| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The transformation of the ID web-portal was implemented according to Emirate ID’s strategic objective: “To ensure that all central administrative services are of high quality, are efficient, transparent and timely”. Implementation was conducted in 7 phases:
PLANNING – 2009
Development of the 2010-2013 strategic plan started with a consultation of all the key stakeholders both internal and external. The strategy was developed to conform to the broad range of national priorities including the Federal Government Vision 2021 to ensure all development work on the webportal furthered the objectives of the country’s leadership. A robust benchmarking process was instituted against a 6 global leaders in eGovernment services to ensure best practice throughout. The webportal was contextualised within the wider plan for the Emirates ID registration process to ensure perfect synchronisation between the online and offline aspects of the strategy.
STAKEHOLDER BUY-IN – 2009
The strategy was presented to all stakeholders to elicit further input and ensure full transparency of the ID Authorities plans. The capturing of user requirements at this stage helped guarantee that the portal would reflect the needs of all its visitors and be fit for purpose.
REDESIGN AND DEPLOYMENT – 2009
The technical plan was delivered in complete alignment with the corporate strategy of making customer services available online through the portal. Once design work was completed, the portal underwent rigorous technical testing and bug-checking. Finally, usability testing by a cross-section of portal users verified all aspects of the beta version were fit for purpose.
ITERATIVE IMPROVEMENT – 2010
Throughout deployment, Emirates ID conducted regular listening and evaluation cycles to ensure customer feedback was utilised to improve the user experience in an agile manner. Using the principle that it is better to do something right first time, every element of the web-portal was iteratively improved based on the free exchange of feedback with citizens.
SOCIAL MEDIA INTEGRATION – 2011
A dedicated social media strategy was implemented with a governance strategy to help manage traffic via the various channels. The strategy was designed to enhance Emirates ID’s presence as a living virtual organisation through 2-way interaction with citizens and business. Particular emphasis was placed on engaging younger Emiratis who regularly used social media. The result was continuous improvement to the content of Emirates ID social pages, reflected in increased satisfaction levels from 58% in 2011 to over 85% in 2012.
EVALUATION AND REPORTING – 2012
Each year, officials compile and present a detailed report of their activities. Reports are widely publicised to all stakeholder communities and openly published on the portal. The process of yearly reporting focussed the implementation team on analysing each aspect of the web-portal and social media channels, from the financial savings to the reduction in environmental impacts, and compiling a wealth of data resources that can be used to monitor progress and update performance targets developed in the 2010-2013 plan. By 2012, Emirates ID had achieved 90% of all strategic targets.
LESSONS LEARNED – 2013
A comprehensive evaluation was carried out to conclude / augment the 2010-2013 strategy and ensure that all outstanding KPIs, projects and objectives had been fully implemented. The increased traffic to the web-portal and improved customer satisfaction rates from social media channels have led to an ambitious expansion of their place within the UAE ID strategy plan 2014-2019
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Following a detailed stakeholder mapping process, a broad cross-section of different groups was involved in the planning and implementation phases of the Emirates ID portal:
(1) GOVERNMENT – Internal government stakeholders ensured full conformity with existing initiatives and priorities as well as sharing knowledge:
*Emirates eGovernment Authorities
*Emirates Competitiveness Council
*Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre
*Ministry of the Interior
*Ministry of Health
*Ministry of Finance
*Ministry of Social Affairs and Higher Education
(2) CUSTOMERS – Prospective users of the web-portal provided real-world testing to improve user-friendliness:
*Recent Immigrants and Residents
*Gulf Cooperation Council Nationals
(3) PRIVATE SECTOR SERVICE PROVIDERS – Private sector institutions ensured that the portal and SDK were business-friendly:
*Selected Private Businesses
*Application Typing Service Centres
(4) INDUSTRY EXPERTS – Industry Experts were closely involved in the design and deployment of the eForm, SDK and tracking service to ensure best practices:
*ID Management and Biometric Technology Providers
*eGovernment and Online Participation Specialists
*Usability and Web Design Experts
*Technology and Service Development Professionals
(5) COMMUNITY – Community groups ensured grassroots support from communities:
*Local Community Leadership
(6) PARTNERS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS –Service Providers were brought in to provide outside expertise and perspective on the planning, design, development and execution:
*ID Management Specialists
*Technology and Web Design Companies
*Management and Operational Consultants
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The following resources were dedicated from the Emirates ID talent pool to the mobilisation of the project:
Within Emirates ID, three full-time personnel were deployed to focus on the redevelopment of the web-portal and social media communication channels. The internal personnel were supported and complimented by five external staff from two different contractors, including technical developers, usability testing and quality assurance.
To facilitate the development of the web-portal and communication channels, a range of specialist expert roles were deployed:
(1) BUSINESS PROCESS SPECIALISTS – were used to ensure that every operation element of the web-portal was contextualised within the wider business process reengineering being conducted throughout Emirates ID.
(2) SERVICE ANALYSTS –were employed to conduct a rigorous benchmarking exercise for each aspect of the transformed web-portal against state-of-the-art examples from across the public and private sector. Service Analysts made recommendations on the design and deployment of each service component.
(3) SYSTEM ANALYSTS – System analysts were deployed to ensure that the redesigned portal was fully integrated into the ID process and that all relevant pressure points within the wider system were assessed and mitigated within the portal deployment.
(4) SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIALISTS – Social Media Specialists were employed to ensure the redesigned communication strategy reflected the latest trends and thinking among younger demographics.
