Roadmap for a technologically enabled government

Governance is closely linked to development. As more and more governments the world over use online tools to reach out to its citizenry, the world wide web becomes the face of these governments. This builds not only transparency and accountability, but also creates an opportunity for community assessment of their performance and delivery of services and promises. The information society can truly become community driven when countries not only use these online tools and technologies as a global publicity platform, but also use it to review their own performance within the countries.

Government websites can be of different quality and reach. How far are they in turning out to be truly providing e-Governance services?  When do countries get their status of e-Governments? Are there benchmarks to measure the evolution of a successful e-Government? These and some other critical questions of monitoring and evaluation have been raised by many academics. In the March issue of egov, we are pleased to present an interesting assessment study focussing on Malaysia – a survey of over 200 websites set up or run by governments has been made. This is an important study. There are useful lessons for other countries in different stages of evolution of e-Government implementation to learn from.

The World Bank Institute’s Governance assessment frameworks classify them at three levels, namely, macro, mezzo and micro. The macro assessments are usually inter-country comparative studies done across the world, and are periodic in nature. The mezzo level assessments are cross-country survey of enterprises. The micro level assessments are specialized, in-country, in-depth surveys of governance and institutional capacity diagnostics. The web analysis of Malaysia is emerging as a key addition to this regular framework of tools for governance assessments.

Exciting local and innovative initiatives and projects can be effectively up-scaled to national levels when they get integrated to the policy and help realize the vision of a truly knowledge driven society. egov strives to document them and advocate policy changes and to provide innovative ideas for governments to adopt them at national scale. We look forward to speaking to many of the practitioners around Asia in the coming months.