An Empirical Evaluation of E-Government Inclusion Among the Digitally Disadvantaged in the United States

An Empirical Evaluation of E-Government Inclusion Among the Digitally Disadvantaged in the United States

Janice C. Sipior (Villanova University, USA), Burke T. Ward (Villanova University, USA) and Regina Connolly (Dublin City University, Ireland)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/irmj.2010100102
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The authors undertake an exploratory study, in the context of a digitally disadvantaged community in the United States, to determine what factors are associated with e-government website visitation. Following a community-based initiative, designed to stimulate computer literacy and access to information and communication technologies for residents and neighbors of an underserved public housing community, a survey of e-government website visitation was undertaken. The results indicate that over half of the respondents are aware of or have visited e-government websites, with nearly a third indicating they intend to use e-government websites in the future. Awareness of e-government websites was found to be significantly related to e-government website visitation. Internet experience and perceived access barriers were found not to be significantly related to e-government website visitation. This research enhances the understanding of visitation of e-government services among techno-disadvantaged citizens to encourage greater inclusion. The authors conclude by emphasizing the importance of a community organizing strategy to sustain e-government participation among the digitally disadvantaged.
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E-Government Inclusion And The Digital Divide

A necessary condition for equity in information access is that citizens have Internet access. The divide between those with access and skills to use the Internet and new information and communication technologies (ICT) and those without, or in other words, the gap between the ‘technology haves’ and ‘have-nots’ is referred to as the digital divide (Holmes, 2002; Novak & Hoffman, 2000; OECD, 2001; Wilhelm & Thierer, 2000). “The Digital Divide is arguably the single, largest, segregating force in today’s world. If it is not made a national priority, a generation of children and families will mature without these tools that are proving to be the key to the future” (PR Newswire, 2000).

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