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.
The ability of governments to develop and effectively manage knowledge assets is now considered a critical capability for electronic governance. Good Knowledge Management (KM) practices in government are usually driven by clear vision and objectives which are part of KM strategies. Developing such government-wide KM vision and objectives requires inputs from individual government agencies and other stakeholders on their needs and priorities (so-called demand-side). However, while there is significant literature on models and tools for measuring KM capabilities (so-called supply-side) and impact of KM practices, very few scholarly work is available on assessment of specific KM needs of individual agencies or other stakeholders. This paper presents an Integrated KM Assessment Model which measures both the demand and supply sides of KM in government. The model was used for assessing the KM needs and capabilities of government agencies in Macao SAR as part of a study for determining the readiness of government as a whole for KM. Results from our study show that innovation in government operations is considered by agencies to be the most KM demanded area, while KM capability for task-specific activities was found to be the weakest KM capability area. In addition, document-intensive and high-volume transaction agencies, such as educational, financial, electronic data interchange agencies have relatively higher KM awareness and capability.
Recognized as a critical factor for the whole-of-government capability, many governments have initiated Enterprise Architectures (EA) programs. However, while there is no shortage of EA frameworks, the understanding of what makes EA practice effective in a government enterprise is limited. This paper presents the results of empirical research aimed at determining the key factors for raising the maturity of the Government Enterprise Architecture (GEA) practice, part of an effort to guide policy-makers of a particular government on how to develop GEA capabilities in its agencies. By analyzing the data from a survey involving 33 agencies, the relative importance of the factors like top management commitment, participation of business units and effectiveness of project governance structures on the maturity of the GEA practice was determined. The results confirm that management commitment and participation of business units are critical factors, which in turn are influenced by the perceived usefulness of the GEA efforts.
Responding to the issues of complexity, relevance, cost and risk of Electronic Governance (EGOV), we witness a specialization of the roles responsible for EGOV development and operation, professionalization of the personnel playing such roles, and utilization of the EGOV services and information to fulfill citizen needs. In order to build competencies required by such (managerial, professional, technician and user) roles, education becomes a key success factor, and a growing variety of EGOV learning opportunities emerges. However, lacking conceptual underpinnings for EGOV education, the discovery, analysis and integration of such opportunities is difficult. To address this need, the paper develops a theoretical construct for EGOV education; applies six measures to this construct: who - learners, why - roles, what - competencies, how - programs, where - schools, and when - prerequisites; and validates it through a landscaping exercise focusing on EGOV university programs.
Recognized as a critical factor for the whole-of-government capability, many governments have initiated Enterprise Architectures (EA) programs. However, while there is no shortage of EA frameworks, the understanding of what makes EA practice effective in a government enterprise is limited. This paper presents the results of empirical research aimed at determining the key factors for raising the maturity of the Government Enterprise Architecture (GEA) practice, part of an effort to guide policy-makers of a particular government on how to develop GEA capabilities in its agencies. By analyzing data from a survey involving 33 agencies, the relative importance of factors like top management commitment, participation of business units and effectiveness of project governance structures on the maturity of the GEA practice was determined. The results confirm that management commitment and participation of business units are critical factors, which in turn are influenced by the perceived usefulness of the GEA efforts.
A promising strategy to promote good governance is the harnessing of opportunities provided by the use of mobile phones, which are widely accessible to most segments of society. A study recently presented at the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance, of which two authors are from the UNU-IIST Centre for Electronic Governance, investigated the strategic use of mobile technologies by governments to achieve the desired development and social inclusion outcomes. The study focused on the case of migrant head porters – local micro-logistics service providers – from Ghana. Its implications include supporting policy efforts for achieving the Millennium Development Goals on poverty alleviation and gender (specifically, women’s empowerment).
A promising strategy to promote good governance is harnessing the opportunities provided by the use of mobile phones, widely accessible to most segments of the society, for delivering public information and services and for decision-making by government. This paper investigates the design and implementation of mobile governance (MGOV) strategies for development (MGOV4D). Specifically, it presents an MGOV4D strategy framework to
support mobile Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for development (MICT4D) projects in meeting their development objectives. The paper consists of four parts. First, it
presents a framework for determining the governance and related MGOV requirements for MICT4D initiatives. Second, it applies the framework to determine the MGOV4D requirements for a concrete case study of migrant head porters – local micro-logistic service providers from Ghana, involving the use of mobile phones to meet the porters’ livelihood needs. Third, based on the identified requirements, it presents a set of MICT4D initiatives that could be developed into MGOV4D programs to address the requirements. Fourth, it synthesizes the MGOV4D strategies that can support the inclusion objectives for the head porters and similar vulnerable groups. In the conclusions, the paper discusses how these results can support policy efforts for achieving the Millennium Development Goal 1 – Poverty Alleviation, and 3 – Gender (specifically Women Empowerment).
Service integration is central to joined-up government initiatives and requires information on the collaborators and the services they offer, roles of different actors, the resources required, and their goals (individual and shared). These information are largely available in unstructured forms on government portals, publications and other textural sources. This paper explores semantic text mining for extracting service-related information from such sources using Natural Language Processing techniques supported by Service-Oriented Process Ontologies. Our solution framework consists of the following steps: (1) creating domain and service-oriented process ontology, (2) extracting service-related information from textual sources based on the ontology, and finally (3) mining relationship among the services based on the extracted information in Step 2 linked with a pre-defined hierarchy of service delivery goals specifying the objective(s) to be achieved among the orchestrated services. We describe our approach to these tasks and discuss the progress of the work, our experiences and the challenges encountered so far.
