National Validation Gateway
EMIRATES IDENTITY AUTHORITY

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
For the past 30 years, Gulf States like the UAE have relied upon oil proceeds to underpin rapid economic and social growth. Gulf States have used revenue from oil to modernise their infrastructures, create employment and significantly increase life expectancy. Nevertheless, as the IMF noted as far back as 2003, high population growth alongside the increased participation of women in the workforce, has led to a worrying rise in unemployment among National’s. To ensure a vibrant economic future for all sectors of the economy, not just the wealthy few, Gulf States began a strong competition amongst themselves ten years ago to create new knowledge-based economies that were capable of generating secure and stable jobs for the national workforce - especially the growing number of young people and women that are to enter the job market in the foreseeable future. (Anwan, 2003) Within this context, many Gulf States, including the UAE, looked to eGovernment as a pathway to more sustainable economic growth and development, as well as a platform for helping to manage and direct a wider process of change and reform to boost public confidence in government. Despite substantial economic investment, however, regional moves to eGovernment initially failed ‘to support the establishment of effective institutional linkages necessary for sustainable development.’(UN 2012) eGovernment efforts were marked by the scattered development of simple informational portals, and the basic automation of traditional interactive and transactional services in which users needed to understand government and its complex operations before they could even find an online service, let alone use it. To a certain extent, a vision of the ’24 hour Authority’ – wherein users could contact different authorities anytime and anywhere, regardless of their geographical distances - was achieved, but its true promise remained unfulfilled. Paper-based processes, particularly with regard to establishing identity, abounded, and red tape prevailed. Nearly 80% of services required ID checks, and over 60% of organisations needed citizens to visit a service point to do so. Simple transactions such as obtaining a work permit required multiple journeys to multiple offices. Small entrepreneurs had to navigate a complex and unwieldy bureaucracy before even beginning to think about creating jobs. And while the wealthy could often hire intermediaries to fill in their forms, and stand in long queues for hour after hour, there was no way out for socially disadvantaged communities, such as newly arrived migrants, the poor, the young and the illiterate. As a result, access to eGovernment services remained the preserve of the few, whilst the potential to use eGovernment as a driver of innovation and economic growth remained untapped. Within the UAE, a number of obstacles prevented government from moving beyond a fragmented transactional reality to an integrated transformational eGovernment vision that created the necessary ‘synergy for inclusive, sustainable development.’ (UN, 2012) These obstacles included a: 1.Lack of effective methods to establish societal trust over digital networks 2.Lack of a clear vision and cooperation between competing government entities 3.Lack of a government wide integration and interoperability framework

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
By Presidential Decree, the UAE established the Emirates Identity Authority in September 2004 as an independent federal authority with a specific mandate to manage a Population register and issue UAE National ID Cards, specifically tasked with achieving the following strategic objectives: 1. Enrol and maintain an accurate, comprehensive, and up‐to‐date population register 2. Develop a secure and integrated infrastructure to enable data access and exchange 3. Establish ID cards as the single trusted form of identification and source of user data 4. Ensure all central administrative services are efficient, transparent, timely, and high quality Between 2004 and 2012, the Authority focused on registering the entire UAE population and issuing all registrants (approximately 9 million) with multi-credential ID Cards to provide a single trusted and secure identification document. The ID Card contained authentication features including sophisticated biometrics and digital certificates for authentication and e-signatures. These features were specifically designed to provide the trusted and secure authentication of card holders both in person and over remote service channels. The Authority premised its work on the conviction that TRUST represents the key enabler for developing and delivering high quality, integrated public services for all citizens and residents, regardless of their background. Without trust, citizens will simply not use eGovernment services. For the Authority, however, the National ID Card was not an end in itself. Rather, it was seen as the cornerstone of the Emirates ID Authority’s 2010-2013 Strategic Plan which specifically set forth an ambitious vision to develop and deliver an integrated, state-of-the-art e-service enabling system for the whole of the UAE. Building on the foundation established by the National ID Card, the National Validation Gateway represents one of the key programmes launched under the Strategic Plan to support the evolution of eGovernment in the UAE. The National Validation Gateway uses the National ID Card to provide improved business services to all Public Organisations and Government Agencies within the UAE (as well as multiple private sector companies) by providing real time identity verification and validation and strong user authentication capabilities for digital transactions. The Gateway enables any authorised user, regardless of their programming knowledge, to conduct fast, efficient and accurate real time verification and validation of digital transactions. Consequently, the Gateway plays a fundamental role in streamlining and simplifying procedures for residents who can use a single source of identity to interact both on and offline with government agencies and/or