The Arab Social Media Report
Fig. 1. Arab Social Media Report. Courtesy of the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government released the 6th edition of its Arab Social Media Report titled Citizen Engagement and Public Services in the Arab World: The Potential of Social Media, co-authored by Racha Mourtada, Fadi Salem and Sarah Alshaer.

From the report's introduction:

The report shows that the public sector in a majority of Arab countries continues to suffer from mounting deficiencies in terms of quality, efficiency and accessibility of government service despite the continued growth of social media penetration in the Arab region and its increasing potential for governments to engage citizen on enhancing public services.

In addition to analyzing patterns, demographic breakdowns and usage trends of key social media platforms across the Arab world, the report studies the influence of social media on reforming and reshaping the delivery of government services, based on a regional survey conducted among several thousand participants across the Arab world.

The report revealed that Arabs have positive attitudes towards getting engaged by government through social media for public service design and delivery. As part of the findings of the survey, 55% of the respondents said they strongly support the government’s use of social media for the design and delivery of public services. Respondents also agreed that social media facilitates better accessibility to government entities and public sector officials.

However, according to the report findings, social media is still used in the Arab region as a one-way information source for the majority of those who utilize it to interact with government. Only 2% of the respondents reported visiting official social media pages or using their personal social media accounts for sourcing information on public services. Of the 63% who do utilize government social media pages, 74% only use it to access information on government services and entities, while giving feedback, sending complaints or new ideas to government ranked lower.

The full report is available for PDF download here.