Travel planning can be a challenge these days. There is an abundance of travel-related information in the magazines, newspapers, guides, brochures, on the internet. The information covers all imaginable aspects of travel including flights, hotels, cars, restaurants, maps, events and others. Travel is offered in the form of individual products or complete packages, its contents predefined or customised to individual needs, definite or based on waiting lists, sold for a regular price or as special deals (under different restrictions when, where and for whom the deal applies). With so many options available and so many constraints involved, there is a great deal of uncertainty how to carry out the process of travel planning. Internet contributes significantly to making this information available for individual travellers, including on-line availability-checking, reservations and sale. However, internet-based travel agents tend to focus more on the presentation of information and less on its actual contents. Moreover, they implement little in the way of a method for the process of systematic travel planning – formulating the requirements and then moving gradually toward the solution. Here are some observations when visiting such agents: (1) a visitor has to know in detail what service he looks for before he can learn this for himself; (2) when presented with an offer a visitor can only accept or reject it, but cannot explore the alternatives; (3) an error message communicates to the visitor the presence of an error but not the reasons for it or how to avoid it; (4) there is no recollection of previous interactions with a visitor – the system always returns to its pre-defined state; (5) when a little amount of automation is possible in support of visitors’ decisions it is not implemented. This chapter is about methods and tools in support of travel planning. We show how to approach travel planning as essentially an engineering problem. We define precisely what constitutes travel requirements, what is a travel plan, and in what sense the plan correctly implements the requirements. The approach is model-based, with models representing all stages of travel planning, from abstract requirements to concrete itineraries. Such models are designed, analysed and redesigned to represent decisions made by the travel engineer (the person who designs the travel plan). The models are minimal – expressed with the minimum number of modelling concepts – but also open-ended – new concepts can be added when needed. They are also formally-based – their syntax is well-defined and their semantics is expressed in precise mathematical terms, using numbers, sets, maps, functions, abstract and concrete types. The formal machinery used for semantic definitions is basic set theory and logic. Formality makes it possible to prove correctness of a travel plan with respect to travel requirements, and also to justify the soundness of the design rules that allow travel plans to be made more concrete. Such rules are applied during a development process, leading gradually from the abstract travel requirements to concrete solutions. We present such rules and discuss their soundness. In presenting such models we have four goals in mind. First, we want to formalise some of the travel-related concepts in a way which is independent of the current technology, providing the basis for an engineering approach. The latter means that the models must capture different levels of abstraction as well as relate those levels by the concept of correctness. Second, we want to apply such models to define a formally-based method for systematic travel planning, including definitions of the design rules and justification of why they are sound. Third, we want to explore the opportunities and limitations for automation in support of travel-related decision-making. The models will be used to formulate precise problems and seek possibly automated solutions. Fourth, we would like to seek an implementation of a prototype travel assistant, based on the models, in support of the method. The rest of this chapter is as follows. Section 8.2 introduces the basic concepts. Section 8.3 describes the models for travel planning, with definitions and examples. As the models capture different levels of abstraction, Section 8.4 defines what it means for a concrete travel plan to correctly implement an abstract plan. Section 8.5 presents a method for systematic travel planning, based on the models in Section 8.3 and the notion of correctness in Section 8.4. Section 8.6 describes the ideas for a travel assistant, a software system to support travel development. Finally, Section 8.7 contains some conclusions.
There is increasing evidence that e-Government can effectively support major transformation objectives of developing countries. However, an effective e-Government program requires a coherent set of policies and strategies to guide the development of the necessary regulatory frameworks, organizational and technical infrastructures, and information systems. One of the challenges in developing such policies and strategies is the absence of detailed information on the readiness of the various levels of government for e-government. Based on the results of the analysis of existing e-government readiness assessment instruments, this report presents a component-based e-Government assessment framework that enables a compositional process for developing e-government readiness instruments suitable for specific assessment context. Assessment context is defined by information such as purpose of assessment (e.g. planning or benchmarking), level of government involved (local, provincial or central) and desired scope (whether detailed or not) of assessment. We demonstrate the use of the framework by specifying concrete information requirements for assessing e-government readiness in Maldives (agency and local government levels) and then specify a possible composition scenario of components from two existing instruments to satisfy these information requirements.
