Building and Sustaining Democratic and Accountable Governance Institutions using ICT



Subscribe Updates


Digital Governance



Generic Models

Information Access and Flow (new!)


Geometry of Information Flows  (new!)


Case Studies








Key News Clippings




Contact Us





Online articles, papers and books on application of ICT in Governance. Suggest  possible additions by writing at   


Also browse the Publications on ICT for Development at 


Last Updated : October 2003                                                                     Number of Publications: 116


Electronic Governance: Abridged Definitive Conceptual Framework

Rogers W‚O Okot-Uma, Commonwealth Secretariat London

An abridged definitive conceptual framework is presented for Electronic Governance (eGovernance). The framework relies on the time-proven principle of introducing a concept by progressing from the őknown‚ to the őunknown‚. The framework accordingly avoids progression from the axiomatic but takes cognisance for the need to derive the definition of Electronic Governance from the more well-known concept of Good Governance that predates it.


Of Modems and Men: Installing E-Government in the E-east

The aim of this issue of the Local Government Brief is to illuminate the (increasing) evolution, progress and promise of e-government in Eurasia and beyond. The possibilities are exciting: faster access to government services and public servants, lower costs for administrative services, greater public access to budgets and documents and a corresponding increase in the transparency and accountability of government activities. But with the promise of e-government also come challenges. For instance, in parts of the region, the "Digital Divide" threatens to deepen the chasm between the haves and the have-nots. Where the Internet is not available, the technological "know-how" untapped and incentives lacking, the concept of e-government seems highly impractical. All of these topics and concerns will be addressed in this Local Government Brief from the Open Society Institute.


Digital Governance Models: moving towards good governance in developing countries

Vikas Nath

Introduction of Digital Governance is a way to ensure that common citizens have equal right to be a part of decision-making processes which affect them directly or indirectly, and influence them in a manner which best improves their conditions and the quality of lives. The new form of governance will ensure that citizens are no longer passive consumers of services offered to them and would transform them to play a decisive role in deciding the kind of services they want and the structure which could best provide the same.  ICT can influence the process of Governance in various ways and in varying degrees, from improving the current mechanisms of delivery of services to transforming the entire mechanism and the nature of services themselves. The role could be:


ū Technical role, in terms of automation of tedious tasks earlier done by humans.

ū Facilitating role, leading to participatory and all encompassing decision-making and implementation processes.

ū Innovative role, involving new services and mechanisms to deliver these


E-Parliament as a tool for fostering parliamentarian networks

Pierre Dandjinou

The other reasons why ICTs and the new media environment matter for parliaments and governments alike are the following : the declining confidence in political institutions, including legislature and laws calls for the establishment of a őparliament and government‚s public relation strategy; then, this new dynamically changing environment will require new strategies for political planning and action. It is quite obvious that the press and electronic media make a contribution to making political decision making process more transparent as well as simplifying the political and legislative information to the ordinary citizen.


Information Age Government: Success Stories of Online Land Records & Revenue Governance from


Dr K M Baharul Islam

Several national development and planning polices repeatedly focused on land as an asset, which provides the primary and secondary needs of the people. As such for successful implementation developmental projects needed proper and correct land records. Emergence of computer as a cornerstone of quicker storing, processing and retrieving of information database  initiated the government into computerisation of traditional land records. Decentralised planning and administration as envisaged in the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution of India made it more necessary to collect timely and accurate data on land use for national planning process.


Cultural Dimensions of E-Governance

N Vittal, Central Vigilance Commissioner , India

Talk delivered in the IIIT&M, Gwalior, 20.10.2001 There are at least four sources, which gives rise to cultural resistance to e-governance. The first is the government culture of secrecy. The culture of secrecy is further strengthened by the Official Secrets Act.  The second source of cultural resistance is from corruption. Red tape and delays have bred corruption and in fact the lack of transparency also has been a source of corruption. E-governance tries to remove these basic factors that promote corruption in the governmental system. But vested interests who are deriving benefits under the present system may resist the  extensive application of  e-governance because of this factor.   The third source of resistance is the culture of seniority, which is very rigidly observed in government. When it comes to IT, it may be the junior officers and staff who may be more familiar and comfortable with computers and IT systems but it is the seniors who take all policy decisions.  The fourth source of cultural resistance for e-governance would be sheer lack of imagination. The emphasis in government most of the time is on red tape, procedures and systems. Doing a thing rightly is more important in government than doing the right thing. Innovation is the key for success and generally the bureaucratic culture discourages innovation. On the other hand, if e-governance has to succeed, we need a lot of innovation. How are we to overcome this problem?


The Coming Revolution- Digital Governance Models: Moving towards good governance in developing countries.

Vikas Nath Cover Story.  E-Commerce. Volume 2, No. 4 July 2002


Plan of Action: E-Government for Development

Government of Italy and UNDESA

This Plan of Action aims at providing guidelines and a platform to government institutions, non-governmental actors and international organizations, to support building the required capacity of the public service to become more efficient and effective. Through e-government for development it is hoped that the world will be in a better position to meet the millennium development goals.


E-Governance and Developing Countries

Michiel Backus

This report explains what is meant by e-Governance. It starts with a definition of e-governance and then presents a general model.


Information Technology for Good Governance (In Philippines)

Francisco Magno and Ramonette Serafica

IT promotes good governance in three basic ways: (1) by increasing transparency, information, and accountability; (2) by facilitating accurate decision-making and public participation; and (3) by enhancing the efficient delivery of public goods and services. The citizen's right to gain access to public documents is supported under the country's constitutional framework. Promotion of this right is pursued through the government‚s computerization program and the availability of these documents through the Internet. Many government agencies use IT facilities to tell the public about their accomplishments, achievements, programs, and plans.


