Towards a Comprehensive Model to Use E-government Services - Dissertation Example

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The questions that this paper seeks to ascertain are: What are the critical factors and events of any usage process in e-government services? What sequence of citizen readiness and adoption factors as well as events leads to a successful usage process of e-government services by citizens?…
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Download file to see previous pages A major finding in a recent United Nations (UN) e-government survey exploring the inter-linkages between e-government and sustainable development efforts relates to the steady improvement in all the indicators of the e-government development index, implying that more and more countries are employing e-government policies and programs to sustain efficiency, effectiveness, and inclusiveness as the parameters of sustainable development efforts worldwide (United Nations 2012). Governments are increasingly embracing e-government as a means to engage citizens through inclusive and participatory service delivery processes for sustainable development (United Nations 2012) and, by doing so, leveraging on e-government’s potential to “reduce costs, improve services, bring transparency and accountability to government, as well as control fraud and corruption” (Singh & Sahu 2008, p. 477). Extending and supporting the work in this nascent area of research, Gajendra et al (2012) claim that many nations have realized the benefits of e-governance and have commenced providing their services online using the four basic models of e-government, namely government to citizen, government to employees, government to government and government to business. But while the expectations of governments and other public agencies regarding the viability of e-government remain high owing to the numerous merits associated with utilizing online systems and digitized functions (Gauld et al 2010), the UN report is categorical that citizen usage of e-government services “remains relatively low compared to traditional service delivery methods, even in countries that are making greater efforts to enhance take-up, and notwithstanding continued progress in the provision and sophistication of e-government services” (United Nations 2012, p 102). This phenomenon, according to the UN report, not only continues to conceal the many potential benefits of e-government but also presents a foremost challenge for policymakers, who need to reconceptualize how public services can be taken more by citizens through the government to citizen model, with the view to assisting realize their full potential benefits and, in doing so, contribute to sustainable development for the people. E-government has been defined in the literature as “the application of information and communication technology (ICT) for delivering government services, exchange of information and communication between government and public” (Gajendra et al 2012, p. 195). Going by this definition, it can be argued that although countries, in general, have invested immensely in the use of ICTs to enhance their online service delivery to cater to citizens’ needs (United Nations 2012), it is yet unclear why actual citizen usage of e-government services is generally low overall despite the capabilities provided by e-government, such as personalization, user-friendliness, knowledge acquisition and ability to communicate (Kolsaker & Lee-Kelley 2008). What is clear in the current context is that citizens’ usage of e-government services (‘demand-side’) has thus far been inadequate and has demonstrated incapacity to keep up with the fast-spreading provision and accessibility of e-services (‘supply-side’), and that the different speed and growth rate between e-service availability and citizens’ usage of e-government services is reasonably substantial in many countries around the world (United Nations 2012). Based on the low uptake of e-government services, therefore, it is only proper that the functionality and practicality of the e-government concept be questioned given the fact that so many resources have been spent on implementing them yet so few people are actually using them. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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