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

For general enquiries email administrator@ejeg.com

Click here to see other Scholarly Electronic Journals published by API
For a range of research text books on this and complimentary topics visit the Academic Bookshop

Information about the European Conference on Digital Government is available here

 

Journal Article

IT Enactment of new Public Management: the Case Study of Health Information Systems in Kenya  pp311-326

Roberta Bernardi

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

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

In the last twenty years most African Governments have embarked on health sector reforms sponsored by international partners. Conceived under New Public Management, the majority of these reforms leverage information technology to decentralise hierarchical structures into more information efficient organizations. The paper illustrates the case study of health management information systems in Kenya in order to better understand how the enactment of information technology has influenced the organisational outcome of New Public Management reforms within the health sector in Kenya. The case study provides a longitudinal account of how the adoption and usage of information technology within two health management information systems of Kenya Ministry of Health has affected the implementation of NPM reforms. Data collection and analysis have been framed within an institutionalist perspective viewing different agents acting under the pressure of competing logics (New Public Management and Old Public Administration) at three main levels of action: the macro or policy level (e.g., formal policies), the meso or organisational level (e.g., professional norms and management), and the user or agency level (e.g., IS users' routines). The case study has shown that NPM institutions were not supported by coherent actions unifying all actors involved in the restructuration of health information systems in Kenya so that IT enactment was not consistent across the health information system giving way to structural changes that were not aligned with what was envisaged in the reforms. Findings point to the rhetoric behind certain reform discourses by main actors involved, particularly, at the macro‑policy level. The paper calls for a stronger source of political legitimacy to support discourses around public sector reforms so that through the right competences and systems of values at the meso level information technology can be used as a catalyst for a more consistent implementation of the reforms. New discourses around the potential of IT should be more aligned with certain institutions underpinning the practices of policy makers at the macro level inducing Government echelons to legitimize IT at the macro‑policy level.

 

Keywords: information technology, health information systems, e-Government, new public management, institution theory, Africa, developing countries

 

Share |

Journal Article

Romanian Urban e‑Government. Digital Services and Digi‑tal Democracy in 165 Cities  pp171-182

Virgil Stoica, Andrei Ilas

© Apr 2009 Volume 7 Issue 2, ECEG 2007, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp123 - 208

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

There is little disagreement in the doctrine that we live in extremely changing and innovative societies. Nowadays, the information technology is getting more and more accessible, complex and secure, changing the well‑established traditions of modern societies. In many democratic states, electronic‑government represents an answer to the request of reducing the cost of the decisional process. However, the new administration requires not only an innovative solution, but "intelligent citizens" to make use of it. Recent studies show that e‑government has developed five stages, each of them reflecting the degree of technical sophistication and of interaction with the users: simple information dissemination (one‑way communication), two‑way communication, service and fi‑ nancial transactions, integration (horizontal and vertical), and political participation. Starting from this model, the present research evaluates the stage of urban e‑government within Romania, and identifies its influencing variables. All existing sites of urban local administration — 165 cities ‑ are analyzed through the perspective of both digital government (public services through internet) and digital democracy (citizens' participation to the governing process through internet). Despite the fact that literature regarding e‑government is continuously de‑ veloping, the number of empirical researches worldwide is relatively a small one. The evaluation of Romanian local e‑government is a national premiere and will enlist Romania among those where a comprehensive evalua‑ tion has been made. Finally, alternative future researches on variables that influence Romanian e‑government performance are outlined.

 

Keywords: Romanian e-government, digital services, digital democracy, information technology

 

Share |

Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 2, ECEG 2007 / Apr 2009  pp123‑208

Editor: Frank Bannister

View Contents Download PDF (free)

Editorial

At the time of writing this editorial, I have just returned from the ICEGOV conference on e‑government and e‑governance in Ankara. In addition to excellent Turkish hospitality, the conference threw up a couple of lively debates in the parallel sessions. A good, well behaved academic argument can be one of the most productive and rewarding parts of a conference. Unfortunately good debates tend to be relatively rare as Session Chairs, armed with a “time up” card and a severe set of instructions from the organisers give each presenter their statutory 20 minutes plus five for questions before it is time for “next please”. Occasionally a discussion will continue during coffee or lunch, but sometimes debates only occur because the next speaker doesn’t turn up.