corporate organizations. The Gateway also provides a strong boost to local businesses by providing them with a range of new value add services - such as legally binding digital signatures and time stamps - that accelerate the secure transition from paper‐based to electronic transactions. With the roll out of ID Cards and the Validation Gateway, the Emirates ID Authority is paving the way for a more connected government and a more vibrant and diversified economy by offering citizens, businesses and other government agencies alike a quick and easy to use solution for facilitating trusted online interactions. Red tape, unwieldy bureaucracies and the need to make multiple journeys to prove one’s identity are fast becoming thing of the past. The framework for strong institutional linkages within the UAE (not just across government but also between the public and private sectors) is now in place. And the stage for sustainable development firmly set.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Whole of government is often approached from a back office perspective alone in which the fundamental emphasis is on achieving greater horizontal and vertical connectedness between government departments. The National Validation Gateway extends beyond this objective by enabling ALL UAE government agencies to easily use the National ID Card to securely authenticate the identity of users through personal ID numbers and biometric data. In so doing, the Gateway not only helps to connect back office government functions, it enhances business processes, delivers time and cost savings, and establishes the basis for user-centric eGovernment by enabling citizens to use a single source of authentication for all their transactions. The National Validation Gateway also adds an entirely new approach to whole of government solutions by enabling seamless transactions between Government and Business. By enabling improved interoperability between a wide range of public and private interactions, the ID Authority has not only promoted stronger unity between government, business and citizens, it has established a state of the art foundation for the transformation of both the government and economy alike.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The action plan for development of the Validation Gateway was developed in accordance with the Identity Authority’s Project Management Methodology: (1) PLANNING: 2004-2009 The roll out of Smart ID Cards to the whole population and the development of a National Validation Gateway to access data and services was fundamental to achieving the Emirate ID’s 2010-2013 Strategic Plan - development of infrastructure for personal identity verification and digital credentials verification, in addition to supporting e-government projects. (2) OBJECTIVES: 2010 To deliver a seamless and integrated validation experience, the ID Authority broke down the objectives for the initiative by stakeholder. (A) SERVICE PROVIDERS – both public and private - needed a solution that increased data integrity, reduced the need for paper documents, decreased fraud, lowered resource need, and raised revenues. (B) CARD HOLDERS needed the processing time for services reduced, elimination of paper bureaucracy, and a reduction in the number of cards and passwords they needed to access services. (3) SOLUTION DEVELOPMENT: 2010-2012 To create a shared solution that met everyone’s needs, a large-scale data gathering process was undertaken. (A) SERVICE PROVIDER DATA included number of customers by year, day hour. Time taken to verify an ID. Number of staff needed. Number of identity thefts and their cost. Number of paper sheets printed and photocopied per year. Average spend per customer on services. % or errors in transactions. Time taken to resolve errors. (B) CARD HOLDER DATA included number of times ID is needed to be checked a year. Cost of travel for having ID checked. Waiting times to have ID checked. Number of time customer needs to copy ID Cost of paper etc. Business analysts assessed the data to engineer enhanced authentication procedures that could be securely implemented through an easy to use National Validation Gateway using National ID Cards, to: (i) Verify a person’s ID remotely – removing the need for Card Holders to make multiple journeys to access a service, and reducing the burden on Service Providers to provide ample waiting space, facilities and staff. (ii) Enable remote digital signing – allowing Card Holders to access services and undertake legally binding transactions more conveniently from work and home, whilst also enabling Service Providers to save time and money through reduced process steps. (iii) Facilitate digital time-stamping – enabling both Card Holders and Service providers to keep an accurate record of the creation and modifications of their legally binding documents and transactions. (4) IMPLEMENTATION AND BENEFITS REALISATION– 2012 - Present The Gateway infrastructure was launched in 2012 in Abu Dhabi. The service was rolled out to all Government across the UAE and innovatively to private sector entities in the banking and telecommunications sector. A phased approach for on-boarding private sector providers enabled the agile refinement of services as lessons were learned. Roll-out included training, piloting and the production of a Gateway handbook in support of the Authority’s aim to strengthen communication channels with strategic partners and stakeholders at both Federal and Emirates levels. By implementing the Gateway, the ID Authority delivered advanced value-added services that stimulate economic activity, boosting the overall global competitiveness of the UAE through increasing GDP, saving consumers and businesses time, lowering transport costs, reducing carbon footprint, and reducing ID theft. (6) FUTURE PLANNING – On-going In 2012, the ID Authority developed its new Strategic Plan for delivering the 2021 UAE Vision. The future focus for the National Gateway is on continuing to extend service enablement to both public and private sectors. On-going implementation of new functionalities include: mobile phone authentication and launch of various Emirates ID services including personal profile update service.

