By: Jenny Tsuboyama
Welcome on board to this challenging but aware e-journey.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are in vogue. Many governments are using ICT to promote their services online but technology is only one element of the information landscape which is not sufficient to create the changes with impact. What governments think citizens want and what do citizens really need? It all depends on who drives.
– The starting point – the fundamentals.
We consider important to start the departure of this e-journey from the core. There are many definitions of e-Government and in TADAFUR we work from a value oriented approach, therefore we believe that “e-Government is the use of modern information and communication technologies by public organizations to support or redefine the existing or future relations with the stakeholders in the internal and external environment in order to create value” (Bekkers and Homburg, 2005)
This definition includes two parts. The first one is the “what”, pointing the use of ICT. This is adding the “e”. The second one is the “what for”, divided in two, to support or redefine government and citizens relations (G2G, G2B,G2C) as the outcome and to create value as the main goal and impact.
– The lunch-time.
In a top-down manner, international organizations and countries has been shaped e-Government, making available online some administration´s services to be used by the citizens. But are these online services fulfilling government´s goals and citizen´s expectations?
On one hand, when changes are only driven by technology, we change parts of the body and lose the heart. Not all the administrations are “language standardized”, there is no interoperability or maybe there is in the law but not in the practice. Not all the citizens can access to the online services, sometimes due to the applications format or the platforms they use, others to the digital division, therefore there is discrimination or digital exclusion because citizens do not have a real say in how applications are developed for them.
On the other hand, when value is managed throughout the entire administration´s cycle there is a value-driven development approach which enables the true changes and sustainability. This engages the citizens in policy-making and provides quality service delivery because “creating value goes beyond the productivity dimension and includes also the democracy and reflexivity dimensions” (Kwon, 2010).
– The souvenir.
e-Government is like the human brain. The technology-driven hemisphere, which is more easy to use due to its focus in the tree “e” should operate in equilibrium with the value-driven hemisphere, which is more demanding and takes more time due to the analysis of all the landscape.
There are many challenges to overcome but we are on the way, we have to be aware of the advantages of ICT but do not lose the goal just because they are in vogue or is more easy to use ICT just to use it, keep in mind to “use technology with heart” (Nardy, 2009)
– The next places to visit.
Our next blogs will deal with issues like: Technological and Institutional innovations, e-Government and New Public Management, politician´s roles, e-leadership, back-office of e-Government, digital democracy, public accountability, responsive e-Government´s services, citizen´s awareness, e-laws, shaping government and citizen´s relationships, among others. Let us know your interests.
– Au revoir.
Is your government using the “e” just because is in vogue? Contact TADAFUR to enjoy the synergy which will reduce your work, increase your productivity and allow you to reach the goals of your administration, the expectations of the citizens and the potential in you.
Thank you very much. We are glad to read your opinions, questions and experiences.
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