The Electronic Journal of e-Government publishes perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Government

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Journal Article

A Prospective View of e‑Government in the European Union  pp83-90

Clara Centeno, Rene van Bavel, Jean-Claude Burgelman

© Dec 2005 Volume 3 Issue 2, Issue on e-Democracy, Editor: Mary Griffiths, pp59 - 98

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Abstract

Emerging trends in Europe suggest that current thinking on e‑Government, focusing on greater quality and efficiency in public services should be reviewed, especially when taking a European and prospective approach. The paper proposes a prospective view, which defines e‑Government in the EU as a tool for better government in its broadest sense. It places e‑Government at the core of public management modernisation and reform, where technology is used as a strategic tool to modernise structures, processes, regulatory frameworks, human resources and the culture of public administrations to provide better government, and ultimately increased public value. According to this view, e‑ Government needs to be more knowledge‑based, user‑centric, distributed, and networked.

 

Keywords: e-Government, public value, knowledge creation, knowledge use, user-centric government, user participation, public -- private partnerships, networked government

 

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Journal Article

The Evaluation of e‑Government projects for Small Local Government Organisations  pp21-28

Walter Castelnovo, Massimo Simonetta

© Aug 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 95

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Abstract

The concept of e‑government is complex and covers fields, which differ a lot from each other. This heterogeneity can be a problem in the definition of a model for the evaluation of the impact e‑government projects can have. In this paper, starting from a broad definition of e‑government, we will discuss the possibility of defining a model for the evaluation of e‑government systems based on the concept of public value. To this end we will suggest an approach to the concept of public value that is citizen‑centred and role‑based, so that we can distinguish different aspects of public value on the basis of the different roles citizens can have in their interaction with Public Administration. The approach we suggest will be illustrated as regards the evaluation of projects aiming at the activation of Local Service Centre, as requested by the Italian Action Plan for the inclusion of small municipalities in the spread of e‑government.

 

Keywords: e-government, public value, small local government organisations, intercommunal cooperation

 

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Journal Article

Attaining Social Value from Electronic Government  pp31-42

Michael Grimsley, Anthony Meehan

© Apr 2008 Volume 6 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 64

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Abstract

We define and elaborate a Social Value framework supporting evaluation and attainment of the broader socio‑political and socio‑economic goals that characterise many electronic government initiatives. The key elements of the framework are the willingness of citizens to (positively) recommend an e‑Government service to others, based upon personal trust in the service provider, and personal experience of the service, based upon experience of service provision and outcomes. The validity of the framework is explored through an empirical quantitative study of citizens' experiences of a newly introduced e‑Government system to allocate public social housing. The results of this study include evidence of generic antecedents of trust and willingness to recommend, pointing the way to more general applicability of the framework for designers and managers of electronic government systems.

 

Keywords: electronic government, social value, public value, recommendation, trust, evaluation

 

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Journal Article

Fez e‑Government Project: An Initiative Transforming Scientific Research to Value in Morocco  pp361-370

Driss Kettani, Asmae El Mahidi

© Dec 2009 Volume 7 Issue 4, ECEG 2009, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp295 - 432

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Abstract

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are growing worldwide and changing many facets of modern life. Yet the digital divide persists with developing countries far behind. The low integration of ICT in emerging economies restricts opportunities in many fields of development. This paper presents a case study of ICT development in North Africa. It shows how the Fez e‑Government Project (eFez), through government and academic collaboration, has assisted and transformed many of Morocco's development challenges such as organizational misbehaviours and ills of bad governance in local government offices.

 

Keywords: e-government Fez e-government back-office automation records computerization records management public value intellectual capital

 

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Journal Article

Measuring the Public value of e‑Government: The eGEP2.0 model  pp373-388

Alberto Savoldelli et al

© Dec 2013 Volume 11 Issue 2, ECEG 2013, Editor: Frank Bannister & Walter Castelnovo, pp324 - 388

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Abstract

Abstract: After having briefly introduced the issue of measuring e‑Government vis‑à‑vis its impact evaluation, the paper provides an overview of the state of the art with regard to measurement of e‑Government, addressing the debate on the relationship bet ween 'public value' creation and e‑Government, outlining some of the approaches advanced to measure the public value of ICT interventions in the public sector. In light of this discussion, the paper then proposes the eGEP‑2.0 model which, building on its predecessor eGEP, overcome many of the limitations of existing frameworks, and more importantly pave the way for an effective impact assessment of e‑Government initiatives, in relation to the policy‑making process and related governance needed for their d esign and implementation. The results of the application of the eGEP‑2.0 model on the Telematics and Informatics Plan (PiTER) of the Emilia Romagna Region in Italy are then presented and discussed. The paper concludes providing some reflections on the e xperience and outlining future research challenges.