 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 groups were involved in the planning and implementation phases: (A) GOVERNMENT : Consulted with to ensure full conformity with existing initiatives and priorities: * Emirates Federal eGovernment Authority * Emirates Competitiveness Council * Ministry of the Interior * Ministry of Health * Ministry of Finance * Ministry of Social Affairs and Higher Education * Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development * Telecommunications Regulatory Authority * Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre * Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters * Abu Dhabi Education Council * Abu Dhabi Emiratisation Council (Tawteen) * Judicial Department – Abu Dhabi (B) CARD HOLDERS: Prospective customers were consulted to ensure that development and deployment underwent real-world testing: * UAE Nationals * Migrants and Residents * Gulf Cooperation Council Nationals (C) PRIVATE SECTOR SERVICE PROVIDERS: Consulted to ensure the easy integration of the Emirates ID system into their operations: * Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates * Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company * Eimass- Electronic Identity Management and Security Solutions * Emaratech Information Technology and e-Solution * Daman National Health Insurance Company * Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (D) INDUSTRY EXPERTS: Closely involved to ensure that the Gateway reflected the highest international standards and benchmarks: * British Standards Authority * British Institute of Technology and e-Commerce * Future Internet Company (E) COMMUNITIES: Consulted to ensure that the Gateway garnered acceptance from a critical mass of users: * Environmental Groups * Women’s Groups * Local Community Leadership * Expat Organizations * Disability Lobbies (F) PARTNERS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS: Partners and Service Providers were consulted to provide outside expertise and perspectives: * ID Management Specialists * Technology and Web Design Companies * Management and Operational Consultants
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Resources for the National Verification Gateway implementation were deployed from within the EIDA talent pool and budget as a mission critical project in support of the Authority’s 2010-2013 strategy. The following specific resources were dedicated to the mobilisation of the project: HUMAN RESOURCES Within EIDA, a staff of 5 Senior Technology Managers was specifically deployed for the design, development and implementation of the Gateway. Internal personnel were supported by 10 external Technical Consultants from 2 different contractors, including technical developers, usability and integration testing and quality assurance professionals. TECHNICAL RESOURCES To facilitate the development of the National Validation Gateway infrastructure 7 full time technical resources were required. FINANCIAL RESOURCES The costs involved with implementing the Gateway included, but were not limited to: * New systems implementation * Resource training * Ongoing maintenance * Risk management associated with data security The above resources were funded with an initial budget of 10 million AED ($3m) exclusive of personnel costs, technical costs and other expenses, and 16 million AED ($4m) inclusive of all work and additional development needs. The budget was generated from the Emirates ID authority internal funds. Specifically, 5 million AED ($1.4m) were drawn from government funds while AED 11 MILLION ($3m) came from external revenue streams including fees from ID cards. In 2014, Federal Funding will cease and the Authority will be fully self-sustaining. It is worth noting that the cost savings generated by the Gateway more than offset the infrastructure implementation costs. From a survey and study carried out following annual cost savings are estimated in UAE by the utilization of the National Validation Gateway Services: *4.18 Billion AED from productivity and efficiency enhancement *200 million AED from space reduction *252 million AED in card and ID Costs *121 million AED in paper and printing reduction * And a staggering 10 Billion AED in customer savings

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The National Validation Gateway improves interoperability for the authentication and verification of identity between a wide range of PUBLIC and PRIVATE sector interactions. The following outputs were integral to the project’s success: 1. DELIVERY OF A TRUSTED VALIDATION INFRASTRUCTURE From a technical standpoint, a major achievement was the creation of a shared validation infrastructure that provided a single access point for accessing e-services using the Emirates National ID Card. The development of the online Validation Gateway was only possible because, unlike any other ID document, the Emirates ID Card is registered and held by 100% of the population. The combination of a current and accurate population database, and the mass distribution of smart ID Cards containing biometric data, enables the Gateway to carry out identity authentication and verification in a completely secure, transparent and auditable manner. 2. IMPROVEMENT OF BUSINESS PROCESSES The Validation Gateway enables organisations to authenticate and verify all their customers remotely using National ID Cards. This solution not only removes the costly need for organisations to issue their own identification cards, but it also saves money by drastically reducing customer authentication processing time, and lowering the number of administrative errors in customers details. The ability to use the ID Card for secure digital signing diminishes the need for paperwork, photocopying, creation of audit trails, and archiving. The combination of new business processes delivers significant time and cost savings, freeing organisations to reduce overheads and increase their capacity to roll out more e-services. Citizens in turn have a more simplified, convenient and satisfactory customer experience. 