3.1 E-Government: - E-Government refers to the use of information and communications
technologies (ICT) to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability of
E-Government can be seen simply as moving citizen services online, but in its broadest sense it
refers to the technology-enabled transformation of government - governments‟ best hope to
reduce costs, whilst promoting economic development, increasing transparency in government,
improving service delivery and public administration, and facilitating the advancement of an
E-Government also known as digital government or online government is creating a comfortable,
transparent, and cheap interaction between government and citizens (G2C – government to
citizens), government and business enterprises (G2B –government to business enterprises) and
relationship between governments.
3.2 Theoretical Background to e-Government:
The term E-Government emerged in the late 1990s, but the history of computing in government
organizations can be traced back to the beginnings of computer history.
A literature on “IT in government” goes back at least to the 1970s. This literature concerns IT
use within government, while the recent e-Gov literature more often concerns external use, such
as services to the citizens. While some earlier e-Gov computer issues, such as office automation,
may not be highly relevant to research today, many issues are, for example decision making,
service processes, and values.
The term E-Government was born out of the Internet boom. However, it is not limited to Internet
use or publicly accessible systems for direct use by customers or citizens.
E-Gov started as a practitioner field, basically convening practitioners struggling to meet the new
challenges of the Internet medium by implementing new systems creatively. For example, in the
United States the (then) Vice President Gore led the National Performance Review, which placed
a strong emphasis on the role of e-government in federal services.
3.3 Issues in e-governance applications:
In technology there are three basic elements. These are infrastructure layer, application layer,
integration technology and application layer. The technologies and services for networking in egovernance is the infrastructure layer which is about hardware and software required to generate
a web site, as well as it is about the equipment„s location and who looks after it. Application
layer is made up of software and services that either extend the site„s performance or make it
easier to manage. The integration layer is to use the Internet to tie together practically all the
traditional disciplines associated with various services provided by the web site. Application
software is the software that performs the functions of a web based information system.
It is made up of various core technologies which are explained below:
Carrier: The basic element by which site is connected to the internet. Internet service providers
(ISP) provide internet connection and bandwidth required for the sites.
Hosting centre: Like big corporate world make specially designed rooms for equipment.
Load balancing regulates the traffic generated by the incoming requests to the servers.
Security layer controls which information to be given and to whom.
Basic Application Layer
The core technologies in the basic applications layer are content management system,
personalization, transaction engines, site analysis, campaign management, and customer support.
Content management system makes it easy to create and organize web content especially with
thousands of pages and lots of interchangeable words and images. Other features of content
management system are server caching and analysis of web site traffic. Personalization system
stores the visitor/ citizen profile while they visit the site. The system prompts the visitor to give
their profile on voluntary basis.
The core technologies in integration are application integration, sales integration, and financials.
Application integration enables the user to talk with the legacy system, which is a non-Internet
system. For example, a web site gives the front-end interface to access to various services.
The visitor interacts with the application software when entering input into an application
program and receiving output from the program. The three step method is proposed for the
application software plan to interact with the user.
Where are we
Where we want to go
How do we get there?
Management of Change related Issues
It is important to investigate how the business of government and the nature of governance itself
change in the digital networking economy. Questioning the policy formulation processes in view
of e-citizen expectations is a major initiative in e-governance. Ultimately the objective of the
process reengineering is to rethink the value propositions of the government and how they
function in serving the citizens. The major goal is to change the behavior of governments with
the changing needs.
Around the world, governments provided funding for the select pilot projects on government online, including projects such as public works, government services, and human resources. The
real challenge for the government is to go about funding the full range of initiatives in order to
achieve the objective of Government Online. One suggestion is that the concerned department
has to come up with adequate fund by themselves. Other issue is utilizing the available resources
both in the plan sector and outside it.
3.4 Evolution of e-governance, its scope and content:
E-Governance is thus a wider concept than e-Government, which is the use of ICT‟s in the
dissemination of services of government. The Commonwealth Network of Information
Technology for Development, in association with and with the financial support of UNESCO,
has developed national profiles detailing current status and 39 developments in this area. Whilst
impacts of e-governance in the commercial, NGO and professional areas are covered in these
studies, the main focus centers on specific government initiatives, such as
The Development of Cyber Laws
The Liberalization of Telecommunications
Plans for e-Governance
Plans for the Development of Community e-Centers
The Deployment of Community e-Centers
Instances of Public Feedback to statements of direction, Draft Legislation and so on
Websites of Government Agencies, particularly if these offer value beyond a public relation
Traditionally, the interaction between a citizen and a government agency takes place in a
government office. With emerging information and communication technologies, it is a possible
to locate service centers closer to the clients. Such centers may consist of an unattended kiosk in
the government agency, a service kiosk located close to the client outside the government
agency, or the use of a personal computer at home or office. In all the cases the public
traditionally looks for information and services addressing his or her needs and in both cases
quality, relevance and efficiency are of paramount importance. Still in some of the conditions, eGovernance lags behind in understanding the buyers and sellers needs precisely.
