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The Challenges of digital transformation in Public Administration

by Paul Saadeh

A webinar in Collaboration with The Observatory of Public Service and Good Governance (OFP) at Saint-Joseph University in Beirut (USJ)

On Friday, the 19th of November 2021, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Rule of Law Programme Middle East and North Africa in cooperation with The Observatory of Public Service and Good Governance (OFP) at Saint-Joseph University in Beirut (USJ), organized a hybrid seminar entitled: “The Challenges of digital transformation in Public Administration”. The debate took place in an outdoor open space at the beautiful USJ campus in Huvelin and was streamed live over Zoom and Facebook, so that interested participants could take part and join in the debate.

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The purpose of digital transformation is, among other things, to simplify and transform governmental procedures into digital services by leveraging existing and emerging technology to serve the needs of Lebanese citizens, residents, and visitors effectively.

The hybrid seminar was hosted and moderated by Prof. Pascal Monin of the Observatoire along with Mr. Philipp Bremer, the Director of the Rule of Law Programme where they held the opening remarks. In addition, six experts in the related field where invited to speak at the seminar.

Mr. Philipp Bremer, the head of the Rule of Law Programme Middle East and North Africa at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in his following opening remarks, welcomed the panelists and guests and introduced the attendees to the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, its programs in Lebanon and in the region. He then highlighted the importance of the Digital transformation and its vital role for the State development since it affects public administration and state services and has an impact on the economy, society and politics alike. It is true that digitalization is a necessity however, it brings along many questions and risks.

The second opening remark was held by Prof. Monin, where he presented the current situation in Lebanon, and showed the importance of the presence of the digital transformation on the worldwide map and especially in Lebanon. He considered that the Lebanese Government must implement new ways for the economic development in order to transform the economic crisis into an opportunity for a promising future since it is no longer possible to invest in old ways.

 

Afterwards, the speakers were as following:

Prof. Mona Al-Ashkar Jabbour

Dr. Sarah Hariri Haikal

Prof. Lina Oueidat

Mr. Cyril Cuvillier

Judge Dr. Wassim Hajjar

Dr. Charbel Maroun

 

The Head of Policy and Legislation at the Digital Transformation Network Prof. Mona Al-Ashkar Jabbour tackled the subject of “the establishment of a National Authority for Informatics and Freedoms: A Secure Digital Transformation”. She shed the light on the importance of the proper and fair use of personal data since it is not limited only on pictures and videos but also on our interaction on Social Media. The creation of a National Authority will be the best solution to protect our personal data.

In her speech entitled “Digital Transformation in Lebanon: A Step to Promote Good Governance and Public Administrative Reform”, Dr. Sarah Hariri Haikal, Professor of Economics at Saint Joseph University, believes that the Digital Transformation is an important way to end the Lebanese economic crisis. She spoke about the adoption of simplified procedures in order to cooperate between the various national departments to speed up the implementation of this system.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Technology and Coordinator of the National Cybersecurity Strategy, Prof. Lina Oueidat’s speech was entitled “Facilitating Transactions and Procedures in the Public Administration” and she considered that “ the Technological development is very fast and the public administrations are not working in the same speed, so there must be a cooperation among all parties in order to make the digital transformation work, however the process is not easy since all state records must be studied in an efficient way”.

Mr. Cyril Cuvillier, an expert in the Cybersecurity field, in his speech considered that “Cybersecurity is a Cornerstone of Digital Transformation” and he pointed out that the information system must meet four criteria: confidentiality, access to information, integrity through non-altering data, and finally tracking data consultation.

Judge Dr. Wassim Hajjar, supervisor of Informatics and Legal Center at the Lebanese Ministry of Justice, tackled the subject “A reading of the Electronic Transactions Law and its Role in Digital Transformation” and stated that “the Law criminalizes illegal access to an information system. These are offenses created in the Lebanese legal system that did not previously exist. The law also includes a detailed regulation of the procedure for the evidence control for judicial investigations in criminal proceedings”.

Dr. Charbel Maroun, University Professor and Journalist in his speech entitled “Summary and Suggestions for Digital Transformation in Lebanon” presented a recap of the seminar and believes that the Digital Transformation is a need, not an option. He added: “the digital transformation is a step towards the elimination of the bureaucracy and the corruption in public administration. In addition, the Digitalization helps good governance in promoting productivity, transparency and the cooperation between service providers and their recipients”.

In conclusion, the goal of the hybrid seminar is to develop a road map for the digital transformation in Lebanon, especially to find solutions for the challenges that the country will face during this process and to the proper application of the personal data protection law.

Accordingly, if you would like to watch the entire seminar click HERE

 

Written by  Nathalie Sayegh

 

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Contact

Paul Saadeh

Paul Saadeh

Project Manager

paul.saadeh@kas.de +961 1 385 094 | +961 1 395 094

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