United by e-government

From the United Nations Asian & Pacific Training Centre for Information & Communications Technology for Development or APCICT for short comes a neat little four page briefing entitled e-Government Applications by Nag Yeon Lee.

Full of words of wisdom, this is truly a guide for the perplexed. On the first page Lee states that “e-Government is not about business-as-usual, but rather a focus on using digital technologies to transform the structures, operations, and most importantly, the culture of government”. This is followed later on the page by “e-Government is not a single event or a short project, but a long-term evolutionary process of transforming government to focus on citizen services”. Nothing anybody previously involved in e-government for very long should argue with, making this a useful primer in the dark art.

The second page identifies clearly that “the success of egovernment depends on strong demand and support from the majority of the population”, whilst page three emphasise that “a long-term plan with a clearly articulated vision and strategy is vital to the implementation of e-government”.

Some figures are presented on page three that, again, will come as no shock with a quote that “one study shows that 35 per cent of e-government programmes around the world have failed, 50 per cent are partial failures, and only 15 per cent can be considered successful”. No surprises there then, but a good reason for this useful little document!

To conclude Lee provides a number of guidelines, one of which, in particular, to me seems the most important, which is that “e-Government will only be successful if there is strong demand and support for it from the majority of the population. Therefore it is important to know what types of services citizens and businesses need”.

I am pleased to see that the UN in the east is making use of all the mistakes made in the west!

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