Proposing an M-Government Framework for the Ministry of Housing in Oman: For Efficient Digital Literacy and Services

Proposing an M-Government Framework for the Ministry of Housing in Oman: For Efficient Digital Literacy and Services

Yahya Ahmed Alwahaibi (University Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia), Shamsul Arrieya Ariffin (University Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia), Salem Garfan (University Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia), Aslina binti Saad (University Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia) and Ramalingam Dharmalingam (Majan University College, Oman)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/IJMBL.2021100102
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In the dynamic world of technology, changes and transformations have emerged rapidly in recent years. Service providers such as government departments transformed their services from e-government to m-government for widespread customer reach. However, several issues existed that were obstructing the implementation of such a system by the Ministry of Housing in Oman, especially in rural areas. This study proposes a novel framework based on the fuzzy delphi and TOPSIS models to provide digital literacy and services. This framework considered the variables extracted from previous studies. Furthermore, a survey was conducted on 20 experts to determine the accepted variables. Thirty-five pre-service engineers evaluated the questionnaires using TOPSIS to determine the skills of pre-service engineers based on delphi criteria outcomes. The conceptual framework developed from the accepted results uses 11 different variables based on the TAM model. The study benefits the stakeholders in the area of m-government development.
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Over the last decade, the government of Oman has implemented Electronic-Government (e-government) to enhance the efficient provision of public services. The principal aim was to avoid data duplication, to reduce the usage of stationery and to ensure accessibility. Furthermore, it also focused on data management with minimal or zero data loss. Even though such services are required urgently, it is essential to adopt proper procedures and transactions in line with the global trend of data management and the provision of efficient public services delivery (Serra, Carvalho, Ferreira, Vaz, & Freire, 2015). Internationally there is an urgent need for the provision of updated procedures and transactions for business organizations and citizens alike. The government are pushed to be up-to-date with the latest trends in the competitive world of technology. The development of information and communication technologies (ICTs) proved to be both positive and beneficial in a fast-evolving world (Vaishnavi & Kuechler, 2015). However, these improvements in the world of technology not only transfigured how businesses are conducted, but they have also changed the delivery mechanisms of the government and their servicing patterns.

The government can embrace the benefits of the internet to engage their citizens, while supplying them with appropriate service delivery in a variety of fields in a relatively shorter time. This system is commonly known as e-government (Baid‐Agrawal, Pascual, Moradpour, Somasundaram, & Muche, 2014). The rapid growth and advancement of such practices make it convenient for the authorities to provide critical services to public bodies, corporate groups and other stakeholders, rapidly and efficiently. Moreover, with the recent global improvement and upgrading of mobile devices, consumers’ activities shifted from electronic services such as Electronic-Government (e-government), Electronic-Business (e-business) and Electronic-Commerce (e-commerce) to mobile services, which include Mobile-Government (m-government), Mobile-Business (m-business) and Mobile-Commerce (m-commerce). Such developments are primarily due to the high subscription rates in developing countries, whereby mobile devices are part of most people's daily lives (Ariffin, 2016).

The main purpose of using the internet and m-government as the primary channel of communication is to provide better quality government services. The explosive use of different mobile technologies and services has also increased the level to which the government provides mobile access facilities to tablets, phones, laptops and some personal digital assistants (PDAs) (Ebbers, Jansen, & van Deursen, 2016). These digital technologies operate through connecting all the wireless networks, while enabling the government and other relevant parties to transition from e-government to m-government, which is basically done using mobile technology (Fath-Allah, Cheikhi, Al-Qutaish, & Idri, 2014).

Several modern governments in developed and developing countries alike offer a wide range of m-government services (Serra et al., 2015). However, there is an absence of practical guides and adequate theories to monitor the successful implementation of these services. It is worth noting that the adoption rate of e-government services is low in the Arab countries, including Oman, when compared to other developing nations (Li, Yang, Chen, & Yao, 2018). The older generation is usually more reluctant to try out new technologies. Unfortunately, this generation is predominantly working as senior and mid-managers in the government sector. While Oman has taken giant steps towards promoting technological development and the use of mobile devices, there is a lot more to be done.

For m-government to function in its full efficiency, the decision-makers need to convince all the citizens of its values (Li et al., 2018). Oman is one of the countries that have considered the importance of ICTs at all levels of state creation, educational or governmental. Oman has extensively raised the level of using digital devices for the establishment of technological development across the region. It is worth to note that Oman formed an autonomous body called “Information Technology Authority”, which was empowered to make policy decisions for implementing ICT solutions in government departments.

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