Governance, Information and the Public Sphere

M. A. Mohamed Salih

This paper introduces the main factors behind the current debate on governance and its relevance to the African content. It highlights Africa‚s recent achievements in improving its political governance image and the difficulties the continent is experiencing in improving its economic governance image. Recent Transparency International reports reveal that the African continent as a whole is far less corrupt than some of its transition economies‚ trade and investment competitors. Such relatively positive reports challenge the norm and lead to the question whether framing the good governancedebate on trust building between government and citizens based on better access to information, transparency and accountability rather than divulging an image of a corrupt continent would yield better results.



Benchmarking E-government: A Global PerspectiveųAssessing the UN Member States

A research study analyzing the approach, progress and commitment on the part of the 190 UN Member States on E-government. Two methodologies were used in the research. First, national government websites were analyzed for the content and services available that the average citizen would most likely use. The presence, or absence of specific features contributed to determining a country's level of progress. Second, a statistical analysis was done comparing the information and communication technology infrastructure and human capital capacity for 144 UN Member States. The final measure or E-Government Index could be useful tool for policy-planners as an annual benchmark.


The E-government Handbook for Developing Countries

InfoDev and Centre for Development and Technology

This Handbook attempts for the first time to catalog and present key resources on e-government in a format readily useful for policymakers in the developing world. Among the many promises of the digital revolution is its potential to strengthen democracy and make governments more responsive to the needs of their citizens. E-government is the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) to transform government by making it more accessible, effective and accountable.

Research Paper on Technology and Information Flow in Albania, A Tool to Increase Citizen's Participation and Benefits

Albania is still fighting against its 50 years build up centralised system in this long transitional period. Networking is limited to those international organisations and a few government institutions. Technology as a tool for better governance and quality management is almost missing at the local level, while the Government of Albania is strongly committed to proceed with the local government decentralisation reform. Database processing and public use of information is at the early stage of development and still is considered as future potential expectation for better governance.


Internet In The Service Of Democracy: A UNESCO Survey Of E Governance In 15 Countries

This article reports on conclusions of a recent joint study by UNESCO and the Commonwealth Network of Information Technology for Development (COMNET-IT) on e-governance in 15 countries. The study shows that the introduction of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in government processes is fostering a closer relationship between citizens and states, pushing official bodies towards more transparency and accountability. They are also posing a challenge to traditional decision-making structures.


Cristal: A Tool for Transparent Government in Argentina 

The mission of the Cristal Government initiative, launched by the current administration, is to disseminate online, and in an easily understood format, all information concerning the use of public funds in Argentina. This includes information not only about the amounts of money devoted to different programs, but also how these funds are administered.


Roadmap for E-government in the Developing World: 10 Questions E-Government Leaders Should Ask Themselves

The report of  the Working Group on E-Government in the Developing World. April 2002.


GOVERNMENT@NET: New Governance Opportunities for India

This book shatters the prevailing myth that only the elite will reap the benefit of the Internet. On the contrary, it says that Internet is more than just a technology it is a social phenomenon. Everyone in India can benefit from it. According to the authors, India could well be on the way to becoming an information and knowledge society and contrary to popular perception, its impact will be far-reaching, down to the villages and could bridge traditional divides. A web-enabled country would have other advantages too. Doctors in villages could get wired to big hospitals in any major city and consult online with senior doctors in case of medical emergencies. 


Modernizing MalaysiaČs government (new!) (pdf format) CS.pdf

MalaysiaČs e-government initiative, similar to that of many other governments around the world, is designed to create a paperless public sector, while also strengthening relationships with citizens and businesses through greater transparency and information flows.  The Malaysian Administrative Modernization and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) seeks to enhance the use of ICTs and has mandated that each government agency create an IT strategy plan to help facilitate greater communication between agencies and the public. This includes the Smart Partnership Application Repository (RAPP), the Government Integrated Telecommunication Network (GITN) and a VPN that connects all government agencies throughout project implementation processes.


E-Government: Considerations for Arab States 

Mr. Sami Atallah

This paper presents analysis of the various stages and dimensions of e-government. This conceptual breakdown should help achieve a better comprehension of the phenomenon and the means to capitalize on IT opportunities for better government and governance, particularly in Arab States. It also tabulates the actions that will advance e-government through the various stages presented, along with the current conditions in the Arab world vis-a-vis conditions and comparative experiences in other countries. The three e-government dimensions (G2C, G2B, and G2G) are fitted against the stages of e- government, to highlight interesting examples (including UNDP activities) under each stage/dimension. Steps to implement e-government provide utile insights to e-government implementers.


E-Government Special- Does it Exist in Africa and What Can it do?

Government forms such a large part of many countriesČ economies in Africa and therefore it is hardly surprising that there is an enormous level of interest in e-government. It has the potential to make processes more open, less corrupt and more efficient. In a continent in which functional government tends to be the exception rather than the rule, there is an understandable degree of scepticism.


Taylor Nelson Sofres Government Online Study 2001

The study is a result of interviews with over 29,000 individuals across 27 countries. The GO study was researched and written by Taylor Nelson Sofres. It provides global and national benchmarks relating to the use of government services online and perceptions of safety when providing personal information to Government.


A lot has been said about e-gov. However, there does not seem to be a good, widely shared definition of what e-gov is, or more importantly what it can be.


A Joint Study by the Southeast Europe Initiative of OneWorld International and the Information Program of the Open Society Institute. Southeast Europe was at the forefront of progressive use of new communication technologies in the 1990s. Examples include the bulletin boards of ZaMir Transitional Network that brought together anti-war and human rights groups when traditional communications had been destroyed or disrupted.


E-Government: Enabling Asia-Pacific Governments and Citizens to do Public Business Differently 
Clay G. Wescott

This paper begins with a brief review of the potential benefits of e-government in supporting public sector reform. It then gives some examples of adoption of e-government in recent years in the Asia-Pacific region, to see the extent to which these benefits have materialized. It analyzes six stages of e-government, and reviews both the benefits and challenges of each stage, highlighting different processes of adoption in different types of jurisdictions. Finally, there is a discussion of three major, cross-cutting challenges effecting all stages, and directions for further research.


