Governments across the world are focusing on e-governance to improve the lives of citizens. In the process, they are also making their lives easier by answering those questions, which perhaps would have been difficult in absence of technology and improved governance processes. Not all countries are at the same level of maturity in e-governance, and we have countries at different stages of e-governance progress/ development. Some leading study across the world have identified e-governance as an evolutionary model. Such studies have proposed stage model approach of e-governance evolution. The renowned models are listed as under –
“Countries take due cognizance to speed up e-Governance implementation across the various arms of Government at National, State, and Local levels, a programs approach needs to be adopted, guided by common vision and strategy. These innovations are expected to increase transparency and accountability in the management of public services.”
UN’s Five stages of E-government model
Stage – 1 (Emerging): An online presence is established through official website. Information is basic, static and limited.
Stage – 2 (Enhanced): Government sites increase content, become more dynamic. The content is updated more frequently.
Stage – 3 (Interactive): Users can interact with department through a set of forms, and email.
Stage – 4 (Transactional): Users can actually avail government services by making payment on website.
Stage – 5 (Seamless): There is full integration of e-services across administrative and departmental boundaries.
Gartner’s Four phases of E-government model
Stage – 1 (Presence): Presence of simple information providing passive website indicating the same level information as information brochure.
Stage – 2 (Interaction): The interaction stage offers simple interactions between G2C, G2B, and G2G. This include providing email ocntact, forms for taking in the questions and providing informational responses.
Stage – 3 (Transaction): This stage involves ability to make financial transactions to avail government services
Stage – 4 (Transformation): Transformation stage involves making use of available data and learnings from transactions to trasform governance and existing processes.
Layne & Lee study – Four stages of e-government model
Stage – 1 (Cataloguing): Initial efforts of government is focused on establishing an online presence.
Stage – 2 (Transaction): In this stage, department’s website becomes able to transact electronically, and citizens can avail government services
Stage – 3 (Vertical Integration): Department attempts to integrates vertically with various levels of government such as local, state and federal.
Stage – 4 (Horizontal Integration): Integration across different functions and services.
World Bank’s three phases of e-Government model
Stage – 1 (Publishing): In this stage government departments publish information on services, andepartment related activities on their website.
Stage – 2 (Interact): Interaction with government involves 2 way communication, where citizens can communicate and get a response back from government through e-mail, submitting a form, or suggesting a feedback.
Stage – 3 (Transact): In this stage, government’s e-governance efforts make life of citizens easier by enablish electronic transactions and simplifying government processes. Government, Business and Departments can avail services by making a payment.
Since Layne & Lee, civic dimensions such as e-information, e-services and e-participation have also been added to the stages of e-governance model.
However, what factors contribute to success of each stage. Are these stages linked to each other, or can they co-exist and continue to grow parallelly needs to be understood and studied. Data from the largest cities in the world’s top 100 “most wired” countries from 2003 to 2016 was studied. The findings of the study are presented as under:
1. Socio-economic factors of local citizen body such as education, wealth and technology access: Wherever people are tech savvy and political will more inclined toward providing e-services, there is a willingness towards a more participative tech-enabled governance.
2. Environmental factors: Governments play the role of supplier. Having a high population calls for bringing in distribution and service innovations. Technology plays an enabler role, and therefore e-governance adoption is accelerated in such situations.
1. Political factors such as the role of elected official. Organization leadership and their tech-orientation also plays an important role in adopting futuristic approach towards implementation of e-governance.
2. Financial resources and Gross Domestic Product (GDP): All major process & technical upgrade requires financial investment for operations and sustainability. Governments which are wealthy, and are ready to incur expenses technology investments are able to execute e-governance plans well.
1. Regional competitiveness: Citizens have expectation from their Government for leadership in the region. Having neighboring countries who are technologically advanced, and rank high on e-governance positively influences governance landscape.
2. Vibrant democracy: People can demand from their leadership their rightful and just standards of living in a vibrant democratic country. In such country governments are assessed by citizens based on its effective and efficiency. In such countries, e-governance flourishes.
While there is enough scope of further research, the result are consistent with research taken up in a 12 year longitudinal study of Global Cities. It is found that in smaller countries, the greater emphasis may be on a different stage, but the growth of e-governance is still consistent with factors identified as above.