Evaluation of Arab Municipal Websites

Evaluation of Arab Municipal Websites

Hana Abdullah Al-Nuaim (King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-162-1.ch004
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High speed wireless networks and mobile and web-based services are changing the way we, as consumers of information, communicate, learn, do business and receive services. Successful e-commerce models have raised the expectations of citizens to have government agencies and organizations provide public services that are timely and efficient. With the growth and development of Arab cities, especially in the capitals, life becomes a little bit harder for citizens dealing with highly bureaucratic government agencies as their demands for basic services increase. Although e-readiness in the region has grown considerably with impressive progress, Arab cities have been clearly absent from studies on worldwide e-municipal websites. In this study, an evaluation checklist for was used to evaluate official municipal websites of Arab capitals. The study found that these websites were not citizen centered, suffered from fundamental problems, had some features that were inoperable and did not follow basic guidelines for any municipal website. These sites were dominated by aesthetics and technical novelties alone, providing inactive information rather than the inclusion of interactive e-services with immediate feedback and easy to use, navigable interfaces.
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ICT’s transform cities from local and inhibited social, economic, political and cultural living spaces to global centers, carrying urban and local values into the global arena (Çukurçayir and Eroglu, 2010). The most important citizen to government relationship is that of citizens’ relationship with their city, because municipalities directly affect the daily service needs of citizens; they also experience the most frequent per capita level of service contact, generating heightened demands with high-level economic prospects (Prychodko, 2001).

City municipalities should aim to increase the consciousness and co-responsibility of the residents for the quality of life in the city, to have respect for the rules of living together, and to improve the performance of the city’s services (Rodriguez, 2005). E-municipality can be defined as a municipality realizing all kinds of communication, business and service offers in an electronic environment (Akinci, 2004).

The incentives for both citizens and governments to utilize and provide ICT services include the following (Town of Freetown, Ma, 2007; Center for Democracy and Technology and Infodev, 2002; Pardo, 2000; Daemen and Schaap, 2000; Goldberg, 2009):

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