A staged approach to developing e-government
- Stage 1. All departments of central government are connected to the Internet and establish informative web pages. The web pages are updated regularly and all the main documents published; contact telephone numbers are made available. Growing numbers of staff use email for internal communications. Little can usefully be done about e-government before officials themselves are able and willing to communicate through the new technologies.
- Stage 2. In those departments with responsibilities for service delivery to end users (such as public administration, agriculture, health, education and posts), all staff whose jobs require completion of at least secondary education are Internet-literate and email-literate and use email for internal and external communications. This is necessary both to provide open government, and to facilitate the use of Internet and email by rural development projects. The web pages include email addresses for relevant government officials and facilities for feedback or forum discussions. Most of the early benefits of e-government come through indirect effects, when NGOs, journalists and others relay government information to the general public, typically through meetings, broadcasts and newspapers.
- Stage 3. The agency in charge of e-government devises a longer-term plan for introducing and prioritizing interactive e-government applications (typically involving end-users getting permits, certificates etc by completing forms online). This involves ensuring that the procedures to be automated are simplified as far as possible and that ICTs are becoming available and widely affordable. Growing numbers of people refer to the web pages (especially if voice help is available), but of course face-to-face meetings, broadcasts and newspapers remain very important for disseminating information.
- Stage 4. Some interactive e-government applications are introduced and people are helped to access them through telecentres or other forms of shared access. This part of the programme is reviewed within two years in the light of early experience, community demand and other developments.
Figure: Possible stages in introducing e-government
Source: Antelope Consulting