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.Continuer
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.
What is e-governance?
When one refers to the use and impact of ICTs on the public sector, a wide variety of terms come up – most notably the use of e-government, government on line, digital government, e-governance, and e-democracy. These are sometimes used interchangeably. But, more importantly, they are rarely used consistently. These terms are still so new that they haven’t yet found their way into dictionaries, so it is not surprising that they often mean different things to different people. In the framework of this project we refer to e-governance as a concept covering the following fields of application:
e-administration: improving the internal workings of the public sector with new ICT-executed information processes. Some examples are: integrated human resources and payroll systems, integrated financial management systems, web-based data resources to improve decision-making, intranet system to improve information flows within governmental instances. Some authors refer to this dimension as back-office capability and it is generally recognized as a precondition for developing e-services and e-democracy.
e-services: providing information and delivering services to citizens. Providing citizens with details of public sector activities mainly relates to certain types of accountability: making public servants more accountable for their decisions and actions. It implies as well improving the services delivered to members of the public along dimensions such as quality, convenience and cost. This uses all the potentials of ICTs to deliver the informational components of public services to citizens in digital form. Some examples of information provision are: Calendar of events and entertainment, information on public transport and the environment. Examples of interactive services are: requests for public documents, requests for legal documents and certificates, issuing permits and licenses, online tax payment, payment of online services.
e-democracy: increasing the engagement of citizens in public decisions and actions. The rationale is to make public decisions more responsive to citizens' view or needs by opening information flows from citizens to government. e-Democracy suggests greater and more active citizen participation enabled by the ICTs in today’s representative democracy as well as through more participatory or direct forms of citizen involvement in addressing public challenges. Some examples are: citizen panels, forums and petitions, opinion polls, referendums, online voting.