Developing e-government

Fumiko Nagano writing on the World Bank’s blog describes a chapter from a new book the Bank have published. The chapter by Deepak Bhatia, Subhash C. Bhatnagar and Jiro Tominaga is entitled ‘How do Manual and E-Government Services Compare?’ and is a study of recent learning from India.

India may have issues with poverty that put many nations to shame but it has been employing e-government in many different ways to overcome issues with exclusion and communication across its vast and varied sub-continent, so the research is equally appropriate in the so-called ‘developed’ world.

The freely available chapter is only 14 pages, so you can read it for your self but Nagano picks out the key points in the blog. In brief, these include:

“citizens should be made owners of e-government programs”

“analyze user needs and demands”

The blogger notes at the end a comment by the editor of the publication, Christine Zhen-Wei Qiang, that it takes time for people and business to figure out how best to use ICT and this also requires training and adjustment. My added comment here would be that unless the application is designed in consultation with the potential users, the way they decide to use it might be by deciding not to use it…

One major improvement from e-government was the reduction in bribes, something I trust we don’t have too much of in the west?

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