Parallel worlds

Whilst examining Google Scholar for any recent papers on e-government I came upon a completed thesis from Walden University in the USA (Walden is an online university). The thesis is entitled ‘Responsive e-government: A study of local government e-feedback methodology’ and is by Nels Paul Lindahl, published in 2010 and being some 170 pages.

The abstract states that:

“Local governments have increased the use of technology (e-government) to gather citizen input. The current literature does not address the effectiveness, actual usage, or importance of electronic citizen feedback (e-feedback) to make policy decision. The purpose of the exploratory correlational study was to provide initial empirical evidence to assess the relationship between local e-government services and e-feedback collection methods. General theories of e-government practice were synthesized into a conceptual framework addressing research questions related usage of e-government, e-feedback and testing associations indicating that e-feedback was employed to guide e-government. A survey that documented current e-feedback collection methods and e-government services was sent to key informants representing a random sample of 174 principle cities of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas within the United States. Descriptive results indicated e-government was only 48% implemented across the sample with a potential expected expansion to 72%. Multiple linear regression analyses of survey items were used to identify significant predictors of current e-government and e-feedback practices; and parallel analyses were used to identify significant predictors of intended e-government and e-feedback practices. Pearson correlations were used to reveal significant linkages connecting egovernment, e-feedback, and auditing e-feedback. The results support the conclusion that e-feedback methods create the potential for increased citizen influence in shaping government services and practices via the e-government model. The study contributes to positive social change by providing empirical data that can be used to guide initial e-government implementation within communities that have not yet adequately defined models of practice and means of gathering input from their citizenry.”

Whilst differing in methodology and approach the outcomes are not far from my own, although I have been keen to emphasise that in order to evidence ‘channel shift’, it is necessary to collect feedback across all channels, especially since there will be some unsuitable for delivery online.

Well done Nels, we must compare notes…


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