Information Technology Reference
In-Depth Information
2.1 introduction
In the past two decades, “information technology (IT) has been adopted and
implemented around the world as a means of improving government performance”
(Lee, Chang, & Berry, 2011, p. 444), particularly in e-government. The importance
of e-government has been widely accepted, and more governments continuously
adopt computer-based approaches to provide better services through websites. The
sharp increase in Internet users has promoted change from “single and disorder”
to “comprehensive and ordered”; citizens have pushed e-government to change
from “providing information and services” to “enabling citizen participation,”
from “government oriented” to “citizen oriented.” All of these changes transform
e-government to e-governance, which emphasizes citizen participation and meet-
ing public needs.
Although more and more e-governance initiatives have been evident, e-governance
development varies substantially both at municipal and national levels. Best prac-
tices need to be explored to illustrate the latest innovations and usage of infor-
mation and communication technologies (ICTs) to improve e-governance. This
could contribute both to the academy and to practice. Following a model we have
been developing and applying since 2003, in the 2011-2012 Worldwide Digital
Governance Survey from Rutgers University-Newark, we have evaluated the web-
sites of the largest municipalities in the 100 most wired nations in terms of five
dimensions of digital governance: privacy/security, usability, content, services, and
citizen participation. Our study indicates that municipalities vary substantially.
Seoul, Toronto, Madrid, Prague, and Hong Kong rank as the top five municipali-
ties, with an average score 66.54, whereas Lagos, Kuwait City, Baghdad, Asuncion,
and Tashkent rank lowest, with an average score of 12.05. A substantial gap also
exists between municipalities in Organization for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) countries and those in non-OECD countries by a ratio of
almost 2:1.
This comparative study in e-governance across municipalities worldwide
explores best practices, illustrating how ICTs are being used to better serve
the public and promote citizen participation. On the basis of the 2011-2012
Worldwide Digital Governance Survey, several municipalities such as Seoul,
Toronto, Berlin, and Hong Kong were selected for their excellent performance
across multiple dimensions of e-governance. These examples reflect the latest
innovations that are potentially applicable to the development of e-governance
in other municipalities. More than 10 years' continual research in worldwide
e-governance enables us to present a longitudinal study to better understand and
reflect the progress in e-governance.
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