Development and Implementation of E-Government Services in Turkey: Towards a More Citizen-Oriented Public Administration System

Development and Implementation of E-Government Services in Turkey: Towards a More Citizen-Oriented Public Administration System

Asim Balci (Turksat - International Satellite and Cable Operator and Selçuk University, Turkey), Erhan Kumas (Turksat - International Satellite and Cable Operator, Turkey) and Tunç D. Medeni (Turksat - International Satellite and Cable Operator, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-650-1.ch045
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Abstract

Development and extensive use of information and communication technologies has led to important implications for public sectors throughout the world. As a result, in governmental services, citizens have been enjoying better quality services, in an efficient and effective manner. e-government, however, is more related to “government” rather than the “e” as the technical and technological one. The challenge is to use technologies to improve the capacities of government institutions, while improving the quality of life of citizens by redefining the relationship between citizens and their government. Accordingly, this chapter focuses on e-government applications highlighted to reach a more citizen centric e-government in Turkey. Especially, two concepts of e-government, content management system and measuring citizens’ satisfaction from e-services are underlined. Therefore, after giving a theoretical background first on e-government, content management and then measuring e-services satisfaction, new developments towards these concepts are accounted.
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Introduction

Extensive use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has serious implications for all sectors throughout the world. This is especially true for the public sectors of almost every country. With the use of ICTs in governmental services, citizens have been enjoying better quality services, in an efficient and effective manner, through connection to the internet, anywhere and anytime.

Most western governments have been focusing on “citizen centric delivery of public services” for more than a decade. Movements to reform government put citizens first, raise accountability issues, apply performance management techniques, and launch quality-awareness-raising campaigns for making governments more citizen-centric. Electronic government (e-government) applications can be seen from the same perspective as well. The potential of ICTs to provide citizen-centered public services and to yield citizen satisfaction have great importance here. With the use of ICTs in the government sector, and by putting citizens in a central place in the delivery of public services, there is a high potential for transforming the relationship between citizens and government (Information Society Commission, 2003).

These developments have considerable impact on the government sector in terms of its operation and functionality. This impact has reached a point where the major or driving philosophy and the rules of the public sector need to change accordingly as well. However, without making government citizen centric, one cannot talk about citizen-centric e-government applications (Junge et al, 2006). Therefore, a more holistic approach should be taken towards the public sector, if one wants to succeed in making government more citizen-centered.

Despite the ever-increasing expansion and use of ICTs in the government sector, there does not seem to be sufficient literature on the topic focusing on citizen perspectives. As discussed by Wang et al, (2005) “little effort has been placed in evaluation of government service provided through the Web”. Moreover, assessing the needs of citizens regarding e-government, and measuring their satisfaction regarding electronic services do not seem to be receiving great consideration from researchers.

Mostly, current research emphasizes frameworks or models that explain the development and advancement of e-government systems according to certain maturation or sophistication stages. Accordingly, generally, e-government systems follow a maturation and sophistication path that starts with basic information-provision and improves with the incorporation of more interactive services into the system. On this sophistication path, content management of the information as well as evaluation of the user satisfaction regarding service quality holds a profound place.

Therefore, citizen-centered e-government applications, where a system of content management is in place, and satisfaction from e- services are measured to reflect anticipated needs of citizens, should be the center of attention in e-government applications. Accordingly, this chapter focuses on e-government applications and their relations to citizen-centric public service provision taking place. Especially, two concepts of e-government, content management system and measuring citizens’ satisfaction from e-services, are underlined to achieve more citizen-centric e-government.

The issues covered are especially crucial for Turkey, a country where the needs and expectations of the citizens must be addressed satisfactorily in its administrative system. This situation makes a reform or a major restructuring effort a requirement in Turkey, where ICT use by public organizations has reached a high level. Therefore, after giving a theoretical background first on e-government, and content management, and then measuring e-service satisfaction, new developments regarding these concepts are discussed. By relating these experiences and information, it is hoped that in e-government applications a more general and a broader view is taken to reflect the needs and expectations of citizens seriously.

Key Terms in this Chapter

E-Government Services: Public services provided via technologies of information, communication and knowledge in a more effective way that are normally provided via conventional methods and methodologies. Thus, the provision of these services also necessitates a thorough revision of the existing methods and methodologies, which can also be expected to initiate a major transformation within the public sector.

Content Management: From a specific process perspective; creation, collection, control, management, maintenance, publication, use and improvement of data, information and knowledge in the forms and modes of text, image or sound on the Web sites or other institutions mediums. Here content can be basically understood as information tagged with data, and used as knowledge.

User Satisfaction Index for E-Government Services: Application of statistical methodologies to measure how citizens (, as well as businesses or public administrators) evaluate the quality received from the use of e-government services

E-Government Gateway (e-Devlet Kapisi, e-kapi): The platform where public services are provided in a simple, understandable way at a single Webpage to citizens and businesses in Turkey. At this platform, information pages, service-oriented applications for citizens and businesses, as well as cross-institutional transactions among public institutions are provided.

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