Local Web-Based Networks in Rural Municipalities: Extension, Density, and Meaning

Local Web-Based Networks in Rural Municipalities: Extension, Density, and Meaning

Jan W. Owsiński (Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland), Aneta M. Pielak (Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland), Krzysztof Sęp (Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland) and Jarosław Stańczak (Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4550-9.ch011
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An analysis of networks formed by the links originating from the local authorities’ Websites and then from the successor nodes was performed for 30 municipalities in Poland. This analysis accounted for all links contained on the given local authorities’ Websites, with the links being classified into global and national (like those towards the global www services or the national ministries), regional (pointing, generally, towards the entities from the same province), local (within the municipality in question or the neighbouring municipalities), and internal (i.e. referring to various elements of the same municipality’s Website). Of primary interest in the study were the regional and local links, which potentially form networks of relevance for local development. For these local and regional links originating from the municipality Websites, the respective Websites were, in turn, investigated. For these Websites, again, the local and regional links were analysed. Such networks of depth two were established for each municipality considered. The chapter shows the results of this empirical work and draws conclusions of a broader nature, related to the significance and role of Web-based networks in the economic and social sustainability of the respective communities, especially during a crisis. The hypothesis is that networks in general facilitate survival, sustainability, and development of local communities.
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Background: The Essential Issues And Opinions

The area of e-government and e-administration has gained a very wide coverage nowadays. There exist numerous books, journals, Web-platforms etc., devoted to the developments, opportunities and needs with this respect. Against the background of the spread and ample functionality of e-administration in many regions of the world the primary issues moved to the domain of completeness of the Web-provided public service, provision of such service for the handicapped, etc. The latter is also associated with the efforts to bridge the “digital divide,” separating the ICT-rich from the ICT-poor. In this context, there are numerous national and international (e.g. European) initiatives, aiming at both bringing the infrastructures as well as appropriate knowledge closer to the people, and at securing effective provision of administrative services to the entire public.

These services might be classified as in Table 1, containing appropriate examples, taken from Attour-Oueslati, Dufresne, and Longhi (2007) and Attour and Longhi (2010).

Table 1.
Examples of local e-services according to the recipients
DomainG to GG to BG to C
Revenue--District ticket office (concert, museums, etc.)
Registry-Providers’ bills processingCivil Status: register; nursery; school meals; etc.
Town planning
Redistribution-Public contract dematerialization
House renovation
Licence and authorisation-Authorisation to undertake work in public roadsBuilding licensing
District rooms renting
Authorisations of various kinds
Proximity and Communication technologyControl of legality, inter governmental information.-Information and Communication, communication with elected people, citizen polling; district counsel reports, city laws; district job offers; elections, election results & information
Demand: district services; garbage containers, etc.

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