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Thissection will lay insight on the empirical explanation f the progressof Saudi open government portal. International standards rated it tobe in the beginners phase in 2012 and 2015, it was doing considerablywell. The literature will look at the factors that contributed t thispositive trend.

Thegovernment has the largest capacity in a country with the ability tocollect data affecting the various aspects of the life of citizens(Open Data Handbook, 2015). The open government facilitatedtransparency and increased collaboration (Open Data Index, 2014). Itis a gradual process that leaders to cultural change in the way thegovernment shares its information with the citizens (PublicAdministration Ministry, 2012 P 2). A government cannot operateeffectively in the alienation of the citizens (Public Views On OpenData, 2013). The programs proposed by the government emanate from thedetailed research of the subjects (Lathrop and Ruma, 2010).

Policiescannot operate unless supported by relevant data about the differentaspects of the citizens (Chui et al., 2014 P 2). It is, therefore,right to involve the people whose live swill be under the directimplication of the proposed programs (Ubaldi, 2014). For this reason,the open data system creates collaboration between, the government,the citizens and the civil societies (Evans and Campos, 2013, P 4).To understand what happened between 2012 and 2015, it is imperativethat we look at what literature accumulates on the condition of thecountry in the early adoption stages.

Thegovernment of Saudi Arabia joined other developed countries inproviding citizens with data on it proceedings on various projects(Saudi National e-Government Portal, 2015). Research indicates thatthe preliminary phases had various challenges, and it explains whythe data dissemination scored low in the international threshold. Theintroduction of the system in the country required the input of boththe citizens and the government to adopt the right infrastructurethat supports information sharing (Gasco, 2015 P45). Drew andAlshehri agree that the rate of IT adoption in the country was stilllow. People could, therefore, not access government data in thee-government portal. The government could also not receive feedbackfrom the people on the issues it presented to the public (Pedro,2012, P27).

Thelevel of social media adoption also affects the access to publicinformation (Chui, Farrell and Jackson, 2014 P 3). Countries, wherecitizens embrace its use, create a platform for sharing informationand criticizing the undesirable efforts of the government in a publicarena (Schwalje and Aradi, 2015). However, the Arab world (with SaudiArabia included) does not have very high social media adoption rates.The process is, therefore, likely to be gradual. It would, therefore,be inappropriate to compare the access to public information throughthe media in Saudi Arabia and other Arab locales with the situationin the European countries (Schwalje and Aradi, 2015). The fruits ofopen data systems might not be the idea without the establishment ofthe conducive environment in a country (Drigotas, 2014).

TheSaudi Arabian government failed by providing information the publicthe form of media release and assuming that it is sufficient tosupport the development process (Alshehri &amp Drew, 2010 P 835). Italso provides information on PDF format and citizens cannot overwriteit. It is the main reason the country still lags at the beginners’level (Elbadawi, 2012). However, the government of Saudi Arabiaimproved the level of data presentation. According to thee-government portal, citizens now have access to information thatthey can manipulate presented in different formats. The portal alsocontains information that is not necessarily found in the mediarelease. The portal is an evidence of the gradual transformation thatthe country continues to go through in moving from the beginnersphase (Open government data, 2007).

Accessibilityof the information is a critical factor in e-government (Choudrie andDwivedi, 2005 P93). The period between 2012 and 2015 can be termed asa transformation in the way the Saudi citizens access information.Due to the previous low scores, the government engaged privateintermediaries in the different cities. In Al-Madinah city, thelargest in Saudi, the government has put up e-offices that operateunder the legislation of the government (Alghamdi and Natalia, 2014 P1223). They assist people who have difficulties is accessinginformation in the e-portal. Alsobhi et al. (2010) have studied theeffects of intermediaries in improving access to information and haveconcluded that they are extremely useful (24)

Mengsanget al. identified the importance that accrue to citizens’ directcontact with the government procedures (4). One of the platforms thatfacilitates this is the government to citizen initiative. Sulaiman etal. identified the new model of G2C adopted by the government ofSaudi Arabia that helps citizens to access government informationdirectly. The Saudi government dubs it as It givesa single point of contact for a kin to give permission for theirchildren to travel.

SaudiArabia is the second largest market in the Middle East. It also hasthe second largest population using mobile phones in the middle east.The low rate of adoption of e-government by the citizens (despite theefforts of the government in the years preceding 2012) wasattributable to low rates of adoption f mobile phones (Kucera, andChlapek, 2014 P 33).A study conducted by Alsenaidy andTauseefahmad (2015) shows the estimates of improved use of Smartphonein the country. Between 2011 and 2016, the Smartphone penetration wasforecasted to rise from 25.01% to 48.63% (Pingdom, 2011 P9).

Theresearch also indicates that Saudi Arabia will have over 11 million4G internet connections by the end of 2016. Past research proves thataccessibility to government information is under the influence ofvarious factors with access to online services being a major sue. Theadoption of Smartphone and ICT services can explain the increased useof government services and the classification of the levels as goingconsiderably well.

Thecurrent situation of e-government in the world can be said to bemaking positive progress though curbed by various challenges (Davies,2011 P 2). The Saudi government is still in its preliminary stages ofinstituting a platform for information sharing with the people. Fromthe literature, it is evident that Arab countries are still laggingbehind in the adoption of social media. It limits the number ofplaces where the government can place the information (Scott,2014).The information should also be easy to manipulate unlike thecase of the Saudi government that provides information in the form ofPF files. The principle of nondiscrimination as well andnon-licensing should accompany all the data presented by thegovernment.


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