3. ESTABLISHED BASIS FOR PUBLIC-PRIVATE SECTOR INNOVATION In support of enhanced public-private sector cooperation, the ID Authority opened up use of the National Validation Gateway to non-governmental providers of assured identity data, e.g. banks. The use of technical standards such as Security Assurance Mark Up Language (SAML) enables public sector services to work interoperably with the private sector providing seamless access to external services without the tedious task of resubmitting Card holders’ credentials. This functionality enables ID Authority partners to expand their customer base simply by using the Emirates ID card as a single point of access. As a result, citizens and residents can interact between different government agencies and organizations without the need to authenticate multiple times as the service provider that carried out the initial verification can securely federate the credentials to another trusted service provider.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
In addition to strict project management controls, the ID Authority implemented the following initiatives to monitor and evaluate progress: BENEFITS REALISATION SURVEYS To measure the impact of the project, the ID Authority worked with management consultants to undertake a comprehensive Service Provider survey, across a range of Industries including aviation, banking, education, e-government, telecoms, security, and transport amongst others. The aim is to build up a complete picture of the benefits the ID Cards and Gateway provide across the UAE. The end result is a financial model that collates costs and benefits analysis, extrapolates it across the UAE economy to provide input into wider economic analysis. Key findings that will be used as benchmarks for future survey results include: * 91% of providers are looking for ways to improve the quality of information * 83% believe that securing ID verification improves trust, quality satisfaction leading to growth in revenue * 76% think adopting e-signatures improves internal processes KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS The Emirates ID Authority implements its strategic and operational plans, and monitors the performance of all its organizational units and operations by focusing on the measurement of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). In support of the 2010-2013 Strategic Plan, the ID Authority implemented a rigorous system of 17 KPIs of which six relate to the National Gateway. Over 90% of which meet or exceed targets: * Allowing approved access to population register data: 99.18% system availability * Developing safe infrastructure for data exchange: 82.2% of target * Increasing the daily usability of ID cards: 100% of target authorities * Integrated Internal Systems: 89% user satisfaction * Providing internal services: 87.5% satisfaction6 * Making ID Card most valuable in UAE: 91.67% MOUs concluded COMPLIANCE MONITORING A full suite of compliance measures ensures that the services made available via the National Validation Gateway are delivered at the highest levels of compliance with the relevant international standards both for data security and customer service. The Emirates Identity Authority has successfully retained International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 Certification for Quality Management System and ISO 27001 for strict adherence to the global quality management standards. Emirates ID was also certified for the International Customer Service standard (TICSS: 2010) by the British Standards Institution - achieving 82% of the benchmark.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The National Validation Gateway is designed to provide the infrastructure for joining up the whole of government within the UAE, and for partnering with the private sector. In pursuit of these objectives, the initiative encountered organisational resistance to change within government, as well as difficulty engaging businesses: (1) Government Departments are used to working in silos in which control over processes represents power. (2) Private sector stakeholders are bottom-line profit driven, and wary of investing time and money in unproven schemes. To address these challenges, the Authority took the strategic decision to start small, and bring additional government agencies and businesses onboard by demonstrating tangible benefits to them. As such, the Authority initially partnered with the Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC) to deliver Identity Services through the National Validation Gateway, including Digital Signature Services. ADSIC estimates that secure remote identification and verification helped to cut customer provisioning time by a remarkable 95%. In 2102, the Gateway in Abu Dhabi saw a 17 percent growth in its services across 47 government entities. The Abu Dhabi e‐Government portal now uses the Gateway to offer a wide range of public and private services including: transactions for identification documents, passports and residency documents, lands, home, travel, motoring, work and employment benefits for nationals community, religion, health and education, safety, security and law; culture, leisure, online payment of utility bills and 24‐hour pharmacies. This success story helped the ID Authority to achieve its KPI target of securing 9 authorities throughout the UAE to use the Validation Gateway, as well as to engage major private sector stakeholders in the banking and telecommunications sectors. The Authority is currently coordinating with banking organisations across the country including UAE Central Bank to replace a number of widely used banking cards with the Emirates ID card.