The availability of information on electronic government readiness is a critical factor in developing effective e-government policies and strategies. Although there are many readiness assessment instruments in the public domain, there are no clear guidelines on how these instruments can be reused as frameworks in carrying out assessment in specific contexts, such as in egovernment planning or implementation. The design of readiness assessment frameworks requires clear specification of the assessment purpose and the design of concrete instruments explicitly based on the information requirements. Usually, these information needs are modular and can be satisfied by any instrument composed from the required set of assessment components. In this paper, we examine the requirements for a readiness assessment framework to support e-government planning and propose an assessment framework consisting of a set of assessment perspectives. Each of these perspectives is mapped to a corresponding set of concrete assessment components (partly derived from other major e-government assessment frameworks) satisfying the information requirements of these perspectives. The componentized framework allows for easy substitution or specialization of specific components to suit different contexts or assessment scenarios. As an example, we show how this framework can be used for developing a readiness assessment instrument to support e-government planning in Maldives.
Information systems in different public agencies need to seamlessly collaborate to support the delivery of public services through a one-stop government portal. For such collaboration to be successful, the systems must be organizationally, semantically and technically interoperable. In this paper, we illustrate the need for semantic interoperability services in electronic government and present a solution - semantic interoperability middleware (SIM) that provides such services. Three case studies are drawn from the context of the delivery of welfare benefits involving the collaboration of different public and private organizations. Each case presents a need that is addressed through a SIM service - mediation, validation and discovery. The paper also presents the requirements and architecture of SIM and highlights how SIM services address generic semantic differences and associated conflicts.
Many governments worldwide are establishing one-stop portals to provide access to various public services based on the needs of citizens or businesses and not the internal structure of the government. A critical support for such one-stop portals is a workflow infrastructure, supporting the matching of the needs against provided services and coordination of the implementing processes, often spanning several government agencies. This paper describes a generic workflow infrastructure for one-stop government - GovWF. GovWF supports the operations of a Virtual Government Organization - a hierarchy of agencies providing collectively a set of public services, while offering a uniform one-agency view to its customers. Conceptual and formal models are provided to rigorously describe the operations of GovWF. We describe how GovWF is implemented and also present a case study for illustration.
Better integration of Electronic Government (EGOV) and Public Administration Reform (PAR) strategies has been identified by global EGOV benchmark reports as one of the contemporary issues to address in improving the outcomes of EGOV programs. This chapter presents a technique for aligning EGOV and PAR strategies based on the Strategic Alignment Model (SAM) of Henderson and Venkatraman. By treating EGOV and PAR strategies as two different alignment domains, similar to organizational and technological domains respectively, we re-frame the original SAM to address our specific alignment needs. Our model provides a procedure and metrics for analyzing: (1) alignment between a pair of EGOV and PAR strategies and (2) the internal coherency of an EGOV strategy. We discuss our experience in applying this approach in Macao and conclude with how it may be used in aligning EGOV with other strategies such as those related to governance and development.
A major issue in organizations including public organizations is how to ensure that investments in Information Technology (IT) optimally deliver the expected value for stakeholders. Since most organizational transformation agenda in the government are articulated and implemented under the Public Administration Reform programs, and IT projects in government are increasingly associated with e-governance initiatives, the need to align reform and e-government programs arises. This paper shows how the Strategic Alignment Model (SAM) may be adapted for aligning public administration reform and e-government strategies. It shows how to partition strategies into domains equivalent to the four classical SAM domains and presents: (i) metrics for evaluating current level of alignment between the reform and e-government program, (ii) a process or sequence of steps to achieve desired alignments between the four domains, (iii) our experience in the application of the process in project involving the alignment of the e-government program and the reform roadmap of a city state in South-East Asia, and (iv) some features of the tool that has been developed to support the alignment process. Finally, the paper highlights our ongoing work in this area.