Breaking Down Bureaucratic Barriers -The Next Phase of Digital Government

Progressive Policy Institute

This policy paper focuses on what they believe should be the next phase of e-government -- breaking down bureaucratic barriers to create functionally oriented, citizen-centered government Web presences designed to give citizens a self-service government.


Electronic Media in Rural Development: Individual Freedoms to Choose versus Politics of Power and Control" (including case studies of Vietnam, Indonesia and Peru)  

Robin van Koert

This research conceives of development as a process, aimed at increasing people's individual political, social and economic freedoms, or capabilities, and at enabling them to make their own choices and decisions. Free and independent information dissemination plays an important role in that process. In rural areas of developing countries, radio, for example, is very important in disseminating information. However, this information does not always meet the existing demand for information. In addition, physical distances typically hamper exchanges of existing information, knowledge and experience. 


Legislative Assembly Websites in Central America: Citizen Participation, Transparency and Accountability

Katherine Reilly 

This working paper is the first in a series of short think pieces that form part of the research process for a study of e-governance in Central America. This larger study is looking at the use of Internet by Central American governments. In particular, it will examine if Central American governments are making use of ICTs to improve transparency, participation, equity and accountability in public policy.


Prospects for more democracy in Great Britain

Michael Wallace-Macpherson

By reviewing experimental and potential applications of digital technology  (ICT) we were able to show that numerous innovations in democratic systems are possible given public and political will; and direct voting on issues could become much easier, better informed and so potentially wiser. It may prove to be that ICT will allows new forms of democracy to emerge, indeed some      modifications, especially in the USA, have already been observed.


E-DEMOCRACY IN PRACTICE: Swedish experiences of a new political tool

There is a hope in many countries that IT will increase the degree of interest and involvement in politics and thus act as an aid to representative democracy. This hope is founded on the basic concept that the public should play an active part in everyday political life by interpreting what is good and what is bad.


New ICTs Policies

Moses A. Boudourides

The paper briefly explores issues of infrastructures of information polity, informatisation of public administration, civic networking, regulation, information inequalities and Ždigital divide.Č It then sketches 

the perspectives of a socially accountable policy for the new ICTs and concludes with the value of Ždemocratic rationalization.


Internet and Democracy by all
Parthasarathi Banerjee
Web based communities live several distinct lives on the hypermedia. These lives are not virtual. Contrary to ordinary expectations that web based communities would deepen and enhance political participation in the representative democratic political process, we argue that web life defines politics of democracy based on communities, communal living and on designing communities on knowledge of such living. Living cannot be represented. Ethnography of such lives show that web lives are postmodern, inscribed with sciences of living, punctuated in several lives and the lost integral personhood on which alone a representative democracy was erected, now seriously undermines the foundation of modern democracy. 

China's Future Caught in the Web

Nina Hachigian
Speculation over the political effects of the Internet on the mainland seems to be growing, with policymakers, politicians, reporters and analysts all offering their own two-cents' worth. Some argue the Internet will dramatically shift power to the Chinese people by allowing them to organise and by channeling information from outside, especially about democracy and better standards of living. Others say that because the Chinese Government can control aspects of Internet use and content, because few mainland citizens have Internet access, and because even fewer are interested in subversive information, the Internet is unlikely to have any significant effect.



E-government is the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) by government agencies. Its use promises to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of government and alter its relationship with the public. E-government is evolving through four stages: from posting information to a two-way communication, and from exchange of value to an integrated service and exchange. UNDP has been supporting several e-government initiatives in the Arab world. Governments can promote e-government, in its various stages by formulating an E-vision, securing effective political commitment to undertake reforms; and incorporating the needs and opinions of major stakeholders.


Local and regional government online - timely services are key to success

Local and provincial governments always claim to be closer to their citizens, in more than just a geographical sense, than their counterparts in national government can ever be. Around the world, e-government initiatives are being implemented, which may not only streamline administration, but also reinvigorate the democratic process. 


Online opportunity to transform administrations and services at all levels

While e-government really refers to electronic transactions, not just to online services, it is the internet's open standards that are driving the public sector towards the sort of transformation experienced by the private sector over the past ten years. But what is becoming clear is that the process of putting public services online is about much more than IT. It demands fundamental changes in the public sector's traditional structures and practices and in the relationship between the state and its citizens. 

What Citizens Want from E-Government

Governments in the US are using a variety of methods to find out what citizens want from e-government services. Different methods generate different kinds of results, with different levels of reliability. The Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany is conducting current practice research into several areas of e-government. One practice that we are investigating is how governments solicit input from citizens. This first report from our study relies mostly on responses to an e-mail posting to the member listserv of the National Association of State Information Resource Executives.


Paul Waller, Peter Livesey, Karin Edin

The decline in participation in traditional democratic forums has provided the impetus for governments to consider how they might begin to provide a response to the democratic deficit. Although new technologies are not a panacea, they may provide a means of enriching democracy and simplifying voting in elections and, therefore, go some way to help increase democratic participation ö so called e-democracy. This article is based on Graham Stringerâs speech delivered to the 3 rd Global Forum in Naples on 15 March 2001.

Reinventing Local Governments and the 'E-Government' Initiative

Alfred Tat-Kei Ho

The Internet provides a powerful tool to reinvent local governments. It encourages transformation from the traditional bureaucratic paradigm, which emphasizes standardization, departmentalization, and operational cost-efficiency, to the "e-government" paradigm, which emphasizes coordinated network building, external collaboration, and customer services. Based on a content analysis of city websites and a survey of web development officials, this paper shows that many cities are already moving toward this new paradigm.


