E-Government for Building the Knowledge Infrastructure in South Korea

E-Government for Building the Knowledge Infrastructure in South Korea

S. Park (Göteborg University, Sweden and Okayama University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-789-8.ch081
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Abstract

New information and communication technologies (ICTs) enable rapid information flows, which reduce the necessity for face-to-face contacts as well as geographical barriers. These also create network-based societies (Castells, 1996). E-governments can contribute to the enhancement of network-based societies. In the last five years, governments have made rapid progress worldwide in embracing ICTs for e-government. By 2004, 178 of 191 member states of the United Nations had a Web site presence (UNPAN, 2004). All e-governments focus on the use of ICTs for the full range of government functions. In particular, the networking potential offered by the Internet and related technologies enables them to transform the structures and operation of government. As a result, e-government can be a major enabler in the adoption of good governance practices (OECD, 2001a; Ronaghan, 2002). Regarding the OECD’s work on governance, there is a strong belief that effective governance is an important requirement for the achievement of economic, social, and environmental objectives. Moreover, the OECD secretary general set out a draft statement of governance priorities for the 21st century, which, in 2000, indicated the experiences of OECD countries in building democratic and prosperous societies. In order to practice good governance, an e-government is regarded as a strategic implementation that identifies various objectives such as effective leadership, coordination and policy coherence, and efficient investment and financing (OECD, 2001a). Additionally, e-government is recognized as one of the most significant factors to strengthen national competitiveness, particularly in a knowledge-based information society. This also serves as an important enabler in order for a government to offer high-quality civil services at low costs. As a result, e-government not only contributes to the informatization of citizens and businesses but also improves the productivity and transparency of public administration (Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2002). Advanced nations already have launched various government-driven initiatives such as the E-Government Initiative in New Zealand and the U.S., and UK Online in the UK (Reeder & Pandy, 2002). Along with these advanced nations, South Korea also is consistently pursuing e-government initiatives with its world-class information infrastructure in order to transform the way of national governance (National Computerization Agency, 2002). The e-government project will bring about structural and procedural reform and is expected to serve as a springboard in order for South Korea to leap forward to become one of the leading nations in information and communication industries. This article discusses which strategies the South Korean government focuses on and how it implements these in order to build the knowledge infrastructure. Furthermore, the article aims to analyze the methods of building the knowledge infrastructure based on ICT as well as the roles of the e-government to develop good governance.

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