Digital Services

Working Groups

Call to Action

SAMENA Council Digital Services Working Group Call to Action in Response to COVID-19


The purpose of the Digital Services Working Group is to assess the multi-faceted role of various digital communication services and to understand challenges and scenarios in the deployment and proliferation of such services and digital platforms. The SAMENA Council Working Group on Digital Services has agreed to examine global and local trends in Digital Services (public and commercial) across different sectors (verticals) and their key enablers (regulatory, policy, commercial/operational) with the aim to put together a Global Reference Framework of what needs to be in place to enable Digital Services. This Reference Framework can then be used for comparative local assessment to identify the key enablers in local (SAMENA) markets and identify related gaps. These will feed into the formulation of policy and regulatory recommendations. The starting sector is Health.


To become the Council's knowledge-support arm on the Digital Services front, ensuring accordance with messages being developed by likeminded organizations and consistency in advocacy efforts, and to define how the Council will collaborate with other advocacy bodies or groups. The DSWG is also to focus on highlighting impediments to the deployment of digital services, regionally.


Open to members from within the SAMENA Council membership and new members can join. Participants should be senior within their organizations, carrying titles of “Head of / Director” at minimum.


Imme Philbeck

Chief Economist and Director of Sector Development
SAMENA Telecommunications Council

About Imme Philbeck


The DSWG will study and utilize existing industry output, studies, and data and engage in collaborative efforts with other industry entities, to make advocacy progress on the Digital Services front, covering its various sub-areas, nuances, and issues of interest for regional regulators and telecom operators. The DSWG has the authority to react to industry developments and regulatory activities on behalf of the membership of SAMENA Council.

Governance Model

  • 1

    The DSWG will sustain and monitor its own performance, overseeing all activities falling within this specific theme/priority.

  • 2

    The DSWG will assess all issues that fall in the domain of Digital Services, and issue its recommendations and positions, supporting SAMENA Council's strategic direction and ICT policy development needs.

  • 3

    It will achieve this with the internal participation of its members and externally, if and as applicable at its own discretion.

  • 4

    It will report its work directly to the Board of Directors for approvals and final direction.

  • 5

    The DSWG will also issue its recommendations to the CEO in the fulfillment of advocacy priorities relating to its work.


The Board of Directors agreed not to appoint a WG Chairman. Instead, all Working Group Members have same-level standing within the Working Groups. SAMENA Council will coordinate and drive the activities of the Working Group as the Working Group Councilor, who will also be responsible to present to the Board of Directors of SAMENA Council the progress and the outcomes of the Working Group.

Meeting Schedule

The DSWG will conduct its communication activity via live meetings or teleconferencing, with a total of no less than four (4) meetings per year. The proposed meetings will be held quarterly. The schedule of meetings will be closely aligned with SAMENA Council and other key events to provide the opportunity to pick up on issues and outcomes of these events.

Current Activities

Identification of Global Trends in Digital Services: a background paper is currently being compiled that sets out global trends in Digital Services, which will be shared for comment with the Working Group in late June /beginning of July 2018

Building local reference frameworks for different verticals: following the distribution of the global trends background paper, the Working Group will focus its efforts in sub-groups on building local reference frameworks. This will be undertaken in the second half of the year. Focus sectors include health, transport, and critical communications

Next conference call meeting: will be set following the circulation of the global trends background paper.

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