The term e-Governance refers to the process of using information technology for automating
both the internal operations of the government and its external interactions with citizens and
Automation of internal operations reduces the cost and improves their response time while at the
same time allowing government processes to be more elaborate in order to increase their
effectiveness. Automation of interactions with citizens reduces the overhead for both the
government and the citizens, thus creating value for the economy.
3.5 Benefits and Reasons for the Introduction of E-Governance:
There are many considerations and potential implications of implementing and designing egovernment, including disintermediation of the government and its citizens, impacts on
economic, social, and political factors, vulnerability to cyber attacks, and disturbances to the
status quo in these areas..
Increased contact between government and its citizens goes both ways. Once e-government
begins to develop and become more sophisticated, citizens will be forced to interact
electronically with the government on a larger scale. This could potentially lead to a lack of
privacy for civilians as their government obtains more and more information on them. In a worst
case scenario, with so much information being passed electronically between government and
civilians, a totalitarian-like system could develop. When the government has easy access to
countless information on its citizens, personal privacy is lost.
Although a prodigious amount of money has been spent‖ on the development and
implementation of e-government, some say it has yielded only a mediocre product. The
outcomes and effects of trial Internet-based governments are often difficult to gauge or
An e-government site that provides web access and support often does not offer the ―potential
to reach many users including those who live in remote areas, are homebound, have low literacy
levels, exist on poverty line incomes, suffer from chronic illness, are single parents or older
It is convenient and cost-effective for businesses, and the public benefits by getting easy access
to the most current information available without having to spend time, energy and money to get
E-government helps simplify processes and makes access to government information more easily
accessible for public sector agencies and citizens. For example, the Indiana Bureau of Motor
Vehicles simplified the process of certifying driver records to be admitted in county court
proceedings. Indiana became the first state to allow government records to be digitally signed,
legally certified and delivered electronically by using Electronic Postmark technology The
anticipated benefits of e-government include efficiency, improved services, better accessibility of
public services, and more transparency and accountability.
One goal of e-government will be greater citizen participation. Through the internet, people from
all over the country can interact with politicians or public servants and make their voices heard.
Blogging and interactive surveys will allow politicians or public servants to see the views of the
people they represent on any given issue. Chat rooms can place citizens in real-time contact with
elected officials, their offices or provide them with the means to replace them by interacting
directly with public servants, allowing voters to have a direct impact and influence in their
government. These technologies can create a more transparent government, allowing voters to
immediately see how and why their representation in the capital is voting the way they are. This
helps voters better decide who to vote for in the future or how to help the public servants become
Proponents of e-government argue that online government services would lessen the need for
hard copy forms. Due to recent pressures from environmentalist groups, the media, and the
public, some governments and organizations have turned to the Internet to reduce this paper use.
The United States government utilizes the website http://www.forms.gov to provide internal
government forms for federal employees and thus produce significant savings in paper.
Speed, efficiency, and convenience :
E-government allows citizens to interact with computers to achieve objectives at any time and
any location, and eliminates the necessity for physical travel to government agents sitting behind
desks and windows. Improved accounting and record keeping can be noted through
computerization, and information and forms can be easily accessed, equaling quicker processing
time. On the administrative side, access to help find or retrieve files and linked information can
now be stored in databases versus hardcopies stored in various locations.
3.6 E-Governance Models:
Broadcasting / Wider-Dissemination Model
Critical Flow Model
Comparative Analysis Model
E-Advocacy/ Lobbying and Pressure Group Model
Interactive- Service Model
3.6.1 Broadcasting / Wider-Dissemination Model
The model is based on dissemination / broadcasting of useful governance information which is in
the public domain into the wider public domain through the use of ICT and convergent media.
The strength of the model rests upon the fact that a more informed citizenry is better able to
judge the functioning of existing governance mechanisms and make an informed opinion about
them. As a consequence, they become more empowered to exercise their Rights and
The widespread application of this model corrects "information failure situations" by providing
people with the relevant information relating to the governance sphere to make an informed
opinion and impact governance processes.
Further, the use of ICT opens up an alternative channel for people to access information as well
as validates existing information from different sources.
Putting Governmental Laws and Legislations online.
Making available the names, contact addresses emails, fax numbers of local / regional /
national government officials online.
Make available information pertaining to Governmental Plans, Budgets, Expenditures, and
Putting key judicial decisions which are of value to general citizens and create precedence for
future actions online. viz. key Environmental Decisions, State vs. Citizen decisions etc.
India: Directory of Official Websites of Government of India
National Informatics Centre (India) is the official website of the Government of India which
makes available Ministerial Information, Indian Laws and Legislations Online, Contact
Details etc. online for public access.
3.6.2 Critical Flow Model
The model is based on broadcasting or dissemination information of 'critical' value (which by its
very nature will not be disclosed by those involved with bad governance practices) to targeted
audience using ICT and convergent media. . Targeted audience may include, media, opposition
parties, judicial bench, independent investigators or the wider public domain itself.