 

Keywords: Keywords: e-government, measurement, evaluation, public value, policy-making

 

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Journal Article

Raising Acceptance of Cross‑Border eID Federation by Value Alignment  pp178-188

Jérôme Brugger, Marianne Fraefel, Reinhard Riedl

© Dec 2014 Volume 12 Issue 2, ECEG 2014, Editor: Frank Banister, pp95 - 207

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Abstract

Abstract: A common identification and authentication space is one of the goals set in Europe⠒s Digital Agenda. Interoperability of electronic identities (eIDs) across Europe will facilitate mobility and cross‑border e‑business and therefore contribute to growth. Large Scale Pilots STORK and STORK 2.0 have designed a technical solution and are developing a model for offering cross‑border eID use as service. A major challenge remains in growing acceptance for such a system by end users, service provider s and national governments alike. This paper examines the different aspects influencing the long‑term success of European identity federation, which enables cross‑border eID use for accessing e‑government and private services. A special emphasis is put on the value perspectives of the individual stakeholders and the public value assessment of the solution. Based on a literature review, it offers a framework for analysing acceptance criteria according to different stakeholder groups (governments, service providers, end users). It takes into account the trust component, the mutual influence of acceptance decisions and the importance of contextual factors influencing the actors⠒ choices. The discussion is based on a reflection of existing conceptual appr oaches in the field of technology acceptance in general and eID development in particular and draws on preliminary empirical data from the STORK 2.0 project. The paper outlines the challenges of creating a European interoperability solution, which allows a convergence with the development of national eID strategies and fits the value expectations of all stakeholders. In an organizational perspective, it touches upon requirements for creating an identity ecosystem with a network character but centralized s ervices and decisions. In conclusion, the paper presents critical success factors for advanced collaboration between private service providers and government agencies across Europe on the subject of eID development. Thereby it assesses the current status of realization and outlines the challenges and o

 

Keywords: Keywords: electronic identification, federated identity, technology acceptance, large scale project, multi-stakeholder coordination, public value

 

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Journal Article

Risk and Decision in Collaborative e‑Government: An Objectives‑Oriented Approach  pp36-47

Leif Sundberg

© Jun 2016 Volume 14 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 134

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Abstract

Abstract. Developing e‑services in the public sector is a demanding task that involves a variety of stakeholders and values. Further complexity is added by organizational and institutional challenges, especially when specialized government agencies are ex pected to collaborate to create seamless, integrated services. This paper focuses on decision making and risk analysis in two Swedish collaborative e‑Government cases. Empirical material consists of semi‑structured interviews and project documentation, wh ich are analyzed using an objectives‑oriented Logical Framework Approach (LFA). The results highlight two factors that influence the outcomes of the projects; governance for collaboration and financial models for distributing resources between governmen t agencies. When these formal support mechanisms are not provided, they become risks for the projects and create uncertainties in decision processes. While the studied government context has matured enough to develop fully functional platforms for e‑servi ces, these uncertainties become issues when public values are to be measured and evaluated. The paper concludes by suggesting the use of public values as objectives together with measurable indicators in order to create a common language for decision maki ng and risk management across government agencies.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Risk, decision making, e-Government, objectives-oriented, logical framework approach, public values

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 3 Issue 2, Issue on e-Democracy / Oct 2005  pp59‑98

Editor: Mary Griffiths

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Editorial

Is an ‘e‑citizen’ fundamentally different from a ‘citizen’; is ‘e‑democracy’ ontologically different from ‘democracy’? The concepts ‘e‑citizen’ and ‘e‑democracy’ present a substantial challenge for researchers in the crossover fields of new media, politics and government : that of precise, or workable, definitions. Should the hyphenated prefix – and thus perhaps technology alone – determine the shape of research? Or, as others as well as the present writer have argued, can e‑democracy also be thought of as the whole mediated public sphere of online political and civic communication, and learning, in democracies, and thus an ‘e‑citizen’ be thought of as a ‘thing’ in the process of ‘becoming’?

