E-Government for Current and Future Senior Citizens

E-Government for Current and Future Senior Citizens

Yu-Che Chen (Northern Illinois University, USA) and Ashley Dorsey (Public Works Department, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-282-4.ch016
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Abstract

To meet the current and future senior citizens’ demand for e-government, local governments will need to have a better understanding of their needs. This study is one of the first empirical investigations to improve our understanding in this area. It draws from e-government and gerontology literatures to develop a list of factors affecting the demand for e-government among current and future seniors. This study examines all such factors in the context of a local government in the United States. The results confirm the existence of a strong and significant future demand for e-government services among future senior citizens—baby boomers. Interestingly, mobility and preference for human contact do not register as significant factors determining use of e-government. This chapter also provides specific policy recommendations for meeting senior citizens’ e-government needs.
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Introduction

Demographic shifts in the coming ten years will create both challenges and opportunities for electronic government at the local level in the United States. In the coming five years, we will see the beginning waves of baby boomers turning into senior citizens (age 65 or older). Baby boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, constitute a quarter of the population in the United States.1 For local government, the primary challenge is to serve an increasingly internet-savvy group of senior citizens. Even after retirement, baby boomers are likely to still be active online if they use the internet near current levels. A 2007 survey conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project puts the percentage of internet user for the 50-64 age group (baby boomers) at 65 percent, this is just a few percentage points lower than the percentage of adult internet users (71 percent).2 Moreover, given improvements in health, these future senior citizens are expected to have more time to engage with government through volunteering in neighborhood associations and local non-profit agencies, or serving on local government commissions after retirement.

The opportunity presented in such a situation means that local governments must be proactive in meeting the future e-government demands of boomers. Any further delay in planning and taking concrete actions will likely result in forfeiting such an opportunity. Local governments can incorporate into their long-term planning various ways in which they can meet such demands. Moreover, the growth and change in internet and wireless technologies will make it easier for government to provide services online and for citizens to receive them. For example, there are digital community initiatives that seek to provide free internet access in public areas such as city parks, city halls, and downtown business districts. The increasing prevalence of “smart phones” with web features can allow better delivery of government and information service to senior citizens who may prefer the convenience of using a phone.

To seize the opportunity requires a careful examination of the potential demand of aging boomers for electronic government. The research described in existing literature on electronic government with a focus on local government provides a limited picture of such demand. Much of existing research examines the progress of local government only within the scope of the use of information technology for information and service delivery. For example, a comprehensive survey of U.S. local electronic government efforts suggests that local governments are making progress in adopting information technology but more are desired (D. Norris & Moon, 2005). One exception is the study of senior citizen use of a particular e-government service in Singapore (Phang et al., 2005). This study examines a variety of factors, drawing from the fields of information system and gerontology.

Regarding the broader issue of online behavior, senior citizens are the least-studied among the age groups (Eastman & Iyer, 2005). Commercial Web sites concentrate on the mid-age and high income groups as they constitute a major revenue source. Our review of e-government literature as well as senior citizen online behavior suggests that little is known about senior citizen online behavior and even less about what online services they would need from local government.

The main objective of this chapter is to understand and meet the needs of future senior citizens for local electronic government. This study makes several unique contributions. First, it targets a segment of the population that can significantly increase the demand for e-government in the next decade. Second, it integrates the existing knowledge in gerontology, citizen engagement, and e-government for an enhanced understanding of the future demand of e-government. Lastly, it offers one of the first empirical investigations focusing on baby boomers and senior citizens at the local level.3

Key Terms in this Chapter

Continuity Theory of Normal Aging: This idea was anchored by Atchley. The central idea is that older adults are likely to maintain their lifestyles, activities, relationships, and personalities.

E-Government: A term used to describe electronic government. It is also known as e-gov’t, digital government, online government. It refers to the use of primarily internet technology as an avenue to: (a) exchange information, (b) provide services and transact with citizens, businesses, and other branches of government, (c) engage citizens in governance.

Baby Boomer: A term used to describe the generation of a person who was born between 1946 and 1964. Following World War II, these countries experienced an unusual spike in birth rates, a phenomenon commonly known as the baby boom.

Senior Citizen: A term used to describe a person who is 65 years of age or older and is either near or at retirement.