The redesign of the web-portal was funded with an initial budget of AED1 Million ($272,000) inclusive of personnel costs, technical costs and other expenses. At the completion of the project, the final cost estimate using the contingency budget was AED1.5 Million ($408,000) inclusive of all scope creep and additional development needs. Budget was generated from the Emirates ID internal funds. Specifically for the web-portal, all funds were drawn from external revenue streams including fees from ID cards.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Many components contributed to the success of the Emirates ID portal. However, the following 4 outputs were integral to the initiatives success:
SOCIAL MEDIA INTEGRATION
By expanding the online presence into social media channels Emirates ID tapped into a cost effective way of engaging citizens and establishing dialogues. The outcomes of which provided a wealth of useful citizen feedback that was fed into the continuous improvement process for the portal and the ID Strategy as a whole. As well as increasing customer satisfaction from 58% to 85% within one year, the direct involvement of senior figures in answering queries via social media engaged unprecedented numbers of young people, evidenced by the 5,200 comments and posts received within the first 7 months of the interactive social media presence.
Online transactions made ID registration a more easy experience for customers. Making the registration application available as an eForm helped processes go near paperless, creating environmental benefits and cost savings of over AED 3.6 Million ($1 Million) per year. In addition, the eForm allowed users to significantly speed up their application process by allowing them to complete the form in the comfort of their own homes, reducing the need to visit a specialised center to have the application professionally typed. The removal of a customer process step saved citizens typing costs of 30 AED ($8).
The UAE ID Software Development Toolkit (SDK) has fostered close partnerships with a wide range of government entities and private sector institutions. By involving private enterprise in the development process, Emirates ID not only promotes partnership between the public and private sectors but ensures the sustainability of the ID system through facilitating easy integration into current business processes. Today 70% of all UAE government departments have successfully integrated ID card functionality into their services using the SDK.
The Knowledge Transfer centre provides a best practice example of how to open and share knowledge in a manner that promotes transparency and accountability and builds trust. The publication of Emirates ID’s progress against performance targets, using a simple easy to understand traffic light system enables any citizen, regardless of project management skills to understand how well the ID Authority is functioning. In addition, the open publication of more than 75 research documents and studies by Emirates ID has been held up as a model, by the UN, for other countries to emulate.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
ENGAGEMENT AND PARTICIPATION METRICS
Emirates ID implemented a robust system of e-participation indicators to regularly measure the performance of communication channels including the portal and social media. The excellence of this monitoring system was recognized in 2013 with the presentation of the Gold Award for Social Media Measurement from the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, and the Best Criterion for Measuring the Performance of Social Pages Award from the Society of New Communications Research. Key 2012 results include:
*Key messages about Emirates ID reached 6.2 million social media users, mainly young people
*93% increase in visitors to the webportal
*150,000 users for self-service eForm
*Increase of 24,000 followers across communication channels
*85% satisfaction with social media channels in 2012, up from 58% in 2011
*12,000,000 SMS tracking messages
*326 private companies helped to spread Emirates ID messages
*Average time taken to officially respond to a social media comment – 20 minutes
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND QUALITY ACCREDITATION
Emirates ID has undertaken a full suite of compliance measures to ensure that the services made available via the web-portal are at the highest levels of compliance with the relevant international standards both for data security and customer service. Recently, Emirates ID was certified for the International Customer Service standard by the British Standards Institution that certifies Emirates ID’s excellence in international customer service. In addition, Emirates ID has successfully retained International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 Certification for Quality Management System, ISO 20000 certification for ICT quality and ISO 27001 for strict adherence to the global quality management standards.
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATOR SYSTEM
The Emirates ID portal was designed in accordance with the system of robust performance indicators laid out in the 2010-2013 strategy to govern all Emirates ID projects. The indicators were closely monitored and the results published on the Emirates ID portal, providing a transparent visual evaluation approach that used a ‘traffic light system’ to show viewers at a glance the progress made towards achieving the indicator target. To date, 90% of strategic indicators were meeting or exceeding targets while 76% of operational indicators were at or above expected levels.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT METHODOLOGY
Emirates ID implements a rigorous Project Management Methodology (PMM) - PROMOTE (Program Management of Technology Endeavours) to ensure that (1) IT Projects are completely aligned with Business Objectives, (2) cost and schedule targets are achieved and (3) performance is effectively managed and monitored.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
(1) REGAINING CITIZEN TRUST
CHALLENGE – Citizens were disappointed by the lack of interesting content and interactivity in the original web-portal and were not coming back to the site after an initial visit. Emirates ID needed to convince these disengaged citizens that the portal had changed and was worth another look.
SOLUTION – A viral communications campaign positioned the new web-portal as an interactive vibrant resource that would save citizens time and money in managing their ID process. 12 communication options – from Live Chat apps, to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube - were provided to make it easier for citizens to engage with portal content using their channel of choice. Monthly cultural competitions with hi-tech prizes were launched on the portal as an incentive for users to revisit the online Emirates ID organisation regularly.
OUTCOME – The new interactive portal generated excitement in the UAE, attracting over 9 million visitors in the first couple of years. The visitor base is expanding annually by 19%, with the result that Emirates ID met its 100% registration target just two years after launch.
(2) STIMULATING PRIVATE SECTOR INVOLVEMENT
CHALLENGE – The original portal did not provide relevant information/data/tools that would enable the private sector to leverage benefits from use of the National ID infrastructure. Organisations didn’t understand how they could use the infrastructure to stimulate economic growth.
SOLUTION – Deploying an innovative SDK TOOLKIT on the portal gave organisations a zero-cost opportunity to experiment with integrating ID technology in their service offerings to improve business processes and improve customer experience. The initiative is currently being enhanced by the distribution of 500,000 ID card readers to government departments and private enterprises to help them work together to roll out new service innovations.
OUTCOME – New public-private partnerships delivering secure e-government services using seamless federated identity authentication and management services.