Although e‑democracy has frequently been seen as a natural evolution, a ‘next step’ in the e‑government agenda of ensuring transparency, broadening citizen participation, and deepening, and making more relevant, citizen‑government relationships, it is also the product of new communication practices. For example, in the longish, hyperlinked entry in wikipedia, the anonymous, multiple‑authored online encyclopaedia, it is clear that collaborative composition and distribution of information – wiki – have effectively changed relations of power in the digital age, and will continue to do so, empowering citizens to share knowledge and exercise power. Of course, wikipedia’s information bears none of the imprimatur of national print authorities, nor any of the limitations of the print publication and distribution of dictionaries and encyclopaedias. Anyone can submit an explanatory entry, and critique an entry. The status of online definitions, explanations and extended discussion and analysis is constantly under question, and open to re‑writing by anyone. Gone is the waiting, sometimes for years, for new phenomena to be accepted and understood sufficiently to ‘make’ a dictionary or encyclopaedia entry : the process of consensus about meaning operates in a speedier time frame, and more openly, if anonymously.

The same distributive power is a feature of knowledge exchange at the global civil activist level. The threat of an avian flu ‘pandemic,’ rivalling that of the ‘Spanish flu’ a century ago, has resulted in an interactive online community dedicated to sharing knowledge about flu outbreaks, scientific knowledge, on the ground commentary about government responses, and information about health practices across the globe. Both wikipedia and www.fluwikie.com are evidence of ‘technologies of co‑operation’ to use Howard Rheingold’s phrase, and are among many other new online writing practices and genres where politically active, socially committed citizens individually, or in mobilised collectives, can now make an unprecedented mark on political and social relations at the national and international level. The impetus comes from the grassroots, the solutions are shared. The blogosphere, and other non‑professional, non‑institutional distribution networks, such as customisation and re‑packaging of media services have had an impact on the everyday life of citizen‑consumers, as well as – more spectacularly in the case of txting – on particular political regimes ( for example, in the Philippines). The same is true of interactivity between representatives and the represented in opinion‑polling, conducted by newspapers and online news distributors. Finally, e‑commerce itself has been affected. The making of multinational ‘communities’ around brand blogs is another feature of the radical shaking up of traditional kinds of capital‑consumer, capital‑citizen relationships. The managing of what the market calls ‘user‑generated‑content’ in the digital arena has itself become big business, as companies seek to contain and re‑assemble information which they have not produced themselves.

Major features of current e‑democracy debates are about similar new media phenomena : the effectiveness of online participatory consultation, the validity of e‑voting, public trust in online financial transactions, the security and extent of the data held by government, the increased potential of government intrusiveness into private lives, the accountability and responsiveness of politicians and public servants to citizen interactions, the interoperability of e‑systems of government, and the digital and political divides.

The current selection of ejeg papers, from Canada, Belgium, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, and the UK, responds to a call for discussions and analyses of the e‑citizen, within the broader explanatory framework of e‑democracy. From cultural, technological, cross‑national, political and ethical perspectives – the papers offer a rethinking of the potential of online modes of democratic practice. As the wiki examples demonstrate, knowledge can be personally or collectively made and shared, and this kind of practice confirms in many people’s minds the idea that the internet is of itself democratic and participatory. Yet there are problems with such optimism.



Christie Hurrell ’s paper on the internet as a ‘public sphere,’ based on an extended analysis of a four‑month long Canadian online consultation called ‘The Foreign Policy Dialogue’, engages with this optimistic belief in internet‑enabled citizen power, and assesses the civility which is increasingly necessary as a democratic literacy, if ‘e‑citizens’ are to function in effective online policy discussions. Hurrell mentions that citizens are ‘increasingly knowledgeable about public policy issues,’ and her detailed study of the online discourse on policy dismisses the belief that ‘most political discussion online is necessarily rude and divisive.’ Yet her paper ends with a series of questions about the impact of such discussions on government. Ways have to be found by governments to meet the raised expectations of citizens, if cynicism is not to replace respectful deliberative policy input.

