E-government united

Finally, although I’d been premature in January  in my post predicting its arrival, the United Nations E-Government Survey 2010 – Leveraging e-government at a time of financial and economic crisis report has appeared.

At 140 pages, and taking up over 7 Mb it’s a biggish download, so for brevity on this occasion, I’ll focus upon the sixth chapter on the topic of “Measuring e-government”.

Interestingly, amongst the draft indicators on page 94 is one labelled EG18 entitled “Degree of satisfaction of e-government service users, disaggregated by gender”, this is obviously in response to the statement on the same page that “Little information is yet available on the demand side of e-government.”

Similarly on page 96 is the phrase “Future work on measuring e-government capacity might usefully expand beyond ICT infrastructure and human resource issues to cover, where feasible, adherence to recommended practice in design of institutional machinery laws, regulations, policies and standards.” Which may help iron out the gender and access issues already raised elsewhere.

Further, confirming my own research, on page 97 it states that “usage of e-government services by citizens is absent from most measurement frameworks.”

The report also considers that demand might be captured by “measuring the percent of requests processed using ICT as a function of the overall number of requests”, along with “the degree of satisfaction of e-government service users.” Whilst I personally would use these measures across all channels to gain panoptical view of service as a whole.

It’s becoming clear that the lack of metrics has finally hit home, particularly ones focused upon outcomes. But, why-oh-why, must we always try to make them as complicated as possible?

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