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Key benefits arising from the National Validation Gateway include: MAKING LIFE EASIER AND SIMPLER FOR UAE CITIZENS AND RESIDENTS Most of today‘s government and business applications run over the Internet. Citizens and residents within the UAE need a trusted and secure way in which to take advantage of the time and money savings offered by this massive change. The Emirates Identity Authority’s Validation Gateway offers a Web component that makes it simpler and easier for government and private sector Service Providers to validate and authenticate ID cardholders. In so doing, the Gateway ultimately makes it simpler and easier for UAE citizens and residents to operate in the digital world. Thanks to the Validation Gateway, citizens and residents do not need to worry about impersonation and fraud over the Internet. At the same time, they no longer need to juggle multiple forms of identification let alone remember complex usernames and passwords in order to meet the varying authentication requirements of varying organisations and agencies. Instead, the National Validation Gateway is rapidly enabling them to use one card – the National ID Card – to unambiguously identify themselves in their interactions with government, ecommerce and legal transactions, and soon even travel to other countries. GIVING UAE BUSINESSES A GLOBAL HEAD START When business was conducted entirely offline, it was possible for companies to reliably verify a person’s identity through the physical presentation of an ID document. On the Internet, however, this form of verification is no longer sufficient - a copy of an ID card sent as a PDF file could easily be a forgery, and the recipient can never be certain whether the holder of the ID card is in fact the person with whom they are communicating. While businesses around the rest of the world are struggling to implement digital authentication, certificates and signatures on their own (and often in a piecemeal fashion), the National Validation Gateway, combined with National ID Cards, provides UAE companies with a high‐security IT solution for identity authentication and verification that is not only legally binding and universally recognised throughout the country, but is also low cost and easy to implement. Thanks to the National Validation Gateway, UAE businesses are now poised to leap frog the global competition. This fact has not been lost on international giants in the ICT field like Microsoft: “It gives me great pleasure,’ Niels Solberg, Vice-President, Microsoft recently stated, ‘to express my admiration for the great projects of the Emirates ID Authority both aiming at the development of a secure integrated infrastructure for authenticating the personal ID in UAE, and those aiming at providing innovative e-services.” MAKING GOVERNMENT AGENCIES MORE EFFICIENT AND COST EFFECTIVE The National Validation Gateway, in conjunction with the National ID Card is playing a pivotal role in delivering on the World Economic Forum’s vision of Flatter, Agile, Streamlined and Tech-Enabled Government (FAST). The Dubai Courts, for example, have found the use of ID cards to register marriage contracts or for any procedure related to personal status has saved 75% of transaction performance time. “If the spouses and the witnesses hold ID cards,’’ stated Al Hashemi, Head of Personal Status Services at Dubai Courts, ‘the marriage contract registration takes no more than 5 minutes, whereas in the past, this transaction used to take 20 minutes at least.” Having established a showcase platform in Abu Dhabi, Emirates ID is in the final stages of e‐linking with nine other government entities in the UAE in order to make service delivery quicker and more efficient. As Juak Jyong Huan, Vice Consul of South Korean Embassy in the UAE attests: “The identity project in the UAE is a successful model of integrated information technology systems. This motivates us in South Korea to seek to work with the Emirates Identity Authority in order to capitalize on its expertise and optimize its experience in this area.” ENHANCED INTERNATIONAL STANDING The Gateway project helped to significantly enhance the UAE’s global standing in the UN eGovernment index. Between 2010 and 2012, the UAE rose from 49th in the eGovernment Rankings to 28th. The UAE is considered one of the regional leaders in eGovernment through their pioneering use of the National ID card to provide transparent and trustworthy services for both the public and private sector. *4.18 Billion AED from productivity and efficiency enhancement *200 million AED from space reduction *252 million AED in card and ID Costs *121 million AED in paper and printing reduction * And a staggering 10 Billion AED in customer savings

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
FINANCIAL/OPERATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY In 2014, Federal funding for the Emirates ID Authority will cease, at which time the Authority – as reflected in KPIs within the Authority’s 2014-2019 Strategic Plan - is expected to be self-funded. Given this clear mandate, programmes like the National Validation Gateway were designed from the outset with an express intent not just to improve service delivery, but also to generate ongoing revenue by expanding their use across the whole of government. The Authority already generates 100% of its budget from external revenue streams including fees from ID cards - renewed every 2 years at a cost of AED 200 ($54). The use of the Gateway is provided free-of-charge to service providers with the objective of broadening ID Card usage. Having issued 99% of the population with ID Cards whilst simultaneously establishing a national infrastructure for using the cards, the