Building an E-Government: A Toolkit for Malawi

Paul Shaw, Asif Kassam and Kevin Newman

This E-Government Toolkit has been developed by Paul Shaw, CEO of Africa-Online, a locally based Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Malawi, Asif Kassam, Webmaster of Africa-Online, and Kevin Newman, Information Technology Planning Adviser to the COMESA Bankersâ Association. This Toolkit is based primarily on the experiences of Africa-Online working with the Malawi Government, particularly the Ministry of Information and National Statistics Office. While the target audience for this proposal would be the national policy makers of Malawi, including civil servants and elected officials, the application of this particular Toolkit would be equally viable for all countries classified in the Least Developed Country category, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Designing effective Websites for e-governance (Word Document)

Neeta Verma, Sonal Kalra

Citizen oriented governance is undoubtedly one of the most important considerations for the governments all over the world who are busy steering their respective countries into the 21st century. With the awareness levels of the common people on the rise, citizens demand more access to government information and an effective and easy interface in their dealings with the government. A more informed citizen is in a better position to exercise his/her rights, and better able to carry out his/her responsibilities within the community.


Critical success factors in Implementing eGovernment

Doug Forbes

The presentation looks at e-governance- its success, failure, competitive pressure and managerial issues etc.


Global Survey of E-government

Developed in a partnership between the UNâs Division for Public Economics and Public Administration and the American Society for Public Administration, the UN/ASPA Survey will be the first study to catalogue the level of e-gov participation of all 189 UN Member States. The survey will introduce the E-Gov Index, and also analyse and profile Member States whose stage of commitment extends beyond the posting of information.


e-Japan Priority Policy Program

Japan has set out a new eGovernment Action Plan to become the world's most advanced IT nation within five years. 

The Internet, e-mail, mobile phones, and satellite broadcasting have changed Asia's power equation

If all the rapid, often violent changes that have swept across Asia in the past 20 years, none has shaken the region more than the revolution in communications. Asia's elders - its political, social and business leaders - had long clung to the strictly vertical, top-down communication pattern handed down over the centuries. Fathers did not discuss the whys and wherefores of the strictures they imposed on their children. Rulers told citizens what was good for them. Bosses told employees how to do their jobs. That sea change has shaped the selection process for this, Asiaweek's sixth annual ranking of the region's 50 most powerful people.

Dr. Adam McCarty

The research focus of this research project, of which this paper is one country case study, is to examine ãthe capacity of administrative and policy-making elitesä with a view to identifying ãneedsä. This focus follows the traditional approach of donors to treat governance largely, if not entirely, as a technical problem that may therefore benefit from ãobjectiveä assistance to raise ãawarenessä and meet ãidentified needsä. Accepting the welfare-maximising rhetoric of governments makes this inevitable.This approach ignores addressing the political and interest group dimensions of the governance challenge.


The Internet and Asia: Broadband or Broad Bans?

Shanthi Kalathil

Analyses of recent political upheaval in authoritarian systems such as those in Peru, Mexico, and Yugoslavia, largely ignore any role the Internet may have played in spurring political change. At the same time, many experts recognize that political activists in various countries may have affected political developments by using Web sites and e-mail lists to communicate and organize ÷ witness such activity in the years leading up to the fall of long-standing Indonesian president Suharto. In sum, there is no consensus on whether there is a clear-cut mechanism that connects the Internet with democratic transitions around the world. 

Cyber Censors: A Thousand Web Sites Almost Bloom

Shanthi Kalathil

Attempting to control the Internet in China, as U.S. President Bill Clinton once mused, was like trying to nail jello to a wall. But the truth behind the emerging debate over the Internet's potential in China may actually prove hard to pin down. Optimists, including Mr. Clinton and both his would-be successors, usually claim that with China permitting thousands of Web sites to bloom, liberty should soon be squiggling in by cell phone or by cable modem, despite Beijing's crude attempts at control. Not only will authoritarian regimes such as China eventually buckle under the slippery advance of free ideas and information, but it'll be good for business to boot. 

China and the Net: A love-hate relationship

Recognizing that an unregulated network would shift power from the state to citizens by providing an extensive forum for discussion and collaboration, Beijing has taken care to prevent this commercial gold mine from becoming political quicksand. But a victory over cyberspace cannot be decisive because the Internet cannot deliver its full commercial benefits under strict political control. 

Asiaâs fragile democracies

The trouble with liberal democracy, as any good authoritarian knows, is that voters have a habit of electing the wrong people. That is why South-East Asian dictators preferred their democracy to be, in the Indonesian phrase, ãguidedä, or, to put it more bluntly, rigged. 

Realising Democracy Online: A Civic Commons in Cyberspace

This publication examines the potential of the Internet to encourage and foster new forms of public involvement in civic and political affairs. The paper explores the role for new technologies in promoting democracy.  

Egovernment too little too late?

As the Naples event strongly highlighted, one of the main goal sustaining e-government initiatives is the delivery of services and information to all citizens, or at least to as many citizens as possible. Also, e-government can consistently improve the quality of life for citizens and can create a sharp reduction of costs and time. In other words, public administrations are interested in reaching out individuals through ICT, offering them some kind of benefits in exchange for their online involvement. 

Burma: The Impact of Internet on Myanmar

Within the last century, the country has been marked by political instability (Eliot, 1997; Freedom House, 2000). Particularly since its separation from British colonial rule in 1948, Burma has witnessed significant political change, violence and unrest. Since the early 1960s, Burma has essentially been an isolated state, with closed borders and a military government. However, the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the Cold War seem to suggest that isolationism is growing less common worldwide. Importantly, meteoric advances in communications have also paralleled the fall of isolationism. 

Can e-government sites eliminate the wait?

As governments move services like voter registration and driver's license renewal mere mouse clicks away from their constituents, they are finding many different business models with which to accomplish the tasks. Some are doing internal development and some are outsourcing. 

