Evaluating Web Sites of Municipal Corporations: A Case Study of Leading Cities in India

Evaluating Web Sites of Municipal Corporations: A Case Study of Leading Cities in India

Muneesh Kumar (University of Delhi South Campus, India) and Mamta Sareen (University of Delhi, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-863-7.ch010
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Abstract

While evaluation of government websites has been a matter of interest for researchers, the perspectives and parameters of such evaluation used in these have been diverse. It is primarily because the evaluated web sites had different objectives and only a general matrix could be used for their assessment. Fortunately, web sites of Municipal Corporations have a unique advantage in this respect. The kind of information needs and citizen services required in different cities do not differ significantly in most cases. In this chapter, an attempt has been made to evaluate municipal websites of twenty major cities in India. It also examines the relationship between the income levels of the city and the quality of municipal website. While the glaring differences were observed among municipal web sites of different cities, no significant relationship could be established between the quality of municipal websites and income levels in the city.
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Background

The day-to-day interactions of citizens with the government relate to the mundane governance activities that are primarily in the domain of municipal corporations that are responsible for development and maintenance of common services and facilities. As citizens use these common services extensively and on regular basis, their perceptions about and relationship with local government are influenced by the way the information and services are delivered. It is, therefore, imperative for any government to provide for delivery of services promptly and without any major inconvenience. These web sites have the potential to improve relations with citizens and reverse the trend of declining trust in governments (Nye, 1997). While the craze, among governments at various levels, for use of e-government initiatives as a tool for improving service quality is on, the issue is whether and to what extent this objective is actually achieved.

The evaluation of web sites of Municipal Corporations and comparisons overtime can help in assessing not only the change in the quality of these web sites but also helps in gauging the level of commitment of the local government in improving its citizens services and access to information. This chapter focuses on the evaluation municipal websites of 20 major cities in India

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