Given the explosion of online communication, and multiple new forms of online distribution of information, it could be said that e‑government has frequently taken a rather conservative path. Driven by the admirable principles of transparency, cost‑effectiveness and accountability, e‑government is still dominated by finding technological solutions to digital governance, often attempting to replicate face‑to‑face practices with new digital equivalencies and business systems: examples include replacing the ballot with online voting, or the provision of online means of paying taxes. If questions of technology assume a priority role in research, systems development, access and usability issues, and business strategies, plans and costings become the central foci. Business applications and technical solutions to the wider implementation of e‑voting for example, are sought, based on the results of smaller pilot studies and programs. This is true of the two papers on aspects of ‘e‑voting’, one of the potential markers of electronically enabled democracy, which is sometimes seen stand, by itself, for ‘e‑democracy’. Xenakis and Macintosh tackle the issues of applying ‘business process re‑engineering’ to the e‑voting process in the UK. Their paper identifies the diverse issues involved in managing the complex design of such democratic practices. This design is seen, in Table 1, to encompass consideration of legal and social issues such as validation, eligibility and trust, technical issues such as reliability and compliance, with political issues such as political support and voter turnout, with the cost analyses and interoperability features of a business model. The paper on a Belgian experiment in facilitating e‑voting registration, by de Vuyst and Fairchild, deals with many of the same issues of access, security and compliance, but from the perspective of a national micro‑study which sets out the cultural and political particulars of Belgium’s need to move to new means of increasing voter turnout, given that it has, like Australia, compulsory voting.

When ‘democracy’ and ‘citizen’ take precedence rather than technology, the focus of e‑democracy research tends to be elsewhere, on the outcomes of the changes to government , administrative and democratic cultures which new media forms enable through an unprecedented range of speedy and easy interactions : between government and citizens, citizens and citizens, and government and government. What kinds of impact are these phenomena producing? One answer is that different kinds of democratic practice are emerging – and a movement from representative democracies towards ones with more ‘horizontal’ participatory and deliberative potential. This movement has the possible consequences of losses of power in the executive and administrative arms of government; and sometimes, paradoxically, less space for reflection and deliberation on decision‑making because of the speed and number of communication exchanges.

Government manages parts of this process, not always with a careful enough scrutiny of the kinds of democracy or citizen it is producing. E‑government’s mirroring of e‑commerce with its emphasis on client‑provider discourses and other practices derived from online business, is critiqued in Bernd Stahl’s paper. He argues, against the e‑commerce perspective, that e‑democracy occupies a distinctively different, ethical domain, one which presents questions of legitimacy and power which cannot be contained entirely by business processes and protocols. Centeno, van Bavel and Burgelman’s paper argues that reformed public services in the EU should become the modernising and interoperable means through which ‘public value’ is added to the act of governing. The authors state : ‘A prospective view of e‑Government in the EU for the next decade defines eGovernment as a tool for better government… The new vision also encompasses the provision of better public administration, more efficient, transparent, open, and participative governance and the implementation of more democratic political processes.’ In such a vision the management of knowledge, and the empowerment of the citizen are primary. The role of intermediaries – ‘private, social and public partners’ with government ‑ in distributing knowledge and the value of networked governments across the EU are highlighted in this paper.

In all, the papers reflect the field of e‑democracy research itself : there is a tendency to produce micro‑level studies, as a way of tackling larger philosophical concerns and anxieties about democratic structures, which the impact of new media and the loss of citizen enthusiasm for the ballot have caused. The challenges of e‑democracy present when traditional communication power relationships alter and when citizens become as adept as (or more skilful than) public servants and politicians in the online environment. The biggest challenge for e‑government is effective democratic engagement with citizens, not just with ‘consumers’ or ‘clients’. The biggest challenge for citizens is to develop the online literacies to participate, in all the new ways which technology enables.

We hope to continue discussions at the next ECEG conference in Marburg, where a mini‑track on e‑democracy is planned . We are interested in papers which present e‑democracy pilots and case studies, or address e‑democracy challenges posed by, for example:

— setting an e‑democracy agenda at government level;

— citizens' wider access to ICTs, and the skills and means to generate and distribute content;

— citizen trust in online participation and dialogue;

— deciding the correct balance between online and offline citizen/government, citizen/citizen interactions;

— exploiting the civic learning potential of emerging online tools and new media forms (games, blogs, wiki).

I hope to see some of you there.

 

Keywords: electronic journal, papers, articles, eGovernment, electronic government, eGovernment methods, eGovernment studies, e-Government Civility, Distance voting, e-Commerce, e-Democracy, e-Government, Elections, Electronic democracy, Electronic government, Electronic voting, Ethics, e-Voting, Knowledge creation, Knowledge use, Law, Legitimacy, Morality, Networked government, Online discussion, Policy, Pprocedural security, Public – private partnerships, Public sphere, Public value, Responsibility, User participation, User-centric government

 

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