The Internet in Flux

Leonard R. Sussman

The trends in freedom of the Internet are mixed. Perhaps surprisingly, many traditionally authoritative countries now permit relatively unrestricted use of the Internet by citizens, while several of the most democratic states attempt to impose restrictions on the Internet in the name of protecting national security and public decency. And some countries seek international agreement to block certain cross-border news flows on the Web. This first assessment of the degree of freedom on the Internet is based on fewer countries than regularly are judged in the Freedom House survey of press freedom. 

Greece in the Information Society

New conditions and new opportunities for growth, prosperity and quality of life. Information and telecommunication technologies change rapidly the way we work, play, communicate, and transform the bases of economic competition. They constitute a tool for the modernisation of the state and the competitiveness of enterprises, while creating new ways of work, new skills, and the need for continuing learning and adaptation of the education system. At the same time they allow the provision of better health, welfare, and environmental services, and contribute to the promotion of our cultural heritage and the Greek language. 

Electronic Democracy and Environmental Governance: A Survey of the States

Thomas Beierle and Sarah Cahill

Just as information technology is rapidly changing how we work, shop, and play, it is changing how we practice democracy. This paper focuses on one area where the Internet is broadening public participation in governance: the administration of environmental laws and regulations. It describes a survey of how each of the 50 states is using the Internet to provide citizens with environmental information, gather public input on agency decisions, and foster networks of interested citizens.  

How to use the Internet effectively, securely, and legally in election campaigns

Phil Cain, James Crabtree, Dan Jellinek and Tom Steinberg

The 2001 UK General Election will be a proving ground for the political Internet. At each party headquarters, a new generation of technologies will be rolled out, building a new type of campaign. The parties have thought hard and invested heavily. Locally, Parliamentary candidates both new and experienced will be creating or revamping their personal web sites to try to show they are with-it, forward-looking and accessible. 

e-government: developing state communications in a free media environment
Under terms such as Îgovernment onlineâ, âelectronic governmentâ and Îe-governmentâ, governments are seeking to use the internet to provide services cheaper, faster, more conveniently and effectively. But while governments are moving aggressively to provide services online, the amount of attention their websites attract is relatively small. Whatever oneâs views about the appropriate scope of government, it seems reasonable that government should be able to attract a larger share of its citizensâ online attention. 

The Role of Government in a Digital Age

As the report discusses, the theoretical underpinnings behind private versus public production shift as the economy moves toward a digital one.On one hand, the public good nature of production in a digital economy, along with the presence of network externalities, may suggest a larger public role than in a bricks-and-mortar economy.On the other hand, an information-based economy may also improve the quality and reduce the cost of obtaining information, which by itself makes private markets work better than before.Furthermore, government failure may be even more pronounced in the context of rapidly moving information-laden markets than in traditional bricks-and-mortar markets.

Digitally Empowered Development
Allen L. Hammond

Advances in information and communications technology did more than almost anything else to drive the last decade's economic boom and the integration of markets around the planet. New data networks, automated inventory control, and just-in-time manufacturing systems have made U.S. companies the most efficient in the world. The Internet has increased the speed of development -- electronic commerce, although still in an early phase, has already transformed industry after industry by enabling greater efficiency. 

Study: Best e-gov involves citizens

The most successful e-government programs are the ones in which agencies get input directly from citizens and offer more than one way to interact with services, according to a study by the Intergovernmental Advisory Board. 

Regulating the Internet: How Far Should Government Reach?

Charles Kolb and Elliot Schwartz

"In general, we should not view the Internet as a new fertile field for regulation or as a cash cow to be milked through the imposition of new taxes. Nevertheless, several issues have emerged from our nascent experience with e-commerce, which present policy makers with difficult and complex problems to solve." 

Communication and Democracy : Coincident Revolutions and the Emergent Dictator's Dilemma

Christopher R. Kedzie

This research explores fundamental relationships at the nexus of the information revolution and international affairs. Networked communications and political democracy are the central foci of theoretical and empirical analyses. A strong correlation between these two concepts would appear to offer new policy options for promoting democracy worldwide. 

The Powers that E 

E-Government is touted by many as the next great American revolution. Beyond the hype, however, is a growing movement in the United States and other countries to experiment with government-by-Internet. More than 220 countries and territories have websites with links to more than 15,000 government institutions. In the United States, a growing number of federal agencies, states and localities have an Internet presence. There are currently more than 20,000 websites offering government information. 

The nuts and bolts of e-governance

C.Umashankar IAS., District Collector, Tiruvarur, TamilNadu 

The growth of Information Technology has opened a new chapter in public administration.The Government Sector has large amount of database, which at present is largely being updated using the conventional manual processing method.These repetitive transactions are neither fully felt by the bureaucracy nor the general public.Such a situation is applicable to the third world countries, developing and partly to developed countries. 

Governance and the Web

A collection of papers on Governance and the Web from the site of Institute on Governance (Canada). 

Enemies of the Internet

With nothing more than a computer and an Internet connection, a single person, in their living room or in a cybercafe, can tell the whole world what they think. All they need to do is set up a web site, take part in a newsgroup or send e-mail messages. This person can even freely denounce human rights violations or repression in their country, no matter how authoritarian and closed it is. 

The Socio-Economic Impact of IT 

Bringi Dev

Information and communication technologies are generating new possibilities to attack problems of rural poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation. Old ways of doing business in terms of delivering important services to citizens are being challenged and sometimes abolished in both industrialized and developing countries.


Collection of Articles on E-Governance relating to India

This sub-section on e-governance in India is maintained by Cyber India Online (CIOL). 

Electronic Governance ö A key issue in the 21st century

Renu Budhiraja

In simple terms Electronic Governance can be defined as giving Citizens the choice of when and where they access government information and services. Putting the Citizen at the centre of government means taking a delivery channel view. This would mean using more and more of Electronics & Information Technology in many of the government functions. 