The success of the electronic governance (EGOV) benchmarking has been limited so far. Lacking a theory to integrate existing conceptualizations has made the acquisition and sharing of knowledge produced by different benchmarking exercises difficult. In order to address this problem, this paper: 1) explains the nature of the EGOV benchmarking activity though a well-established theoretical framework - Activity Theory, 2) applies the framework to carry out a mapping between a number of existing EGOV benchmarking conceptualizations, 3) develops an unified conceptualization based on these mappings and 4) validates the resulting model though a real-life national EGOV strategy development project. The use of the Activity Theory in the paper has enabled defining and relating initial dimensions of the EGOV benchmarking activity, and mapping the dimensions present in existing conceptualizations. This not only created a unifying theoretical basis for conceptualizing the EGOV benchmarking activity but allowed learning from and integrating existing conceptualizations. The work impacts on the EGOV benchmarking practice by enabling a logical design of the activity, and contextually correct understanding of existing EGOV benchmarking results with respect to their intended usage.
Effective Information Technology (IT) leadership is critical for achieving a good alignment between business needs and IT means of an organization. In the public sector, IT leadership is increasingly realized through the Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) function, typically established by governments based on local circumstances and emerging needs. This makes peer-learning about the working of such systems and their transfer between different government contexts challenging. To address this concern, the authors introduced earlier a GCIO System - a set of inter-related activities to guide governments in gradually establishing, operating and sustaining the GCIO function. Based on a common conceptual model of the GCIO function, this paper defines a methodology for conducting the readiness assessment part of the GCIO System. The methodology comprises a set of assessment areas and a step-wise process to conduct assessment in these areas. The paper also shares the experience in applying this methodology in practice, and proposes how the assessment could inform the execution of other activities of the GCIO System.
This paper focuses on the challenge of sustaining Electronic Governance (EGOV) initiatives in developing countries to ensure their real impact on the society. While the challenge is well-recognized in the international development community, there is little evidence of research that discusses this challenge and how it could be addressed. This paper attempts to fill this gap by presenting a comprehensive approach which directly addresses the sustainability issues as part of the EGOV development lifecycle, and demonstrates how this approach was applied in a real-life project context in Afghanistan, aimed at addressing country-specific EGOV sustainability challenges. In view of this experience, the paper also discusses the adequacy of the approach to meet a range of sustainability challenges, with concluding remarks to guide developing countries in their endeavors to sustain EGOV programs.
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.
Information sharing (IS) is a key capability required for one-stop and networked government, responding to a variety of intra-organizational, inter-organizational, or cross-national needs like sharing service-related information between parties involved in the delivery of seamless services, sharing information on available resources to enable whole-of-government response to emergencies, etc. Despite its importance, the IS capability is not common for governments due to various technical, organizational, cultural, and other barriers which are generally difficult to address by individual agencies. However, developing such capabilities is a challenging task which requires government-wide coordination, explicit policies and strategies, and concrete implementation frameworks. At the same time, reconciling existing theoretical frameworks with the IS practice can be difficult due to the differences in conceptions and abstraction levels. In order to address such difficulties, this chapter proposes a conceptual framework to guide the development of Government Information Sharing (GIS) policies, strategies, and implementations. By integrating theoretical frameworks and the GIS practice, the framework adopts a holistic view on the GIS problem, highlights the main areas for policy intervention, and provides policy makers and government managers with conceptual clarity on the GIS problem.
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.
The central role of ICT in development has kept the longstanding discussion on digital divide active in the international development and research community with new perspectives into how to measure and interpret this inequality. In this paper we examine the nature of the digital divide in Maldives. We investigate the digital divide across the nation, between the nation's capital and the rest of the country, the evolution of these divides with time. Finally, we attempt to identify clusters within the country that share similar digital divide concerns to inform more effective policy interventions and the basis for cultivating community of interests for Atolls. Results show significant disparity in penetrations of digital technologies; narrowing of the digital divide with time, but with significant divides remaining between the capital and the rest of the nation. Cluster analysis of Atoll ICT profiles revealed six clusters with membership independent of geographical location. The implications of these results on the ICT development policy of Maldives are finally discussed.
A recent feature of Electronic Governance programs is the adoption of Whole-of-Government (WG) approach to planning, design, delivery and operation of Information Technology (IT) - related initiatives. The approach is characterized by the integrated and coordinated pursuit by government agencies of shared objectives concerning service delivery, citizen engagement, public policy development, and others. Adopting a WG approach requires a clear understanding of the coordination needs and the dominant organizational culture of the agencies involved.
This paper discusses the outcomes of a study and subsequent development of a Whole-of-Government IT Strategy Management (WG-ITSM) framework conducted as part of an e-governance standardization program in a city-state in South-East Asia (Macao SAR). The study aimed at establishing the WG requirements for ITSM practices in government, with the WG-ITSM framework enabling the development and management of integrated IT strategies to fulfill such requirements. The framework comprises a set of conceptual, process and integration models covering government-wide IT strategy management, IT strategy process and cross-agency IT strategy integration respectively, and supporting tools.
The framework has been validated through pilot exercises involving three government agencies. The paper also presents the validation results and discusses critical success factors for implementing the proposed approach.