A Semantic-Enabled Framework for E-Government Systems Development

A Semantic-Enabled Framework for E-Government Systems Development

Jean Vincent Fonou-Dombeu (Vaal University of Technology, South Africa) and Magda Huisman (North-West University, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4900-2.ch002
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The ultimate goal of e-Governance is to reach the stage of seamless service delivery in one-stop e-Government. This raises the engineering issues of integration, reusability, maintenance, and interoperability of autonomous e-Government systems of government departments and agencies. Therefore, appropriate methodologies that consistently address the aforementioned engineering issues throughout clearly defined e-Government development phases are needed. This chapter provides the design and specification, of a framework that amalgamates features from maturity models, software engineering and Semantic Web domains for semantic-enabled development of e-Government systems. Firstly, the methods and techniques used for the planning, design, and implementation of e-Government systems worldwide are investigated; a critical analysis is carried out to identify their advantages and disadvantages, as well as their contribution towards addressing the aforementioned engineering issues. Secondly, the proposed framework is drawn and specified. Finally, support tools including a business process model, an alignment matrix of stages and phases of development, and a weighting matrix of the intensity of semantic activities at various phases of development is drawn and described.
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In recent years, many countries worldwide have adopted e-Governance, resulting in several Web-based applications being developed in various government departments and agencies for online services delivery to citizens. The increasing number of these autonomous e-Government applications has raised several software engineering issues such as reusability, maintenance, integration and interoperability of these applications (Choudrie & Weerrakody 2007; Saekow & Boonmee 2009). These applications have been raised in the context of one-stop e-Government which requires e-Government applications to be accessed at a single point and function as a whole for better efficiency and seamless services delivery (Wimmer 2002; Lee et al. 2009).

On the other hand, e-Government is a broad research field with several research works being undertaken in various domains (Lofstedt 2005). These research endeavours aim to address simultaneously political, institutional, legal, technological, cultural and societal issues for effective electronic services (e-Services) delivery to citizens. However, the development and deployment of e-Services in one-stop portal/shop remain a key and challenging priority in e-Government development. In fact, (1), e-Government strategies of various countries include e-Services development as a vehicle for effective online delivery to citizens and stakeholders.

In order to understand what it takes to implement e-Government, it is important to reference examples of successful e-Government implementation from countries such as Singapore (Devadoss et al. 2003), Australia (Teicher and Dow 2002), Taiwan (Sang et al. 2005) and UK (Beynon-Davies 2005); and (2), research studies reporting on successful e-Government implementation show that few countries have reached the stage of one-stop portal where citizens can seamlessly access all government’s services (Chen et al., 2006). Therefore, it is important to look at appropriate methodologies for developing e-Government applications which provides structured guidelines for the design, implementation and deployment of various government services on the Web to citizens, while consistently addressing the aforementioned engineering issues in an incremental and iterative manner, towards one-stop e-Government portals. A review of current literature in e-Government implementation has allowed identifying three main methods and techniques that deal with the planning, design, implementation and deployment of e-Services for effective online delivery to citizens. These include maturity models (MM), software engineering (SE) and Semantic Web (SW) techniques.

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