shaping a response to those challenges rather than being overwhelmed by them. Therefore, the most continuing lesson is building a culture of eGovernment; more generally, a culture of ICT for development and everyday life in the long run.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   eGovernment Auhtority
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Aamir Nizami
Title:   Chief, Web & Mobile Portal Management  
Telephone/ Fax:  
Institution's / Project's Website:;
Postal Code:  
City:   Muharreq
Country:   Bahrain

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