Digital Divide: A term used to refer to the disparity between those citizens with effective access to digital and information technology and those without access to it. It encompasses the inequality in physical access to technology as well as the inequality in resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen.

E-Government Web Site: A term used to represent the collection of Web pages that a particular government or agency puts together for disseminating government information, providing services, and engaging citizens in governance.

Web 2.0: A term used to depict the social network aspect of the Internet. The new orientation is to move beyond linking and clicking to creating, sharing, and collaborating. This new version of Web becomes a participatory and interactive platform for collaboration for knowledge creation and management. Examples include Wiki, facebook, and flickr.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Foreword
G. David Garson
Preface
Christopher G. Reddick
Acknowledgment
Christopher G. Reddick
Chapter 1
Vishanth Weerakkody, Gurjit Dhillon
Most public services are overly complex, and separate where citizens have no choice in the service that they receive. All too often, Information and... Sample PDF
Moving from E-Government to T-Government: A Study of Process Reengineering Challenges in a UK Local Authority Context
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Chapter 2
Tino Schuppan
This chapter addresses the link between e-government, organizational networks related to it, and the possibilities for structural reform of... Sample PDF
Local Level Structural Change and E Government in Germany
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Chapter 3
Stephen King
This chapter describes a journey through e-enabled local public services. We start with the familiar local government Web site and contact centre... Sample PDF
Innovation and Citizen-Centric Local E-Government
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Chapter 4
Krassimira Paskaleva-Shapira
This chapter shares experience on aspects related to the methodology and modeling of a framework of City E-Governance Readiness. We discuss Europe’s... Sample PDF
Assessing Local Readiness for City E-Governance in Europe
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Chapter 5
Mark Deakin
The chapter examines the IntelCities Community of Practice (CoP) supporting the development of the organization’s e-Learning platform, knowledge... Sample PDF
The IntelCities Community of Practice: The eGov Services Model for Socially Inclusive and Participatory Urban Regeneration Programs
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Chapter 6
Sarah Cotterill
In the United Kingdom and throughout the world there is increasing emphasis on public sector organizations working together in local partnerships.... Sample PDF
Local E-Government Partnerships
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Chapter 7
Ian McLoughlin
In the United Kingdom, major investments have been made in e-government in order to modernize government and improve the efficiency and quality of... Sample PDF
Towards Digital Governance in UK Local Public Services?
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Chapter 8
Bryan Reece, Kim Andreasson
There has been considerable attention given to the issue of unrepresentative access; however, research to date has focused on individual level... Sample PDF
Institutional E-Government Development
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Chapter 9
Tina Jukic, Mateja Kunstelj, Mitja Decman, Mirko Vintar
In this chapter, 3 main aspects of municipal e-government in Slovenia are investigated thoroughly: supply, demand, and the view of municipal... Sample PDF
E-Government in Slovene Municipalities: Analysing Supply, Demand and its Effects
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Chapter 10
Lourdes Torres, Vicente Pina, Basilio Acerete, Sonia Royo
This work tries to assess to what extent e-government enables transparency, openness and, hence, accountability in public administrations. For this... Sample PDF
E-Government and Accountability in EU Local Governments
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Chapter 11
Stephen K. Aikins
A Comparative Study of Municipal Adoption of Internet-Based Citizen Participation Sample PDF
A Comparative Study of Municipal Adoption of Internet-Based Citizen Participation
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Chapter 12
Janita Stuart, Val Hooper
The uptake of Internet voting for local government elections is still in its infancy worldwide. While it holds many potential benefits, there are... Sample PDF
Sociological Factors Influencing Internet Voting
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Chapter 13
Sonja Knapp, Yun Chen, Andy Hamilton, Volker Coors
Urban Planning is a multi-disciplinary process. Social-economic, environmental and natural resources issues need to be considered to ensure urban... Sample PDF
An ePlanning Case Study in Stuttgart Using OPPA 3D
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Chapter 14
Jennifer Evans-Cowley, Maria Manta Conroy
Municipalities often struggle to provide citizen participation opportunities that are informative and engaging. E-government tools hold the... Sample PDF
Local Government Experiences with ICT for Participation