Digital Democracy and the Citizen

Bringi Dev

With developments in information technology, government activities which involve public contact with individuals, groups, and businesses can be significantly restructured. The this processes is done well, we can both save resources and provide better information and service. Information technology can give the citizen quick, interactive access to a vast array of information and services, through computers at home or work.


E-Governance: India in the 21st Century

Bringi Dev

In no area is the need of the developing world as great as it is in that of "information." Not only is there greater need for external information, but even the information produced locally is frequently inefficiently managed, forcing countries to import it at great costs from outside sources. We believe that in the world of the twenty-first century, no country can afford not to join the information revolution nor can any country resist its all-pervasive impact. 

Empowerment and Governance through Information and Communication Technologies: women's perspective

Vikas Nath

The paper explores the avenues created by ICT enabled networking processes for women in the areas of empowerment and governance, the hindrances facedin engendering of these processes andgoes on to suggest ways to ensure that greater benefits accrue to women in a distributed manner.  

Understanding e-Governance for Development

Richard Heeks

New information and communication technologies can make a significant contribution to the achievement of good governance goals. This 'e-governance' can make governance more efficient and more effective, and bring other benefits too. This paper outlines the three main contributions of e-governance: improving government processes (e-administration); connecting citizens (e-citizens and e-services); and building external interactions (e-society).

Building e-Governance for Development: A Framework for National and Donor Action

Richard Heeks

This paper hopes to point the way forward by describing the contents of a National e-Governance Initiative (NeGI) for developing countries that would address the problems of the past and would grasp the opportunities provided for governance by the new connectivity. 

Governments Closing Gap Between Political Rhetoric and eGovernment Reality

Online service delivery has never been higher on the political agenda than it is today. From the United Kingdom to the United States, Belgium to Brazil and Malaysia to Mexico, governments are talking about the significant benefits that can be realised by migrating traditionally paper-based and face-to-face services to the Internet. Governments also understand these services must be customer focused, cost effective, easy to use and value-added for citizens, businesses and the governments themselves. 

Reports reveal e-gov lessons

Governments at all levels can learn from one another ÷ as well as from the private sector ÷ as they integrate e-commerce services into their e-government frameworks, according to a pair of reports released Thursday. The reports, released by PricewaterhouseCoopersâ Endowment for the Business of Government, examine case studies at the local, state and federal levels and provide roadmaps for government leaders designing e-government solutions. 

e-Government : a Primer for Task Teams

A World Bank Document

Much of government work directly concerns itself with the processing of exchange of information with businesses and citizens.Governments have developed sophisticated systems to manage paper based processes of governments and their agencies. By their nature and the sheer size of government,access to itâs information has become difficult.Dealing with government is often confusing and requires physical visits to its facilities. 

The use of Internet in Government Service Delivery

Steven Cohen and William Eimicke

Governments have begun to use the World Wide Web to assist in service delivery. This includes, but goes far beyond, the dissemination of information to the general public and involves a variety of other governmental functions. In reviewing some govern-ment websites it is clear that the use of the web for service delivery is still in its infancy. The types of services that can be delivered through the web are still in the process of being imagined and organized by both government and the private sector. 

Assessing E-Government: The Internet, Democracy, and Service Delivery by State and Federal Governments

Darrell M. West

E-government refers to the delivery of information and services online through the Internet or other digital means. Many governmental units have embraced the digital revolution and are putting a wide range of materials from publications and databases to actual government services online for citizen use. Since e-government is still in its infancy, it is a perfect time to measure the extent of web service delivery and compare differences that exist across the 50 states and between the state and federal governments. 

Electronic Governance: Re-inventing Good Governance

Rogers Wâ O Okot-Uma, Commonwealth Secretariat London

This article examines the significance of the emergence of Electronic Governance (eGovernance) as a mode of practice in the re-invention of Good Governance. It presents eGovernance as inclusive of Electronic Democracy (eDemocracy), Electronic Government (eGovernment) and Electronic Business (eBusiness), examines the nature and scope of developments in this emerging field and provides a wealth of examples to illustrate essential, embedded concepts and modes of practice.  

The Worldwide Digital Divide: Information Poverty, the Internet and Development

Pippa Norris

There are many reasons why new communications technology, particularly the role of the Internet, may potentially level the playing field allowing nations with moderate levels of development, like Malaysia, Estonia and Brazil, to catch up with post-industrial societies. Potentially the effect of the Internet in broadening and enhancing access to information and communication may be greatest in poorer nations, because once past the barriers of access the new technology offers a relatively cheap and efficient service. 

The Role of Online Publication in the Promotion of Democracy

The Internet is Africa's political corrupticians' nightmare. In other words, news- media- information censorship by political dictators is curtailed at the door of the Internet. Ask Yugoslav's Slobodan Milosovic whose regime was toppled by the technology of the Internet and satellite comunications. The irony is that the "unimportant" people that the media target in under-developed and developing countries like Sierra Leone for instance, are hardly in a position to access the Internet. 

Dictatorships in the Digital Age: Some Considerations on the Internet in China and Cuba

William J. Drake William J. Drake Taylor C. Boas

The belief that the Internet will spread democracy throughout the developing world is so firmly held in Washington, D.C. policy circles that it is becoming an article of faith. There may be something to the underlying proposition, but this is an analytical question that should be subjected to close investigation before firm conclusions are drawn.

E-government -- Reality or Hype?

Dan Jellinek

"Will it revolutionise the way citizens interact with government and alter the fabric of democracy? Or is it doomed to fail through lack of funding and political commitment, an experiment that will prove costly, not to mention socially divisive through the exclusion of those without expensive computers?" 

Realizing the Promise of Digital Government: Itâs More than Building a Web Site

Theresa A. Pardo

"Yes, yes, my daughter can build a Web site, too, but digital government is more than that. The more of us who understand that digital government isnât about building a Web site, that itâs not about technologies, that it is about transforming government service delivery through the use of the technology, the better off weâll all be." 

