Decision Support Systems and Strategic Public Sector Decision Making in Egypt

Sherif Kamel


This paper focuses on the application of decision support systems (DSS) to strategic public sector decision making for socio-economic development. It describes the experience of the Egyptian public sector in socio-economic decision making and the related emergence of an information-based support organisation for government, the Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC). The paper describes a set of decision support system cases, and an issue-based management approach in the design and delivery of these systems. Such cases fall within Egypt's comprehensive plan to introduce and rationalise the use of information technology in various key sectors in the economy. The paper also describes the challenges faced and lessons learned from the DSS cases.

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Educator's guide

Synopsis questions

  1. What is a decision support system and what benefits can it bring? [part 1]
  2. What is the IDSC and what does it do? [part 3]
  3. What value have decision support systems brought to the Egyptian public sector? [parts 2 & 4]
  4. Provide a one-page report for a senior public manager on best practice in DSS implementation. [parts 5 & 6]

Development questions

  1. How would application for DSS be different in other countries: would there be similar benefits; would there be similar implementation challenges and barriers?
  2. What dangers are there in the increasing automation of government decision making?
  3. If you are familiar with a particular public sector organisation, identify what role - if any - DSS could or do play in that organisation.