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Chapter 15
Michael J. Jensen
This chapter analyzes the “impact” of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on local government officials’ policy decision-making.... Sample PDF
Electronic Democracy and Citizen Influence in Government
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Chapter 16
Yu-Che Chen, Ashley Dorsey
To meet the current and future senior citizens’ demand for e-government, local governments will need to have a better understanding of their needs.... Sample PDF
E-Government for Current and Future Senior Citizens
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Chapter 17
Don-yun Chen, Tong-yi Huang, Naiyi Hsiao, Tze-Luen Lin, Chung-Pin Lee
This chapter introduces a case of e-deliberation in Taiwan. Democratic deepening can be achieved by the application of information and communication... Sample PDF
Experimental E-Deliberation in Taiwan: A Comparison of Online and Face-to-Face Citizens' Conferences in Beitou, Taipei
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Chapter 18
Greg Streib, Ignacio Navarro
The development of e-government has attracted considerable scholarly interest in recent years, but relatively little has been written about the... Sample PDF
City Managers and E-Government Development: Assessing Technology Literacy and Leadership Needs
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Chapter 19
Zhenyu Huang
This chapter presents a comprehensive analysis of the 3,099 U.S. counties’ adoption and diffusion of e-government and the functions provided by... Sample PDF
U.S. Counties' Efforts and Results: An Empirical Research on Local Adoption and Diffusion of E-Government
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Chapter 20
Suzanne J. Piotrowski, Erin L. Borry
Government websites are quickly becoming the first point of contact for citizens and visitors seeking information. Local government websites’... Sample PDF
Transparency and Local Government Websites
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Chapter 21
Marc Holzer, Aroon Manoharan
The chapter is based on the results of an international survey of municipal Web portals conducted through a collaboration between the E-Governance... Sample PDF
E-Governance and Quality of Life: Associating Municipal E-Governance with Quality of Life Worldwide
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Chapter 22
Mete Yildiz
This chapter presents an analysis of local e-government adoption and implementation in Turkey. To this end, academic articles, various laws, and... Sample PDF
An Overview of Local E-Government Adoption and Implementation in Turkey
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Chapter 23
Bekir Parlak, Zahid Sobaci
This chapter aims to evaluate the e-government practices in metropolitan municipalities in Turkey by determining functionality levels of... Sample PDF
The Functionality of Website-Based Services of Metropolitan Municipalities in Turkey
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Chapter 24
Patrizia Lombardi, Ian Cooper, Krassimira Paskaleva-Shapira, Mark Deakin
Harnessing ICTs effectively is one of the main vehicles for achieving the EU’s 2010 strategy to become the most competitive digital knowledge-based... Sample PDF
The Challenge of Designing User-Centric E-Services: European Dimensions
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Chapter 25
Raoul J. Freeman
This chapter reviews various strategic frameworks for e-government which include goals and objectives. Among typical goals are the following... Sample PDF
Goals Measurement and Evaluation of E-Gov Projects
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Chapter 26
Jussi S. Jauhiainen, Tommi Inkinen
Finland is among the leading information societies. The national information society strategy aims to make the information society accessible by... Sample PDF
E-Governance and the Information Society in Periphery
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Chapter 27
Sean M. Bossinger
Free, libre, or open source software (FLOSS) offers the promise of cost-free, modifiable, high-quality software, for a multitude of tasks (e.g.... Sample PDF
Open Source Software Use in Local Governments
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Chapter 28
Mark Cassell
This chapter examines empirically, the intended and unintended consequences that occur when a local government chooses to migrate away from a... Sample PDF
When Local Governments Choose Open Source Technology
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Chapter 29
The Wireless City  (pages 554-568)
Sukumar Ganapati, Christian F. Schoepp
In this chapter, we explore the evolution of wireless broadband networks in cities. We examine the technological alternatives for city-wide... Sample PDF
The Wireless City
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Chapter 30
Paul M.A. Baker, Avonne Bell, Nathan W. Moon
This chapter presents the results of an examination of the current state of U.S. municipal wireless network design and policies with regards to... Sample PDF
Accessibility Issues in Municipal Wireless Networks
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Chapter 31
Roland J. Cole, Isabel A. Cole, Jennifer A. Kurtz
The key reason for including this chapter in this book is that the development of more advanced forms of e-government requires that residences have... Sample PDF
