Availability of open government data in the Maghreb countries

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Elsayed Elsawy; Ahmed Shehata

Poster description:

Recently, many Arab governments have adopted open government data policies, whereby web technologies are harnessed to provide access to government data.  The study’s problem lies in the fact that open data practices in the Arab world are relatively recent and are still in their nasal stages, making those practices the subject of constant criticism and evaluation to develop and improve them to be consistent with international practices. Moreover, there is no research carried out to identify the extent of the Maghreb Arab states’ progress in this field. The government open data portals in the Maghreb countries (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia)  are considered the gateway to studying the reality of open data services in those countries. Moreover, through them, it is possible to identify the extent to which government policies have achieved the goals set in this regard. This study explores the current practices used in preserving and sharing data in open data portals in the Maghreb countries and assessing whether its structure and organization of data on these portals are consistent with the goals for which these portals were established. To achieve this, a set of criteria and characteristics that open data portals must meet have been developed and then used as a framework for analysing the structure and organization of data for open data portals in the Maghreb countries. The study sample included three open data portals on the Internet: the Arab Maghreb countries’ portals (Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco). In order to analyse the portals selected in the study sample, a list of 47 criteria was developed. This study’s results are thought to help achieve a better understanding of the current open data practices in the study sample and propose suggestions that would help improve the current initiatives.

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About the authors:

Dr Elsayed Elsawy

Assistant Professor of Documents and Archives at Sultan Qaboos
University (Sultanate of Oman). PhD from Lyon University (France)
2006. Worked at a number of Egyptian and Arab universities (Imam Muhammad bin Saud University in Saudi Arabia, Sultan Qaboos University in the Sultanate of Oman, Tanta University, Al-Azhar University, Mansoura University and Alexandria University in Egypt). Supervised a number of master’s and doctoral dissertations at the universities of Tanta, Al-Azhar (Egypt) and Sultan Qaboos (Oman). Published more than 30 studies in Arabic, French and English languages, in Web 2.0 applications, Cloud computing in records management, Medical records systems, Digitization of documents, Archival metadata, Records management systems, Electronic archives, Modern services for archival institutions, Education with documents.

Dr Ahmed Shehata

Dr. Ahmed Shehata is an assistant professor of Library and Information Science with experience demonstrated in a career spanning over twelve years. He worked in Egypt at Minia University as a lecturer in Library and Information Science Department. Also currently working as an Assistant professor at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. Awarded PhD from Department of Information Studies at Aberystwyth University, the
UK, in 2016. Dr. Ahmed supervised many master’s degree students at Minia University (Egypt) and Sultan Qaboos (Oman). Dr. Ahmed published many scholarly papers in Arabic, and English language in Journals indexed in Clarivate and Scopus. His research interest is mainly focused on Information behaviour, Scholarly communication and Scholarly publishing. Dr Ahmed was awarded the Sharjah 2018 award of library literature.

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