A Global Comparative Analysis of Digital Governance Practices

A Global Comparative Analysis of Digital Governance Practices

Norma M. Riccucci (Rutgers University, USA) and Marc Holzer (Rutgers University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-789-3.ch001
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Abstract

The literature shows that governments around the world have sought to improve their governing capabilities by developing and implementing strategic information and communication technologies (ICTs). The use of ICTs can provide citizens with greater access to government services, can promote transparency and accountability, and also streamline government expenditures. This research provides a comparative analysis of the practices of digital governance in large municipalities worldwide in 2005. Digital government includes both e-government and e-democracy. The research is based on an evaluation of a sample (n=81) of city websites globally in terms of two dimensions: delivery of public services and digital democracy. The official websites of each city were evaluated in their native languages. Based on the analysis of the 81 cities, Seoul, New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Sydney represent the cities with the most effective e-governance systems.
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From E-Governance To Digital Governance

As Singh and Byrne (2005: 71) point out, the “Internet and related technologies have made a substantial impact on the way organisations conduct business…around the world.” Governments, too, have made major advances in their efforts to govern more effectively to the extent they have adopted web-based and related technologies. Democracies across the globe have embraced the practice of e-governance to enhance the quality of services they provide to their citizens as well as to business communities. More recently, the reliance on digital governance has become increasingly popular (Carrizales, 2008; Asgarkhani, 2005). Digital governance includes both electronic government (e.g., the use of ICTs to deliver public services) and electronic democracy (e.g., the use of ICTs to promote citizen participation in governance).

One of the most important components of digital governance is augmenting the directional flow of information, communication, resources and services available to the public. As Asgarkhani (2005: 465) points out: “The introduction of digital governance is an attempt to reduce traditional hierarchies in governmental practices and create an environment where information flow is bi-directional. The change from a hierarchical model to a networked and technology-based framework is a fundamental change to the nature of public administration and management, which we have been familiar with in the past.”

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