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July 4, 2005 - The Long Tail in e-Democracy - Jason Kitcat
In traditional democracies, small numbers of people can have significant influence while the majority have only limited opportunities to participate. Jason Kitcat looks at a concept that could change the e-democracy landscape.More

Good governance
The E-Government Imperative OECD

What is e-governance?
This paper is a brief introduction to the notion of `e-governance,' which the author defines as a set of technology-mediated processes that are changing both the delivery of public services and the broader interactions between citizens and government.


E-Governance involves new styles of leadership, new ways of debating and deciding policy and investment, new ways of accessing education, new ways of listening to citizens and new ways of organising and delivering information and services.

The idea of adopting ICTs is to move beyond the passive information-giving to active citizen involvement in the decision-making process.
Defining E-Governance

Governance refers to the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority in the management of a countryís affairs, including citizensí articulation of their interests and exercise of their legal rights and obligations.

E-governance may be understood as the performance of this governance via the electronic medium in order to facilitate an efficient, speedy and transparent process of disseminating information to the public, and other agencies, and for performing government administration activities.

E-governance is generally considered as a wider concept than e-government, since it can bring about a change in the way how citizens relate to governments and to each other.

E-governance can bring forth new concepts of citizenship, both in terms of citizen needs and responsibilities. Its objective is to engage, enable and empower the citizen.

Why introduce e-governance?

The purpose of implementing e-governance is to enhance good governance. Good governance is generally characterised by participation, transparency and accountability. The recent advances in communication technologies and the Internet provide opportunities to transform the relationship between governments and citizens in a new way, thus contributing to the achievement of good governance goals. The use of information technology can increase the broad involvement of citizens in the process of governance at all levels by providing the possibility of on-line discussion groups and by enhancing the rapid development and effectiveness of pressure groups. Advantages for the government involve that the government may provide better service in terms of time, making governance more efficient and more effective. In addition, the transaction costs can be lowered and government services become more accessible.

The fields of implementation of e-governance are:

  • e-administration- refers to improving of government processes and of the internal workings of the public sector with new ICT-executed information processes.
  • e-services- refers to improved delivery of public services to citizens. Some examples of interactive services are: requests for public documents, requests for legal documents and certificates, issuing permits and licenses.

  • e-democracy- implies greater and more active citizen participation and involvement enabled by ICTs in the decision-making process


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