Electronic Government in Small Island States

Electronic Government in Small Island States

Janet Toland (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), Fuatai Purcell (Ministry of Finance, Samoa) and Sid Huff (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-575-7.ch047
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Abstract

The capabilities provided through electronic government (e-government) opens up the potential for government’s worldwide to improve the services they offer to their citizens. However, a move towards e-government offers particular advantages to developing countries, especially to small island states. Small island states are typically scattered over a wide geographic area, posing unique problems for their governments in coordinating and delivering services to their citizens. Information and communication technologies (ICT) now make it possible to connect a citizen of the remotest island directly to central government services. This article investigates the role of e-government in small countries. The island states of the South Pacific1 have been selected as a case study. Though every small island state has its own particular characteristics, the island nations of the South Pacific exhibit such diversity in terms of culture, language, economic activity and ethnicity as to make this region an ideal laboratory in which to observe developments in e-government. The island states of the South Pacific generally exhibit a low population density, which can be an advantage, as ICT-based strategies can be implemented more quickly than in a larger country. However, a small population often means a lack of appropriate skills to implement such policies (Comnet-IT, 2002).

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