Creating a Digital Federal Government 

Rob Atkinson
"First and foremost, digital government both enables and requires rethinking how government is organized from the perspective of the citizen and the functions government performs to serve the needs of its citizens." 

Is Digital Government Good Government?

A series of articles appearing in iMP "The Magazine on Information Impacts" in October 2000 edition. 

Why Digital Government is Global and Green

Paul Miller

"If the role of government is to improve the quality of life of citizens, how can e-commerce and the other opportunities created by the Internet help towards that goal?" 

Initiative towards e-Commerce/e-Government

Tariq A. Niazi

What is an e-Government? "A Government Without Walls" that means a government without hurdles and red tapeism which is a general view of the public about government's of third world countries. State ministries / agencies services and transactions can be offered online. 

Surfing villages: Can Indian villages be logged on to the infotech highway?

Are they for real and do they stand to benefit from artificial intelligence? Can India's villages ride on the infotech highway to development? To a certain extent this is already happening but it is a knotty situation. Can IT evolve to serve rural Indiaâs needs? The dairy cooperatives of Anand in Gujarat are using IT applications to streamline procedures, making a significant difference to the lives of milk producers in surrounding villages.  

E-Government Bulletin

The Bulletin covers electronic government, tele-democracy and the information society in the UK and worldwide. The Bulletin is a free, independent publication, aimed at internet users across government, local government, the social sector and their private sector partners. 

Digital Growth in Africa - things governments can do for free or nearly free

News Update asked 25 individuals and organisations drawn from development agencies, the private sector, NGOs and trusts involved in digital development in Africa to make suggestions about things that African governments (or others) could do for little or money to encourage digital development. There was almost a complete consensus on the kinds of things they felt ought to be done. 

Promoting Participation, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship through IT

A slide show presentation by Parmesh Shah, Participation Coordinator, Social Development Department, The World Bank. 

Critical Choices: The United Nations, Networks, and the Future of Global Governance

Global Public Policy Network

Profound and continuing change in our global environment÷social, political, and economic÷today demands commensurate changes in our institutions of global governance, not least in the institution that lies at the core of the international system, the United Nations. Creative new arrangements are needed urgently to allow governments, other organizations both public and private, and individuals around the world to work together to address pressing global problems÷from weapons control to the lack of adequate global labor standards to climate change÷as they arise. This report examines one such set of arrangements: global public policy networks. 

India : Bibliography on E-Governance

IT revolution is sweeping the globe. Governments willy nilly are being drawn into it. Transition to electronic delivery of services in government not only involves changes to the systems, procedures and processes of relevant services but also affects the way in which the public and business community deals with the government.  This section attempts to put together national as well as international experiences in e-governance for the benefit of all concerned. 

Analysis: Can e-government sites eliminate the wait?

Heather Harreld

Until recently, this meant nothing more than static webpages that reproduced the bureaucracies resting at the heart of federal, state and local agencies. For decades, those same bureaucracies in the paper-based world have left citizens waiting in long lines or on hold for hours. 

Voting Online

Jacob Weisberg

The chief argument for e-voting is that it will cause more people to vote. As everyone knows, turnout has been declining. In presidential elections, it has fallen from 63 percent of the voting-age population in 1960 to less than 50 percent in 1996. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is surely the inconvenience of casting ballots in person. 

Developments in electronic governance

'Developments in electronic governance' is the British Council's briefing document on the harnessing of new technologies and new media to the governance agenda, and current issues in 'electronic governance'. 

Building Citizen-based Electronic Democracy Efforts

Steven Clift

Over the last century we have witnessed a revolution in communications that has moved much of the public discourse and agenda-setting from the individual and community level to the mass level. As communication technologies and their use by people continues to evolve there are indications that this trend is now reversing with some notable globalization exceptions.  

Bridging the digital divide : a special report by BBC UK 
The Internet has ushered in the greatest period of wealth creation in history. It's rocked the way we deliver and receive information and the way we do business. And so, for many, it is easy to accept euphoric claims - like those of Vice President Al Gore - that the Internet is also bringing about a brave new world replete with an "electronic agora" and "online democracy". 

Governance in the Digital Economy The Importance of Human Development

Don Tapscott and David Agnew

The Internet and related technologies are revolutionizing the way people live, communicate, and work. What impacts will these far-reaching changes have on the structures and functioning of our governments?

Electronic governance and commercial development in Africa: the grass roots perspective

Margaret Grieco

This presentation explores the emergence of the concept of 'governance' and speculates on the opportunities provided by new electronic technologies for the development of more participatory forms of governance than those experienced in the past. The presentation identifies the possibilities for direct democracy and the greater use of client/user feedback in the shaping of governance structures.  

The E-Democracy E-Book

Steven Clift

The Internet will save democracy. Or so Internet technohype led many to believe. With each new  communication medium comes a wide-eyed view about its potential. Iâd like to suggest that just as the television saved democracy, so will the Internet. Now that Iâve set a low expectation, anything we do incrementally to improve democracy through the Internet is something we can consider an accomplishment. 

Information Technology and Public Sector Corruption

Richard Heeks

Corruption is a major problem for many parts of the public sector. One dominant vision of corruption restraint ö the ÎPanoptic visionâ ö sees information technology (IT) as a key enabler of management control. This paper presents five short case studies of IT and public sector corruption to test the realities of this Panoptic vision. From these it is concluded that, while IT sometimes does detect and remove corruption, it can also have no effect or even provide new corruption opportunities for some public servants.

Top Ten E-Democracy "To Do List" for Governments Around the World

Steven Clift

Governments around the world have an exciting opportunity. We can revitalize our spirit of our many democracies and build an e-government that fundamentally connects with the people and rebuilds the legitimacy of governance. The Internet, if used with democratic intent and spirit can and will bring people closer to their governments. We can break down the "us" versus "them" mentality and embrace the miracle of government as the one institution the people jointly own in their local communities, regions, and nations.