Software Technology is increasingly gaining prominence in national Information Technology (IT) development strategies due to its huge potential for socio-economic development, particularly through income generation from digital services and products, support for the delivery of public services and engagement of citizens. In recent years we have seen developing countries like India, Chile, Philippines, Brazil, China and Indonesia as increasingly important global players in the offshore software services industry, with India and China clearly leading in this industry. There has also been a surge in South-South Cooperation in Software Technology (SSC-ST) in general since 2003, with significant increase in bilateral, regional and contributions of UN organizations (e.g. UNCTAD, UNDP and UNU-IIST) as well as donor OECD countries (particularly Japan, South Korea and a few EU countries) to both the development of software technology capacities and their applications in the areas like agriculture, e-governance, transportation and the information society in general.
There are several well-established surveys on e-government. These surveys employ different assessment models for e-readiness, digital divide and other relevant factors, leading to varying conclusions on the global state of e-government. This paper presents a comparative study of 11 international surveys on e-government between 2001 and 2004. It identifies a common set of 'core indicators' for assessing e-readiness and suggests ways to determine the weights for them. The paper also introduces the concept of a 'target e-ready state' and examines how it may provide a scale for determining the progress of individual countries.
The Whole of Government (WG) approach is increasingly seen as an imperative for delivering coherent and integrated policies, joined up and seamless services, and integrated program management in government. Although no generic WG framework currently exists, there are reported cases of WG initiatives by different governments. Grounded in existing theories, frameworks and cases related to interorganizational collaboration, collaborative Electronic Government (EGOV) and joined-up government, this article describes how to build a collaborative IT Strategy Management (ITSM) environment based on the WG approach. The article first develops a WG model to identify the enabling elements for the WG approach. Next, it identifies the necessary conditions for creating a collaborative ITSM environment in government, applies the WG model to synthesize a set of generic requirements for implementing the WG approach, and presents a WG ITSM toolset to support the implementation. Finally, the generic WGITSM requirements are used to analyze a case study involving the WGITSM development in a city government. Based on the case study, the validity of the WG model and generic WGITSM requirements as well as the usefulness of the toolset are discussed. The article closes with the recommendations for the WGITSM practice and for further development of the WG framework.
The availability of domain frameworks to enable rapid development of Electronic Public Services (EPS) is essential to meet the increasing demand for mature EPS by various government stakeholders. This paper presents a composite domain framework comprising frameworks to build the Front-Office and Back-Office parts of an EPS. The framework supports a set of domain requirements obtained through a detailed analysis of over 30 concrete public services. After presenting these requirements, the framework is described in four stages - architecture, design, implementation and instantiation - all using UML to capture the artifacts built during development. We also illustrate the application of the framework through a case study in developing an Electronic Licensing Service by means of framework instantiation. We conclude with some comments on the complexity, flexibility and performance of the framework. This work was carried out as part of the e-Macao Project to build a foundation for e-Government in Macao, funded by the Government of Macao SAR.
The impact of mobile technology on governance and development has attracted significant interest in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Development and Electronic Governance communities. There is growing consensus that governance mechanisms must complement access to technology to achieve greater impact on development. However, few or no rigorous research exists to show how such mechanisms can support the delivery of mobile services to vulnerable groups. This study fill this important gap by first providing a conceptual framework, based on the Choice Framework and the Structuration Theory, to elaborate on the relationship between ICT, governance and citizen capabilities. Second, the framework is applied to analyze livelihood needs of 45 women head porters interviewed in Accra. Third, as all women under study have access to mobile phones, we determine which governance mechanisms are needed to support the delivery of mobile services to them. Results show that three governance mechanisms enable the contribution of mobile technology to meeting the livelihood needs of this group: 1) updating financial and telecommunication regulations to enable the provision of mobile-based services e.g. mobile microfinance, to vulnerable groups; 2) mobilizing local communities in the production of local contents; and 3) engaging non-governmental organizations in building capacity of government agencies in mobile service delivery and in training vulnerable communities in effective use of mobile technology to access information and services critical to their needs. We conclude by discussing the use of the Structuration Theory along with the Choice Framework to shape development processes based on citizen needs and by discussing the applicability of our framework to similar vulnerable groups.