Municipal Efforts to Promote Residential Broadband
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Chapter 32
Jenni Viitanen, Richard Kingston
This chapter will discuss the implications of the network society paradigm for e-government and the role of ICTs in the regeneration of urban... Sample PDF
The Role of Public Participation GIS in Local Service Delivery
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Chapter 33
Terry Murphy
Geographical Information System (GIS) technology applications for use in the field of economic development are relatively new. Local economic... Sample PDF
GIS: Changing the Economic Development World
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Chapter 34
Paul T. Jaeger
Many residents and local communities rely on public libraries for access to and training to use e-government. Many local governments direct citizens... Sample PDF
Public Libraries and Local E-Government
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Chapter 35
Muhammad Mustafa Kamal, M. Themistocleous
Literature indicates that Local Government Authorities (LGAs) have problems in meeting citizens’ demands. This may be attributed to the limitations... Sample PDF
Investigating Enterprise Application Integration Adoption in the Local Government Authorities
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Chapter 36
Jeffrey Roy
This chapter will compare the emergence of e-government in Denmark and Canada with a particular emphasis on the municipal and inter-governmental... Sample PDF
Enterprise Application Integration; Healthcare Organizations; Information Technology ; Large Organizations; Local Government Authorities
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Chapter 37
Genie N.L. Stowers
This case describes the case of a small California city, San Carlos, a continued early adopter in the e-government areas. The chapter asks the... Sample PDF
The Little City That Could: The Case of San Carlos, California
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Chapter 38
Howard A. Frank
ActiveStrategy’s performance management application deploys the widely utilized Balanced Scorecard framework in a dashboard platform designed to... Sample PDF
Implementing ActiveStrategy in Miami-Dade County
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Chapter 39
Greta Nasi
The purpose of this chapter is to assess the current status and level of technology in providing on line services among larger Italian... Sample PDF
E-Government and Local Service Delivery: The Case of Italian Local Governments
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Chapter 40
Andreas Ask, Mathias Hatakka, Åke Grönlund
This chapter discusses practices, opportunities, and challenges in local e-government project management by means of a case study involving... Sample PDF
The Örebro City Citizen-Oriented E-Government Strategy
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Chapter 41
Ik Jae Chung
As a nationwide e-government project in South Korea, the Information Network Village project was launched in 2001. It was designed to increase... Sample PDF
Toward E-Government Sustainability: The Information Network Village Project in South Korea
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Chapter 42
Samiaji Sarosa, Jenjang Sri Lestari
This chapter examined the state of Jogjakarta’s local governments Web sites (i.e, Bantul, Sleman, Kulon Progo, City of Jogjakarta and The Special... Sample PDF
The Level and Impact of Web Based E-Government Adoption: The Case of Jogjakarta's Local Governments
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Chapter 43
Maniam Kaliannan, Hazman Shah Abdullah, Murali Raman
Despite the many quarrels and complaints about the quality of local government in Malaysia, it continues to be an important part of the overall... Sample PDF
Local E-Government in Malaysia: An Empirical Investigation
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Chapter 44
Sam Lubbe, Shawren Singh
This chapter explores the issues of the interface between Information Systems (IS) and society. We investigate IS and users of these systems at a... Sample PDF
From Conception to Demise: Implications for Users of Information Systems in Changing a Local Parastatal Educational Institution in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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Chapter 45
José Rodrigues Filho, João Rodrigues dos Santos Junior
E-government has the potential to enhance democracy and transparency, increasing opportunities for citizen interaction. Literature has given many... Sample PDF
Local E-Government in Brazil: Poor Interaction and Local Politics as Usual
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Chapter 46
R. K. Mitra, M. P. Gupta, G. P. Sahu
While Information Technology (IT) is being embraced by various wings of the government, the police in India have however, been slow to adopt IT. The... Sample PDF
Indian Police E-Government System: A Study of Provincial Police
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Chapter 47
Arla Juntunen
There are still only few studies of the cooperation and collaboration of the governmental agencies and local authorities. This chapter presents a... Sample PDF
Joint Service Development with the Local Authorities
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About the Contributors