The use of this model requires a foresight of:
1. Understanding the "critical and use value" of particular information set
2. How or from where this information could be obtained
3. How could the information is used strategically
4. Who are the best target group for such information- the users for whom the availability of this
information will make a huge difference?
The strength of this model is that the concept of 'distance' and 'time' becomes redundant when
information is hosted on a digital network. Once available on the digital network, the information
could be used advantageously- by instantly transferring the critical information to its user group
located anywhere or by making it freely available in the wider public domain.
This model could be applied in the following possible ways:
Making available Corruption related data about a particular Ministry / Division/ Officials online
to its electoral constituency or to the concerned regulatory body.
2. Making available Research studies, Enquiry reports, Impact studies commissioned by the
Government or Independent commissions to the affected parties.
3. Making Human Rights Violations cases violations freely available to Judiciary, NGOs. and
4. Making available information that is usually suppressed, for instance, Environmental
Information on radioactivity spills, effluents discharge, information on green ratings of the
company to concerned community.
5. Global: Transparency International -Daily Corruption News : A trial service is being run by
Transparency International called the "The Daily Corruption News" which reports on corruption
from around the world. The daily corruption news has been coming out since May 2000.
3.6.3 Comparative Analysis Model
Comparative Knowledge Model is one of the least-used but a highly significant model for
developing country which is now gradually gaining acceptance. The model can be used for
empowering people by matching cases of bad governance with those of good governance, and
then analyzing the different aspects of bad governance and its impact on the people.
The model is based on using ICT to explore information available in the public or private domain
and comparing it with the known information sets. The outcome is strategic learning‟s and
arguments, for instance, if a given amount of money can build '5' schools in village 'A' then why
does the same amount of money build only '2' schools in village 'B'? The strength of this model
lies in the infinite capacity of digital networks to store varied information and retrieve and
transmit it instantly across all geographical and hierarchal barriers.
Applications/ Possible Projects
To learn from past policies and actions and derive learning lessons for future policy-making.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the current policies and identify key learnings in terms of
strengths and flaws in the policies.
To effectively establish conditions of Precedence, especially in the case of Judicial or legal
decision-making (example for resolving patent-related disputes, public goods ownership
rights), and use it to influence/ advocate future decision-making.
To enable informed decision-making at all levels by enhancing the background knowledge
and also providing a rationale for action.
To evaluate the performance and track-record of a particular decision-maker/ decisionmaking body.
3.5.4 E-Advocacy / Mobilization and Lobbying Model
E-Advocacy/Mobilization and Lobbying Model is one of the most frequently used Digital
Governance model and has often come to the aid of the global civil society to impact on global
The model is based on setting-up a planned, directed flow of information to build strong virtual
allies to complement actions in the real world. Virtual communities are formed which share
similar values and concerns, and these communities in turn link up with or support real-life
groups/ activities for concerted action. The model builds the momentum of real-world processes
by adding the opinions and concerns expressed by virtual communities.
The strength of this model is in its diversity of the virtual community, and the ideas, expertise
and resources accumulated through this virtual form of networking. The model is able to
mobilize and leverage human resources and information beyond geographical, institutional and
bureaucratic barriers, and use it for concerted action.
Fostering public debates on issue of larger concerns, namely on the themes of upcoming
conferences, treaties etc.
Formation of pressure groups on key issues to force decision-makers to take their concerns
Making available opinions of suppressed groups who are not involved in the decision-making
process into wider public domain.
Catalyzing wider participation in decision-making processes.
Building up global expertise on a particular theme in absence of localized information to aid
decision-making. Organizations / Projects based on such models
3.5.5 Interactive Services Model
Interactive-Service model is a consolidation of the earlier presented digital governance models
and opens up avenues for direct participation of individuals in the governance processes.
Fundamentally, ICT have the potential to bring in every individual in a digital network and
enable interactive (two-way) flow of information amongst them.
The potential of ICT for the governance is fully leveraged in this model and leads and can bring
lead to greater objectivity and transparency in decision-making processes. Under this model, the
various services offered by the Government become directly available to its citizens in an
interactive manner. It does so by opening up an interactive Government to Consumer to
Government (G2C2G) channel in various aspects of governance, such as election of government
officials (e-ballots); online grievance-redressed. Sharing of concerns and providing expertise;
opinion polls on public issues etc.
Establish an interactive communication channels with key policy-makers and members of
To conduct electronic ballots for the election of government officials and other office
To conduct public debates / opinion polls on issues of wider concern before formulation of
policies and legislative frameworks.
Filing of grievances, feedback and reports by citizens with the concerned governmental body.
Establishing decentralized forms of governance.
The model firmly relies on the interactive applications of ICT and therefore is a technology and
cost intensive model which will require a transition period before being adopted on a wider scale,
especially in the Developing Countries.