In Ankara, one of these debates was about what was meant by “e‑governance”? During the discussion, it quickly became clear that not only was there no agreement in the room on what the term meant, but also that some of those present were even unclear in their own minds what the difference was between e‑ government and e‑governance. The sight of academics disagreeing about anything and everything, including semantics, is as old as the first university seminar, but semantics matter in academia and the absence of clarity on what is meant by e‑governance was somewhat disconcerting. Rightly or wrongly, I got the feeling that many in the room had not actually given the matter much thought.

This lack of clarity is not an unknown phenomenon. Information systems have an unhappy history of relabelling basic concepts even though, in many cases, nothing fundamental in the technology has changed. Sometimes terms outlive their usefulness and have to be replaced and/or upgraded. On other occasions it seems more like an attempt to resuscitate a floundering field. Recently, even the term “e‑ government” has been under attack. At a meeting I attended last December, one of those present even suggested, I think only partially in jest, that we needed an exit strategy for e‑government. Various replacements are mooted including “transformational government”, “digital government” (popular in the US), “government 2.0” and, more recently, e‑governance. The latter is an unfortunate suggestion, because government and governance have quite different meanings. Furthermore, governance is a notoriously contentious, not to say downright slippery, subject even before putting “e‑“ in front of it.

Not surprisingly, a number of scholars have addressed the difference between e‑governance and e‑ government (including in this journal). While this is of some help, there are just too many interpretations of the expression. Definitions of e‑governance range from an information age model of governance to a “commitment” to use ICT to, inter alia, enhance human dignity and deliver economic development. Other authors more or less equate e‑governance with e‑democracy (in one article published in a leading journal a few years ago, the word “e‑governance” appears in the title and nowhere else in the text!). All this does not help when attending a conference presentation with “e‑governance” in the title although it may give a frisson of excitement as we await the definition that the presenter has in mind.

In a simple search on the web, it is possible to find quite a large number of scholarly papers on e‑ governance. Google throws up over four and half thousand of them. Prior to writing this, I scanned about a dozen of these. While a few differentiated between e‑government and e‑governance, none of them gave a satisfactory account of the material difference between e‑governance and plain old non “e‑“ governance. Such an article may be out there, but I suspect that there is a gap in the market for a really good paper on this topic.

Whatever the definition(s), it behoves academics and scholars to be clear in what they say. Muddling up two quite different concepts is not good scholarship. There is also a need to put some clear blue water between e‑governance and governance generally. ICT certainly enables us to do many things that were heretofore impractical thus reifying hitherto theoretical or abstract problems. Whether it creates new problems is not so obvious. There is plenty of scope for some further contributions to this debate.

 

Keywords: business process improvement, business process reengineering, case study, digital democracy, digital services, e-business, e-commerce, e-democracy, e-governance, e-government services, electronic tax filing, engagement, enterprise information architecture, e-participation, e-procurement, e-revenue, e-tax, e-transactions, e-transparency, e-trust, information technology, internal stakeholders, international tax strategy, Japan, local e-government, National Tax Agency, organizational (re-)design, permanent establishment (PE), public service reform, Romanian e-government, socio-technical systems design, systems architecture, telehealthcare, transfer pricing, transformational impact of e-government

 

Share |

Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 4, ECEG 2009 / Dec 2009  pp295‑432

Editor: Frank Bannister

View Contents Download PDF (free)

Keywords: Africa, back-office automation, Brazil, citizens’ participation, developing countries, DOI and emerging economy access, DynaVote, e-government data interoperability, e-Justice, electronic voting, eVoting requirements, Fez e-government, form generation, GIF, goal orientation, governance, health information systems, implementation, information technology, institution theory, integration strategy, intellectual capital, interoperability, Interoperability tool, inter-organizational collaboration, joined-up government, new public management, ontology, perceived risk, practically, public value, records computerization, records management, supply chain management (SCM), TAM, technology acceptance model, trust, web services, WSML/WSMO, XML schema

 

Share |