Andrea strikes again

March 25, 2009

In his brief review of the new EU report, Value for Citizens, Gartner’s Andrea DiMaio, tempts the taste buds. He’s right in his criticisms but in a glossy twenty pages the authors can only be all things to all men and women.

For example, one of the classic recent arguments is how we manage e-governance in the traditional representative democracy, but the report suggests:

“Governments will empower local communities and localities, beyond formal politics and the ballot box, by promoting subsidiarity at local and neighbourhood level and interaction between policy makers and citizens. This leverages local resources, know-how and skills to develop new forms of political advocacy, social support and social capital and can serve to strengthen diverse cultures and interests as well as act as a bridge between them. ” (Page 13)

Great idea, but how? However, I can’t fail to agree with their take upon metrics:

“Performance monitoring of government services will move from the present top down, processdriven approach of setting targets and defi ning measurements towards a more user-centric and output-driven approach. Th is will incorporate more accountability of local needs and organise feedback loops involving front line staff and users of government services themselves. ” (Page 14)

Which is exactly my proposal!


World Wide Web Consortium

February 18, 2009

If you thought nothing much went on at W3C in relation to e-government you’d be sadly wrong. Churning away in the background is the e-government Interest Group which has produced amongst other things a list of up-to-date international reports relating to e-government available at:

Another very recent report is the 240 page one done by Deloittes for the EU – STUDY ON USER SATISFACTION AND IMPACT IN EU27

The report is basically the preparation for a more detailed study but is testing the instruments (i.e.surveys) to be employed in the bigger exercise. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, the main outcome is that  home users lag behind business users, along with the fact that measuring ‘satisfaction’ is not straightforward, perhaps one of the reasons I’ve started looking towards collecting dissatisfaction.

Social inclusion and digital exclusion

October 2, 2008

Some interesting statitics are raised in a recent paper in the awsome sounding European Journal of ePractice. many of the papers are quite accessible (for European academic papers) but this particular one is written by Professor Paul Foley who I know from De Montfort University (but that’s not the reason I’m using it, its because he’s made practical use of some available statistics!)

The paper is entitled “Realising the transformation agenda: enhancing citizen use of eGovernment“. A number of quotations are appropriate, but read the paper!

Page 7.

Willingness to use electronic channels is strongly linked to age – older people are less inclined to use digital technologies than younger people. This has important implications for service designers. Strategies requiring channel migration to significantly reduce the use of (or possibly close down) conventional channels in order to yield major efficiency gains will compromise inclusiveness. New channel uptake will have to be targeted at those with the greatest propensity to migrate and traditional channels will have to continue to be made available to older people and others unwilling to migrate. Service designers will have to be aware of the channel preferences of their users and develop channel strategies accordingly.

This approach does not have to result in a trade-off between efficiency and inclusion objectives. The two are not mutually exclusive; efficiency gains are possible by transforming back-office processes and seamlessly integrating the right mix of channels together to deliver a more effective and inclusive service.

In the Omnibus survey respondents who stated they were willing to deal with government electronically were also asked what type of activities they would be willing to undertake. Ninety per cent are willing to use electronic channels to obtain information about government or services. However, willingness reduces with the sophistication of activities – three quarters are willing to book appointments online and around 60 per cent are willing to make payments to government online.

Along with three paragraphs from page 12.

It is sometimes hypothesised that those who are the most frequent users of government services are also the least likely to use the new electronic service delivery channels. This hypothesis was tested and found to be unsubstantiated by the survey. No statistical association between willingness to use electronic channels to deal with government and general contact frequency with government was found.

This is further illustrated when the sophistication of eGovernment activities on the Internet are compared with the sophistication of general activities undertaken on the Internet. Over 90 per cent of eGovernment web site visitors who have used the Internet to send an email have not sent an email to government. Over three quarters or eGovernment users that have bought something online have not made a payment online to government.

However, a quarter of non-users did not choose one of the potential benefits presented to them as a possible catalyst to start accessing eGovernment web sites. This highlights a sizeable segment of the online population who are not yet convinced of the benefits of using government web sites.

European Journal of ePractice · 12 Nº 4 · August 2008 · ISSN: 1988-625X

This would suggest that we are still a long way from pushing at an open e-door!