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eGovernment Guide

e-Government can be broadly understood as the creation of public value by digital means. In other words, as the ways in which information and communication technologies can be used to enhance democratization and equity in society, and increase effectiveness of public delivery of services. While the creation of public value is the single most important objective for every government, it does not necessarily can be always achieved in better way by approached based in electronic government. There are two major problems that challenge this objective:
  • All over the world, and especially in developing countries, public sector’s structure and management model generate hierarchical and procedure-oriented organizations. This characteristics, among others, and structural embeddedness create problems to fulfill the rising needs for coordination and collaboration among public agencies in the digital environment, which are necessary to obtain the benefits, impact, transparency, and savings of collaborative and networked work; 
  • A great part of the developing world’s population lives in rural areas, where there is less presence of public agencies or not presence at all. Additionally, the public sector’s “frequent clients” are typically those who don’t have the skills or financial means to operate in the digital environment. Thus, “access” is a major issue in both a digital and social perspective; 

In this context, the driving questions of this project are: 

  1. Do the minimal conditions exist to justify the provision of online services? 
  2. Are the respective public agencies prepared to do so? 
  3. Should they get ready to provide the service or to outsource it? 

This project generates a methodology to assess the degree of alignment of readiness factors for electronic government in terms of certain minimum requirements at a technological, managerial and political level. Considering this, the methodology helps to assess the extent to which the maximum public value is created through the right combination of public and private ownership of digital means and delivering of digital services.


Information Technologies Group • Center for International Development • eDevelop@ksg.harvard.edu
79 John F. Kennedy Street • Cambridge, MA 02138 • USA
Copyright © 2002 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College

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