E-Governance and Development: Service Delivery to Empower the Poor

E-Governance and Development: Service Delivery to Empower the Poor

Raul Zambrano (United Nations Development Program, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-918-2.ch007
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This article provides a quick assessment of current e-governance policies and programmes to then suggest an alternative approach to the issue of the use information and communications technology in governance process. By focusing on citizens and stakeholders needs and fostering their participation in decision-making processes, governments can be best prepared to provide them with basic services and information, especially to poor and marginalized areas excluded from the potential benefits of egovernance. Pro-poor basic delivery in turn has the potential of fostering stakeholder engagement in public policy discussions at the local level.
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Conceptual Framework

A citizen centric approach has fundamental consequences of the use of ICT in governance processes. As shown in Figure 1, citizens are both “clients” and “stakeholders” in the overall process.

Figure 1.

E-governance framework (Source: UNDP)

Figure 2.

Demand for E-setu main services, 2003 (Source: UNDP India)


As “clients,” citizens are the users and consumers of government services, including broadcasting (one-way delivery) of information and knowledge resources. This is the basic role that mainstream e-government programmes assign to citizens. It is essentially a transactional role where the final aim is to deliver a service, basic or not. Key indicators here are related to the transaction process itself (cost, time, quality, easy of use, etc.). Thus, ICTs can have a direct impact in the process in terms of production, distribution, and consumption of the services and information provided.

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