Context of e-Government

By Rajesh Kumar Shakya, Ph.D. Student (Capella University)

E-government (electronic government) refers to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to provide the government services to citizens with the enhanced efficiency, accountability, and transparency through cross-cutting e-governance across the whole government machinery. Governments around the world have taken up e-government initiations with different goals which may include few of the following:

  • Standardizing and streamlining the public administration across the government agencies
  • Make available government services to citizens covering wider and diverse geography
  • Reduce transaction cost in government transactions
  • Enhance efficiency,  transparency and accountability on government transactions

Governments give priority to some goals over others, sometimes in-line with the national programs, most of the times just to follow the trend without any plans and preparations. Are these goals ever achieved? Were these goals rightly chosen for the national development? Is it demand of time and so the demand of the citizens? Are these governments committed to transform the aspirations into the results? How will governments fulfill the changing demands of the citizens and keep up with the ever changing technology? Is the perception of e-government same in developing and developed world?

Translating e-governance vision into reality has always been challenging. Challenges posed by e-government come together with challenges of technical readiness and ICT efficacy, administrative and managerial maturity and cultural and trust factors.  Needs and challenges in developing and developed world are not same. Arrangements for e-government and its adoption level and context may be different. The solution and approach of implementation also widely varied country to country. Thus, e-government takes different shapes adapted to different circumstances.  There is no single prescription for all governments for the successful implementation and adaptation of e-government. But a lot of lessons can be learned from the implementation experiences around the world, technological and management trends for the success of e-government. Instead of just following the trends, if the governments choose to orchestrate the e-government plan and programs based on the country context, the aspirations of the citizens, government and the demand of our time may surely be fulfilled.

[Rajesh  Kumar Shakya is the practitioner e-Government and e-Government Procurement Consultant for different governments in Asia, Europe, and Africa. More issues, aspects, and  practices in e-government around the world will be discussed in his future posts.]

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4 thoughts on “Context of e-Government

  1. We should use the technology of e-government to enhance ASPA career related trainings and workshops online to students in the field of Public Administration, Criminal Justice, Law and any other areas where future students will become government employees/administrators.

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  2. @Dan: Thank you for your valuable feedback. I fully agree with you. I will be writing more on “e-Governance” and other perspectives in my future posts. And Dan, I like the way you write in your blog.

    @Prakash: Experience has taught that there are no “one size fits all” solutions for e-government solutions. E-government requires re-engineering the government’s business processes, both within individual agencies and across government. Each service application, each administrative process and each organization has its own unique combination of circumstances, priorities and resources as well as its own administrative culture. These need to be navigated through or around but not ignored if e-government is to succeed.

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  3. The nature of “transactions” between government and citizens (as you describe above) is a ubiquitous form of eGovernment and fits an international definition. However, a great use for eGovernment, especially for democracies, goes beyond transactions to include interaction between and among citizens and government. It is actually “eGovernance” that should be the goal of electronic government. However, it is the most difficult to develop or to replicate the structure and standards for this conventional form of (offline) collaboration that has occurred for more than 200 years in this country. eGovernment is more than data. It is also dialog.

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  4. Nice to getting chance to read your blog here.

    You mention here, “The solution and approach of implementation also widely varied country to country” But i like to know Isn’t there is some standard for implement egovernance in every country. The standard may be some theory or some framework.

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