The Virtual Organisation: Information and Communication Technology and the Role of Governance

Ryan R. Peterson & Dirk de Wit

Organisations are spanning their traditional boundaries by venturing into virtual and networked organisational forms. Emerging information and communication technologies create the possibility for extending the boundaries of business. It is not the technology that leads to sustained advantage, but the management and exploitation of technology.  

Information Management, IT and Government Transformation: Innovative Approaches in the new South Africa

Michael Kahn and Russell Swanborough

This paper considers problems with existing government processes in South Africa, and presents a generally-applicable framework for analysis of existing government information systems prior to transformation. It argues that a central theme of government transformation is development of a culture of information management to ensure that information systems fit the task for which they are procured.

Information Age Reform of the Public Sector: The Potential and Problems of IT for  India

Richard Heeks

As in many countries, public sector reform in India has consisted of five main components: increased efficiency, decentralisation, increased accountability, improved resource management, and marketisation. 'Information age reform' means delivering these ongoing reform components with a more overt role for information and with greater use of information technology. A review of global experience suggests that information age reform has great potential to improve public administration and other components of the public sector.


Heralding ICT enabled Knowledge Societies : way forward for Developing Countries
Vikas Nath
The info-technological revolution, led by advances in information and communication technology, is re-structuring the global social economic equations - shifting from income divide to knowledge divide. The revolution on one hand is spearheading the growth of knowledge societies in developed countries and has aroused much interest among civil society, markets and the agents of change. On the other hand, more than 850 million people in developing countries are excluded from a wide range of information and knowledge. 
Freedom of Information Is Key to Anti-Corruption Campaign in Rural India

Bela Bhatia & Jean Dreze

Lasani is a small village which is part of Rawatmaal panchayat (village council) in Rajasthan's Ajmer district. According to the panchayat records, Rs. 56,000 was recently spent to construct water channels linking the village talab (pond) with the fields. The water channels, however, exist only on paper. This is one of many shocking revelations that emerged at a recent public hearing (jan sunwai) led by the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), a people's organisation working in the region since 1988.

The Real Revolution? Issue-Advocacy Campaigning on the Internet

Colin Delany
It took a pro wrestler to make it happen, but the news media have begun to notice the potential of the Internet to transform political campaigns. Ever since Jesse Ventura won the Minnesota governor's office in part through a $600 website used to collect, organize and inform volunteers, reporters have been probing the extent to which the 'net can be used for political purposes. But in some ways they may be missing the point.

Planning and Creating a Government Web Site: Learning from the Experience of US States

Linda DeConti

Many governments have created, or are seeking to create, a Web presence. A set of information delivery principles and Web site design criteria are therefore presented. These criteria are then used to evaluate the Web sites of forty-eight US State governments, providing insights into both best and worst practice for government. The paper concludes with some details of the strategic approaches to Web site development that governments may need to adopt.

Information and Communication Technologies for Improved Governance in Africa

Bhavya Lal

This paper reviews the issues facing African countries in adopting information and communication technologies (ICTs) to enhance governance in four areas, reducing poverty, providing basic human needs, improving public administration, and enhancing democratization. It summarizes the use of ICTs in these areas ö both successes and failures ö around the world and in Africa.

An Internet of Democracy

Steven Clift

To write about the use of information and communication technology and democracy requires not a hyper-speed view that everything will change in the next two years. Rather it is the principles we establish and the actions we take now that will set the course for the next two hundred years of democracy in the information age. We must ask ourselves - Do we want to build the Internet into the very nature our many democracies?

Electronic Democracy and Environmental Governance: a survey of the states (PDF format)

A new paper by researchers at Resources for the Future (RFF) says that state - level governments are in an early and experimental phase in applying the principles of electronic democracy to environmental decisionmaking. The paper describes an RFF survey examining how all 50 states in US use the Internet to engage citizens in environmental issues.

Knowledge Networking for Sustainable Development
Vikas Nath 
The paper aims to stimulate discussion on knowledge-based networking approach to sustainable development. The cornerstone of this approach is global access to information and human resources, enrichment of information during different steps and an efficient mechanism for collective learning and sharing of knowledge between nations, communities and individuals through bridging of gap between users and sources of information. 

"Information for Decision-Making", Chapter 40 of Agenda 21

Information for decision-making is the subject of Chapter 40 of Agenda 21, which emphasizes that, in sustainable development, everyone is a user and provider of information considered in the broad sense. That includes data, information, experience and knowledge. The need for information arises at all levels, from that of senior decision-makers at the national and international levels to the grass-roots and individual levels.

Future Societal Challenges of the information Society: How can ICT assist in building an inclusive, sustainable and democratic society capitalising on cultural diversity? 
Marc Luychx, Former Member of the Forward Study Unit, European Commission 

Benefits of IT-Based Decision-Making in Developing Countries (PDF format)
Dr Dietrich Splettstoesser
Despite the irritating slow progress of economic and social development in the world's least developed countries (LDC), a gentle but nevertheless dramatic change has begun to dawn in their institution decision-making: the increasing use of IT-based decision support systems. This paper, based on a study in one of the poorest African countries, demonstrates that decision support systems which are increasingly though still insufficiently used, have already generated some benefits for the utilising organisations.


The Journal of E-government  (new!)

Journal for delivering Government Services in the Digital World

United States publication focused IT solutions at the state and local levels

E-Government Bulletin
The Bulletin is a free, independent publication, aimed at everyone in government, local government, the social sector and their private sector partners.
Quick Links

The section provides updates on E-Governance from the Quick Links Journal. Initiative is conceived and managed by:


Vikas Nath

Inlaks Fellow (2000-1), London School of Economics, UK

Founder, Initiative


Let us know of your comments and feed-forward by signing our Guestbook.   

Sign Guestbook      View Guestbook