Authority is on track to achieve its 100% on-boarding goal through continued efforts with government agencies and private sector entities. The relatively low cost of implementation has been recovered by the Government in terms of cost savings achieved with e-Government authorities using the Trust system provided by Emirates ID. In support of this sustainability strategy, the Authority is currently implementing a 2012-2105 integration project to electronically link all Public Sector entities in the UAE in manner that reduces cost and increases efficiencies. The project, which embeds the National Validation Gateway at its core, has already been implemented by the Minister of the Interior for ePassports and Residency permits and lays the foundation for “smart” government integration across institutions in the UAE. Similarly the Authority is to expand private sector use of the National Validation Gateway through new value‐added measures to increase the security of electronic transactions such as the activation of digital signatures through smart phones. WIDER SUSTAINABILITY As a core component of the UAE’s Whole of Government strategy, the National Validation Gateway contributes to the wider social and economic sustainability of the country by establishing the prerequisite institutional linkages (within the public sector and between the public and private sectors) to drive sustainable development. Culturally, UAE residents are proud of their country’s world leading eGovernment infrastructure and advanced business capabilities. Environmentally, the Gateway incorporates better environmental practice into its core management processes, and provides a pathway for all UAE stakeholders to reduce carbon footprints by eliminating the need to print out multiple copies of forms and travel to multiple centres. More importantly the need for paper copies of identity documents are completely eliminated for establishing the identity of an individual. Institutionally, the initiative provides a best practice showcase across the whole of government for how to manage inter-department cooperation and partnership working. Director General, Dr Al-Khouri is engaged as a special advisor on pan-European projects STORK 2.0 and SecureID Alliance. Finally, by facilitating the use of a single e-Identity both within government and outside, the initiative reduces the administrative burden of all stakeholders whilst establishing an overarching regulatory framework for future eGovernment and eCommerce initiatives.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
There is no ‘one size fits all’ model for implanting whole of government. Each international organisation will need to approach this challenge with its own particular technical, socio-economic and cultural conditions in mind. Nevertheless, during the planning, execution and evaluation phases of the National Validation Gateway, three key lessons of potential value to the international eGovernment community were learned: (1) Focus on ‘doing it right’ before trying to ‘reach for too much’: A fundamental best practice to emerge from the project was the value of getting things right and proving success before taking on the entirety of government. Firstly, the project started with just the Abu Dhabi Government, rather than all of the UAE’s 7 Emirates. Secondly, even within Abu Dhabi, the project initially focused on familiarising end users with the benefits of key functionalities such as biometric identification and electronic signatures rather than the full array of potential uses. The project did not expand use of the Emirates ID card within Abu Dhabi until credibility and trust were fully established in mid-June 2012. Finally, the project used the positive results from the Abu Dhabi experience as a showcase for on-boarding additional government entities. (2) Involve entire teams in initial revision and strategic development sessions to ensure the experience of the entire organisation can be captured early on: Whole of government is ultimately all about breaking down government silos and old bureaucratic methods of working. To generate wide spread support for what is ultimately massive organisational change, the project involved stakeholders from across the Authority from the earliest stages of the initiative, using their insights and feedback to shape new approaches to inter-agency cooperation. This engagement was subsequently supplemented by a strong communications campaign to strengthen stakeholder buy-in to new ways of not just working, but of thinking about work as means to the wider end of increased customer satisfaction. (3) Always assess strategy from the point of view of customers: Customer-centric service delivery is a popular buzz word these days. But truly redesigning services from the perspective of the customer involves more than just using popular catch phrases. It involves expanding the scope of every strategic assessment to integrate a comprehensive inclusion of customer perceptions, needs and overall experiences. Only by mapping out each and every step of the user journey from the perspective of the end user – rather than the administrator – can an organisation reach the ultimate end goal of ensuring that every customer journey is related to a specific service. Simply put, if a customer needs to do something twice to use a government service than the strategy has failed.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   EMIRATES IDENTITY AUTHORITY
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   RAMGOPAL NALLANI C
Title:   Mr  
Telephone/ Fax:   97124955439
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   ramgopal.nc@emiratesid.ae  
Address:   MAZAYAD OFFICE TOWERS 3
Postal Code:   47999
City:   ABU DHABI
State/Province:   ABU DHABI
Country:  

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