This is a course blog for the classes on digital government and social media in the public sector" class taught by Professor Ines Mergel at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. The blog posts include comments and ideas from MPA, MAIR and EMPA students studying the use of new technologies in the public sector.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Ways to evaluate E-Governance Procedures and problems due to Communication Gap
Evaluation of e-Governance Procedures:
Government essentially means use of Information and Communication Technologies
in public sector. The concept has gradually evolved from responsive public
service delivery which puts importance on quality of services and participation
of citizens in the process of governance. With intensification of public awareness about
timely delivery and quality of services being delivered to them, responsibility,
credibility and accountability became strategic points of Governance.
E-Governance is result of interplay of these reforms.
of e-Governance is on participation of citizens wherein citizens actively
participate in process of Governance. It means that citizens keep participating
in process of governance even after elections are over. Participation of
citizens may be by means of discussions, debates, opinion forming groups etc.
This kind of participation is facilitated by extensive use of IT. Evaluation of
effectiveness of e-governance becomes significant in view of investments being
made by Governments for its implementation and also because of increasing
expectations of the citizens.
could be several ways of evaluation. One of the ways isex anteandex post evaluation. Ex anteas the name suggests is kind of future evaluation, i.e, under the
given set of conditions how the e-Government scheme is going to perform in
future, what would be the costs involved, its impacts and benefits,
difficulties that could be faced, their solutions etc. this evaluation is
generally taken up to justify or otherwise, implementation of project. Ex post
on the other hand assesses impact and other outcomes of implementation.
way of evaluation is formative and summative evaluation. Formative evaluation
is done during formative phases to assess progress or lack of it whereas
summative evaluation done after project is completed to assess its impact.
there is distinction in the ways to evaluate such as goal based evaluation,
goal free evaluation, and criteria based evaluation.
evaluation could be based on levels such as macro/societal level, sector level,
organizational level, application level, stakeholder level.
in e-Governance due to communication gaps:
e-Government projects, there may be cases where e-Governance procedures are not
user friendly and User Centric Designs (UCD) are not applied. This situation
occurs in three situations;
when there is gap between policy formulation and development of project to
implement it. It is observed that when policies are formed, they are seldom
prepared with a view of usability. As a result of which usability aspect is somewhat
when there are many teams working on different aspects of a single project such
as one team evaluating the needs of citizens, another team is preparing policy
and yet another team implementing it. In such a situation there could be gap in
communication and hence User Centric Design may not be achieved.
could be a third situation when there is a mismatch between Government
objectives and citizen’s objectives. In those conditions, focus is not on
citizens but on the process itself.