Macao SAR (MSAR) has continued to develop its ICT infrastructure in terms of telecommunication services, particularly in the area mobile and internet services, making the city one of the top twenty cities in the world in terms of International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Digital Opportunity Index. The MSAR Government has also adopted a series of ICT-friendly policies to promote the development of ICT including the transformation of the Office for Information Technology Development and Telecommunication Regulation (GDTTI) into a fully-fledged government agency – Bureau for Telecommunication Regulation (DSRT), and establishment of the Science and Technology Development Fund, Productivity and Technology Transfer Center, and the Macao-Zhuhai trans-border industrial park. In addition, major IT initiatives particularly in the area of strategic IT application in government (including the e-Macao initiative) have been adopted.
Despite this progress, Macao is yet to adequately leverage its existing ICT capability, and develop and exploit other ICT-related opportunities, particularly in the context of its socio-economic and political needs and priorities – diversification of the economy, development of environmentally-sound socio-economic initiatives, and human capacity building to meet local needs and enable global competitiveness of Macao citizens.
Apart from the e-Government Development plan launched in 2005 by the MSAR Government, there is yet no comprehensive ICT strategy to support the socio-economic, political and environmental development strategies of the SAR and the emerging individual IT strategies for specific agencies of the government.
This report documents the results of a comprehensive study to develop medium-to-long-term ICT strategies for Macao SAR (e-Macao 2015), to support plausible scenarios for Macao in view of the global and local change factors, in addition to the current government policies. Specifically, it captures: (1) scenarios for the future, developed upon a set of global and local socio-economic and political variables affecting Macao, to define the strategic context for the study; (2) the state of ICT development in Macao; (3) findings from the analysis of ICT strategies of selected economies and states considered leaders in ICT development, with geo-political and economic conditions similar to Macao, specifically Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malta and Singapore; and (4) the recommended ICT strategies. The document also provides guidelines for setting up the necessary governance framework to effectively drive ICT development in Macao, based on the analysis of good practices in different economies taken into account.
This document is a companion to the Strategic IT Planning Toolkit (toolkit) developed by the Center for Elec-tronic Governance at UNU-IIST. It consists of a set of templates to support the major activities involved in a strategic IT planning exercise - from obtaining approval to commence project through stakeholder analysis and IT readiness assessment to IT strategy and objectives development. The templates show how the information required in each step of the strategy activities can be obtained through brainstorming and workshop-style sessions involving both internal and external stakeholders of a government organization.
The increasing use of social media by governments for improving citizen access to information, participation of stakeholders in policy processes and delivery of customer-focused services are among the defining features of the so-called "Governance 2.0" phenomenon. Another feature is the interaction between existing government networks and social networks of citizens and policy actors in order to disseminate government information and seek contributions from citizens and other actors to policies, decisions and services. This article examines the semantic issues associated with the emerging Governance 2.0 networks. It evolves an architectural framework to guide governments and their agencies in developing semantic interoperability capabilities. We approach the problem by first developing a conceptual model for analyzing semantic interoperability requirements in general. Next, we provide a case study to generate interesting scenarios and identify concrete semantic interoperability issues arising from the interactions between citizens, businesses and government through traditional and electronic channels and different forms of social media. Subsequently, we present a Semantic Interoperability Architecture Framework to address these issues based on existing government semantic interoperability frameworks and semantic standards for Web 2.0. After validating the prescribed framework, we discuss how it could be used in practice by governments.