In Morocco, Enabel assists civil servants in the public administration in strengthening their digital skills. A key tool in Enabel’s approach is the IDARATHON, a hackathon that was organised for the second time in a row. It aims to generate ideas for innovative digital initiatives that address the challenges of administrations and citizens.
IDARATHON is a contraction of the terms IDARA (‘administration’ in Arabic) and HACKATHON (the competition designed for Moroccan civil servants as part of the e-TAMKEEN programme. After a first successful experience in 2020, the second edition was launched at the end of 2022.
A high-level competition between a hundred motivated civil servants
This edition produced innovative ideas with great value for the public sector and the Moroccan population. Among them, three ambitions (SEER, Agri-innov’ and OTOTI9A) were crowned winners by a Moroccan-Belgian jury of digital experts:
- To offer people who are challenged by the digital divide simple digital access to administrative services,
- Enabling agricultural workers to connect online to the labour market,
- Bringing together technical and administrative offers for the sale of used vehicles on a platform.
These are the thoughts of three teams of various segments of the Public Administration.
The IDARATHON adventure began in December 2022 for 49 men and 48 women from 12 civil servants teams. These were at the heart of a rich innovation programme, combining inspirational webinars, a hackathon, and coaching sessions. In total, they spent more than 100 hours together, being assisted by renowned experts, to co-create remarkable prototypes based on innovative tools and methods.
“I was surprised by the hackathon because it was the first time I could familiarise with new innovation tools and methods. We don’t necessarily have to solve our problems in the usual way, we can dig and find solutions that will bring value to our projects.”
Loubna Hakimi, Idarathonian of the Ministry of the Interior
Like her peers, Loubna Hakimi, representative of the Ministry of the Interior in Morocco, explains that while IDARATHON enabled her to strengthen her digital project management skills, it also gave her the opportunity to think outside the box and use collective intelligence to design a solution centred around the real needs of citizens and public administrations.
Assistance to develop solutions, but also to inspire peers
Some thirty Idarathonians – the driving forces behind the SEER, Agri-innov’ and OTOTI9A winning projects – will enter the second phase of the programme. The three teams will be assisted in developing their solutions and in the implementation of these solutions by their departments.
To do so, for several months, they will benefit of support through inspirational visits to the Moroccan digital ecosystem, but also through adapted training and coaching sessions. Their journey will also be supported by senior government officials, who were selected prior to the competition and who are tasked with facilitating adoption of the initiatives in the public entities concerned.
“My advice to project leaders: Pitch what you have done in your respective administrations and make it go viral. You have to inspire others to copy you because you have inspired us and you have to inspire your peers.”
Hicham Chiguer, President of AUSIM and member of the IDARATHON jury
The main result of this IDARATHON, apart from the twelve prototype entries designed through the digital project think tank for Moroccan ministries, is the change of mindset around public services.
Everyone who has been involved in this experience has been impressed by the quality of the work done. The Idarathonian community brought about innovation but also showed that the administration’s executives are motivated to serve the citizens better. In the eyes of institutional representatives and experts from the digital ecosystem, these men and women supported by e-TAMKEEN are new ambassadors of public innovation and a source of inspiration for all.
Digitisation, an important component in the cooperation between Belgium and Morocco
The e-TAMKEEN project has so far held 120 capacity building sessions and trained more than 2,750 civil servants, 48% of whom are women while 26% work at local levels. It is also a rallying call and a message of hope for the entire public sector in Morocco.
To improve service delivery to citizens, e-TAMKEEN aims to strengthen the digital skills of public administration officials. To this end, the IDARATHON initiative conducts daily training and awareness-raising activities – life and via its e-learning platform – on a variety of topics ranging from digital communication to cybersecurity, including data management and cloud administration.
To support all these activities in Morocco, Enabel’s teams work with Belgian partners involved in the digital field. For instance, Belgium’s Federal Public Service BOSA (Support and Strategy), which is tasked with the digitisation of the Administration in Belgium, with its specialised innovation department – the NIDO Lab – and the Agency for Administrative Simplification (AAS) have supported the e-TAMKEEN programme since its launch.
The project is also an opportunity to strengthen synergies with public and private actors in Belgium. This was the case when senior officials from the Moroccan Administration on the occasion of a study trip met with the municipality of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, with which activities and training will soon be carried out as part of the twinning of the municipality with Tangiers.
Soon to be completed, e-TAMKEEN still plans several capacity building actions, mainly with local departments of the Administration, where it is expected to train nearly 600 civil servants in total. These activities will also take place online, as the project’s e-learning platform already has over 1200 registrations. Finally, the SEER, Agri Innov’ and OTOTI9A teams continue to receive customised assistance through the IDARATHON adventure. They will thus give their best to provide the Moroccan public administration with practical digital innovation solutions for a quality service to the citizens of the Kingdom.