An Estonian Delegation visits the Palestinian e-Government Academy in Birzeit University - News

As part of the Estonian – Palestinian
governmental cooperation program coordinated by the Palestinian Ministry of
Telecom and IT, a delegation from the Estonian e-Government Academy visited the
Palestinian e-Government Academy in Birzeit University on Monday, the 12th
of September. Among the Estonian delegation was Dr. Arvo Ott, the executive
director of the Estonian e-Government Academy and Mr. Hannes Astok member of
the Estonian parliament and expert in e-Government. The meeting was also
attended by consultants of the Minister of Telecommunications and IT in
addition to the directors of the e-Government and training departments in the
Ministry of Telecommunications and the director of the Estonian – Palestinian governmental
cooperation program, Mr. Waseem Abed-Allah. From Birzeit University, the meeting
was attended by Dr. Ali Jaber, the dean of the Faculty of Information
Technology in addition to Dr. Wasel Ghanem, Miss Majd Al-Ashhab, and Dr.
Mustafa Jarrar, the director of the Palestinian e-Government Academy (


During the meeting, Dr. Jarrar
presented the Palestinian e-Government Academy. The academy was established by
Birzeit University as part of the TEMPUS-funded Pal-Gov project. The academy
aims at building the capacity of the Palestinian private and public sectors in
e-Government technologies. In particular, the academy intends to fulfill the
needs of Palestinian society in the technical and legal aspects necessary to
build and maintain a Palestinian e-Government. This is done via (1) training programs
(tutorials and academic courses), which cover the areas of interoperability,
security, and legal informatics, (2) consultancy for private and public sectors
in the areas of e-Government and e-Governance, (3) research, by which the
academy aims to highlight and promote research problems and solutions and
incorporate them to renovate and enhance the e-governance field, and (4) publications
that cover topics related to e-governance in order to make the exchange of
technical knowledge and information possible.

Furthermore, Dr. Jarrar presented the
Palestinian e-Government Interoperability Framework ‘Zinnar’. Zinnar ( was developed by six ministries and
governmental institutions (in cooperation with the Palestinian e-Government
Academy): Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology (MTIT),
Ministry of Interior (MOI), Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of National
Economy (MNE), Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA), and the Palestinian Central
Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). Zinnar serves as an organizational/semantic
mediator between heterogeneous governmental information systems and is also a framework
/ infrastructure upon which seamless e-government services are implemented.

During the meeting, the participants
discussed further cooperation opportunities, particularly between the
Palestinan e-Governemnt Academy and the Estonian e-Government Academy, in
particular on the topic of information security. Also, Mr. Astok presented a
proposal for training workshops in which the Estonian Academy is to provide
training to transfer know-how and skills to Palestinian governmental employees as
part of the Palestinian- Estonian cooperation program.