This book is a sequel to the author’s first book, E-Government: From Vision to Implementation, published in 2004. The current one is a practical guide for conceptualising and implementing e-government at the local, State and national levels and provides an overview of the global experience in implementing the same.
The author, who served as Dean during his tenure of 28 years at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, describes the evolution of e-government applications over a period of four years through cases and illustrations and explores its potential impact, cost of access, quality of service, quality of governance for citizens and businesses apart from transparency and corruption.
E-government applications are emerging rapidly in the developing world. Many countries are using e-government as an enabling tool to increase efficiency, enhance transparency, collect more revenue and facilitate pubic sector reforms. The author clarifies in the beginning itself that recent empirical studies on the impact of e-government shows that while the e-government is not a panacea, it is a powerful enabling tool to aid governments to achieve some of their development and administrative reform goals. Although e-government can be a catalyst for change, it is not a complete solution and must be a part of a broader commitment to reform the public sector.
Based on an analysis of a dozen projects in India and case studies from many developing countries where e-government has been implemented to address social and economic development challenges, the book identifies critical factors that must be present for e-government applications to improve governance—defining project goals that are measurable and focused on governance reform, institutional capacity and presence of reform-minded leadership.
The first chapter provides a comprehensive definition of e-government.
The second chapter presents an overview of the global experience implementing e-government, how it has emerged and for what purposes it has been used in different countries. Examples of e-government include integrated service, delivery portals and citizen service centres offering services such as transactions involved in obtaining certificates and permits, payment of taxes and services to businesses like customs business, licences and procurement.
Chapter 3 employs the potential impact of e-government on the cost of access, quality of service and quality of governance for citizens and businesses that use e-government services. The benefits delivered to the various stakeholders including the agency implementing the system and its employees are described.
Chapter 4 analyses the potential impact of e-government on transparency and corruption besides detailing the extent to which corruption and transparency have been impacted in the projects that have been implemented on a wide scale in India. Illustrative examples are provided for success or failure of such projects in enhancing transparency and reducing corruption.
Chapter 5 explains the different stages in the life cycle of e-government projects. It discusses best practices in project conceptualisation, design and implementation with specific focus on managing change.
Chapter 6 provides practical guidelines for the creation of a country-level strategy and implementation plan. The guidelines are drawn from best practices that document both risks and merits of different strategies that have been used in developing countries.
Chapter 7 discusses a strategy for making e-government work for the poor. Key challenges in providing access to rural population are discussed.
Chapter 8 emphasises the need for evaluation of e-government projects and proposes a methodology for impact assessment. Many projects rely on purely anecdotal evidence to measure success.
Chapters 9, 10 and 11 present 10 case studies of e-government applications. These cover the whole range — securing different types of clients (citizens, businesses); focusing on different purposes (improving service delivery, transparency, increasing tax revenue, controlling government expenditure, empowering rural communities); and building by different tiers of government (federal, state and local). Chapter 9 presents four government-to-citizen cases dealing with delivery of services to citizens; Chapter 10 presents four government-to-business cases with delivery of services to businesses; and Chapter 11 deals with two government-to-government cases.
Chapter 12 discusses delivery of e-government service through an integrated portal providing guidelines for strategy implementation and evaluation of portals.
Chapter 13 looks ahead while summarising some important points that emerge in the book.
The book will interest management professionals, those with a background of pubic administration and students dealing with academic courses on e-governance.
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