Reflections and Proposals on Public Officials Training and Promotion of E-Government

Reflections and Proposals on Public Officials Training and Promotion of E-Government

Graciela M. Falivene (National Institute of Public Administration, Argentina) and Graciela M. Silva (National Institute of Public Administration, Argentina)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-918-2.ch019
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Abstract

Argentina is a country characterized by successive discontinuities and heavily conditioned by a troubled political-institutional history. This article will argue that only the interaction and coherence between training and management systems created simultaneously as the dynamic expression of change can result in public organizations in tune with the characteristics of the knowledge society. Only those projects that have incorporated from their inception self-regulation, interaction, and readjustment mechanisms may provide answers in times that are difficult to compare with other periods in public administrations. The nation’s problems have never been as complex as they are today, nor did we have tools as powerful as the ICTs to solve them. From a complexity approach, it explores the synergic bonds between the promotion of e-government (EG) and the training and learning processes of public officials.
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Introduction: Hypothesis, Objectives, And Methodology

Argentina is a country characterized by successive discontinuities (CLAD-SIARE, 2005) and heavily conditioned by a troubled political-institutional history (Tesoro, 2004). This article will argue that only the interaction and coherence between training and management systems created simultaneously as the dynamic expression of change can result in public organizations in tune with the characteristics of the knowledge society. Only those projects that have incorporated from their inception self-regulation, interaction, and readjustment mechanisms may provide answers in times that are difficult to compare with other periods in public administrations. The nation’s problems have never been as complex as they are today, nor did we have tools as powerful as the ICTs to solve them. Therefore, focusing on current public administration in Argentina is to focus on complexity.

This article is intended as a reflective essay and an implementation proposal. From a complexity approach, it explores the synergic bonds between the promotion of e-government (EG) and the training and learning processes of public officials. By EG “the use of information and communication technology in public administrations combined with organizational change and new competencies in order to improve public services and democratic processes, and strengthen support to public policies” (EU E-Government Commission, 2003) is meant.

The study’s methodology implies a dialectical approach to the interaction of all e-government goals, as stated in the current Plan Nacional,2 particularly as regards: improvement of citizen services with the use of ICTs; ICTs characteristics, especially learning the Internet as a new language; and identification of strategies that will facilitate the mobilization of available resources and make means and goals consistent, in the least possible time. Thus, the goal is to make public officials training strategies consistent with the open and participatory processes that the Argentine public administration is calling for in its relationship with the citizenry.

The key aspects of the conceptual model adopted, and the premises to conceiving public officials training strategies that will promote EG are developed in the second section. The third section focuses on a series of proposals that seek to generate skills to deal with EG processes, based on the potentiality of the intranets and the available technological resources in public administration, particularly the emergence of the so-called Web 2.0 or social Web. Lastly, the fourth section identifies resistances to the inclusion of new ICTs in public administration, and proposes a series of recommendations in its concluding remarks.

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