E-Government in Less Developed Countries

E-Government in Less Developed Countries

Riyad Eid (UAE University, UAE) and Raja Yahya Alsharief (King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8358-7.ch057
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Abstract

In recent years, e-Government has been the favourable theme for numerous studies and reports. Yet, there is a lack of systematic evidence regarding the key challenges for the e-Government implementation in less developed countries. Consequently, This chapter is devoted to a comprehensive review of literature relevant to shed light on the e-Government in less developed countries, its importance, and finally the effect of the e-Government on the government activities. It also discusses some applications which have been tried by a number of less developed countries and the results they have achieved.
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E-Government In Less Developed Countries

Undoubtedly, ICT offers increased opportunities for economic development and plays a crucial role in rapid economic change, productive capacity improvements and international competitiveness enhancement for developing countries. ICT is an important tool to address some of the key barriers and challenges for entering the global economy and for future growth potential. It can transform old challenges and create unprecedented possibilities for sustainable economic development, just as it has done for businesses in the industrial world. Moreover, ICTs offer the potential not just to collect, store, process and diffuse enormous quantities of information at minimal cost, but also to network, interact and communicate across the world (Crede & Mansell, 1998).

Undoubtedly, ICT represents a big problem for developing countries – the problem of deepen the digital divide and to further marginalize them with the networking revolution. Without sufficient use of the ICT for competing and entering the global network, countries will suffer pivotal disadvantages in form of information poverty that could further widen the gap in economic status and competitiveness. Information and communication technologies, undoubtedly, have, and will, continue to wield radical influences on most aspects of public and private intercourse, including government and governance.

Recognizing the power of ICTs, many developing countries, assisted by international organizations for development, have started building and encouraging e-strategies and initiatives to address a wide range of economic, social, technological, infrastructural, legal and educational issues. Consequently, e-Government initiatives have flourished in many developing countries such as Singapore, Brazil, India, Chile, UAE, Egypt, Kuwait etc., reaping the advantages and opportunities of ICT and the knowledge economy for collaboration, networking, better services, efficiency and effectiveness. However, many other initiatives have failed. Heeks, for example, found that more than one-third of initiatives are total failures (e.g. the failure of decision support systems in East Africa); further, half can be considered to be partial failures (e.g. the partial failure of management information systems in Eastern Europe); and roughly one seventh are successes (Heeks, 2003).

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